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The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

The Graduate Management Admission Council had developed a standardized test to assess overall skills of aspirants who want to pursue an MBA degree as well as other business management courses. This test is known as the Graduate Management Admission Test or GMAT as it is more commonly referred to.

This test – the GMAT, was created so that business schools had a common measure by which to evaluate the abilities of applicants who wished to enroll in MBA courses and other management programs. The GMAT is a tool whereby admissions officers in business schools can assess the overall abilities of applicants and can also reasonably predict their future performances during the MBA program.

What the GMAT Gauges

The GMAT is a test which measures the overall skills and abilities if a person without testing specific data about any particular topic or subject. It is the measure of the analytical and verbal skills of a person and is not a test to find out knowledge about business or to test your skills at any particular job or in specific careers.

The GMAT Format

The GMAT is conducted in English and is a Computer Adaptive Test. Earlier it could be taken as a written test with physical pen and paper, but now it is available only in its computerized format.

The test is divided into three sections, which are:

Analytical Writing: This is the first section of the GMAT. It involves two tasks – 1) the analysis of any issue and 2) the analysis of an argument. The applicant has half an hour to complete each task, making this section of 1 hour duration.

Quantitative Section: After the first section, you are given a five minute break, which is optional. After this break you have to begin the second section which is the quantitative section. In this section you have to answer questions on Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving. There are a total of 37 questions with multiple choice answers and you can take a maximum of 75 minutes to answer all the questions and complete this section.

Verbal Section: Another optional five minute break is available after the second section and then you come to the third and final section of the GMAT, which is the verbal section. Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction are the three areas in which you are expected to answer a total of 41 questions, again with multiple choice answers. Another 75 minutes is given to complete this section.

When the test was available in its physical form, you could skip a question within any section and go back to it once you had completed the other questions provided you had time left. But with the introduction of the computerized version of the GMAT, you now do not have this option.

GMAT Scores

The GMAT gives four scores, analytical, verbal, quantitative, and the total score. Your score depends on the number of questions that you have answered, the number of correct and incorrect answers, and the level of difficulty of the questions.

Each Computer Adaptive Test contains some trial questions in the test which are necessary for pre-testing of questions before use in GMAT. These trial questions appear randomly in the test and are not marked as such. The scores for these trial questions are not included in the overall score of the GMAT.

GMAT scores are a very important part of your MBA application. So you should study the materials that are available for GMAT and give the test your best shot to get as high a score as possible.

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