The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a pre-requisite for admission into majority of business schools in the U.S. and Europe. Simply put GMAT measures the abilities and skills developed during one's schooling, including persuasive writing and logical reasoning. The test provides a fair idea of a candidate’s analytical and verbal skills, both of which are necessary to perform well in a management program.
GMAT is a standardized assessment-delivered in English-that helps business schools assess the qualifications of applicants for advanced study in business and management. Schools use the test as one predictor of academic performance in an MBA program or in other graduate management programs.
To score high on the GMAT, all you need is a good understanding of basic Mathematics and English Grammar. The GMAT does NOT measure one's business competence or specific academic knowledge.
Importance of the GMAT: Determines a candidate’s quantitative, analytical and verbal abilities, all of which are important to succeed in a business school.
The scores applicants get in the GMAT help the authorities to rank them accordingly.
The score ("Percent Below") helps in determining the position of an applicant among other applicants who appear for the same test.
The GMAT Verbal score is the single most important predictor of class performance. An applicant who scores high in the verbal section is supposed to be a good performer in the class.
Various programs tend to be rated according to the average GMAT score. So, the schools prefer high GMAT candidates to improve the overall GMAT average for the school.
A good GMAT score can to some extent help to overcome any shortcoming in one's undergraduate score and/or work experience.
Although a high GMAT score alone does not guarantee admission, and the other factors such as work experience, interviews etc. play an important role, yet a high GMAT score is always advantageous and gets your foot into the door.
What the GMAT Measures
The GMAT exam measures basic verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills that you have developed over a long period of time in your education and work. It does NOT measure:
- your knowledge of business,
- your job skills, specific content in your undergraduate or first university course work,
- your abilities in any other specific subject area, or
- subjective qualities—such as motivation, creativity, and interpersonal skills.
The GMAT exam consists of three main parts, the Analytical Writing Assessment, the Quantitative section, and the Verbal section.
Analytical Writing Assessment
The GMAT exam begins with the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA). The AWA consists of two separate writing tasks—Analysis of an Issue and Analysis of an Argument. You are allowed 30 minutes to complete each one.
Following an optional ten-minute break, you begin the Quantitative Section of the GMAT exam. This section contains 37 multiple-choice questions of two question types—Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving. You will be allowed a maximum of 75 minutes to complete the entire section.
After a second optional ten-minute break, you begin the Verbal Section of the GMAT exam. This section contains 41 multiple choice questions of three question types—Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction. You are allowed a maximum of 75 minutes to complete the entire section.