Students fill-up admission forms for admissions in under-graduate courses at Miranda House College in New Delhi on July 4, 2014. Image Source: IANS

Students fill-up admission forms for admissions in under-graduate courses at Miranda House College in New Delhi on July 4, 2014.

Graduate Management Admission Test is a computer adaptive test. More than 5900 programs offered by 1600 universities worldwide use GMAT exam as part of their selection criteria for graduate management programs including MBA, master of accountancy and master of finance. The exam is designed to test the candidate’s analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal and reading skills. GMAT is the number one choice for MBA aspirants all over the world.

Why take the GMAT exam?

  1. Business schools use and trust the GMAT exam created by Graduate Management admission Council (GMAC)
  2. GMAT measures the skills the candidate has and the skills the institution need.
  3. It is a valid and reliable predictor of the candidate’s academic performance.
  4. GMAT testing is available around the world whenever you are ready.

Format and timing

The candidate taking GMAT exam gets three and a half hours to complete the four sections of the exam- analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative section and verbal part. The test taker has 30 minutes each for Analytical writing and integrated reasoning, and 57 minutes each for quantitative and verbal sections.

Section Duration No. of Questions
Analytical writing assessment 30 minutes Writing task
Integrated reasoning 30 minutes 12 in multiple formats
Quantitative 75 minutes 37 multiple choice
Verbal 75 minutes 41 multiple choice

Analytical writing assessment

This section assesses the candidate’s ability to think critically and communicate. The candidate is asked to analyze argument and write a critique of that argument. The assessment is made in two ways. An automated essay scoring engine evaluates the structural and linguistic features and topical analysis. Another assessment is given by a person at GMAT who marks the essay without knowledge of the computerized score. If the two score differ by one point, another marking by an expert reader is a must. The score is given on a scale from 1 to 6.

Integrated reasoning

This section assesses the candidate’s ability to evaluate date given in multiple formats from multiple sources. It consists of 12 questions in four different formats- graphics interpretation, two part-analysis, table analysis and multi-source reasoning. The score ranges from 1 to 8

Quantitative section

This section evaluate the candidate’s ability to analyze data and arrive at conclusions with the help of reasoning skills. The mathematics in this section is based on the secondary level topics. Knowledge of topics such as mathematics, algebra and geometry is required. Scores range from 0 to 60.

Verbal section

The verbal section measures the candidate’s ability to read and understand written text and assess the arguments and correct written English. Verbal section covers reading comprehension, critical reading and sentence correction. Score range from 1 to 60.

Total GMAT score

The total score ranges from 200 to 800. The AWA and IR scores do not count towards the final scores. According to the recent date, the average score is 540.


GMAT has been an exclusive test for those who seek admission to MBA or other management program. However, many business schools accept Graduate Record Examination (GRE) too. A good percent of business schools give candidates the option of producing GMAT or GRE score. GRE is a standardized test for admission to graduate or business schools in the United States.

Compare GMAT with GRE

Used for 5400 programs worldwide. Created by educational Testing service (ETS). Had a major overhaul in 2011
Test Areas: verbal, quantitative, integrated reasoning, analytics Test area: Analytics, Verbal, quantitative and experimental
Computer adaptive test Both paper-based and computer adaptive
Test fees: $250 Test fees: $130 – 210
Valid for five years Valid for five years
Test duration: 2 hours and 30 minutes Test duration: 3hours or more (It depends on the format)