The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is one of the most well-known examinations for admissions into MBA (Masters in Business Administration) programs or Masters in Finance-related courses. 2,00,000 candidates per year appear for the examination annually across the world. The examination helps in tracking the aspirant’s skills with what leading business schools desire. More than 110 countries accept GMAT score sheets. 

What is the GMAT Exam?

It is a computer-adaptive examination that assesses the analytical writing, verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and integrated skills of the candidate in standard written English language. It is for admission to postgraduate management courses like MBAs and Masters in Finance. It is a 3.5-hour test, including breaks and test guidelines. GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) is the administrator of the GMAT.

GMAT Exam Pattern

There are 4 sections to the GMAT exam. These include the following:
  • Analytical Writing Assessment (1 question and 30 minutes)-: This section will measure your ability to communicate your ideas and also think critically about problems.
  • Integrated Reasoning (12 questions and 30 minutes)-: This section tracks your abilities concerning data analysis and also evaluation of all information that is given through various formats.
  • Quantitative Reasoning (31 questions and 62 minutes)-: This tracks your ability concerning analysing data and also comes to logical and valid conclusions with the help of your skills in reasoning.
  • Verbal Reasoning (36 questions and 65 minutes)-: This section measures your abilities in reading and absorbing written information and for argument evaluation. It also tracks your capabilities to read and correct written information for adhering to certain written English standards.
The 4 sections are all timed separately. You can take two 8-minute breaks during the entire examination.


Eligibility for GMAT examination

GMAC doesn’t have any eligibility criteria for the same. However, there are some basic criteria that you should keep in mind:
  • Aspirants should be minimum of 18 years of age.
  • There is no upper age limit for any aspirants.
  • Those between 13 to17 years of age should get written permission from legal guardians or parents.
  • GMAC has not officially given any statement related to the required qualifications of candidates.

Registration for GMAT

GMAC has specified registration for the examination at 6 months before the test date or the most by 24 hours before the examination date. Yet, you should note that slots will be unavailable if you book late. You should ideally book slots in advance before the planned date of examination. Registration methods include postal mail, online, and by phone. You can take the GMAT anytime as per your wishes. However, you can only reschedule the next test attempt post 16 days after taking the previous one. A maximum of 5 attempts are allowed in one year. There are 650 testing sites globally for the exam.

Fees for GMAT Exam

The GMAT examination fees are $250. Additional charges apply if you wish to change your testing centre or reschedule your GMAT examination. 
  • Those who will not appear for the examination after registering will have to bear the total fee. 
  • Cancelling the examination 1-14 days before the date of testing will lead to a charge of around $200 and you will get a refund of $50. 
  • However, cancelling 15-60 days before your examination slot will lead to charges of $175 and a refund of $75 will be given. 
  • If you cancel more than 60 days before your examination date, you will get a refund of $100 while $150 will be deducted. 
  •  $150 is the rescheduling charge if done 1-14 days before the date of testing.
  • $100 is charged for rescheduling 15-60 days before the testing date.
  • $50 is charged for rescheduling more than 60 days before the date of testing.
You can pay the fees by cheque. Try and register your chosen slot around 3 to 4 months before your planned date. 

Important GMAT Exam Dates

There are no official or specified dates for the GMAT exam. You may opt for any particular date based on your wish and overall availability. Retaking the examination is possible after 16 days. The test may be taken a maximum of 5 times annually as well. You should register 2 to3 months before the actual examination date. Advance registration is always a safer choice.


Syllabus for GMAT exam

GMAT is a 3.5-hour test. It evaluates the candidate’s abilities on various parameters. Here are the section-wise syllabus details:


Analytical Writing Assessment-:

  1. Argument Essay-Theis deals with the analysis of any particular argument/reasoning and then the presentation of your argument in this regard.
  2. Issue Essay- You will have to write essays on issues given to you and the word count is roughly 600. You may provide your opinions in support of/against the issue provided.

Integrated Reasoning-:

  1. Table Analysis- This measures your ability to analyse and sort tables containing specific data.
  2. Two-Part Analysis- This tracks your abilities related to complex problem-solving. They may be quantitative, verbal, or both.
  3. Multi-Source Reasoning- You will be measured based on your ability to analyse data from various tables/sources, text passages, and graphics.
  4. Graphics Interpretation- you will be assessed on information interpretation in graphical images like pie charts or curves and graphs.

Quantitative Reasoning-

  1. Data Sufficiency- You have to analyse problems of quantitative nature, identify vital data, and determine necessary data for problem-solving. Topics include Elementary Algebra, Ratio Proportions, Geometry, Arithmetic, Exponents and Roots, Linear Equations, Integers, and their Properties, and Permutation and Combinations.
  2. Problem-Solving- You have to deploy analytical reasoning techniques and logic for problem-solving.

Verbal Reasoning-

  1. Critical Reasoning- This section tracks your abilities to evaluate and create arguments while formulating strategies or action plans.
  2. Reading Comprehension – You have to demonstrate an ability to create inferences, absorb logical connections between vital points, understand statements and words and follow quantitative concepts and how they are developed. 
  3. Sentence Correction- This module deals with correcting grammar and structure in sentences. Aspects like subject-verb agreement, rhetorical sentence construction, unseen passages, countable and uncountable, finding errors, misplaced modifiers, and parallelism will be important in this section.

GMAT scores

There is a fixed scale for scores in your 4 sections of the GMAT exam. The scale of GMAT scores is from 200 to 800. These come in multiples of 10 like 710, 720, and so forth. The official scores of GMAT exams are released within three weeks of the exam and can be used for admission purposes. Below are the minimum and maximum scores for every GMAT section :
Examination Portion Range of Scores (Minimum-Maximum)
AWA 0-6
Verbal 0-60
Integrated Reasoning 1-8
Quantitative 0-60
Total Score 200-800

Important tips for GMAT

Here are some important tips that you should keep in mind:
  • There is a lot of preparation material available for the GMAT exam, both online and offline
  • Getting a right collection of suitable GMAT resources and study materials is important along with books.
  • GMAT score validity is for five years in total. You should carefully analyze the deadlines of the universities for applications and book your examinations accordingly.
  • Keep attempting practice tests and work on your weaknesses. Keep assessing your results and build customized plans for studying.
  • Time is limited in the examination. Practice answering all the sections within the time limit and without getting stuck anywhere.
  • Enhance your powers of visual understanding, i.e. quickly deciphering charts, symbols, and graphs or tables. 
In short, the right amount of GMAT preparation and the right way of preparation is essential to scoring well in the exam. The above tips will help you prepare better for the GMAT exam.