What is the GMAT?
The Importance of the GMAT
The Graduate Management Admission Test, or GMAT is a computer-adaptive test (CAT) required by many business schools. In order to get accepted to a competitive MBA program, your GMAT score is important. The GMAT is developed and administered by test-maker GMAC to provide business schools with common measures of applicants’ preparedness for graduate-level academic work.
Changes to GMAT
The GMAT changed on April 16, 2018. The Quantative Reasoning section dropped from 37 questions in 75 minutes to 31 questions in 62 minutes. The Verbal Reasoning section dropped from 41 questions in 75 minutes to 36 questions in 65 minutes. The exam has been reduced from 4 hours to 3.5 hours by reducing the number of unscored questions used for research on the exam.
What’s on the GMAT?
The content on the GMAT is broken down into four scored test sections, two of which are scored separately, and two of which are scored separately but are also combined to generate your composite score: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal.
Analytical Writing Assessment – This is an essay section that helps business schools analyze your writing skills. For you’re writing task, you’ll be presented with a brief argument and you will be tasked with critiquing the author’s argument, analyzing the soundness of the author’s evidence and reasoning. Essay graders are looking for whether you can clearly identify and insightfully analyze parts of the argument, develop and organize ideas thoughtfully and logically, and connect your statements with clear transitions.
Quantitative – The Quantitative section is designed to test your content and analytical knowledge of basic math concepts, including arithmetic and number properties, algebra, and geometry. This section consists of two question types: data sufficiency and problem solving.
Verbal Section – The Verbal section is designed to test your command of standard written English, your skill in analyzing arguments, and your ability to read critically. There are three question types in this section: critical reasoning, sentence correction and reading comprehension. Critical reasoning questions test the skills involved in making and evaluating arguments, as well as formulating a plan of action. Sentence correction involves long and involved sentences, and you will need to find the best version of the underlined section out of the original or one of four alternatives. The reading comprehension questions test your critical reading skills, your ability to summarize the main idea, differentiate between ideas stated specifically and those implied by the author, make inferences based on information in a text, analyze the logical structure of a passage, and deduce the author’s tone and attitude about a topic.
Integrated Reasoning – This section is meant to test real world skills that both business schools and the modern workplace seek. This section analyzes your ability to critically interpret and synthesize information presented in various forms and in different steps. You will be asked to analyze data in the form of words, charts, graphs and tables in order to develop key insights.
A GMAT score is made up of several different numbers, each of which covers a part of your performance on the GMAT. The most familiar is the Overall or composite, GMAT score. This number ranges from 200 to 800 in 10-point increments and is determined by a combination of your scores on the Quantitative and Verbal sections of the test. Your Verbal and Quantitative sections are graded separately and the score ranges from 0 to 60 for each section. Your Integrated Reasoning section is scored from 1 to 8 in 1-point increments. Your Analytical Assessment section is graded on a scale of 0 to 6.
The Importance of the GMAT
- The GMAT lets you show off your mastery of the skills that are most relevant in any business classroom or career – logic, problem-solving, data sufficiency, and critical reasoning.
- Prepping for and taking the GMAT lets you show schools that you’re serious about business.
- The GMAT is accepted by over 6,100 graduate business programs worldwide.
- Recruiters from top investment banking and management consulting firms consider GMAT scores during their hiring process.
Preparation for GMAT
- Determine when you plan to attend a Graduate Business Program.
- Register for the GMAT Exam and develop a study plan.
- Establish your skills baseline by taking a practice exam.
- Start studying.
- Assess your progress and continue studying.
- Plan for your test day.
- Hire a GMAT tutor.