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Everything You Need to Know About GMAT Exam 2021

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT exam) is developed and conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) all over the world to facilitate business schools in assessing the aptitude of the applicants at graduate-level. Whether you are aspiring to go for an MBA or an MEM degree, GMAT (or GRE) is required by almost all good schools.

There are several important aspects of the GMAT that the students must know about to ensure they are fully equipped with the required knowledge, skills, and experience to take the GMAT exam. This article will help you in getting familiar with all of these important factors like:

  • Structure of the GMAT exam
  • Mean scores
  • Preparing for the exam
  • Application process

Let’s look at these aspects one by one:

What is the GMAT Exam?

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized aptitude test which the business students must take when they are applying to a business school. Like most of the other aptitude tests like the GRE exam, the GMAT is a computer adaptive test that has multiple-choice questions.

GMAT score, along with the overall academic records and work experience, plays an integral role in accessing the readiness of the applicants for an MBA program.  The purpose of the GMAT exam is to evaluate the applicants’ command over grammar, algebra, geometry, arithmetic, and data analysis.

Measuring the ability to critically analyze and understand a wide range of written material is the most important part of a GMAT exam. Hence, having good analytical skills is the key to scoring a high score on the GMAT exam.

Also check: GRE vs GMAT – what is better for you?

What are the sections of the GMAT exam?

The GMAT exam is divided into four different sections. Yet, all of these sections require the same level of critical thinking and analysis skills. Candidates get the choice to choose a particular order in which they want to take the GMAT exam. Three options will be provided to you at the start of the test.

The four sections of the GMAT exam are:

1.    Analytical Writing Assessment

This section focuses on evaluating the ability of critical thinking and communication of the ideas.

2.    Integrated Reasoning

Integrated reasoning is meant to measure the applicants’ ability to analyze data available in different types of formats and extracting information from this data.

3.    Quantitative Reasoning

This part of the GMAT exam is meant to evaluate the ability of the candidates to analyze data and draw conclusions from it with the help of reasoning skills.

4.    Verbal Reasoning

As the name suggests, the verbal reasoning section is focused on evaluating your reading and verbal skills to ensure the candidates can fully understand the written material and correct it as per the English standards.

How many questions are included in a GMAT exam?

The entire GMAT exam is divided into four sections. Following is the detailed breakdown of these sections:

Test SectionTime Limit / Number of QuestionsQuestion TypesScore Range
Analytical Writing Assessment30 minutes 1 questionAnalysis of an Argument0-6 (in 0.5-point increments)
Integrated Reasoning30 minutes 12 questionsGraphics Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-source Reasoning, Two-part Analysis1-8 (in 1-point increments)
Quantitative Reasoning62 minutes 31 questionsData Sufficiency, Problem Solving6-51 (in 1-point increments)
Verbal Reasoning65 minutes 36 questionsReading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction6-51 (in 1-point increments)

What is the marking style of the GMAT exam?

The four sections of the GMAT have different marking points, due to which it is important for the candidates to become familiar with these marking styles so that they are able to score higher on the exam. Following is the scoring system of four sections of the GMAT exam:

  • The analytical writing assessment section is scored from 0 to 6 with half-point increments.
  • The integrated reasoning section is scored separated on the basis of a 1 to 8 points scale.
  • Both the qualitative and verbal sections have a scaled score of 0 to 60. These scores are then combined to produce the final score on the 200-800 scale.

Also Read: How to prepare for GMAT and crush it?

What is a good GMAT test score?

When you want to set a GMAT score goal for yourself, you should be looking at the mean or average GMAT score of the MBA programs you are going to apply to. It will be useful in obtaining a good baseline.

Every section of the GMAT exam has a different mean score as follows:

  • Verbal reasoning section has a mean score of 27
  • Quantitative reason section has a mean score of 39
  • Mean score for analytical writing is 4.4
  • Mean score for integrated reasoning is 4.2

You should know that for the MBA programs, your scores in the verbal and quantitative reason sections are considered to be having the most bearing on the final admission decision.

You can also rely on the following table to get familiar with the relationship between scaled scores and the candidates achieving them:

PercentileTotal GMAT Score
Top 10% of all test takers710
Top 25% of all test takers650
Top 50% of all test takers580
Below 50th percentile of all test takers570

It is worth noting that Indian applicants face a higher competition in MBA. Check this post to understand how the chances play up for Indian IT Male applicant.

What is the difference between GRE and GMAT?

A major difference between GMAT and GRE is that GMAT was developed especially for business schools, while the purpose of GRE is to cater to a wide range of graduate schools. Generally, the verbal section of the GRE is more challenging than the verbal section of the GMAT exam. On the other hand, the quantitative section of the GMAT exam is tougher than the same section of the GRE exam.

How can I register for the GMAT?

It is easy for the majority of the students to register for the GMAT online by using the portal of MBA.com, a website used by GMAC to assist candidates wanting to apply for MBA programs. Students with special needs will have to submit a separate accommodation request form before their GMAT exam is scheduled.

Why should I take the GMAT exam?

GMAT is a renowned standardized test that is trusted by a large number of business schools all over the world. Your GMAT score can be the make-or-break factor in getting admission to your dream school. High GMAT scores can certainly help the candidates in standing out during the admissions process because it is a great indicator of academic success in graduate business degree programs.  

What is the registration fee for taking the GMAT?

In the majority of the countries, the registration fee for the GMAT exam is $250. It can cost more than $250 in some countries. However, the applicants also have the option of applying for a fee concession or waiver of the application fee, only if your business school is ready to make this request. It is quite expensive to take the GMAT exam, so you should only register for it once you are fully ready to take the test.

Which are the best GMAT Books for Preparation?

You can find a lot of books as well as online resources to prepare for the GMAT. However, you do not have to research them all as we have compiled a list of top 3 books you should use to prepare for the GMAT exam:

  1. Kaplan GMAT Complete 2021
  2. GMAT Official Guide 2021
  3. Manhattan Prep Complete GMAT Strategy Guide Set

Conclusion

It is important for you to become fully familiar with the various aspects of the GMAT exam discussed in this article to ensure you are able to prepare for the test and achieve a good score on it to get into your dream business school.

If you have any inquiries or want to get more information about the MBA programs or standardized tests like GMAT, you can contact us anytime.

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