What is GMAT? All About Graduate Management Admission Test

What is GMAT?

Graduate Management Admissions Test GMAT is a standardized text that measures the verbal, writing, quantitative, mathematical and analytical skills. Is a computer adaptive test primarily intends to aid graduate schools of business assess the potential of the applicants for advanced study in business and management.

GMAT is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). The GMAT exam is administered in standardized test centers in 114 countries around the world. The text is still the number one choice for MBA aspirants despite the increasing acceptability of GRE scores. GMAT test takers can cancel their score at the test center immediately after their exam, at no additional cost.



GMAT Test Structure

The GMAT has four main divisions: Analytical Writing Assessment; Integrated Reasoning; Verbal Reasoning; Quantitative reasoning.

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) Section:

The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) Section has one 30-minute essay writing task which is analysis of an argument. It is used to measures candidate ability to think critically and to communicate their ideas. Candidate will be required to analyze the logic of the given position and suggest how and where the reasoning may be faulty or require improvement. The scoring for the Analytical Writing section is on a scale of 0 (minimum) to 6 (maximum).

Integrated Reasoning Session:

Integrated Reasoning (IR) session is designed to measures candidate ability on how to evaluate data presented in multiple formats from multiple sources. Each question is independent and may have more than one part, but one prompt may be used for more than one question. An on-screen calculator is available. The integrated reasoning section has 12 questions to be solved in 30 minutes. The questions are in four types which include: table analysis, graphics interpretation, multi-source reasoning, and two-part analysis. The score is reported on a scale of 1-8 (intervals of 1).

Quantitative Section:

The Quantitative section seeks to measures candidate ability on how to analyze data and draw conclusions using reasoning skills. This section has two types of multiple choice questions: data sufficiency and problem solving. There are 31 questions to be solved in 62 minutes. Questions require knowledge of certain algebra, geometry, and arithmetic. The use of calculators is not allowed on the quantitative section of the GMAT. Scores range from 0 to 60, although GMAC only reports scores between 6 and 51.

Verbal Reasoning Section:

Verbal reasoning section in GMAT is used to measures candidate ability on how to read and understand written material, to evaluate arguments, and to correct written material to conform to standard written English. The Verbal section contains three types of question: critical reasoning; reading comprehension; sentence correction. All questions are multiple-choice. There are 31 questions to be completed in 65 minutes. Verbal scores range from 0 to 60. A high GMAT score on the Integrated Reasoning section is roughly considered to be 6 or above.


GMAT Exam Format and Timing

The GMAT exam is comprised of four sections – Analytical Writing Assessment Section, Integrated Reasoning Section, Quantitative Section, and Verbal Reasoning Section.

GMAT Test Section # of Questions Question Types Timing
Analytical Writing Assessment 1 Topic Analysis of Argument 30 Minutes
Integrated Reasoning 12 Questions Multi-Source Reasoning
Graphics Interpretation
Two-Part Analysis
Table Analysis
30 Minutes
Quantitative 31 Questions Data Sufficiency
Problem Solving
62 Minutes
Verbal 36 Questions Reading Comprehension
Critical Reasoning
Sentence Correction
65 Minutes
Total Exam Time,
not including breaks or tutorials
3 hours, 7 minutes


GMAT Scoring

The total GMAT score ranges from 200 to 800 and measures performance on the quantitative and verbal sections together (performance on the AWA and IR sections do not count toward the total score, those sections are scored separately). Scores are given in increments of 10 (e.g. 540, 550, 560, 570, etc.).


What is a Percentage perfect Score on the GMAT?

A perfect GMAT score is an 800. Which we refer to as the total score: the combination of your scores on the verbal and quantitative sections of the exam.

Below are the GMAT percentile rankings from the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) for the past three years, beginning with the total score and followed by section-specific charts for the Verbal and Quantitative sections, the Integrated Reasoning section, and the Analytical Writing Assessment:

Total Score Percentile Ranking
800 99%
750 98%
700 88%
650 75%
600 57%
550 41%
500 28%
450 18%
400 11%
350 6%
300 3%
250 2%
200 0%


Score Verbal Percentile Ranking Quantitative Percentile Ranking
51 99% 96%
46 99% 60%
41 94% 43%
36 81% 31%
31 62% 20%
26 44% 12%
21 27% 7%
16 13% 4%
11 4% 2%
6 0% 0%


Integrated Reasoning Score Percentile Ranking
8 93%
7 82%
6 70%
5 55%
4 40%
3 26%
2 12%
1 0%


Analytical Writing Assessment Score Percentile Ranking
6.0 89%
5.0 54%
4.0 18%
3.0 5%
2.0 3%
1.0 2%
0.0 0%


How Many Times Can One Take GMAT?

GMAT exam can be taken once in every 16 calendar days and not more than five times in a period of 12-month (one year) and not more than eight times total in lifetime.


How Long Do GMAT Scores / Grade Valid?

GMAT scores are valid for 5 years from the date you took the test, and are available for reporting for up to 10 years. Scores over 10 years old are not available. But note that most schools accept GMAT score attained within 3 years range from application while few schools only accept 5 years score.



MyEduGist Team

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Article by Nicholas

Nicholas Babatunde Lateef is a Blogger and Career Builder (Business and Educational Consultant). He is the Founder and CEO of MyEduGist. He has the passion to provide useful and quality update about Education, Examinations and Scholarships worldwide. You can also like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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