The GMAT is a standardized assessment that measures students’ general verbal, mathematical and analytical writing skills designed to predict how test-takers will perform academically in MBA (Masters in Business Administration ) programs, The GMAT helps business schools assess the qualifications of applicants for advanced study in business and management .
You might also see the GMAT referred to as the “GMAT CAT”, the acronym CAT stands for “Computer Adaptive Test .
Each question in the GMAT CAT has five answer options, and you are required to select one of these five as the correct answer by clicking on it. A subsequent question is displayed on the screen only after you have answered the previous question, so you cannot skip a question. You cannot also go back to a previously answered question to change your answer .
The test has three distinct sections :
Analytical Writing Ability (AWA), Quantitative , and Verbal .
The Quantitative section has two types of questions, Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency ,
The Verbal Section has three types: Sentence Correction, Critical Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension .
There are a total of 78 questions, 37 in Quantitative and 41 in Verbal. These have to be done in 75 minutes each .
The following table gives out the format of the GMAT-CAT :
|Number of Questions||Minutes per Section||
|Student-produced essays on two topics:
|Problem-solving and data sufficiency questions that test:
The Test is valid for five years. (5 Years )
- The “Total Score”
- composed of the quantitative and verbal sections
- The Verbal and Quantitative scores range from 0 to 60.
- Ranges from 200 to 800& Two-thirds of test takers score between 400 and 600.
- Your AWA performance is not reflected in your total GMAT score (on 800).
- Required Scores
- The average score for nearly all of the top business schools is in the upper 600s or low 700s.
Importance of GMAT
Nearly 900 management institutes all over the world require GMAT scores from each applicant for admission to the MBA program.
If you are applying to a top MBA program that is ranked high, you will need a high score just to qualify for an admission
- A high score projects you as a person with good analytical and verbal skills, both of which are necessary to perform well in a management program and later, after completion of your course, to perform in real life business situations.
- Score-boosting concept analysis & creative exercises.
- GMAT test that will affect your acceptance into a professional or collegiate program.
- Current undergrad students and working professionals also rely on GMAT test preparation courses when they are planning on returning to school for a Masters in Business Administration program.
- Schools will use your GMAT scores to predict how well you will do academically in their core curriculum.
Preparation is Everything
Most GMAT test takers start preparing about 3 to 6 months before the actual test date. Think about how you can best prepare, given your discipline, motivation, and personal preference :
- Self study
- One-on-one tutoring
- Study groups
- Prep courses
The GMAT exam measures basic verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills that you have developed in your education and work. It does NOT measure:
- your knowledge of business,
- your job skills,
- specific content in your undergraduate or first university course work,
- your abilities in any other specific subject area, or
- subjective qualities—such as motivation, creativity, and interpersonal skills
- We suggest the following steps:
- Read about the format of the GMAT exam on mba.com
Review the types of questions on the GMAT exam by looking at sample questions for each section of the test. (Read the mba.com articles on the Analytical Writing Assessment section, Verbal section, and Quantitative section.)
.To study for the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section of the GMAT exam, practice writing an essay using the AWA Topics available on mba.com, or you can purchase GMAT Write—software designed to help you practice your essay writing skills. GMAT Write will grade your essay using the same technology that the actual exam uses
Purchase a set of three GMAT Paper Tests for extra practice.
Depending on how long it has been since you studied math, you may want to do a review of basic math skills.
If you want more sample questions to study, you can buy Official Guide for GMAT Review, 12th Edition, the Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review, 2nd Edition, or the Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review, 2nd Edition. Each Guide has hundreds of real GMAT questions, answers, and explanations.
Review and study one section of the test at a time.
Read the articles under the heading “Test Day” to find out what you will need to bring to the test and what you should expect at the test center.
Allow for at least four weeks of studying before you take the test.
GMAT Preparation Tips
- Get the GMAT Study Guide.& Divide It
- Put Plan & Create a schedule for the duration of your study
- Learn to study on your own to nail the timing.
- Go to the source.
- Build up, not down. We see it all the time: whole herds of students go running off to find super-hard problems. “If I can crack these,” the herds think, “I can do any GMAT problem.”
- Turn enemies into friends.
Should you play to your strengths or attack your weaknesses?
Ideally, you’ll do both. But if you have to choose, especially early on – pick the weaknessess
- Mix it up
You know you should do a lot of topic-based work – especially in your weak areas. And you know you’ll have to take practice tests to prepare for the GMAT’s adaptive format, which is both less familiar and more stressful than a paper-based format.
