GMAT - All You Ever Wanted to Know

GMATGMAT* (Graduate Management Aptitude Test) is a computer-adaptive test (CAT) administered by GMAC* for admissions to most of the business schools. Computer adaptive tests keep on lowering/increasing the difficulty of questions based on the wrong/right answer selected in the previous question.What is MBA and what to expect from it?'
GMAT scores are accepted by more than 2000 B-Schools over the world for admissions to their MBA programs. Now schools have also started accepting GRE scores as an alternative. If you are not clear if MBA is the right option for you, read our coverage on '

About the Exam:

GMAT is administered all over the year except public holidays. In most of the countries, you need to carry a Photo Identification card (mostly Passport) to appear for the test.

Duration of Test: 3 hours 30 minutes

How is the Test Organised:
The test has four sections:
  1. Analytical Writing Assessment (30 minutes)
  2. Integrated Reasoning (30 minutes)
  3. Quantitative (75 minutes)
  4. Verbal (75 minutes)
Before starting the test, you can select 5 schools where you want your scores to be sent - free of cost. Any additional score sharing is done by GMAC at an additional cost.

Few Points
Score part of reported score
Analytical Writing Assessment
30 minutes
1 Essay type Question
·   Analysis of an argument of business or general use
Integrated Reasoning
30 minutes
12 multiple-choice
·   Questions on graphs, tables, charts
·   Calculator is allowed
Optional 8 minutes break
75 minutes
37 multiple-choice
·   Tests basic arithmetic, algebra and geometry
·   Difficulty level – high school mathematics
·   Question Types: Problem solving, data sufficiency
Optional 8 minutes break
75 minutes
41 multiple-choice
·   Tests on grammar, logic and reading comprehension skills
·   Daily use English has several errors which are checked here
·   Question types: Reading comprehension, critical reasoning, sentence correction

Scoring criteria:

  • GMAT scores are given in the range of 200-800 with a possible increment of 10 (possible scores - 200, 210, 220, ..., 790, 800)
  • Only quantitative and verbal sections are used to calculate the GMAT score: scores are provided in the range of 0-60 for each section
  • The individual scores of each section are then scaled up to arrive at the net score
  • Colleges generally look at the overall scores rather than individual section split
  • Scoring of other sections:
    • Integrated Reasoning section is scored from 1 to 8. These are provided separately to colleges
    • Analytic Writing Assessment (AWA) is graded on a scale of 0 to 6 evaluated by two readers (one human and one computer). The average is calculated and reported separately. This also does not count towards overall GMAT score.

Cost of the Test: $250

Where to Register: Register on mba.com well in advance as the slots fill up fast

Validity of scores: GMAT score remains valid for five years

Other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Q: What if I don't attempt all questions and only give correct answers to all attempted questions?
A: Since GMAT is a computer adaptive test. It's necessary to attempt all questions. If any question is left unanswered, GMAT penalizes heavily for that.

Q: How accurate is the unofficial score provided after finishing the exam?
A: Although there is little bit of normalizing that happens after you get the unofficial score. It's majorly for other two sections (IR, AWA). The official score will be close enough (if not exactly same) to the unofficial score.

Q: Can I cancel the scores?
A: After you complete the test, you are provided with two options:

  • Report the scores
    • You still get time to think for 72 hours and can cancel the scores by paying a fee ($50)
  • Cancel the scores immediately (without paying any fee)

Q: Are the cancelled scores reported later?
A: No, if you have cancelled the scores earlier - it's not reported unless you reinstate the scores. Only the non-cancelled score is reported

Q: When can I reappear for the test again?
A: You can appear 5 times in a year for GMAT. Between two consecutive attempts, there has to be a gap of atleast 4 weeks.

Q: How much do I pay to reappear in GMAT?
A: You have to pay the full amount ($250).

Q: How do I prepare for GMAT?
A: You should start by purchasing the official guide to GMAT. If you want to learn from the basics, we offer 1:1 skype sessions at a fee for candidates all over the world. Contact us to know more about the program.

Q: What after GMAT?
A: Each B-school has its application deadlines. Other than GMAT, several schools require ToEFL to be completed before application. After GMAT, there are requirements like Transcripts, Letters of Recommendations, Essay Writing, Interviews etc.

Q: How do I get sample papers for the exam?
A: Once you register for the exam, GMAC allows you to download their application which simulates the official exam and has two practice tests. We also offer more than 20 tests in our paid GMAT program to candidates - Contact us to know more.

We hope this post answers your queries. Leave us a comment for additional questions.

* GMAT, GMAC are registered trademarks of their respective owners and have no affiliation with UpdateMoi