GMAT, standing for the Graduate Management Admission Test, is a standardized test one has to prepare for by the management aspirants to get enrolled in foreign business schools. The test is designed to measure their verbal, mathematical, analytical writing skills, thus, making it easier to select the correct candidate for reputed foreign business & management schools. An essential requirement for nearly 900 management institutes world over, especially the USA, the GMAT scores mean a lot for any contender, since, it opens the doors for foreign universities.
Formulation of the test is in such a manner that it manages to churn out the best talent among the crowd by the sheer grueling testing criteria. Focusing primarily on fundamental skills as reasoning and comprehension, it omits any subject-specific theoretical study.
GMAT is unconventional in nature because of the arduous testing procedure. The test is sans any question paper or answer sheet & it varies for each candidate. It rather follows advanced software technology, i.e. the computer, for answering of the questions. In this four hour paper, one has to score a minimum of 500-600 out of a total of 800 marks to see the green light. Considered as the first major hurdle, GMAT test is just the first out of the several parameters to be met by the applicant for getting an entry into world-famous B-schools.
Administration of the GMAT
The US-based Pearson VUE under the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is the main body behind the GMAT development. The body is responsible for conducting tests at its various testing centers globally & dispatching of the results to the examinees.
Scheduling of the GMAT
GMAT is administered throughout the year. But September to December time gap is the best season for GMAT which means early registration of the students for acquiring the date & time choice preference. A minimum of 15 days in advance registration is mandatory.
Eligibility and Fees
Eligibility criteria is very flexible in age & educational aspect for aspirants. Test scores are considered valid for five years by most universities, though, recent scores as 2 years old are given more prominence. Similarly, fee structure for GMAT is US$250 worldwide and the students also have to pay taxes when scheduling exams in certain countries
GMAT Content and Format
The GMAT test has three distinct sections which are :
• Analytical Writing Ability (AWA), where two short essays are required to be written down within one hour. They are both analysis done on an issue & an argument respectively.
• Quantitative section deals with problem solving & data sufficiency question segments, 37 questions in totality. It basically deals with mathematical problems of class X level.
• Verbal segment is divided in three types dealing with sentence correction, critical reasoning, & reading comprehension with 41 queries to be answered.
The student has the provision to report his scores to a maximum of five universities of his choice & the costs are met while paying the GMAT test fee itself. Though, he has to sincerely do the homework of zeroing in the final five prior to his exams which will ultimately receive his result copies. While reporting to additional university will mean extra charges which is US $28.
GMAT Scoring Pattern
There are four varied score patterns in GMAT test results which are :
• Total score comprising of verbal and quantitative scores
• Verbal score
• Quantitative score
• Analytical writing score
Total score is measured on a scale from 200 to 800 while Verbal and Quantitative scores on 0 to 60 scale. AWA score is from 0 to 6 which do not appear in the total GMAT score (on 800). While the applicant gets to know his other results instantly after the test, the official GMAT score reports including the AWA scores are dispatched in mails after two weeks of the test, which reaches him after 10 days from the date of dispatch.
Retaking the GMAT
One can appear for GMAT more than once which can be due to any reason. Repetition can't be done in the same calender month. The latest scores along with two other most recent test administrations (in last 5 years) are later reported to his choice of institutions.