What is the GMAT?
GMAT stands for “Graduate Management Admission Test.” Just as the SAT is an admission test high school students need to take to get into college, the GMAT is an admission test after-college folks in the business world need to take to get into business school. The vast majority of MBA programs required a recent GMAT as an essential part of the admission process. Different schools use and judge GMAT scores in different ways. As a general rule, a good score on the GMAT can give an applicant a strong competitive edge in applying to the best business schools.
Who writes the GMAT?
The GMAT is created by GMAC, the “Graduate Management Admission Council”, a private company headquartered in Reston, VA outside of Washington, D.C. The GMAC reflects the concerns of both business schools and private industry, theoretically soliciting their views in shaping the GMAT.
How much does it cost to take the GMAT?
As of October, 2011, it costs $250 (U.S.)
How do I register to take the GMAT?
Go to GMAC’s website, www.mba.com, for complete information and to make an appointment to take the GMAT. As part of that process, you will be able to select a testing center near you.
What is the format of the test?
You will take the test on a computer at an official testing center. You will need to present valid I.D. (such as a Driver’s License + a major credit card). You will have to lock up your personal belongings (cell phone, wallet, etc.) before you are allowed to take a seat at a computer. You are not allowed to take a calculator, notes, or even blank paper into the testing room.
Some sections of the test employ Computer-Adaptive Testing (CAT), which means the difficulty level of the questions is adjusted automatically as you move through the test. See this post: http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/computerized-adaptive-testing-and-calculating-your-gmat-score/ for more details on the CAT.
The testing center will provide you with a booklet of five erasable noteboard and dry erase pens, so you can write things down if you need to. The Integrated Reasoning section has an on-screen calculator, but the Quantitative section is calculator-free. See this post: http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/can-i-use-a-calculator-on-the-gmat/ for more details on that.
What are the sections on the GMAT?
1) First you will have the Analytic Writing Section (AWA), which presents the “Analysis of an Argument.” This is 30 minutes.
2) The AWA is followed immediate by the 30 minute Integrated Reasoning section (IR). This section has 12 questions and does not employ CAT. This section is new, as of June 5, 2012.
3) Optional short break (less than 8 minutes)
4) Quantitative section: 75 minutes, 37 questions, employs CAT
5) Optional short break (less than 8 minutes)
6) Verbal section: 75 minutes, 41 questions, employs CAT
The entire ordeal, including all the initial paperwork, will take just under 5 hours. For a sense of the difficulty on the Quant & Verbal sections, see the Magoosh GMAT Diagnostic Test.
See this post for information about the score report.