What is GMAT and how to get high score - All you need to know about GMAT

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a gateway for every aspirant looking to study MBA abroad. This featured article explains in detail every aspect of the GMAT. It is a guide designed to help students understand the testing pattern and prepare effectively for the GMAT.

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a globally recognized, standardized test used by universities across the globe, as a benchmark for admitting aspirants into MBA programmes. According to statistics available over 5,400 management programmes offered in more than 1,500 universities in an estimated 80 plus nations consider GMAT for selection of students into their programmes.

The GMAT therefore is very important. The university you get admitted into depends greatly on how you score in the GMAT. Knowing what the GMAT is all about goes a long way in helping aspirants score well. Keeping that in mind I've assimilated critical information about the GMAT format. Hopefully, this will help you understand how the test is evaluated and help you to devise a plan to top your GMAT scores.

So, push your jitters aside and get ready to ace the GMAT.

Understanding the GMAT format

GMAT is spread across 4 sections -
  • Analytical writing assessment
  • Verbal section
  • Integrated reasoning section
  • Quantitative section

Candidates get 4 hours in which to complete the test. The test is so formulated that each section commences with a question of a reasonable level of difficulty – not too simple neither too complex. The level of difficulty of subsequent questions depends on the accuracy of the answer provided. If the answer is correct, the question that follows will be of a slightly higher level. If the answer is incorrect, the next question is simpler. This pattern is followed for the entire test.

The final score is not calculated based on the number of correct responses alone, rather it depends on three aspects -
  • Number of questions attempted
  • Precision of the responses
  • Level of difficulty of each question
It is a three-pronged method that accurately judges a candidates overall aptitude.

Analytical writing assessment

Thirty minutes are allotted for completing this segment of the test, within which you must read through a passage, mentally grasp the information, analyse and evaluate it and submit a response through an essay, with reasons to support.

The essay must be a logical explanation of your view, written in crisp, to the point language. Make your statement relevant to the subject, without beating around the bush.

The point of this exercise is to gauge the critical thinking capacity of the student and how well they can put their thoughts into words.

The topics for discussion usually centre round topics related to business. Be sure to put across the most logical assessment.

Integrated reasoning section

A total of 12 questions need to be answered in a ½ hour span. The questions are narrowed down to 4 categories and involve analyzing and integration of information that's provided in a range of formats, from several sources. So, you will be required to carry out multi-source reasoning, table analysis, graphic interpretation and 2-part analysis. The section is designed to determine the student's prowess in data evaluation.

Verbal section

This section carries 41 questions to be answered in an hour and 15 minutes. The segment is devised to test your proficiency in the English language and tests you in three aspects, namely comprehension, sentence correction and critical reasoning.

Quantitative section

You get 75 minutes to answer 37 questions. Solving this part of the GMAT will require a good knowledge of arithmetic, algebra and geometry. There will be a mix of MQCs (multiple choice questions) and questions on problem solving.

So, this in a nutshell, is all that you need to know about the format of the GMAT. To be able to get a great GMAT score you need to sharpen skills that you think you might lack, based on the details provided above.

GMAT score – how it works

Your total GMAT score can be anywhere between 200 & 800. However, statistics show that close to 67% of those who appear for GMAT get a total score ranging between 400 & 600. Just 1/3 of the aspirants get a score of 800 or thereby's.

How to get the official GMAT score report

GMAT registration is done online. When scheduling the GMAT, candidates receive the option to select how they want the GMAT score report sent to them. The GMAT score report encompasses scores of all tests taken within the last five years. Those who opt for receiving an online report get it in their mailbox within 20 days of them taking the GMAT.

The scores from the verbal and quantitative segments are considered as unofficial scores and are available right away on completion of the test.

Cancellation and retesting

Students have the option of cancelling their scores; however this can be done only prior to seeing the actual scores. It will not be possible to cancel the scores, once the scores have been viewed.

There is an option of a retest that students can avail of, but they must remember that no matter how good or bad their scores are the next time round, those will be sent to the graduate schools.

This of course is a very basic synopsis of GMAT and its various aspects. To get admission into a prestigious business school scoring an exceptionally good score is essential. This is where proper guidance and preparation can be of help. There are a number of self-help books for GMAT preparation that have got good reviews. Go through them to sharpen your skills.

If you want any doubts cleared, leave behind your comments below. I'll make sure to answer them at the earliest. Good luck with your GMAT.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer publishing with Constant Content and sister sites of Techulator. She writes on a variety of subjects that interest her. She is a voracious reader and that helps her keep abreast with the latest in technology. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Eng. Lit, is a mom, a wife, a homemaker and a qualified teacher.

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