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If your ambition is to secure admission into any of the 900 management institutes all over the world (majority in the US), GMAT is a must. Not restricted to MBA alone, aspirants of PhD in Business Management or a Masters program in Finance, Human Resources etc. are required to take GMAT.

Business school in US, Europe, Canada and select universities in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore also consider GMAT scores as a basis of selecting aspirants. The admission committee of graduate schools of business will evaluate your potential taking into consideration your GMAT score, undergraduate scholastic record and work experience.


GMAT test checks your ability to focus for long hours on end. It is a challenging test, both physically and mentally. It seeks to test your basics in math, grammar and logical reasoning. A GMAT test looks at your ability to work under pressure and still be able to take decisions. Problem-solving is a key skill that is tested in GMAT. What is of essence is the right attitude, one of determination and discipline. GMAT preparation can take you about 3 - 6 months of practice and strengthening of foundations based on the GMAT syllabus. Since GMAT is now a computerized test, it offers many new challenges.

Who can take GMAT ?

If you are considering US universities, 16 years of education is a pre-requisite for admission to graduate studies. For those with more than 3 years of work experience, some universities may waive the 16th year requirement. If you are a student with nil or less than 2 years of work experience, the academic record holds high value. A good GMAT score can get you admission in a top school.

GMAT structure

You will be required to take a multiple-choice computer-adaptive test; the total test time is 3 ½ hours or 210 minutes. This does not require any subject-specific theoretical study and consists of three sections:

Verbal section: Evaluates reading comprehension, critical reasoning and sentence correction. The test duration is 75 minutes consisting of 41 questions.

Math section: Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency. Test duration is 75 minutes consisting of 37 questions.

Analytical writing: Consists of two-essay writing with a view to analyze your perspective. The two segments are analysis of an issue and analysis of an argument. Test duration is 30 minutes per essay.

GMAT centers in India

In India, Prometric Testing (P) Ltd. administers the test. List of centers are Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi and Trivandrum. Finalize the schedule and select the most convenient test center. You can also view GMAT test center list online or refer GMAT 2006 bulletins.

GMAT prep

The computerized GMAT test has been designed to adapt to your ability levels.Though it asks you fewer questions than the earlier format, the computerized version of the GMAT test tends to randomly choose questions based on how well you are answering them online. Unlike the earlier version, you cannot go back to an earlier question. It is essential that you answer the first few questions right so that the algorithm fine tunes your score appropriately. It gets an idea of the kind of questions you can handle. Ensure that you complete all sections of the GMAT test. Failure to answer last few questions will work against you.

GMAT prep can take the form of class courses and practice handouts or online GMAT prep courses. You can avail online GMAT prep courses at reasonable fees. Classroom courses for GMAT preparation can be expensive and time-consuming. Practice tests for GMAT are a good way to plan out your time management skills. Mock GMAT tests can throw light on the areas that need strengthening. Practice with computer-adaptive formats of mock GMAT tests. GMAT prep software is another method of testing yourself. You can use the software to test yourself in different modes so as to aid understanding of mistakes and better analysis of improper answering techniques.

GMAT Score

Taking into account the combination of Quantitative and Verbal section, the GMAT score is for a total of 800. On an average, majority of the test takers score between 400 and 600. The most desired score, you should aim for is 700 and above. Analytical writing is scored separately in a range from 0 to 6, each evaluated by two readers. You should ideally aim for 5 and above.

Points to remember

  • No two question paper will be the same

  • Multiple-choice questions with five choices

  • Score based on number of questions answered correctly

  • The extent to which you have answered difficult questions

  • The number of questions you have completed.

  • Each sections starts with a medium-level question with an average score

  • If the answer is correct, proceeds with a difficult question and higher score

  • If the answer is incorrect, proceeds with a easier question and lesser score

  • Your GMAT score is valid for 5 years.

  • Most universities prefer considering scores not more than 2-3 years old.

Option to cancel scores

The decision to cancel scores should be taken immediately after you take the GMAT. Right at the testing centre, before you can actually see the total score, you can decide to cancel. Doing so, the information will be immediately recorded on your official GMAT score report.

Fee: (subject to changes)
  • Towards test fee: US$ 250 (Includes fee for reporting scores to 5 universities)

  • Towards additional score report: US$ 28 per university.

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