The GMAT, or Graduate Management Admission Test, is a globally recognized standardized exam designed to evaluate students for admission to an MBA. It assesses candidates’ analytical, verbal, quantitative, and integrated reasoning skills.
So, preparing for the GMAT is crucial if you also plan to get admission to an MBA. Business schools globally rely on GMAT scores to gauge applicants’ potential and suitability for their programs. Moreover, if you receive above-average scores, you can significantly enhance your business school applications.
A strong performance in this test demonstrates academic strengths and showcases an individual’s ability to think critically and solve complex problems. Therefore, let’s embark on this informative journey together as we discuss the fee for the test and some insider tips for preparing for it.
How to Register for GMAT
Registering for the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a straightforward process that begins with creating an account on the official GMAT website. Once logged in, you can select your preferred test date and location from the available options. During registration, you must provide personal information such as your name, address, and contact details. Additionally, you can select up to five programs or schools to which you want your GMAT scores sent. However, this is optional, and you can also choose to ship your score report later for an additional fee of $35.
Next, after adding all the details, you need to pay the exam fee, which may vary based on your location. After that, a confirmation email is sent, providing all the necessary details for your GMAT exam, including the test date, time, and location. To secure your preferred date and place, it is advisable to register well in advance, especially during peak testing periods. Also, as the GMAT Official Score Report typically takes around 7–20 days to be accessible to applicants, you should plan accordingly. Allow ample time for your score to be available, especially if you’re tight on deadlines for business school admission.
Recommended GMAT Score
GMAT scores lie between 200-800, and the recommended score depends on the specific business schools or MBA programs you are applying to. Different schools have different score expectations and admission criteria. Generally, higher-ranked and more competitive MBA programs tend to have higher average GMAT scores for their admitted students.
To get an idea of the target GMAT score for your desired business schools, research their admission statistics and look for admitted students’ average or median GMAT scores. This information is often available on the school’s website or in MBA program brochures. According to The US News, the score for Standford University is 733, while the lowest for the University of Michigan is 711. However, an average of around 650–750 is a strong score that could make you competitive for admission into many reputable MBA programs.
But, before proceeding, you need to remember that a high GMAT score alone does not guarantee admission; it is just one of the many factors that admissions committees consider. Therefore, a well-rounded application and a solid overall profile will significantly increase your chances of admission to the business school of your choice.
Cost of Taking GMAT and Related Services
The standard GMAT exam fee is $275 if you get it delivered to your test center and $300 for online scores. If you need to reschedule your test date or location after registration, a rescheduling fee of $55 is applicable.
Moreover, if you take the GMAT but decide not to have your scores sent to any business schools, you can cancel your scores at the test center immediately after completing the exam. The good part is that this service is included in the exam fee. However, once you see your unofficial scores, you only have a two-minute window to decide whether to cancel them.
Lastly, for more detailed insights into your performance, you can request an Enhanced Score Report (ESR) for an additional $30.
General Overview of the GMAT Test Structure
As stated above, the GMAT assesses your verbal reasoning, quantitative analysis, integrated reasoning, and analytical writing skills. However, the test takers can choose the section order that best suits their strengths and preferences, offering a personalized test-taking experience. So, let’s check each in detail.
Quantitative reasoning is one of the four skill sections of the GMAT test, designed to assess a test taker’s ability to understand, analyze, and interpret quantitative information. It consists of 31 multiple-choice questions, which you must complete in 62 minutes, and is divided into Problem-Solving and Data Sufficiency.
In problem-solving questions, you will be presented with a quantitative problem and must select the correct answer from five options. These questions assess your basic arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis skills.
Contrarily, Data Sufficiency questions measure your ability to analyze a problem and determine if the given data is sufficient to answer it. You’ll be given a question followed by two statements, and you need to determine if the information in the statements, combined with the given data, is enough to solve the problem.
To perform well in this section, it is essential to have a strong foundation in basic math concepts and the ability to think critically and strategically when tackling quantitative challenges. You can also look at the example questions on its official site.
It is a vital component of the GMAT test, evaluating a test taker’s ability to comprehend and analyze written material, draw inferences, and evaluate arguments. Test takers are given 65 minutes for verbal reasoning to complete the entire section, comprising 36 multiple-choice questions. These questions are categorized into Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction.
You will read passages of varying lengths in reading comprehension and then answer questions that test your comprehension of the passage’s content, organization, and main ideas. You’ll need to conclude, make inferences, and answer specific questions about the text.
In critical reasoning and sentence correction, the questions will assess your ability to analyze arguments and grammatical or structural errors. There are usually underlined sentences in the sentence correction section, and you need to choose the most appropriate alternative among the answer choices.
IR, or Integrated Reasoning, is a unique section that focuses on your ability to evaluate information presented in various formats and draw conclusions from data. This section is comparatively short and consists of only 12 questions. But, still, you are given 30 minutes to complete it. The questions are presented in four formats: Graphic Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-Source Reasoning, and Two-part Analysis.
Critical Reasoning Questions present short arguments, testing the ability to evaluate logic and assumptions and identify flaws in the reasoning. In contrast, Sentence Correction requires identifying errors and selecting the best option to improve sentence clarity and grammar.
In this section, you’re assessed based on your ability to interpret and analyze information in various formats, such as charts, graphs, and tables. Therefore, you must have a firm grip on analytical skills, data interpretation, and critical thinking for this section.
Analytical Writing Assessment
Lastly, the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) evaluates your ability to express complex ideas clearly and coherently and analyze and critique arguments effectively. You’re given 30 minutes in this section to complete one essay prompt.
To write an essay, you’ll be presented with an argumentative passage. Your objective is to critically analyze the argument, identify its strengths and weaknesses, and provide a well-structured, logical response that challenges or supports the idea presented.
The AWA section aims to assess your writing abilities and critical thinking skills, which are crucial in academic and professional settings. It evaluates how well you can formulate and present a compelling argument, supporting your position with relevant evidence and logical reasoning. To excel in the AWA section, practice writing essays on different topics, and focus on organizing your thoughts clearly, concisely, and persuasively.
3 Tips on How to Prepare for the Test
Preparing for the GMAT requires dedication and a well-thought-out strategy. Here are three valuable tips to help you make the most of your test preparation:
Tip 1: Create a Study Plan
Before diving into your GMAT preparation, develop a comprehensive study plan. Assess your strengths and weaknesses in each section (Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing) by taking a practice test. Based on the results, allocate more study time to the areas where you need improvement.
Tip 2: Use Official Study Materials
GMAC, the organization that administers the GMAT, offers official study materials for your preparation. Start with the GMAT Official Guide, which contains real past questions from previous exams. Familiarize yourself with the types of questions you will encounter and the test format.
Tip 3: Practice Till You Make It
Consistent practice is the key to success on the GMAT. Solve many practice questions, review your answers, and understand the reasoning behind correct and incorrect responses. Focus on improving your accuracy and speed in each section. As you progress, analyze your performance to identify patterns and areas for further improvement. Incorporate timed practice sessions to build your time management skills, as managing time effectively is crucial on the actual test day.
GMAT, a globally recognized standardized exam, plays a crucial role in securing admission to MBA programs worldwide. A strong performance in this test not only showcases academic strengths but also demonstrates an individual’s ability to think critically and solve complex problems. Therefore, start your preparation now and focus on the four sections discussed above to get your desired scores. To excel, create a study plan and stick to it to improve your practice and time management skills.
We hope this comprehensive guide to GMAT will help you prepare better for the test. Make sure also to check out our Scholarships Page for different information on scholarships and universities across the globe!