All You Need To Know About GMAT

Posted In exam preparation On July 18, 2018

The thought of taking GMAT is often daunting and there is a lot of confusion related to the same. But here we are to help you understand it better. Let’s begin with the basic understanding of GMAT gradually covering all its aspects and everything you need to know.

What is the GMAT?

The GMAT refers to the Graduate management admission test designed specifically for those interested in applying for MBA or business management graduate programs. It is a valid and reliable predictor of your academic performance in today’s graduate management classrooms. The test is geared toward looking at your aptitude and ability, not just your knowledge.More than 5,400 programs offered by more than 1,500 institutions in over 110 countries use the GMAT® as part of the selection criteria. It is accepted by countries like India, UK, US, Canada, Australia etc.

It is a myth that the GMAT is accepted only by “foreign” MBA programs. One of my relatives took the CAT 3 years in a row with fluctuating and dissatisfactory results. His percentiles fluctuated between 78 and 94. Finally, he took the GMAT in 2010, got a modest 640 but made it to his dream business school in India.The GMAT is also a universally accepted test. In India alone, 80 Business Schools offering over 150 programs, accept students through the GMAT, including: all the IIMs, ISB (Hyderabad), XLRI (Jamshedpur) etc.

The Test Structure:

The GMAT consists of the following four sections:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA): This section consists of one 30-minute essay. It measures your ability to think critically and communicate ideas after analysing an argument.

  • Integrated Reasoning Section: The 30-minute Integrated Reasoning section consists of 12 questions that measure your ability to analyze and synthesize data in different formats and from multiple sources.

  • Quantitative Section: The 75-minute Quantitative section consists of 37 questions that measure your ability to reason quantitatively, solve quantitative problems, and interpret graphical data.

  • Verbal Section: The 75-minute Verbal section consists of 41 questions that measure your ability to analyze texts, draw inferences, and convey meaning effectively in English.You can select the order of the sections before starting. This is a recent change to the GMAT test structure which was introduced in July 2017.

How is the GMAT administered?

The GMAT is administered entirely in English. The quantitative and verbal sections of the exam are computer adaptive, meaning questions are assigned to you based on how you have answered previous ones. If you have been providing correct answers to more difficult questions, the test recognizes this and provides more similar questions. By adjusting to your individual ability level, the computer adaptive test establishes a higher level of accuracy than a fixed test.Your overall score on the test, therefore, is based not only on the number of correct responses but also the difficulty level of the questions answered.

How is the GMAT scored?

The total score for GMAT exam is reported on a scale of 200–800 and is based on performance on the Quantitative and Verbal sections which comprise the total score. In addition to this, there are separate scores for all four sections:

Integrated Reasoning (IR): Scored on a scale of 1–8
Verbal Section: Scored on a scale of 0–60
Quantitative Section: Scored on a scale of 0-60
Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA): Scored on a scale of 0–6

The AWA and IR sections are scored separately and are not included in the total score. The AWA score is not included on unofficial score reports available immediately following the exam, but will be on the Official Score Reports available within 20 days of the exam. Your GMAT score is valid for five years.Over the last few years, the average score for GMAT test takers has been in the high 500s. A good GMAT score is over 600 (around the 70th percentile) and an excellent score is 700+ (90th percentile).

How often can I take the GMAT?

The GMAT is administered year-round at test centres around the world. You can attempt it 5 times in a calendar year, with a gap of 16 days between successive attempts.

Who is eligible to take the GMAT?

You must be at least 13 years old to take the GMAT. Those under 18 years of age are required to submit a written form signed by a parent or guardian.

When Can You Take The Test?

The GMAT date availability is cyclic i.e. most GMAT test takers tend to take the test in the months before important deadlines. So the slots fill the fastest between August and November.You should book your GMAT seat in advance 1 month before your deadline. This will give the right amount of time to work on your application essays after the GMAT.The GMAT has test centres in many Indian cities like – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Delhi etc.

How much does it cost?

The fee for the GMAT is US$250 (INR 17,150 approx.) globally. Taxes are incurred for exams administered in some countries; cancellation or rescheduling of the GMAT exam appointments also calls for administrative fees. The tuition fees of b-schools is exorbitantly high especially the tier 1 and tier 2 colleges in India and abroad ranging between Rs. 25- 60 lakhs.This proves unaffordable for many students who then resort to education loans for the financial aid. Credenc works towards simplifying the access to education loans enabling one to compare and choose from multiple banks and apply through a single window application without even going to the bank !

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