The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test conducted by the Graduate Management Aptitude Council. It is a highly competitive examination which is open to candidates throughout the world. The exam is conducted to get admission into professional management programs like MBA (Master in Business Administration) and Master in Finance-related courses.
After qualifying for the exam, students will get admission to top business schools across the globe, such as INSEAD, Stanford, Wharton, and Harvard Business School. The exam offers opportunities for 7000 programs in 2300 B-schools in 110+ countries. Over 200,000 business candidates per year appear on the GMAT exam exclusively for graduate management education programs.
If you are planning to appear for this competitive test and give a kick start to your career in the business background, you must know a lot of information related to the exam. This test specifically assesses the student’s quantitative, verbal, analytical writing and reading skills. Here, we have brought you complete details of the GMAT syllabus, eligibility, exam pattern, registration, and much more. The below sections will also cover the exam’s strategic preparation tips.
What is GMAT exam?
The GMAT exam is designed by GMAC to test skills that are highly required in business and management programs like MBA. GMAT full form – Graduate Management Admission Test. The exam assesses problem-solving abilities, data sufficiency, analytical writing, and logical and critical reasoning skills. These skills are highly focused in the exam because they play a vital role in real-world business and management success.
The GMAT exam is a computer-adaptive test. This means the questions are selected for the candidates based on their ability level. It makes the score extremely precise and concise to measure one’s ability. This exam is more efficient than the paper-based test, in which every candidate answers the same set of questions.
GMAT Test Eligibility Criteria
The Graduate Management Aptitude Council has set the eligibility criteria for the exam. Here are the basic eligibility criteria to consider before going for GMAT exam registration.
- Age Eligibility
Candidates must be 18 years or older to register for the GMAT without consent. However, if you are a student aged between 13 and 17, you must obtain written permission from your parents or legal guardian. The major advantage of the GMAT is that there is no specific upper age limit. Many aspirants over the age of 30 take the exam every year. Many of them score well and qualify in their exams. It helps them achieve their dream of pursuing an MBA from a top management school.
- Academic Qualification
Candidates with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institute or recognized university are eligible to apply for the exam. However, the candidates have no minimum or maximum educational qualification limit. Most applicants are senior or final-year graduate students or working professionals. Moreover, you can still appear in the exam as a supplement even if you don’t fall into any of these academic qualification categories. But make sure to submit written consent from your guardian.
- GMAT Score Eligibility
Total GMAT scores range between 200 to 800. It is highly based on verbal and quantitative section scores. The Analytical Writing and Integrated Reasoning scores don’t actually affect the overall score. Scores between 700 and 740 are considered good. While a candidate scoring higher than 740 is considered excellent. However, the business schools have their own set of minimum GMAT scores for admission. When applying to specific business schools, candidates must check the minimum score required by each school.
- No. Of Attempts
Candidates are only eligible to write up to five times yearly, with a mandatory gap of 16 days between each attempt. A candidate cannot apply more than eight times in a lifetime. If you have scored 800, you have to wait five years before taking the test. In addition, you must restart the GMAT registration every time you opt for a new attempt.
- Language Requirement
A candidate is still eligible to apply for the GMAT exam even if their language of medium at university is not English. In fact, many students with non-English speaking backgrounds have passed the test with their dedicated preparation.
- Work Experience Eligibility
The candidates have to write the test both as freshers and industry experts. Business schools will compile both academic performance and work experience to rank your position. The admission council will examine multiple factors, such as work experience, achievements, certifications, etc., based on your profile.
- Candidate Identification Eligibility
Candidates must provide complete legal information to apply for the test. It must include details such as country of citizenship, government ID proof, signature, palm vein pattern, a digital photograph, etc.
GMAT Test Modes
Earlier, the GMAT exam was conducted only through offline mode at the designated prometric test centres across the world. But, after the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown announcement, the conducting body has switched to online mode. Later, when the test centres were reopened worldwide, candidates still preferred to continue with the online version because of the comfort and cost-effectiveness.
- Online Mode
Online GMAT is an interim solution offered by the council. This examination mode is much cheaper than the online version. It cost only 200 USD. But, in online mode, you won’t be able to control your section order. The GMAT exam will start with the AWA section. Candidates appearing for their exam in test centres get two breaks of each 8 minutes between the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections.
