Many students aspire to pursue a master’s degree abroad, and one of the common requirements for admission to top global universities is the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) exam. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview of the GMAT, giving you the essential information you need to prepare effectively and achieve your goal of studying in your dream college.
An Introduction to GMAT exam
The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a standardized test for assessing the skills and abilities of individuals aspiring to pursue graduate-level education in business and management. It is primarily required for admission into MBA (Master of Business Administration) programs, although it is also accepted by many other business and management-related graduate programs worldwide.
The pattern of the GMAT exam:
The total exam duration is 3 hours and 30 minutes, in which aspirants are expected to answer 80 questions.
The test consists of four sections:
- Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA): This section assesses your ability to analyze an argument and write a coherent essay in response. This section includes one essay-writing question to be completed in half an hour.
- Integrated Reasoning (IR): It measures your ability to analyze and synthesize data from multiple sources to solve complex problems. This section has 12 questions to be completed in 30 minutes.
- Quantitative Reasoning: This section evaluates your mathematical and quantitative skills with 31 questions, which will be attempted in less than 62 minutes.
- Verbal Reasoning: It assesses your reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction skills. This is the most comprehensive section of the exam, containing 36 questions. The maximum time allotted for this section is 65 minutes.
There are optional two 8-minute breaks in between the sections.
Each section of the GMAT is scored separately. The AWA section is scored on a scale of 0 to 6 in half-point increments. The IR section is scored on a scale of 1 to 8 in one-point increments. The Quantitative and Verbal sections are scored on a scale of 6 to 51 in one-point increments. These scores are then combined to create a total GMAT score ranging from 200 to 800.
A high GMAT score, along with other application materials, can enhance your chances of being admitted to the program of your choice.
One of the most interesting things about the GMAT exam is that it is administered in a computer-adaptive format. This means that the difficulty of the questions adapts based on your performance. Correct answers lead to more challenging questions, while if you give an incorrect answer, you will be presented with an easier question.
Fees of GMAT exam:
The total fee for the physical GMAT exam is approximately US $275 (INR 22,800). At the same time, the fee for an online GMAT test is US $300 (INR 24,600 approximately).
Eligibility criteria for the GMAT exam:
There is no hard and fast rule for any minimum academic qualification for appearing in the GMAT exam. The only criterion is minimum age. To appear in the GMAT exam, a student must be a minimum of 18 years. Even aspirants between the age ranges of 12-17 can appear for the exam with the written consent of their parents.
Maximum attempts for the GMAT exam:
GMAT exam is conducted 24 hours a week, 365 days a year. The only limitation is the maximum number of attempts. In a year, a student can appear for a maximum of 5 times. In the entire life, a student can give eight attempts.
GMAT Vs CAT:
The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) and CAT (Common Admission Test) are standardized exams designed for distinct purposes and geographic regions. GMAT is a globally accepted exam that is a gateway to admission in Management courses overseas. On the other hand, CAT stands for Common Admission Test, which is used for scoring admission in top business schools in India only.
The GMAT is an internationally recognized test primarily used for admissions to graduate business programs, notably MBA programs, in countries worldwide, including the United States, Canada, and various international institutions. It assesses a wide range of skills, including analytical, quantitative, verbal, and writing abilities, to evaluate a candidate’s suitability for advanced business studies on a global scale.
On the other hand, the CAT is specific to India and is primarily utilized for admissions to various management programs, particularly MBA and related postgraduate courses, offered by Indian institutes and universities. The CAT evaluates candidates’ quantitative, verbal, and data interpretation skills, aligning with the requirements of Indian business and management education institutions.
GMAT vs. GRE:
The GMAT is tailored explicitly for applicants seeking admission to graduate business and management programs, particularly MBA programs. In contrast, the GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, is a more versatile exam accepted across various graduate programs, including business schools and other fields such as engineering, information technology, social sciences, and humanities.
While both tests have unique characteristics, the choice between the GMAT and GRE often depends on the type of graduate program an applicant wishes to pursue and the specific requirements of the schools they are applying to. Aspiring business students tend to opt for the GMAT, whereas those seeking admission to a broader spectrum of graduate programs might find the GRE a more versatile option.