GMAT : Graduate Management Admission Test
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About the GMAT Exam
The GMAT Exam (Graduate Management Aptitude Test) was developed by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) to help business schools around the world select qualified applicants. The test is administered and conducted by Pearson VUE. The GMAT is the only standardized test designed for graduate business and management programs around the world. It is accepted at more than 6,000 programs around the world and administered at more than 600 test centers in 114 countries. GMAT is used by schools and employees worldwide to assess critical skills of candidates. Studies have shown that GMAT is a valid and reliable predictor of a student’s success at management programs.

Why take the GMAT

-- The GMAT exam is used to measure certain analytical, quantitative, verbal and writing skills used for admissions in management schools around the world.

-- Taking the GMAT exam shows that you are serious for the management program.

-- Know about your strengths and weaknesses through the GMAT. 

-- Identify areas of improvement and focus on those areas.

-- The GMAT not only opens up doors to a quality graduate business program but is also used by corporate recruiters to hire the ideal candidate.

-- Ideal platform to compare scores with other applicants and work on strengthening the MBA application

-- Ensures a rewarding and successful experience

Things to remember before taking the GMAT

-- You must be atleast 18 years or older. Candidates between 13-17 years must have acquired a parental consent in written.
-- You can take the test five times in a 12 month rolling period.
-- You can take the test once a month or wait atleast 31 days after you take the exam to retake it again.
-- Scores are valid for five years

How to Take the GMAT----- Registration and Scheduling the Exam

Taking the GMAT is an online process. Register yourself on the GMAT website and schedule the exam. The candidate planning to register and take GMAT can register 6 months prior to taking the exam.  This is the earliest possible registration date for taking GMAT. However GMAC recommends the candidates to register 2-3 months prior to taking the exam.  The last opportunity to register for GMAT allowed by GMAC is 24 hours before the exam. No candidate can register after that and will have to schedule the exam for the next slot.

Below are the registration steps:

Step 1 – Create your GMAC account on mba.com

Step 2 – Choose the test date and center and schedule the exam

Step 3 – Pay the registration/scheduling Fee.

How to pay the Fees

GMAC recommends online fee payment or through credit card. Usage of debit cards is not recommended for students from India as it requires a pin number and GMAC do not participate in this program. 
The Registration Fee is USD 250

Confirmation Letter

A confirmation letter is mailed after a successful registration. The candidate should check and verify that the test date, name and other details are correct. If test centre name includes ‘DoD’ or ‘Military’, a valid acceptable ID will be needed else the exam can be rescheduled. This letter should be carried on the test date and be treated as an admit card to the test.

Rescheduling the GMAT

One may reschedule the GMAT test at any available test centre around the world. A rescheduling fee will apply as stated below:

US$50.00 – If you have rescheduled more than 7 calendar days before the scheduled test date

Additional US$250.00- If you have rescheduledwithin 7 calendar days before the scheduled test date

Canceling the GMAT exam

You may cancel the exam and receive a partial refund depending on when you cancel the exam

Cancellation refunds are as follows:
Refund of US$80.00: More than seven calendar days before the scheduled test date and time.

No refund: Within seven calendar days before the scheduled test date and time.

Format and Timing of the GMAT

The GMAT is a Computer Adaptive Test and lasts for 3 hours 30 minutes. The test comprises of four sections which have to be completed within the allocated time.

GMAT Test Sections - Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal.

AWA Section- This section measures your ability to think critically and to communicate your ideas.
Integrated Reasoning Section – This section measures your ability to evaluate information presented in multiple formats from multiple sources to succeed in our technologically advanced, data-driven world.
Quantitative Section – This section measures your ability to analyze data and draw conclusions using reasoning skills. Secondary school mathematics is required in this section.
Verbal Section – This section measures your ability to read and understand written material, to evaluate arguments, and to correct written material to conform to standard written English.

The following table shows the format and time allocated for each section

GMAT Test Section # of Questions Question Types Timing
Analytical Writing Assessment(AWA) 1 Topic Analysis of Argument 30 Minutes
Integrated Reasoning 12 Questions Multi-Source Reasoning 30 Minutes
Graphics Interpretation
Two-Part Analysis
Table Analysis
Quantitative 37 Questions Data Sufficiency 75 Minutes
Problem Solving
Verbal 41 Questions Reading Comprehension 75 Minutes
Critical Reasoning
Sentence Correction
Total Exam Time     3hrs, 30 minutes
 
Prepare for the GMAT Exam

The GMAT is made up of different components which are used to assess several skills. Preparing for the test requires practice and a systematic approach. Use the GMATPrep software available on the official website to have access to practice tests and resources. A successful exam is achieved by solid study plans, the right study materials and proper methods.

