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GMAT Overview

  • Test Name: The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
  • Description: The test assesses a candidate's skills under four sections – Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning
  • Suitable for: Students seeking admission to graduate management programs in business schools.
  • Number of Countries in Which Accepted:110
  • Score Range: 550+
  • Flexibility: You can reschedule your test date. You can attempt the test up to five times a year, with at least a 16-day gap between each attempt, and up to eight times in your lifetime.
  • Registration Fee: USD250

*Subject to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations

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About GMAT

If you're planning to go abroad to pursue a business education, you must appear for an entrance test known as the GMAT.

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), a computer adaptive test, assesses your analytical writing proficiency, integrated reasoning, quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning skills. Good scores in the test can help you get a seat in good business schools across the globe.

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) introduced the GMAT test in 1953. It tied up with nine business schools to develop a standardised test to shortlist qualified candidates. Since then, the GMAT has been the premier entrance test for a seat in business schools in over 100 countries.

In its first year, i.e. 1953, over 2000 students took the GMAT exam. The number has since grown to over 200,000 students taking the test each year. According to the official GMAT website, nine out of ten fresh enrolments in business schools each year, are made based on GMAT scores. Over 2,300 business schools and 7,000 MBA and Masters Programs prefer GMAT.

GMAT HISTORY +QUICK FACTS

  • Introduced in 1953 by GMAC to develop a standardised test
  • Over 2000 students took the Test in its launch year
  • 9 out of 10 fresh enrolments in business schools are made based on GMAT scores
  • Preferred by over 2,300 business schools & 7,000 MBA/Master's Programs
  • Assesses analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative reasoning & verbal reasoning skills
  • Good scores help you get into good business schools worldwide


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What's New

What's New

In 2020, the GMAC introduced the GMATTM online – an at-home, online exam to enable students to take the exam in the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic. The GMATTM online comes with few modifications, including the omission of the Analytical Writing Assessment section. It discontinued the optional break time between the Quantitative Reasoning section and the Verbal Reasoning sections. Moreover, online test takers cannot view their unofficial scores after the test has ended, nor can they cancel their appointment. Also, unlike the regular GMAT, the online test may not be taken more than twice. You may attempt the test a second time if you have appeared for it before 23rd September 2020.

As of 11th June 2020, students may use a virtual whiteboard on their screen or a physical erasable whiteboard for their rough/scratch work. The physical whiteboard may be no larger than 12 inches x 20 inches or 30 centimetres x 43 centimetres). They may also use one dry-erase marker and one dry-erase whiteboard eraser. GMAT candidates are not permitted to use paper, pen, pencil, permanent marker, writing tablets etc.

Pro Tips for Giving the GMAT

Pro tip
  • Sit alone in a well-lit room; free of all kinds of interruptions
  • Ensure you have a stable and high speedinternet connection and power back-up facility
  • Do not use a touchscreen device, mobile phone, or tablet as GMAC prohibits its use
  • Keep a glass of water (if needed) but keep your desk free of any unapproved items like notepads, books, etc.
  • Keep your wristwatch on your desk; do not wear it on your person

 

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Below are the eligibility criteria for taking the GMAT exam:

The candidate's nationality: The GMAT exam is open to aspirants of all nationalities, with the same set of rules governing applicants worldwide.

The candidate's age: The exam is open to all candidates above 13 years of age, with no specific upper age limit. Candidates in the age group of 13-17 must submit the parental consent form before appearing for the exam.

Academic qualifications: You need to hold a bachelor's degree. You may also apply if you are in the final year/semester of your graduate program.

Work experience: While it is not mandatory, you may mention your work experience to enhance your eligibility.

 

GMAT Registration

As an Indian student intending to appear for the GMAT, you have to pay a registration fee. Apart from the registration fees, the GMAC also makes provisions for rescheduling the exam date or cancelling it altogether. Moreover, students may also take the test multiple times. Note that each of these flexibilities has a cost associated with it. Here's a breakdown of the costs associated with appearing for the exam.

Registration Fee

The most basic cost associated with the GMAT exam is the registration or application fee, USD 250. The Registration fee in INR may vary as per USD-INR currency rate fluctuations.

Additional Fees

GMAT allows a candidate to avail the following additional services. The costs of these services are as mentioned below:

Type of additional service

Cost associated with the service

Additional Score Report

USD 35

Enhanced Score Report

USD 30

AWA Essay Rescoring

USD 45

Cancel Score (After leaving the test centre

USD 25

Reinstate Score

USD 50


Optional GMAT Fees

  1. Rescheduling Fee

    As mentioned above, you may reschedule the exam date, for which you will have to pay a rescheduling fee. The amount you pay will depend on how soon you submit your rescheduling request.

    Days

    Fees

    More than 60 days before the appointment

    USD 50

    15-60 days before the appointment

    USD 100

    14 days and less before the appointment

    USD 150

    Note that you cannot reschedule or cancel your appointment within 24 hours of the test date. If you do not reschedule or cancel your slot more than 24 hours in advance, you have to forfeit your entire exam fee.