It is given to relax and prepare mentally for the next section. But, in the online exam, candidates will be offered no breaks between these vital high-scoring sections. However, the candidate will be allowed to take a 5-minute break between the Verbal and Integrated Reasoning sections.
- Offline Mode
GMAT offline or test centre-based mode is the primary option. It is monitored by Pearson VUE. The candidates must follow the Testing Rules Agreement before selecting this mode. This agreement will help you understand the test policies and exam day guidelines. Candidates must ensure that their preferred test centre is available on the exam date during GMAT registration. You can choose an exam centre that is near your residential location.
Why Apply for GMAT?
If you want to start your MBA career in a reputed institute that will offer better career choices in the future, the GMAT exam will be the ultimate pathway. It is designed by GMAC to give opportunities to aspiring candidates to get admission into top business schools. The exam focuses on vital skills that a candidate must have for a successful graduate management program.
The exam specifically measures the reasoning and critical thinking skills that are relevant in business programs. When you take the GMAT exam, it showcases your commitment and ability to succeed in your business career.
In GMAT, the computer-adaptive test determines the next question’s difficulty level based on the candidate’s previous answering ability. Hence, it offers a more efficient, accurate, and safer way to measure a candidate’s ability.
One of the biggest advantages of the GMAT is that the exam score is accepted by over 2,000 business schools worldwide. Additionally, more than 7,000 MBA and MIM programs rely on GMAT scores for admission. So, taking the GMAT is the most reliable way to secure admission into an MBA program.
GMAT Exam Pattern
No. of Questions
Analytical Writing Assessment
3 hours 7 minutes
Researching in advance about the GMAT syllabus will enhance a candidate’s problem-solving abilities and help familiarise them with their strengths and weaknesses. The GMAT curriculum consists of four blocks or sections following the GMAT test pattern, exactly like other national and international aptitude tests. Let’s check out the syllabus in detail;
Syllabus of Quantitative Section
The section includes problem-solving and data sufficiency. Important topics covered in the sections are;
Syllabus of Verbal Section
The GMAT Verbal section measures a candidate’s ability to interpret and read given passages to answer the questions posed. This section is needed to verify the ability to use English effectively as required. Topics covered are;
- Reading Comprehension
- Critical Reasoning – Assumption, Resolve /Explain, Strengthen/Weaken, Inference, etc.
- Sentence Correction – Subject-verb agreement, Parallelism/Comparison, Misplaced Modifiers and Idioms.
Syllabus for Integrated Reasoning Section
The GMAT uses higher-order reasoning through an Integrated Reasoning section that includes questions on information integration (organisation, summarization), evaluation (tradeoffs and benefits of actions), inferring from data, other data-related information, and developing strategies based on the provided data.
Topics covered are;
- GMAT Table Analysis –comprising data in spreadsheets to determine the significant information.
- GMAT Two-Part Analysis – complex problems such as verbal, quantitative, or combined. The two-part analysis includes simultaneous equations, evaluating tradeoffs, and discerning relationships.
- GMAT Multi-Source Reasoning – multiple sources tables, graphics, and text passages.
- Graphics Interpretation – graphical images such as bar charts, pie charts, scatter plots, x/y graphs, or statistical curve distribution.
Syllabus for Analytical Writing Assessment
The Analytical Writing Assessment GMAT program tests candidates’ skills in writing an essay responding to an argument. They have to write an answer of 4 to 6 paragraphs to evaluate the argument. The logic here is to test the candidate’s ability to think critically about the opinions presented. Also, the test analyses the information to ensure which information can help you evaluate the argument thoroughly.
The topics to be covered are;
- Writing an introduction
- Concluding an essay
- Writing body paragraphs
How to prepare for the GMAT exam?
GMAT is an extremely competitive exam to crack. Candidates must do regular practice with a well-prepared study plan to get good scores. Here are some GMAT preparation tips to let you know how to prepare for GMAT:
- Obtain complete knowledge about the GMAT syllabus and note down the important topics.
- Prepare a GMAT study plan with the syllabus. Make sure all the topics are covered in the timetable. Also, make some time for revision.
- Refer to authentic GMAT preparation books such as the GMAT Official Guide, PowerScore’s The Critical Reasoning Bible, Manhattan Prep’s The GMAT Sentence Correction Strategy Guide, Jeff Sackmann’s Total GMAT Math, GMAT Advanced Quant – Manhattan Prep, etc.
