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What Does GMAT Stand For?

What does GMAT stand for? Graduate Management Admission Test. The GMAT is overseen by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). This test is used for admission to most MBA programs in the U.S. and Canada, as well as most English-language MBA programs in Europe.

Although the majority of MBA programs will require prospective students to take the GMAT, the average score for each school will vary (think: the more competitive the school, the higher the average score).

A quick rundown of some basic facts about the GMAT:

  • It doesn’t test business knowledge, but it does test high school-level math, writing, reading comprehension, grammar, critical reasoning, and this new thing they call integrated reasoning
  • It’s taken on a computer at an official testing center
  • It’s offered 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year
  • You cannot bring a calculator, but you do get ‘scratch paper’ in the form of markers and dry erase notepads

For more details, check out this post.

Other acronyms to know

GMAC = Graduate Management Admission Council, aka the people who write the GMAT
The writers of the GMAT also publish a number of different study materials to help you prepare. You can take your pick here.

OG = Official Guide, aka the best source of practice questions
The Official Guide is published by GMAC and is 800+ pages of over 900 practice questions that have been retired from the GMAT. Doing practice problems from this mammoth of a book will give you a really good idea of the types of questions to expect on test day.

CAT = Computer Adaptive Testing, aka the type of test where your questions will adjust based on your performance
On the GMAT, you’re only going to see one question at a time, and whether you get that question right or wrong will determine the difficulty of the next question. It’s a little complicated but if you want to get more into the weeds, read here.

AWA = Analytical Writing Assessment, aka the 30-minute writing section
This is the very first section of the test. You’ll be given an argument to analyze and then argue for or against it. Check out this post for more details on the writing section.

IR = Integrated Reasoning, aka the section that tests your ability to do case analyses come business school
The IR section will test both your quant and verbal skills, and will require you to analyze through real-life examples like emails, data tables, or graphs. These types of questions are different from typical standardized test questions, and we have a free eBook to help figure them out.

GRE = Graduate Record Examinations, aka the other test you can take to get to business school
Most business schools accept the GRE now, and most schools will tell you that they have no preference between the GMAT and the GRE, but definitely do your research to make sure your schools of interest will accept the GRE.
Can’t decide between the GMAT or GRE? Maybe this will help.

Adcom = Admissions Committee, aka the group of people who hold your future in their hands
Okay, not technically an acronym, but still an important abbreviation to know if you are going to be perusing business school blogs. The Adcom is the group of people who you are trying to win over and prove that you are going to be a great addition to [insert your school of choice here].

GL, aka good luck!

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