GMAT: Everything You Need to Know (2020)

Get 700+ on your GMAT to get into your dream business school with tips on eligibility, pattern, registration fee, application, syllabus, and exam dates.


Should I take the GMAT?
How is GMAT scored?

What is the GMAT?

The Graduate Management Admission Test is a computer adaptive test (CAT) is conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). It is introduced to evaluate analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English for use in admission to a graduate management program, such as an MBA.

It is a 3½-hour exam that is designed to predict how test-takers will perform academically in MBA (Masters in Business Administration) programs. GMAT scores are used by graduate business schools to make an admission decision.

What’s on the GMAT exam?

The GMAT exam comprises of four sections: an analytical writing assessment, an integrated reasoning section, a quantitative section, and a verbal section. Total testing time is three hours and seven minutes.

  • Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) – One Topic – 30 Minutes
  • Integrated Reasoning (IR) – 12 Questions – 30 Minutes
  • Quantitative – 31 Questions – 62 minutes
  • Verbal – 36 Questions – 65 Minutes

Analytical writing assignment requires you to:

  • Examine and then analyze a given argument
  • Identify the reasoning behind an argument and also write a critique of the same
  • Follow and work in a methodical approach to present your answer
  • Consider various views
  • Support your answer with relevant examples and explanation
  • Ensure usage of right grammar while presenting your answer

Integrated Reasoning: This section has four different types of questions:

  • Table analysis
  • Graphics Interpretation
  • Multisource reasoning
  • Two-part analysis

Quantitative section: This section comprises of basic arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. Problem-solving and data sufficiency questions are in this section.

Verbal section: The three major sections of the verbal section include:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Critical reasoning
  • Sentence correction

Should I take the GMAT?

Students applying to MBAs are aware that most business schools will require them to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) as part of their application requirements Seven MBA programs around the U.S. that do not require applicants to take the GMAT exam are as follows:

  • Executive MBA at Sawyer Business School at Suffolk University
  • One-Year MBA at Hult International Business School
  • Executive MBA and MBA in Financial Management at Lubin School of Business at Pace University
  • MBA at Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics at University of Delaware
  • Professional MBA at the College of Business at Florida International University
  • Executive MBA at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
  • Executive MBA at Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California

How many times is the GMAT exam conducted in a year?

You can only take the GMAT once in any 16-day period, five times a year, and eight times in your lifetime.

What is the best time to take the GMAT test?

The ideal time to give the test is at least 12 months before an MBA batch starts. That means, if you want to begin an MBA in Fall 2015, it is best to have your GMAT score ready before August 2014. Most schools have 3-4 application cycles for the admission process.

How do I register for the GMAT?

The steps that you require to follow to register for the GMAT exam are as follows:
Step 1: Create an Account With
Step 2: Begin the Registration Process
Step 3: Complete Your Personal Profile
Step 4: Move On to Optional Information
Step 5: Verify Your Profile
Step 6: Choose a Test Center
Step 7: Pick a Date
Step 8: Check Out.

How much is the GMAT exam fee?

The GMAT exam fee is US$250 globally.

What is the cost of the GMAT exam in India?

The Minimum GMAT Fee in India. At a minimum, everyone taking the GMAT exam will have to pay $250 USD, or roughly ₹17,000, to reserve a seat at a testing center. Test centers are available in 26 cities in India. GMAT accepts debit cards. Some of the accepted cards are – VISA, Mastercard, American Express and JCB.

Is work experience necessary for GMAT?

An applicant can give GMAT exam without having any prior work experience. The GMAT scores are usually valid for 5 years, so you can use that score to apply in colleges after gaining some work experience. Other eligibility criteria include:

Age Criteria:

  • The applicant must complete 18 years of age
  • There is no upper age limit of the applicant
  • If the candidate is between 13 to 17 years old, they should have permission in writing from their parents or legal guardian

Qualification Required:

  • GMAC has not announced any official statement regarding qualification required to appear for GMAT
  • Candidates who wish to enroll for an MBA program should possess a graduate degree in any discipline from a recognized university
  • Applicants can choose to appear for the GMAT exam five times within a span of 12 months.
  • The minimum period to wait between two consecutive GMAT attempts is 16 days.
  • Candidates who have scored a perfect score of 800 previously, need to wait for five years before they reappearing for the test again
  • Candidates must abide by the registration and testing rules set by GMAC.

