GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admission Test. The GMAT standardized test is a pre requisite for admission into a management program, nearly 1,800 graduate management programs all over the world utilize these scores for admission and in more than 900 of these programs GMAT scores are mandatory from each applicant for admission. The GMAT format consists of mostly multiple-choice questions and has 4 sections as part of the test. GMAT test mainly analyses the verbal, quantitative and the writing skills of the test taker.
The GMAT test is conducted throughout the year. The Graduate Management Admission Council is responsible for and organizing GMAT. Many business schools assess your eligibility based on your GMAT score. The good thing about the GMAT test is that it is not required to have business management experience and knowledge and skills based on a management job.
GMAT Registration Process
Registration for GMAT is done online in the United States, U.S. Territories, Puerto Rico and Canada. You can also find registration forms in many colleges and universities. You also have the option to directly call (800-717-GMAT) and register with the test center of your choice. That said, do remember that there is no walk-in registration at the test centers as with the SAT test or the ACT test. You can take the GMAT test any number of times but you are allowed to take the test only once in a month. The registration fee for GMAT is $250. It is important to register at least 90 days in advance to be able to choose your own date and time for taking the GMAT. Do remember that uou have to register for the GMAT at least 15 days prior to the date of the test.
Lastly do keep in mind that it sometimes takes 4 weeks for your GMAT scores to be sent to the universities that you are planning on applying to. With this in mind, work backwards from the date of when applications begin and choose your GMAT test date.
The duration of GMAT exam is 4 hours and is broken into three sections, Analytical Writing section, Quantitative Analysis and the Verbal section.
The analytical writing assessment section will have two essays, “Analysis of an Issue” and “Analysis of an arguement”. This section is for 60 minutes, basically 30 minutes each per essay. The verbal section consists of multiple choice questions on reasoning, reading comprehension and sentence correction and lasts for 75 minutes. The quantitative section also is for 75 minutes and comprises of multiple choice questions on problem solving and data sufficiency. You should possess strong fundamental knowledge in arithmetic, algebra and geometry to ace the quantitative section.
There are no eligibility criteria for GMAT. Anyone looking forward to pursue an MBA or management degree program can take up the GMAT. There is also no minimum qualification to take the test. The scores of the GMAT test are valid for up to 5 years. Though most of the universities accept scores that are 5 years old, it is always better to have a score that is not more than 2 years old. Keep in mind that most business schools do look beyond the GMAT test and scores. If you are contemplating doing your MBA, you should consider doing it after gaining a few years of work experience. Management schools do value work experience equally as they do a good GMAT score.
Preparing for GMAT
There are many options to prepare for the GMAT test. If you are really good with mathematic fundamentals and have a good grasp of the English language you are already ahead of the pack. Different students have different methods to prepare for GMAT. Some swear by extra tuition that helps them revisit all the sections and the fundamentals of Math and English. Some like to brush up by reading books that are tailored for GMAT preparation. Irrespective of the method you choose, the key is to prepare diligently and practice taking mock tests. You have many options for taking mock GMAT tests, either online or on paper and this helps you identify your problem areas and gives you an opportunity for a honest self evaluation. Based on this you can then target those problem areas and come up with a study plan to fix them. There are enough GMAT study material available for preparing for GMAT in most libraries, online and book stores.
GMAT Scores and Results
In GMAT you have a four different sectional scores and an overall or composite GMAT score. The overall GMAT score is what is more familiar and is the score that is mostly referenced to when talking about GMAT scores. The overall GMAT score scale is between 200-800. This overall GMAT acore is a combination of verbal and quantitative scores, which is generally on a scale of 0 to 60. The analytical assessment writing score is scored on a scale of 0 to 6. You will be given two analytical writing scores, one by a human and one by a machine. Your analytical writing scores are not tallied towards your overall GMAT score You will be given your scores immediately after you are done taking the test, though officially you get the scores only after two weeks from the date of the test.
You can report your scores to about 5 universities of your choice once you are done with the test for free. You GMAT scores are directly sent to the universities. The scores are valid for 5 years, though as mentioned before it is better to have a more recent score, preferably within the last 2 years.
Though you have the option of taking up GMAT any number of times, be absolutely sure you want to do this. You have to be absolutely confident that you will do better and your scores will improve substantially the second time around. You should be aware that the scores of the last two test taken in 5 years will be reported to universities which is why it is all the more important to really prepare well and ace the GMAT the first time around. Good luck !