What is the GMAT test?

What is the GMAT test? The GMAT, or Graduate Management Admission Test, is a required exam for anyone who wishes to pursue a graduate degree in business. The majority of graduate schools in business assess future students based on the results of the GMAT. The weight granted to the scores varies between schools, from complete admission criteria to a mere formality. In some cases, Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programs focus much more on prior experience, interviews, or relationship to the business world, using the GMAT as a reference rather than a necessity.

The GMAT is essentially a standardized exam that is quite similar to many other varieties of graduate admission exams, such as the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) or the SAT. The price to take the GMAT is about $250 in the United States, and testing centers are located worldwide. The exam is organized into two primary sections, a verbal and quantitative section and a written section.

In the written portion of the GMAT, which is also known as the AWA (Analytical Writing Assignment), the test taker is asked to analyze and examine two essays, each in its own unique way. In the first essay, the test taker must analyze and examine and argument, while in the other they must analyze and consider a particular issue. Students are allowed thirty minutes to complete the analysis of each essay, and grading is based on a 0-6 scale.

Each essay is first examined by computer, which looks for writing structure, spelling, and syntax. Then, a human critiques the essays, focusing on how the subject has been treated as a whole. The computer and human scores are tallied to arrive at a final score.

Both the verbal and quantitative portions of the GMAT are taken by computer. During the exam, the computer will adapt the questions to match the test taker’s skill level. When the test taker answers correctly, the next question will be increased in difficulty, while incorrect answers will result in easier questions. The final score can range from 200 to 800 points. Questions in this portion of the exam begin at a median range of difficulty.

The quantitative portion of the exam consists of 37 questions, all of which are multiple choice. These questions are designed to test the student’s problem solving skills and understanding of data manipulation and presentation. The student is provided 75 minutes for this portion of the exam.

The verbal portion of the exam consists of 41 questions, which are also in the multiple-choice format. The questions in the verbal section test the student’s comprehension of analytical reasoning, reasoning skills, reading blocks, and the ability to recognize and correct grammatical mistakes within text. Seventy-five minutes are allotted to complete this section as well.

Different graduate schools and programs require different final scores. These differences are based on how much weight is awarded to the GMAT and the competitive nature of the admission process. Low scores do not translate into automatic rejection, since a high GPA (grade point average), strong interview, and impressive business experience can often mitigate this shortcoming. Likewise, high scores on the GMAT can help the student make up for any inherent lack in these areas.

Most graduate programs require a minimum GMAT score of 650, while others prefer a score range of 700-750 for consideration.

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