Many reputed official test prep centers in India offers quality classroom coaching and private tuitions for the GMAT preparation.

Important Points during Test Prep

Planned Study Time

Practice with GMAC resources

Give regular practice tests

GMAT Exam Scoring

After the completion of the test, the student receives an unofficial score card/report. You must keep the unofficial score report safe in order to access the official score card later.
The unofficial score card contains the following

-- Unofficial scores from the Verbal, Quantitative and Integrated Sections along with the Total score.

-- Authentication code needed to access official score report

Within 20 calendar days of testing, you will receive an email containing the link to access the official score card. You will be redirected to the score reporting website. This is when you will be required to enter the authentication code. Total score ranges between 200-800.Majority of test takers score between400-600.

New Features of GMAT scoring

GMAC has introduced new features in the GMAT scoring system. With the new features, test takers can now have a preview of the scores and then decide accept the scores to be sent to the schools or cancel the scores. If you feel the scores are not satisfactory you can cancel the scores before leaving the test centre.

Two Minutes to Decide

The new score preview feature gives two minutes to the test takers to decide whether to accept or cancel the scores. Scores are automatically cancelled if no choice is made.

Canceling your Score
If you cancel your scores, you will be able to reinstate them within 60 days of the test date for a fee of US $100. After that, scores will not be retrievable.

Know your Scores better
Use the new GMAT Enhanced Score Report (ESR) to give you a better understanding of your performance. The ESR gives the areas of focus, pacing, question type so that you can work on those areas and perform better the next time.

Sending your scores to the B-Schools

GMAT allows free score reporting to 5 universities on the day of test which means you can send the scores to 5 universities free of cost on the day of test. MBA applicants must select the schools they wish to send their scores during the test. Official scores are sent directly by the testing agency within 20 days of the test.

If you wish to send scores to more universities, you have to pay an additional amount of USD28 for each university.

Retaking the GMAT

You can retake the GMAT once every 31 calendar days and can be taken only 5 times a year. Even though there is no limitation to the number of retakes more than 3 retakes is not recommended.

Special Point *****

Register as a Test Taker with Disabilities

Various testing accommodations or assistance are available to test takes with disabilities to enable them to appear for the exam. Testing accommodations include:

-- Additional testing time (all tests are timed)

-- Additional or extended rest breaks

-- Allowance of a medical device in the testing rooms

-- A trackball mouse

-- A test reader who can read the questions to the test-taker

-- A recorder to record test taker responses

-- Enlarged font on the PC monitor

-- A sign language interpreter 

In addition, test takers do not need to request the followin

-- Eyeglasses and hearing aids

-- Pillow for supporting your neck, back, or an injured limb

-- Neck braces or collars

-- Insulin pump, if attached to your body (medical equipment not attached to your body requires an accommodation request)

Steps for requesting accommodation

  1. Create a GMAT account and follow directions.
  2. Download and review the Supplement for Test Takers with Disabilities (pdf) available on the website
  3. Complete the GMAT Test Accommodations Request Form, also found in the Supplement
  4. Complete the Authorization to Disclose Health Information (optional)
  5. Obtain supporting documentation describing your disability and need for an accommodation from a qualified evaluator. Documentation guidelines for each type of disability are available on the website as separate PDFs, which can be downloaded by you or your evaluator:
  6. Express Mail / Courier Service
    Pearson VUE Attention: GMAT Disability Services
    5601 Green Valley Drive, Ste. 220
    Bloomington, MN 55437
    USA
    Fax: +1 (952) 681-3681 
                           Send your completed GMAT Test Accommodations Request form, all supporting documentation, and the test fee to Pearson VUE at one of the following addresses:


    Standard Mail                                                                                                                                      
    Pearson VUE
    Attention: GMAT Disability Services
    PO Box 581907
    Bloomington, MN 55458-1907
    USA 

A decision regarding the accommodation request is generally given to the candidate by 3-4 weeks or around 7-10 business days.

Day of Exam – Do’s and Don’ts.

Do’s Don’ts
Carry original ID Do not carry Cell phones, music players or any other electronic devices
Carry confirmation letter sent to you after registration Do not try to access your study materials during the exam ( breaks) and after check-in
Read the GMAT testing rules agreement beforehand Do not carry personal items including food, drink etc. to the testing room
You can bring only your ID, locker key if any, and prescription eye glasses. Do not disturb other test takers or indulge in any threatening activities
Acceptable IDs are passport book/drivers license/PAN card/Military Card Do not discuss or disclose test questions during or after exam in any form such as blogs, online forums etc.
Take the test for yourself You cannot test for anyone or have another person take the test for you