GMAT



The Graduate Management Admission Test, better known as the GMAT, is a business school assessment that MBA applicants go for. The test is given in English language and it is computer-adaptive.

The GMAT is one of the many criteria for selecting MBA students and it has proven to be the best option when it comes to assess students' skills on the different business school requirements. GMAT is particularly popular in the USA but it is also used in many other English-speaking countries. Once you have approved the GMAT, you will have more job opportunities. Many companies are looking for candidates that own the GMAT.

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HISTORY

In 1953, nine different business schools, together as the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), created a standardized test to be used as a tool to select applicants. The idea was to test skills uniformly and to make the scores highly reliable.

This test is known as the GMAT and, nowadays, the test is taken over 200,000 times per year.

 

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COST

Current standard GMAT fee is of US$250.

THE TEST

The GMAT assesses analytical, mathematical and verbal skills (in that order) and for most schools, when passed, the test results are valid for 5 years (from the moment the applicant sits the exam). The examination takes around four hours and it has two breaks (optional).
The test is graded on a scale of 0 to 800 and the up-to-date mean is 538.5.

TEST SECTIONS

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA):
In this section the examinee has to analyze both an issue and an argument and write an essay for each one respectively. Each essay is scored from 0 to 6 and has to be written within 30 minutes. The subjects are of general interest and the examinee doesn“t require any specific knowledge of them.

There are three evaluators or readers: The first, IntelliMetric, is a program (Vantage Learning) that evaluates both syntax and creative writing, the second reader, human, evaluates the skills to express, develop and organize ideas (being sensitive to applicants who do not speak English as a first language). If both scores (given by both readers) have a point difference then they are averaged, but if the difference is bigger, then a third reader is required.

The AWA does not only measure your ability to think critically but, at the same time, measures your efficiency at communicating ideas.

Quantitative Section:

It consists of 37 choice questions to be solved in 75 minutes and different factors, from the number of correct answers given to the difficulty of the answered questions, are taken into account to determine a 0-60 score. Current average score is 35.8.

Mathematical knowledge (arithmetic, geometry and algebra) as well as general skills to analyze and solve quantitative problems are required in order to pass this test-section.

There are two types of questions in this section: Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency.

  • Problem Solving.- In order to assess the quantitative reasoning of the test-taker these multiple-choice problems deal with elementary geometry, basic algebra and arithmetic. Questions have 5-answer choices and to study and practice before going for this section is mandatory in order to get the best results.

    Only real numbers are used and all diagrams are drawn to scale (unless specified otherwise).


  • Data Sufficiency.- This is a very special type of mathematical question since it was created for the GMAT and, alike problem solving case, it assesses the quantitative reasoning skill but also the skill to difference important from non-important information.

    The format is always the same for all data-sufficiency questions: The question is followed by two statements and 5-answer choices. The examinee must decide which is the most suitable answer taking into account how much information from the two statements is really important.

Verbal Section:

With a scaled score from 0 to 60 this section deals with topics such as text comprehension, conventions of English language and argument interpretation. There are 41 multiple-choice questions and 75 minutes to complete the section.

A useful tip is to never spend more than 1 ½ minutes on each question. This section consists of:

    Reading Comprehension.- Based on short (200 to 350 words) passages, this part of the test assesses the ability to read and understand the information contained in reading material, it also assesses the ability to interpret that information in a logical way.

    Sentence Correction.- This section measures the knowledge of American English in three different areas: Correct language diction, correct language expression and effective expression. A sentences is presented and a phrase is underlined, there are 5 different phrase choices and the first one is always the same as the underlined phrase presented in the sentence, the other four options are different and the examinee must choose the option that best presents the idea that wants to be expressed, if the underlined idea is correct then the first option would be the correct option.

    Critical Reasoning.- To draw conclusions, find weakness or strength in the argument or find assumptions are some of the tasks that this sections presents. This section evaluates logical thinking and the whole exercise is introduced by a reading passage. There are different answer choices and even though sometimes all answers may seem correct only the most suitable one must be chosen.


GMAT REQUIRED SCORE

Generally schools do not publish a required score, but sometimes publish the scores of their latest intakes. Even though there is not a minimum score published it is well known that the regular acceptable score for most schools goes from upper 600 or low 700 on a 0/800 scale.


HOW TO TAKE A GMAT

In order to take a GMAT you need to schedule an appointment online or get in touch with one of the testing centers near you. There are different programs designed to help you prepare for a GMAT: Online tutorials, GMAT books or a private tutor are some of the options.

It is possible to take as many GMAT“s as wanted but you have to wait 31 days from the moment you took the last to take a new one. You can also cancel your score by quitting the test while sitting it, or by cancelling it right after you finish it, no records are kept once scores are cancelled. In case you ask for an unofficial score report right after you finish your test you lose the option of cancelling scores.
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