- Practice the GMAT quantitative sections regularly. Pay more attention to verbal and quantitative sections.
- Practice the previous year’s questions and GMAT practice papers. GMAT mock tests will also help to improve your speed and accuracy.
GMAT Exam Registration
Registration for the GMAT exam takes place online at www.mba.com. Candidates have to create their accounts to register. The entire process moves in a flexible way. The candidates can book the test time in advance according to their convenience. It is advised to register 90 days before the exam. This way, candidates will get enough time to prepare for the exam. The extra time will even help to learn more about the business schools that accept the GMAT scores.
Here are the registration steps for GMAT;
- First, candidates should visit the official website and complete the GMAT registration form.
- Details such as name, email, and password are necessary for account creation.
- Next, candidates have to enter personal information, education details, work experience, and documentation required.
- Schedule the examination at your convenience within the given slot booking option.
- After the candidate chooses the test date and location, the application fee of US $250 should be paid.
- If you want to book your test offline, you can continue this via phone or postal mail.
- Take out a printout of the application form for admission formalities when necessary.
- The form can be filled out throughout the year.
GMAT Exam Fee and Modes of Payment
The GMAT Examination fees are US $275 at the GMAT test centre and US $300 for the online mode. If the candidate wants to make changes by choosing a different time slot, they can reschedule it accordingly. The exam also charges a cancellation fee when a candidate reschedules the exams.
Modes of payment are;
- Online payment mode: Credit card, debit card, and net banking.
- Postal Mail: cheque or money order.
- GMAT customer care: If you book using GMAT customer care, an extra amount of USD 10 will be charged with the application fees.
- Cancellation charges before 60+ days the exam date – US$50
- Cancellation charges 15-60 days before the date – US$100
- Cancellation charges 14 days or less before the examination date – US$150
- 0-14 days before the examination date – US $150
- 15-60 days before the examination date – US $100
- >60 days before the examination date – US $50
GMAT Exam Results
Candidates can check their GMAT exam scores within the next 20 days of their test date. They can preview their scorecard and will have 2 minutes to decide if they want to submit their test and report scores or cancel it and go for a reattempt. If the applicant accepts the results, the scorecard will be forwarded to the university for documentation. The unofficial result card will also be available for download.
Candidates must access their GMAC account to get their results 20 days after submitting the test. The assigned authority will send a hard copy of the scorecard by post. It will contain detailed information about the exam.
GMAT Score Validity
Applicants should note that GMAT scores are valid for a period of 5 years. Therefore, applicants should check the application deadlines of different universities and schedule the GMAT test accordingly. It is essential for students to research different study abroad promotions and MBA application deadlines to avoid any last-minute problems. GMAT 2023 exam questions and application materials should be planned in advance.
GMAT Score cut-off varies based on different factors such as difficulty level, seat vacancies, number of candidates appearing in the exam, candidates qualifying for the exam, and average scores. The GMAT exam’s minimum/maximum score is not set accurately. Most business schools accept minimum GMAT scores.
The minimum score is a must achieve to gain admission to top B-schools. Some universities set their own minimum score that applicants for admission must achieve. However, a candidate scoring 715 and above is considered good for admission to the top 10 business schools.
- Total GMAT exam scores range from 200 to 800, and based on average estimates, two-thirds of candidates taking the GMAT score 400 to 600.
- GMAT scores of 760+ place applicants on the 99th percentile. The table below is a list of some of the minimum requirements for admission to the best B schools.
- For schools that accept GRE scores, GMAT scores are calculated using the GRE to GMAT calculator.
- Is it mandatory to write the GMAT for MBA admissions?
No, the GMAT exam is not mandatory to get admission to an MBA. However, if you dream of studying at reputed and top-rated business schools worldwide, you must apply for GMAT.
- What mathematical concepts are involved in the GMAT syllabus?
The quantitative section contains basic maths concepts such as areas of algebra, arithmetic, and geometry.
- What does CAT – computerized adaptive test mean?
The CAT – computerized adaptive test adjusts the complexity level in real-time as you take the GMAT exam. The programmed algorithm determines the difficulty level of the question you receive, as well as a score based on your answers.
We suggest verifying the information shared here with the original organization that conducts GMAT exam