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If you are an aspirant who wants to study in a global university, then undoubtedly you would have heard of GMAT- Graduate Management Admission Test. In this post, we will try to understand how to decode GMAT and elaborate on how it helps students showcase their real life business skills and management acumen that are in high demand for most employers today; the format for GMAT and some quick tips for cracking GMAT with a successful score

The business case for GMAT

The GMAT test is the examination of choice for most business schools, as it is preferred as a key evaluation factor for most business focused (management) programs globally. Essentially if you wish to pursue a career in business management or a related field after securing an international degree, then GMAT is the first step towards attaining that goal. Today, GMAT has become the popular choice for admission into more than 6000 business management programs offered by more than 2000 universities and affiliated educational institutions spread across 114 different countries. Achieving a great score in GMAT serves as a highly reliable predictor of a student’s quantitative, analytical, communication and decision-making skills needed to succeed in today’s highly competitive business landscape. Accordingly, a good score helps highlight the fact that the student is indeed serious about graduate business education. Given this trend it is not uncommon for even Indian business schools to refer and ask for GMAT scores before admitting students for their prestigious courses. In fact more than 90 business schools of repute across India have now started accepting GMAT scores for providing admission to students across 200 business graduate programs.

GMAT structure

GMAT is a computer adaptive test, which analyses analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal and written English skills. The GMAT score helps highlight the problem-solving abilities, while also addressing data sufficiency, logic and critical reasoning skills that it believes to be vital to real-world business and management success for candidates. The test is administered for admittance into a wide range of graduate management programs, including MBA, Master of Accountancy, and Master of Finance programs across 114 countries globally including India. The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is a global non-profit council of business schools and owner of the GMAT exam, which takes its commitment seriously by ensuring the security and integrity of the exam everywhere around the world. More than half of the GMAT test takers are non US citizens and thus GMAC has taken due care to ensure that the test is fair and reliable indicator of proficiency for business management for everyone, regardless of their native language.

The GMAT test

The test is conducted for a period of three and a half hours with questions for analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative, and verbal sections. At the start of the quantitative and verbal sections, test takers are presented with average difficulty level of questions. These questions become increasingly difficult if they are answered correctly; the computer test adapts itselfto the test taker’s ability by posing questions of decreasing difficulty if the questions are answered incorrectly. This process continues until test takers complete each section, at which point the computer will have an accurate assessment of their ability level in that subject area and come up with a raw score for each section. The analytical writing assignment is a 30-minute analysis of an argument. The essay is then given two independent ratings to be averaged together to determine the test taker’s score in this section. The integrated reasoning section consists of 12 questions (which are usually of multiple parts themselves) in four different formats: graphics interpretation, two-part analysis, table analysis, and multi-source reasoning. Like the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), this section is scored separately from the quantitative and verbal section.

The total GMAT score ranges from 200 to 800 and measures performance on the quantitative and verbal sections together. Most selective business schools require a high GMAT score, typically over 700. Test takers can usually register themselves for the exam on the official website or by calling one of the authorized test centers. The fee for appearing for the GMAT test is $250. Usually a lot of students and MBA aspirants plan ahead and also apply for coaching institutes to become successful in GMAT. Most Students who are able to crack GMAT successfully start preparing and practicing at least three months prior to the exam. GMAT scores are valid for 5 years after from the date the test was taken and applicants are allowed to take the test multiple times in a bid to better their admission chances. As a practice, any score over 700 is considered good to be called for a second round of interviews with more selective universities. Do note that even with a good GMAT score it may be difficult to secure scholarships for funding your education, so do consider working and scoping out a financial institution that can assist you with education finance options beforehand. Ultimately, it takes dogged perspiration and uncompromising practice to crack the GMAT and gain admission into a business management course of your choice.

Wish you luck!