How is GMAT scored?

Total GMAT scores range from 200 to 800. Two-thirds of test takers score between 400 and 600. The Verbal and Quantitative scores range from 0 to 60 and scores below 6 and above 51 are rare.

What is a good score on the GMAT?

The top 10 MBA programs usually look for GMAT scores of 720 or above. For mid-to-high-range business schools, the average scores of incoming students are usually in the 600-700 range. The average score is about 547, so anything above that is a good score for the GMAT exam.

Are there any negative marks in GMAT?

There is no negative marking for the GMAT exam. It’s a computer adaptive test which means the computer will accept your answers itself and will let you know either your answer is right or wrong. If your answer goes right your next question will be tougher but in case your answer gets wrong next question will be easier.

How many questions will be there in the GMAT exam?

Integrated Reasoning (12 questions), Quantitative (31 questions), Verbal (36 questions), and Analytical Writing (1 essay topic).

Is the GMAT multiple choice?

Apart from the analytical assessment writing section, GMAT has multiple-choice questions. The integrated reasoning, quantitative and the verbal section comprises of multiple-choice questions.

Do you get your GMAT score immediately?

An applicant will get their unofficial verbal, quantitative, integrated reasoning, and total scores immediately after finishing the GMAT. You can decide on whether you want to keep or cancel these scores.

Do GMAT scores expire?

GMAT scores are usually valid for five years from the date you took the test. You can sign in to your account at to see any GMAT scores that you accepted in the past five years. Your official GMAT scores will be available within 20 calendar days after you take the test. GMAT scores are usually valid for five years and are available for reporting for up to 10 years. Scores that are over 10 years old are not available.

How many times can you take the GMAT exam?

You can reappear for the GMAT up to 5 times in any 12-month period, but no more than once in any 16-day period. You can raise a request to GMAC (General Management Admission Council) in writing if you wish to take it more than that. Applications can only be considered after you have actually taken the 5th test.

Is it bad to take the GMAT multiple times?

You can reappear for the GMAT exam up to 5 times in any 12-month period, but no more than once in any 16-day period. You can write to GMAC if you wish to appear for the test more than that, but applications will only be considered after you have actually taken the 5th test.

When can I take the GMAT again?

You can only take the GMAT exam once every 31 calendar days and not more than five (5) times in a rolling 12-month period. If you take the GMAT test frequently than you are allowed, your new scores will not be reported and you will forfeit the entire test fee.

Can I cancel my GMAT scores?

GMAT applicants can cancel their score at the test center immediately after their exam. They can do it without any sort of additional cost. One can also cancel their GMAT score online for a certain fee. It can be done within 72 hours after the scheduled start time of your exam.

Can schools see if I cancel my GMAT score?

Business schools do not see any sort of indication that you have canceled a score. If you do not cancel your GMAT score at the test center, but decide within 72 hours of the test start time that you would like to, you can still cancel it, in lieu of a small fee.

What do I need to bring on GMAT test day?

The checklist that you need to follow is as follows:

#1: A Valid, GMAT Approved Photo ID
#2: Names of the five MBA programs where you plan to send your scores
#3: Appointment Confirmation Letter or Email in case there is any sort of discrepancy with the test date and time
#4: Printed directions to the Test Center

Three things that applicants are not allowed to bring inside the test center are:

  • Electronic items
  • Weapons
  • Books and other print aids

Can one use a calculator on the GMAT exam?

Candidates are not allowed to bring their own calculator for the exam. A calculator will be provided when one is working on the Integrated Reasoning section of the exam. Calculators are not permitted while one is working on the Quantitative section. Applicants will be provided with note boards and markers to work out your calculations on the Quantitative section.

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