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Everything To Know About GMAT

Dhruvin Jain

Dhruvin Jain

Nov 25, 2022

9 mins read

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It can be scary if you announce that you’re applying to business school only to have loved ones start talking about having to take the GMAT.  If you are unfamiliar with the GMAT exam, you should be mindful that it has a negative reputation. Is it difficult? Definitely but doable. The Graduate Management Admission Test, or GMAT, is known for its penchant for presenting a variety of problems in novel and unconventional formats. So if you are someone who knows nothing about GMAT, read on to know more. 

1. Why Give GMAT?

Admission to almost all MBA schools requires passing the GMAT exam. Success on this standardized test carries advantages both before and after earning a business school diploma. There are many reasons to take the GMAT, but the top three are as follows:

Admission to MBA

A good GMAT exam score and acceptance into the business school of your choice are highly correlated. This is due to the fact that the GMAT is the sole element of your application that can fairly compare you to the other candidates. 

Probability of receiving a scholarship

Most aspiring MBA candidates don’t have a sizable bank account to support their studies. A scholarship is a fantastic option to attend an MBA program without having to worry about the associated costs. 

Higher pay after an MBA

An amazing score is as important post-MBA as it is before and throughout the MBA. High scorers have a better chance of being admitted to the best business schools. Students who attend these institutions have the best chances of finding the most desirable employment after earning the coveted MBA degree.

2. GMAT Format

Quantitative ReasoningThe GMAT quant component evaluates a candidate’s numerical literacy and mathematical aptitude. Your ability to reason, solve problems, and evaluate facts is tested in this section of the exam. It assesses the abilities you’ll need in quantitatively-based courses like accounting, finance, and managerial statistics. The questions in this area demand a general understanding of ideas related to math, elementary algebra, geometry, and word problems. They are a mix of problem-solving and data-sufficiency questions.
Verbal Reasoning The GMAT verbal tests a student’s critical thinking, editing, and reading skills. Your comprehension of written material, your ability to draw conclusions from it, your ability to analyze arguments, and your capacity to edit your work so that it conforms to accepted written English standards will all be evaluated. Three different multiple-choice question types are put together in this section:
- You will be required to read comprehension passages of up to 350 words, which will be followed by a series of questions evaluating your understanding, inference, and relationship-finding skills.
- Your capacity to derive conclusions from brief arguments using critical reasoning will be assessed.
- You will be required to edit sentences by selecting the word or phrase that most correctly completes the sentence
Integrated ReasoningThe aptitude to read and comprehend data in various formats, such as table analysis and visual interpretation, is evaluated here. 
Analytical Writing AssessmentThe GMAT essay part evaluates your communication and critical thinking abilities. You will be required to respond to one Analysis of an Argument question with an essay. 

3. How do GMAT Scores work?

There is no passing or failing in the GMAT. It is made up of four distinct components, each of which yields a score (divided into a scaled score and percentile rank), as well as a fifth Total score, which is the sum of the scores from the Quantitative and Verbal sections. You will score in the following categories overall:

  1. Quantitative Reasoning: on a scale of 0 to 60
  2. Verbal Reasoning: on a scale of 0 to 60
  3. Integrated Reasoning: on a scale of 1 to 8
  4. Analytical Writing Assessment: on a scale of 0 to 6

The combined verbal and quantitative scores will be on a scale of 200 to 800.

Suggested: GMAT VS GRE

4. How Does The GMAT Adaptive Scoring Work

You will fully understand why we stressed that issue when you comprehend the GMAT adaptive scoring methodology. GMAT scoring is different from how we typically score tests. Each question results in a computation of your GMAT score. By doing this, the algorithm keeps tabs on your GMAT score as well as you. A high score is awarded to you if you correctly respond to a question. However, the GMAT will penalize you for a wrong response. The GMAT thus continuously tries to test your verbal and quantitative skills, and that too in a limited amount of time and with a finite number of questions.

Since there are 61 different GMAT scores, it is possible to appropriately evaluate someone’s abilities on a scale from 200 to 800. The GMAT will present you with a question of average difficulty when you start the test. The GMAT will either reward you by elevating you to a higher level, keep you at the same level, or degrade you to a lower level based on the accuracy of your response. If you select the correct response, the following question that appears on your screen can be easier or harder than the one you selected.

GMAT will ask you another question that is either easier or of a similar difficulty if you provide the incorrect answer. GMAT determines your range or band by posing a series of questions in this manner. Then, in order to determine the precise score within that range, more inquiries will be made. In other words, the GMAT test adjusts based on how well you perform on each question.

Suggested: How to Score 720 in GMAT

5. What Is A High GMAT Score?

A great GMAT score is 700+, while a decent score is over 640 (about the 70th percentile) (the 90th percentile). The average score for applicants to the 50 top-ranked MBA programs is approximately 660. Never forget that your score is only one component of a comprehensive application that also takes into account your essays, admissions interviews, undergraduate GPA, recommendation letters, work experience, professional reputation, and extracurricular activities. Consequently, while having a high GMAT is crucial, it isn’t everything.

6. How To Register For GMAT And How Much Does It Cost?

The GMAT exam can be taken in person or online. The following steps are to be taken to register for the GMAT :

  1. Online: Candidates can register for the GMAT online by creating an account on They must set up a profile and begin completing the stages. Below is a detailed explanation of the registration process.
  2. Phone: Candidates can register for the GMAT over the phone by calling the local GMAT customer service. They must pay an extra service charge of $10. The customer support number for GMAT India is 0120 4397830. (Mon to Fri- 9 m to 6 pm).
  3. Postal: Candidates must fill up the application on before mailing it off. Pay the GMAT registration fee with a money order or check. Download the application form, including the information on how to pay the charge, and mail it.

Now here is how much each registration method will cost:

  1. Candidate registration for the GMAT online is US$275.
  2. The cost to register for the GMAT over the phone is US$275 plus US$10 (customer service fee).
  3. Candidates must use a money order or check to pay the registration cost for the postal GMAT.

The GMAT should be taken 12 to 18 months prior to the start of your desired business school program. For instance, you should ideally have your GMAT score prepared before August 2022 if you are applying to a school that begins in the fall of 2023.

Suggested: Top 20 Universities Worldwide Without GMAT Requirement

7. Top MBA college with GMAT requirement

Now that you have clarity about what GMAT is, let’s look at the top MBA/Management colleges and how much you need to score to get in:

CollegesGMAT Scores
Columbia University715
MIT Sloan716
Tuck – Dartmouth717
New York Stern720
Yale SOM721
Kellogg – Northwestern724
Harvard Business School725
Chicago Booth726
Wharton – UPenn732
Stanford GSB733

While GMAT can seem confusing and difficult, it is a test of your acumen for the management of an MBA more than anything. If you are well prepared, you are sure to ace the GMAT!

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Dhruvin Jain
Dhruvin Jain

Dhruvin Jain is the co-founder of MastersBuddy, a tech-first platform that has helped over 2500 students find and apply to top master’s programs globally. He is a master’s graduate from IE Business School, and is passionate about education, technology, and entrepreneurship.

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