What is GMAT and Should You Take It?

If you are curious to know what GMAT is, so as to decide whether it would be better for you to take it, GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admission Test and is a standardized exam of 3 ½ hours of length. This exam is for checking how well you will perform in a MBA (Master in Business Administration) program. The scores of a GMAT exam are referred to by business schools while making admission decisions.

GMAT is sometimes also referred to as GMAT CAT where CAT stands for Computer Adaptive Test. The fact is that only two of the GMAT’s four sections, viz. Verbal and Quantitative, are computer adaptive, i.e. during these sections, the test adapts to your knowledge level as you go.

GMAT is conducted nowadays only through computers, barring in some remote locations where paper-based tests are conducted. If you can read this article on the internet, there are high chances that GMAT is available through computers in your area. Thus, you may have access to GMAT preparation too.

Who Conducts GMAT?

The GMAT is commissioned by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). The council decides what types of skills should be measured through the exam and how. Another institution then develops the questions in the exam, conducts the test and reports scores to schools, all by the order of GMAC.

Do You Have to Take GMAT to Seek Admission to an MBA Program?

To be eligible for a MBA program, you most probably have to take the GMAT. As many as 2/3rd of the thousands of business schools across the world require candidates to take GMAT and refer to its scores. However, many schools refer to the scores of GRE General Test as an alternative to GMAT scores. Even if a school doesn’t require you to take GMAT, they welcome the GMAT scores for assessing the knowledge level of the applicant.

What Abilities are Tested in GMAT?

GMAT is mainly designed to test 4 skills, viz. analytical writing, integrated reasoning, verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning. These skills are measured through four discrete sections:

 A half-an-hour Analytical Writing Assessment in the form of a writing test
 A half-an-hour Integrated Reasoning section (12 questions with multiple choices)
 A 75-minute Verbal Section (41 questions with multiple choices)
 A 75-minute Quantitative section (37 questions with multiple choices)

For each of these exams, an individual scaled score and percentile rank is granted. The GMAT is not an exam to pass or fail.

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