  2. Cancellation Fee

    You also have the option to cancel the exam and claim a refund of your GMAT fee. However, the amount which is refunded will depend on how much in advance you cancel the exam.

    Days before cancellation

    Refund provided

    More than 60 days before the appointment

    USD 100

    15-60 days before the appointment

    USD 75

    14 days and less before the appointment

    USD 50

 

Steps to Register for GMAT

The GMAT exam is conducted in several countries throughout the year. You can find all the information about exam dates, times, and testing centres on the official GMAT website. You can complete your GMAT exam registration in three simple steps:

  • Creat your GMAT account
  • Pick your test date and time slot
  • Pay the USD 250 registration fee
  1. Create your GMAT account

    Begin by creating your GMAT account; you can go online on mba.com and fill out the form directly or download it and e-mail or fax it. The first option is the fastest. You will have to enter mandatory and optional information in your form. The compulsory information, like your name, correspondence address, gender, birth date, and nationality, must match what's in your passport. Your payment information is mandatory too. Details like your education and work history and native language are optional. Once you submit the form, it takes 48 hours or two business days for the GMAC account processing team to verify the details. You will need to log in to your account after you receive the confirmation.

  2. Pick your test date

    The step is to pick your test date. In doing so, you must ensure that you schedule your test early enough to get your scores before your desired business schools' application deadlines. You can find the application dates on the respective websites of the schools to which you intend to apply.

  3. Choose your preferred time of the day

    The great thing about GMAT is that you can select your preferred time slot. If you identify as an early riser, you can opt for the morning slot. If you prefer a later start to your day, you can opt for the afternoon slot. Remember that other test takers too would be thinking on similar lines and your desired slot might get filled. Thus, to get your preferred day and slot, you must register for the exam as early as possible.

  4. Pay the registration fee

    The GMAT exam registration fee is USD250. However, you may have to pay an additional tax if you schedule your exam in specific countries. Note that cheques and money orders payable in USD should be drawn on banks in the USA and Canada.

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Pro Tip

Pro tip
Upon creating your account, you will get access to the free GMAT™ Official Starter Kit + Practice Exams 1 & 2. This is an incredibly helpful resource because the practice tests mirror the actual GMAT test closely. Ensure that you give several practice tests to get well versed with the exam pattern and identify your problem areas. This will go a long way in maximising your GMAT score.

 

So, are you ready to register for GMAT? You can use digibank by DBS's remittance services to pay the registration fees.

 

GMAT Structure and Score Range

GMAT Section

Time Alloted

Number of Questions

Skills Assessed

Score Range

Analytical Writing Assessment

30 Minutes

1 Essay

Analysis of an Argument

0-6 in 0.5 point increments

Integrated Reasoning

30 Minutes

12 Questions

Information Organisation

1-8 in 1 point increments

Quantitative Reasoning

62 Minutes

31 MCQs

Problem-solving, Data sufficiency

6-51 in 1 point increments

Verbal Reasoning

65 Minutes

36 MCQs

Expression of Ideas in English

6-51 in 1 point increments

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GMAT structure

GMAT exam is an assessment of skills that are critical for success in a business environment.  It analyses your English Language Skills across 4 sections, namely Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning.  Each section is separately timed, and you may take 2 optional breaks of 8 minutes each during the exam. Here is an overview of the sections, skills assessed, number of questions and types and the time allotted for each section:

Section

Skillset

Number of Questions/ Sections

Time allotted

Analytic Writing Assessment

Ability to present arguments for and against a topic

1 Question - English Essay Writing -1 Question

30 minutes

Integrated Reasoning

Ability to evaluate information presented in graphics, numbers and texts and organise information coherently

12 Questions  divided across 4 sections  - Multi-Source Reasoning, Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation and Two-Part Analysis

30 minutes

Quantitative Reasoning

Ability to interpret graphic data, solve quantitative problems and provide mathematical reasoning

31 MCQs across 2 sections - Problem-Solving and Data Sufficiency

62 minutes

Verbal Reasoning

English Grammar skills like reading, comprehending, evaluating and correcting written material and expressing ideas        

36 MCQs across 3 sections - Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction

65 minutes

 

GMAT Score Calculation

The GMAT test follows the Computer Adaptive Testing method. Your official GMAT score can be interpreted in several ways. Your scores in each section are reported on a specific scale. And while the overall score is important, you must also ensure that you get good scores in each section. Sectional scores give the schools you apply to an insight into your strengths and prove useful in enhancing your application's suitability.

Identifying the GMAT scoring pattern helps you understand how scores are calculated.

