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What is the GMAT™?

 

Do I really need to take the GMAT™?

  How important are GMAT™ scores in the application process?
  Does the GMAT™ measure my innate abilities, or can the test
taking and scoring skills be honed?
  What's the format of the GMAT™?
  What does the GMAT™ test?
  How is the GMAT™ test scored?
   
   
What is the GMAT™?
  The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a test required by students who want to do their graduate studies in management or business, for example the MBA or DBA. The GMAT test is adminstered by Pearson VUE.
   
Do I really need to take the GMAT™?
  If you plan to apply for admission to schools in the US, most probably, yes. In many parts of the world, schools require GMAT as apart of the admissions process. Even if it is not required, the test does provide you with a 'standardized' technique of proving your problem solving abilities, and differentiating you from other applicants to the schools of your choice.
   
How important are GMAT™ scores in the application process?
  If you score lower than a cut-off score, you may not be considered for admission by certain schools. If you fall on the 'average score' band, other factors like your GPA assume more importance in the admissions process. If you are an international student planning on studying in the US, GMAT scores are relatively more important. A good GMAT score should be viewed as one of the links in the anchoring chain: it is necessary for each link to be strong to be admitted to a top-notch school, but it is not sufficient.
 
Does the GMAT™ measure my innate abilities, or can the test
taking and scoring skills be honed?
  In our opinion, your innate abilities represent the clay; how you mould this clay requires skills that can certainly be honed, even from scratch. In short, the answer to the latter part of the question is a resounding yes.
 
What's the format of the GMAT™?
  The GMAT is offered as a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT), which is different from the older P&P (paper & pencil) format. This new format requires you to get used to certain strategies and methodologies to boost your score. The question format of the test, however, remains as MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) with only one out of five options being the best answer.
   
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What does the GMAT™ test?
  The GMAT CAT lasts approximately four hours and is composed of two 30-minute essays, a 75-minute 37 multiple-choice Quantitative section and a 75-minute 41 multiple-choice Verbal section. The test is comprised of the following three sections:
   
  Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
  This section asks you to write two essays in 30 minutes each.
   
  Quantitative Section
  This section includes Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency questions.
 
   
  Data Sufficiency
  Given the information or data, you will be expected to determine its sufficient to reach a given answer or conclusion.
   
  Problem Solving
  This section comprises general math and word-type problems.
 

 

  Verbal Section
  This section includes Sentence Correction, Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning questions.
 
   
  Sentence Correction
  This will test your knowledge of correct and effective English expression.
   
  Reading Comprehension
  Passages from a variety of subjects will test your reading comp skills.
   
  Critical Reasoning
  This will test your ability to draw logical conclusions and relationships from a variety of situations and passages.
   
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How is the GMAT™ test scored?
  The GMAT in its CAT format is user-adaptive. This means that the questions a user receives is a function of her performance on the test up to that point. This implies that the collective and sequence of questions a user sees is unique. Different questions are weighed differently; more difficult questions carry higher reward. No skipping questions, penalty for unanswered questions, lack of knowledge of upcoming questions, and insertion of random trial questions anywhere in the test, all tend to make the test more attuned to the basic objective of the GMAT™ to gauge how you respond with your problem solving skills and how you "think on your feet", given the time and resource constraints of the test.
The test starts with a question of average difficulty. If you answer the question correctly, your score goes up. The question that follows is harder (unless it is a pre-test question). If you answer incorrectly, your score dips. The question that follows is of lower difficulty. The process repeats until you reach the end of the test (either the maximum number of questions, or the time limit of the section). It is important to get a head- start; the early questions are more critical in determining your score on the test. So you may want to expend that extra bit of effort and caution on the earlier questions (maybe recheck the answers, suppress the urge to choose answer A without reading B to E, etc.) The random pre-test questions do not count towards your score, and will not adapt to your transient score. Try not to waste your time to figure out which of the questions are experimental. Treat all questions as if they aggregate to your final score.
   
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The GMATŪ is 51 years old. It started off in 1953 as the Admission Test for Graduate Study in Business
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