Everything You Need to Know about the GMAT

The GMAT (short for Graduate Management Admission Test) is a test that is required for admission to many MBA programs. It’s similar to the GRE and other entrance exams, in that it is used by admissions officers to determine whether a prospective student will succeed in business school, and it determines this by testing your problem solving, communication, analytical, and reasoning skills.

GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test): A test for prospective MBA students. Four sections: analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning. The computer-based test takes 3.5 hours and costs $250. Sections: Analytical writing - analysis of an argument, 30 minutes, one essay; integrated reasoning - table analysis, graphics interpretation, multi-sourced reasoning, two-part analysis, 30 minutes, 12 multiple-choice questions; quantitative reasoning - problem solving, data sufficiency, 62 minutes, 31 multiple-choice questions; verbal reasoning - reading comprehension, sentence correction, critical reasoning, 65 minutes, 36 multiple-choice questions. Getting started: 1 - Register. Create your account at mba.com. Check application deadlines. 2 - Review. Download the GMAT Handbook; this covers everything you need to know about the test. 3 - Study. Resources can be found on the official site of the GMAT, mba.com. Develop a solid study plan. Other things to know: The test: The questions are not predetermined. The GMAT adapts to your level of ability from question to question. This helps the test hone in on your exact level of ability and award you a fitting score. Your scores: Become available immediately after the test. You have two minutes to review and accept your scores. If you cancel your scores, you can retake the test after 16 days. You can take the test up to five times a year. Scores can be sent to five schools for free; additional reports cost $35 each.

Text and design by: Anna Palmer

When it comes to scoring, the GMAT is complicated. The Analytical Writing section is graded on a scale of 0 to 6, with half-points being granted. The Integrated Reasoning section is graded on a scale of 1 to 8, with no half-points granted. Both the Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections are graded on a scale of 6 to 51, with no half-points granted. Your total score will range between 200 and 800 (in intervals of 10) and only takes into account your performance on the Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections of the test.

Over 700,000 individuals took the GMAT between January 2015 and December 2017; the average total score was 560. However, score reports that are sent to schools include individual subsection scores (and your essay response) as well as the total score, so it’s important that you try your best on the Analytical Writing and Integrated Reasoning sections as well.

Before test day, make sure you’ve studied the material, whether you choose to take a prep course, use online resources, or buy a study guide. As test day approaches, make sure you sleep and eat well. Good luck!

About Anna Palmer

Anna grew up loving everything that involved art and creativity. She received a scholarship to attend Memphis College of Art where she studied graphic design. Graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Anna worked as a graphic designer until she decided to expand her skill set by studying advertising and marketing. She thought knowing how consumers think would help maximize her design skills. She then attended Portland State University where she earned her second degree, a BS in advertising management.

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