All About GMAT

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a standardized exam commonly used by business schools worldwide as part of their admissions process for MBA (Master of Business Administration) and other graduate management programs. If you’re planning to study abroad, especially in a business-related field, the GMAT might be a requirement for your application. The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is the governing body responsible for administering the GMAT exam and providing valuable resources and services to candidates and graduate management programs worldwide. 

GMAT Exam Pattern

The GMAT is divided into four distinct sections, each designed to evaluate specific skills crucial for graduate management education:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA): This section consists of one essay prompt where candidates are required to analyze the reasoning behind an argument and write a critique. They need to provide insights into the logical flaws, assumptions, and evidence presented in the argument.
  2. Integrated Reasoning (IR): The IR section evaluates a candidate’s ability to interpret and synthesise data presented in various formats, such as charts, graphs and tables to make the right decisions. It includes four types of questions: Graphics Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-Source Reasoning and Two-Part Analysis.
  3. Quantitative Reasoning: This section assesses a candidate’s proficiency in mathematical concepts including arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis, through a series of quantitative problem-solving tasks. It comprises both Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency questions, where candidates must determine whether the information provided is sufficient to answer a given problem.
  4. Verbal Reasoning: Candidates are tested on their ability to comprehend written material, evaluate arguments, and correct grammatical errors in written text. There are reading comprehension, reasoning and sentence correction questions in this section.
SectionNumber of QuestionsTime Allotted
Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)130 minutes
Integrated Reasoning (IR)1230 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning3162 minutes
Verbal Reasoning3665 minutes
Total803 hours, 7 minutes (excluding breaks)

Strategies to Prepare for the GMAT

GMAT is an adaptive test, meaning the difficulty level of questions adapts based on the candidate’s performance. To excel in such an environment, candidates must employ useful preparation strategies, including:

  • Targeted Practice: Focus on strengthening weaker areas while maintaining proficiency in stronger ones. Utilize GMAT prep materials, such as official guides and practice tests, to simulate exam conditions and track progress.
  • Time Management: Practice time management strategies to ensure you can complete each section within the allotted time. Give time and assess questions according to their level of difficulty.
  • Review and Analysis: After completing practice sets, thoroughly review incorrect answers to understand essential concepts and identify patterns of error. 
  • Simulated Exams: Practice under timed conditions to simulate the pressure of the actual exam. Familiarize yourself with the testing interface to minimize surprises on test day.

Exam Booking Process 

Booking your GMAT exam involves several steps, each designed to simplify the process and ensure a seamless experience:

  • Create an Account: Visit the official GMAT website and create an account to access exam-related resources and schedule your test.
  • Select Test Center and Date: Choose a convenient test centre location and available date that aligns with your preparation timeline and application deadlines.
  • Payment: Pay the GMAT exam fees securely through the online portal using accepted payment methods. Be mindful of any applicable taxes or additional charges.
  • Confirmation: Once your booking is confirmed, you’ll receive a confirmation email containing essential details such as test centre location, reporting time and identification requirements.

GMAT Exam Fees

The GMAT exam fees vary depending on the region in which you plan to take the exam. Generally, the cost ranges from $250 to $275. Candidates are advised to visit the official website to know the fees region-wise.  Look at the table below for standard fee details:

Service FeesTest CenterOnline
GMAT ExamUS$275US$300
Additional Score ReportUS$35 eachUS$35 each
Reschedule FeesTest CenterOnline
More than 60 days before appointmentUS$55US$60
15-60 days before appointmentUS$110 US$120
14 days or less before appointmentUS$165US$180
Cancellation FeesTest CenterOnline
More than 60 days before appointmentUS$110 refundUS$120 Refund
15-60 days before appointment US$80 refundUS$90 Refund
14 days or less before appointmentUS$55 refundUS$60 Refund

Exam Acceptance

The acceptance of the GMAT is widespread and recognized by thousands of graduate management programs around the world. This standardized test is a crucial component of the admissions process for various business and management programs, including MBA (Master of Business Administration), MiM (Master in Management), MFin (Master of Finance) and other related disciplines.

Top Countries Accepting the GMAT

The GMAT exam is one of the selection criteria for over 7,700 programs at 2,400 universities and other institutions across 110 countries. Here’s a look at the acceptance of the GMAT across various countries:

United States: In the United States, the GMAT is widely accepted by prestigious business schools and universities offering MBA (Master of Business Administration) programs. Institutions such as Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and many others consider GMAT scores as a critical component of their admissions process.

United Kingdom: Leading business schools in the United Kingdom, including London Business School, University of Oxford Saïd Business School and Cambridge Judge Business School, recognize the GMAT as a standard requirement for admission to their MBA programs. International students aiming to study in the UK often rely on their GMAT scores to demonstrate their academic readiness and competency.

Canada: Canadian universities, such as Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto), Ivey Business School (Western University) and Schulich School of Business (York University), offer internationally recognized MBA programs that accept the GMAT. 

Australia: Institutions like Melbourne Business School, Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at UNSW Business School, and Monash Business School in Australia accept GMAT scores from prospective students seeking admission to their graduate management programs.

France: French business schools such as INSEAD, HEC Paris, and ESSEC Business School are renowned for their MBA and specialized master’s programs in management, finance and entrepreneurship. These institutions value the GMAT as an indicator of academic readiness and potential for success in their rigorous programs.

Germany: German universities such as Mannheim Business School, ESMT Berlin and HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management offer MBA and master’s programs that accept the GMAT. 

GMAT Exam Scoring Pattern

The GMAT uses an adaptive scoring system, meaning the difficulty of each question adjusts based on your performance on previous ones. Below is a table illustrating the scoring pattern for the GMAT:

SectionScore RangeScore Scale
Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)0 – 6Increments of 0.5
Integrated Reasoning (IR)1 – 8Increments of 1
Quantitative Reasoning6 – 51Increments of 1
Verbal Reasoning6 – 51Increments of 1
Total GMAT Score200 – 800

The total GMAT score, which ranges from 200 to 800, is based on a combination of the Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning scores, with each section contributing equally to the total score. The AWA and IR scores are reported separately and do not contribute to the total GMAT score, but they are still important factors considered by admissions committees during the application review process.

Average Score Required for Top B-Schools

This table reflects the average GMAT score for the 2023 academic year, which may differ from the previous year’s data. Admission to these top business schools is highly competitive and candidates should aim to achieve scores above or around these averages to enhance their chances of acceptance. Here’s a table showcasing the average GMAT scores for the top 10 business schools abroad:

Sl. No.School NameCountryAverage GMAT Score (2023)
1Stanford Graduate School of BusinessUSA737
2Harvard Business SchoolUSA730
3The Wharton SchoolUSA728
4INSEADFrance & Singapore732
5London Business SchoolUK725
6Northwestern Kellogg School of ManagementUSA731
7Chicago Booth School of BusinessUSA728
8Columbia Business SchoolUSA729
9MIT Sloan School of ManagementUSA730
10Dartmouth Tuck School of BusinessUSA726

You can find the most up-to-date information on average GMAT scores for specific schools on their official websites or admissions pages.

In conclusion, the GMAT serves as a gateway to academic and professional opportunities for individuals seeking to pursue graduate management education abroad. By understanding the exam’s pattern, implementing effective preparation strategies and leveraging resources provided by GMAC, candidates can position themselves for success and unlock their potential in the competitive world of business education.

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