Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

The Graduate Management Admission Test is a computer adaptive test (CAT) which assesses a person’s analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in standard written English in preparation for being admitted into a graduate management program, such as an MBA. More than 5,400 programs offered by more than 1,500 universities and institutions in 83 countries use the GMAT exam as part of the selection criteria for their programs site. Business schools use the test as a criterion for admission into a wide range of graduate management programs, including MBA, Master of Accountancy, and Master of Finance programs. The GMAT exam is administered in secure, standardized test centers in more than 110 countries around the world. On June 5, 2012, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) introduced an integrated reasoning section to the exam that is designed to measure a test taker’s ability to evaluate data presented in new formats and multiple sources. GMAC continues to perform validity studies to statistically verify that the exam predicts success in business school programs. According to a survey conducted by Kaplan Test Prep, the GMAT is still the number one choice for MBA aspirants despite the increasing acceptability of GRE scores.

Exam

The GMAT exam consists of four sections: An analytical writing assessment, integrated reasoning, the quantitative section, and the verbal section. Total testing time is three and a half hours, but test takers should plan for a total time of approximately four hours, with breaks. Test takers have 30 minutes for the analytical writing assessment and another 30 minutes to work through 12 questions, which often have multiple parts, on the integrated reasoning section and are given 75 minutes to work through 37 questions in the quantitative section and another 75 minutes to get through 41 questions in the verbal section.

Section Duration in minutes Number of question
Analytical writing assessment 30 N/A
Integrated reasoning 30 12
Quantitative 75 37
Verbal 75 41

The quantitative and verbal sections of the GMAT exam are both multiple-choice and are administered in the computer-adaptive format, adjusting to a test taker’s level of ability. At the start of the quantitative and verbal sections, test takers are presented with a question of average difficulty. As questions are answered correctly, the computer presents the test taker with increasingly difficult questions and as questions are answered incorrectly the computer presents the test taker with questions of decreasing difficulty. This process continues until test takers complete each section, at which point the computer will have an accurate assessment of their ability level in that subject area and come up with a raw score for each section.

GMAT Computer Adaptive Test consists of four sections:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) – Test takers now have to write only 1 essay – Analysis of an Argument.
  • Integrated Reasoning Section – includes the following items: – Multi -Source Reasoning, Graphics Interpretation, Two–Part Analysis and Table analysis. Test takers will see at least questions based on each item.
  • The Quantitative Section – includes problem solving and data sufficiency based on algebra, geometry and arithmetic.
  • The Verbal Section – Includes Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction questions.