Here's a breakdown:

Section

Score range

Analytical Writing Assessment

0-6 in 0.5-point increments

Integrated Reasoning

1-8 in 1-point increments

Quantitative Reasoning

6-51 in 1-point increments

Verbal Reasoning

6-51 in 1 point increments

The total scores of your GMAT test are based on your calculated performance before you are scored for the quantitative and verbal reasoning sections. Your total scores can range from 200-800 and are reported in 10-point intervals, with a Standard Error of measurement (SEm) of 30-40 points.

  • Analytical Writing Assessment

The Analytical Writing Assessment or AWA score is calculated after analysing your argument essay. The essay is scored using a combination of a machine algorithm and professional (human) essay raters. In case there is a disparity between the human score and the score derived from the algorithm, another human essay-rater reviews your score. You are scored on a scale of 0.0 to 6.0 in intervals of 0.5 (or half-point). If you feel your score is not an accurate reflection of your performance in the test, you may place a request to rescore your essay by submitting an Essay Rescore Request form.

  • Integrated Reasoning

In this section, you have to answer 12 questions of 4 different types. A few of these questions may comprise multiple sub-questions. For instance, Question 1 may be divided into 3 sub-questions: 1a, 1b, and 1c. You need to answer all the sub-questions correctly to get full credit. There is no score for partially correct answers. Thus it would be best if you answered all the sub-parts of a question correctly. Your score in this section is based on the number of questions answered correctly. Scores are awarded in the range of 1 to 8 in one point intervals.

  • Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning

The scores assigned in the quantitative and verbal reasoning sections are item-level adaptive. The scores assigned to you are based on factors such as the number of questions answered by you and whether the answers you've provided are correct. You are also scored based on the difficulty parameters associated with the questions to which you've responded. You can earn a higher score by answering a higher number of questions, answering the questions correctly, and answering more questions with higher difficulty levels. The scores allotted in the quantitative and verbal reasoning sections are in the range of 6-51 and reported in intervals of one-point. Also, the standard error of measurement in these sections is 3 points.

Note: You have to complete each section of the GMAT exam, failing which you will receive negative marks for every unanswered question. Students who have obtained admission in foreign universities should consider travel insurance to cover them against any costs or damages during their trip. Click here to get insurance cover from digibank by DBS.

GMAT Preparation Tips

Pro tip
  • Create a disciplined study schedule and start preparing for the test at least six months to a year in advance.
  • Pick your preparation material wisely, ideally from the GMAT official website.
  • Opt for a GMAT exam simulation available on the official GMAT website to get a real test taking experience and see which areas you need to improve upon.
  • Identify yourvulnerable sections and work on them by taking practice tests.
  • Include mental math practices in your study plan to ace the quantitative assessment section.
  • Ensure that you have a stable internet connection. You will need to have a connection that can give you upload and downloads speeds of between 1 Mbps to 1.5 Mbps. Your exam link may shut down if your network is slow.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

You need to provide an Identification document; typically your passport, while appearing for the GMAT test. The type of ID documents accepted may vary from one country to another, and you need to check the specific requirements for the test centre in your country.

The ID document should be current, valid and legible, failing which you will not be allowed to sit for the exam. In such a case, you will also have to forfeit your exam fee and pay the full fee if you decide to appear for the exam again.


Formerly, all GMAT exams were conducted at specific centres. However, Keeping the COVID-19 pandemic in mind, the GMAC has allowed students to appear for GMATTM Online exams. This is a remote, proctored interim solution designed exclusively for applicants who need to meet their near-term business school application deadlines.


GMAT scores are valid for five years, with one retest permitted. The scores are available for reporting for up to 10 years. You can use score reports from GMAT taken 5-10 years ago by paying a fee. These scores are sent directly to the school with the caveat that they should be interpreted with caution. Many schools do not accept previous GMAT scores, so you should check with the school before placing a request for an old score report. You can order a score report older than 5 years by contacting the GMAT Customer Service provider in your region. 


You may appear for this test five times a year, and each attempt should be 16 days apart. You may not take this test more than eight times in your lifetime.


You can take the GMATTM online exam in most countries except Cuba, Iran, Sudan, North Korea and Mainland China. Students from these countries are prohibited from taking the online test owing to local data privacy and regulatory laws.


The security and integrity of the online GMATTM exam are ensured by human proctors and supporting state-of-the-art-technology. As a test taker, you have to authenticate yourself via your digital photograph. You must also provide a valid ID document which will be verified live when you check-in for the exam. The checks are conducted by human proctors, who will monitor you at all times through the live feed.


Yes, you get two attempts to appear for the GMAT online exam. If you have appeared for the exam before 23rd September 2020, and you have received a valid score, you may appear for the exam one more time, if you so choose.


Yes, if you opt for the online exam, your exam session will be recorded. The recording will begin when you check-in and continue until you complete the exam, barring the breaks.


Yes, the school will be informed that you took the online GMAT test. However, taking the test online will not hurt your chances of procuring a seat.


The human proctor will answer any issues or questions you have during the online exam. You need to click on the chat link in the onVUE application. You may even raise your hand to speak to the human proctor.

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