What is GMAT?
The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT Exam) is a computer adaptive test widely used by more than 6,000 graduate schools around the world for selecting students for its business programs.
Applicants to Universities come from wide range of backgrounds reflecting a different range of academic histories, countries, cultures, career path and levels of work experience.
With so many variations, it gets hard for Business schools to compare these versatile ranges of candidates.
It provides that additional objective information about your potential for the academic success to the schools. It measures your ability to Think critically, Reason quantitatively, Evaluate arguments and Communicate complex ideas.
Therefore, the GMAT exam is truly designed to predict a candidate’s likelihood for success in management education. It is considered to be the most reliable assessment for assisting programs and selecting tomorrow's global leaders.
GMAT Exam Pattern :
The GMAT exam is a 3.5-hour test administered in English. It employs a number of questions across 4 sections as follows :
- Analytical Writing Assessment, (30 Minutes)
- Integrated Reasoning, (30 Minutes)
- Quantitative (75 Minutes) ,and
- Verbal (75 Minutes).
The Quantitative and verbal sections of the exam follow a Multiple choice question format(MCQ) that is computer adaptive in nature.
“Additional Information : Are you wondering what a computer adaptive test means?
In computer adaptive test each question is chosen based on the test taker’s responses to the previous questions.
After each question is answered the score is updated. If the updated score is higher than the previous score the next question will usually be more difficult than the previous question, otherwise an easier question will be asked.
It provides a more accurate picture of the candidate’s abilities.”
The business schools evaluate candidates based on the final score out of 800, which is valid for a period of 5 years. Just remember that the score out of 800 is only for the Verbal and Quantitative sections. The remaining two sections have their independent scores.
GMAT Centre and Dates :
The GMAT exam is accessible to candidates around the world almost every day of the year through a large and continuously expanding network of test centers.
The candidate may register for GMAT exam either online at MBA.com or by calling/ reaching out to one of the test centers.
One has to take an appointment at one of the designated test centers to schedule the exam for a particular day.
Candidates are permitted to write the GMAT test up to a maximum of 5 times in a calendar year but cannot reappear for the test within a span of 16 days.
Fee Structure and Mode of payments:
The application fees for GMAT is $250, which would roughly convert in to INR15,000 - INR 16,500 approximately.
One can pay the fees via credit card (Visa, Mastercard,American express or JCB) and money order.
Somehow, If you miss your scheduled exam time for any reason your registration fees will be forfeited, so make sure you plan your GMAT with a proper time schedule.
GMAT Eligibility & Documents Requirement :
The only eligibility requirement for giving GMAT is the document required to prove your identity.
You must possess a valid passport, which clearly shows your full name, photograph and signature.
You must bring the same at the time of exam.The exam centre will not allow you to appear for the exam unless you show them the original/valid passport.
Apart from this there is no official eligibility criteria for giving the GMAT exam, but the candidate must possess at least the following qualifications to take admission into the Business schools :
- Must be a graduate from a recognised board or university, and
- Must be proficient in English language.
What is an Ideal time to start with your GMAT preparations?
Most candidates are confused about when to start preparing for GMAT, and what will be the ideal time to start with the preparations.
Unfortunately, there is no correct answer to this question.
An ideal time for preparation varies from person to person, and one has to decide how much time will he/she need to prepare for it.
Start with your preparation by taking a recent sample paper/mock test for the GMAT. It will help you analyze yourself and see how much improvement is needed further to score a competitive score for GMAT.
Once you get a decent idea about where you stand in your current situation you can accordingly plan your timetable.
According to recent statistics, the average GMAT taker takes about 4 months for preparation. Hence, ideally one should begin the GMAT preparation at least 6 months before the application deadlines.
What GMAT Score Do You Need for Business School?
While looking at scores it obviously depends on the schools you are targeting to apply.
If we include all major B-schools in the world, the average GMAT score would be 550.
But if you are targeting Top 15 business schools the average GMAT score shoots up to above 700.
So, if your scores are below 650 then you must be already knowing by now that they are not enough to get you into the top 15 business schools.
Some Top business schools that require an average GMAT score above 700+ are :
|Business Schools||Average GMAT|
|Wharton School of Business||730|
|Harvard Business School||710|
|Booth School of Business||738|
|Stern School of Business||720|
|Kellogg School of Management||732|
|Haas School of Business||725|
|Stanford Graduate School of Business||737|
How to start with your GMAT preparation?
The best way to start studying for GMAT is to first of all figure out what kind of questions are asked in the test. One of the effective ways to do that is by giving GMAT mock tests and look for the sources such as official guide for GMAT reviews which includes over 900 questions that were actually asked in the GMAT exam.
Once you get a clear idea about the test, you need to figure out what are the areas you are lacking or need to polish up.
It’s important to take practice tests on regular basis before giving the real GMAT. It will provide you a head start and a give you an edge over other candidates.
Some of the best online and offline resources for your GMAT preparation includes :
- GMAT official guide,
- Economist GMAT,
- Prep 4 GMAT
The key factor to prepare for GMAT is being consistent in your approach and plan systematically, and this will definitely help you scoring a 700+ score.
GMAT vs GRE :
If you are considering getting into International business schools, then you’re likely to prepare for either GRE or GMAT. But some of you may be in a dilemma regarding which one to go for.
Below, we have mentioned the key differences and similarities between the two which will provide you a better idea regarding the right test for you :
|Schools you can target||Graduate Schools and Business Schools for your Masters||Masters from Business Schools|
|No. of attempts per year||5||5|
|Validity of Scores||5 years||5 years|
|Time Slot||3.75 hours (Online) & 3.5 hours (Paper)||3.5 hours|
1) Schools you can target:
GRE is used for a wide variety of programs which includes technical as well as Business programs whereas GMAT is only used for business schools. So, if you are still in two minds about which program to choose, then going for GMAT can limit your options whereas GRE opens up a lot of doors for you.
2) Adaptive Nature :
Both the GMAT and GRE are adaptive, which means that the difficulty level of the questions asked will depend upon your performance in the previous questions.
But, there is a discrepancy between the two; GMAT is a question adaptive test whereas GRE is a section adaptive test.
The GRE allows you to skip the hard questions and come back to them later given you have some extra time to spare at the end of the section.
Whereas, GMAT adapts between each individual questions, and limits you from going back to the question once you move to the next question.
Apart from these, there are still a lot of differences between the two, however the differences covered above are most likely to impact your success on either of the tests. You can check out our comprehensive post on GRE vs GMAT for further details.
GMAT requires a systematic, planned and stress-free approach. There are plenty of online resources, sample papers, courses online as well as offline modes available for candidates. The key is to put in a lot of practice before taking the exam.
We hope this blog was helpful in solving all your doubts regarding GMAT, and we made your preparation journey an easy ride.
All the best!