- Know what you know.
Stop making your head swim. Start reviewing and redoing problems.
GMAT Test Tips
- Spend adequate time on the first 5 questions
- Prepare yourself to finish the test – at all costs!
- Don’t waste time
- Read the Questions Carefully
- Avoid Random Guessing
- Eliminate the Deliberately Deceptive Wrong Choices
- Practice, Practice, Practice
- Don’t Wait Too Long to Take the GMAT
- Be Aware
By the time you have finished your GMAT preparation, you should be aware of the type of questions that will appear in the GMAT Test. You should also be aware of how long each section is and the time limits. This will help you pace yourself through the test.
- Know the directions for each question
Knowing the directions for the questions beforehand will save you valuable time. But remember the directions for the questions in the GMAT Test might be slightly different from the ones in your study material. So always read the instructions but do it quickly
- Don’t stick to one question for too long
By the time you have finished your GMAT preparation, you should have a good estimate of how much time you can give to a particular question. Don’t get stuck on one particular question for too long. This might cause you to lose precious time and miss questions you could have easily done.
- Don’t leave any question
The GMAT Test does not penalize you for wrong answers. So never leave any question unanswered.
- Be very sure of your answer before proceeding
With the Computer-Adaptive Test (CAT) for GMAT, you cannot return to a question once you have attempted it. You cannot leave the difficult questions for later nor can you check your answers towards the end even if you have extra time. So pace yourself properly and be very certain of your answers.
- Use the scratch paper the test center provides
You are not allowed to bring any sheets of paper to the GMAT test center but are provided scratch paper by the center.
- You should Get adequate rest the night before
Before the test, relax. Research shows a person who is relaxed usually does much better than a person who is tense during an exam. Get enough sleep before the D-Day. Also if your GMAT is in the morning, take a light breakfast. A heavy one might make you drowsy.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a Computer Adaptive Test “CAT”? In a computer-adaptive test, the computer screen displays one question at a time, which is chosen from a very large pool of questions categorized by content and difficulty. The first question is always of a medium difficulty, and each subsequent question is determined by your responses to all the previous questions. In other words, the CAT adjusts itself to your ability level – you’ll get few questions that are either too easy or too difficult for you.
- I have been away from math for a long time. I am worried. How much math is required? – The GMAT is NOT a math test. The quantitative section of the GMAT contains two question types. They are called “Problem Solving” and “Data Sufficiency”. Math is relevant in that it CAN (but is not always) be a background skill required to answer some of these questions. No university level math of any kind is presumed. Most test takers can achieve adequate scores on the GMAT with a competence in basic high school level math. An excellent review of these concepts may be found in: “GRE-GMAT Math Review” by David Frieder.
- How is the GMAT scored? – The GMAT is reported on a scale of 200 – 800
- What score is a “pass” on the GMAT? – There is no pass or fail – each school decides what score is sufficient for its program
- How do you register for the GMAT? – You schedule your own appointment – 1 800 717-GMAT or www.mba.com
- How often can you take the GMAT? – The test is administered many days each month.
- Is there a maximum number of times you are permitted to take the GMAT? – Yes – 5 times in one year and 1 time in a period of 31 consecutive days.
- What is the fee for the GMAT? – It varies from year to year but is approximately $300 CDN or $200 U.S.
- Where do you register? – You have 2 options: www.mba.com or 1 800 717-GMAT
- Average GMAT Score: Top Business School GMAT Score
Harvard University 708 /-/ Stanford University 713 /-/ U-PENN (Wharton) 713 /-/
MIT (Sloan) 710 /-/ University of Chicago 690 /-/ University of Virginia (Darden) 678
- The Official Guide for GMAT Review
- Manhattan GMAT Sentence Correction
- GMAT 800
- Official Guide for Verbal Review
- Official Guide for Quantitative Review
- Kaplan Verbal Workbook
- Kaplan Math Workbook
- Cracking the GMAT by Princeton Review
- Kaplan Premier Program
- Manhattan GMAT CR Book
- Powerscore Critical Reasoning Bible
- Manhattan GMAT Number Properties Guide
- Project GMAT Advanced Math
- Manhattan GMAT Word Translations Guide
- Powerscore Sentence Correction
- GMAT for Dummies
- Manhattan GMAT Geometry Guide
- Manhattan GMAT Fractions, Decimals, and Percents Guide
- Manhattan GMAT Equations Inequalities and Vics Guide
- The Ultimate Math Refresher for the GRE, GMAT, and SAT