The Basics You Should Know About GMAT

The Basics You Should Know About GMATThe Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a computer-based assessment procedure. It is conducted to measure academic skills of students desiring to pursue advanced study in business and management programs in the United States and across the world.

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a non-profit council of leading graduate management schools around the world, administers GMAT. The exam is offered in 112 nations globally in standardized test centers. GMAC, founded in 1953, has its base at Reston, Virginia, United States.

The why of GMAT

Are you aspiring to study abroad or looking to seek advancement in your career? Are you an Engineering graduate wishing for complementing your technical expertise with managerial skills?

You are the right candidate to take GMAT, if your answer to any of these questions is 'yes'. Career opportunities abound in sectors like products/services, finance, consulting, marketing and logistics when you are armed with a good GMAT score.

Test sections and duration

GMAT is offered in four sections: Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment and Verbal. You have three and a half hours to complete the test – four hours approximately with breaks. Make sure to work on each section, as every unanswered question will pull down your score significantly.


This part includes two types of questions: problem solving and data sufficiency. You will be given 75 minutes to answer 37 multiple-choice questions. Your reasoning skills are put to test in this section. You may have to analyze data and draw conclusions using logic. Scores range from 0 to 60 and given in 1 point increments. However, scores falling below 7 and above 40 are not reported by GMAC.

Integrated Reasoning (IR)

You will be given 30 minutes to solve 12 multiple-choice questions. This part presents information in multiple formats from several sources. The questions test your ability to evaluate and assimilate information in an integrated manner. Most IR questions may have more than one response and scores range from 1 to 8.

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

This section measures your analytical thinking and gauges how well you put across your ideas. You may have to analyze critically an essay in 30 minutes in this test section. The AWA is done on a scale of 1 (deficient) to 6 (outstanding) in 0.5 point increments. Other essay scores are 2-Flawed; 3-Limited; 4- Adequate and 5-Strong.


The verbal section of GMAT includes questions that assess your capacity for reading comprehension, critical reasoning and sentence correction. Test duration is 75 minutes for answering 41 multiple-choice questions. It tests your reading, grammar, communication and reasoning skills. Verbal scores range from 0 to 60 and given in 1 point increments. Generally, scores below 9 or above 44 are not reported.

When is GMAT available?

GMAT is available throughout the year around the world. You can take it anytime of the year, up to five times annually. If you are sitting for reattempts, ensure that you space it at least 16 days apart.

All you have to do is to reserve a spot for yourself at a nearby testing center when you are exam-ready. Experts advise you to schedule your GMAT for a date that is no less than 21 days preceding your application deadline.

Test Score

The total GMAT score ranges from 200 to 800, and it is valid for five years. Your overall score is based on Verbal and Quantitative scores. Analytical Writing Assessment and Integrated Reasoning scores do not have a bearing on your overall score, and these sections are scored separately.

Scores are given in increments of 10. The average GMAT score of all test takers is about 540 according to the most recent data released by the GMAC.

Who accepts GMAT scores?

About 2,100 business schools across the world accept GMAT score. Over 6,000 business and management education programs recognize it globally.

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