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The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized test for measuring the academic abilities of prospective MBA students. Although the GMAT originally comes from the USA, business schools all over the world are now using it as an admission criterion. The GMAT is developed and administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), an international non-profit organization based in Virginia.
GMAT target group
Many business schools and universities around the world require applicants for MBA programs to have a current GMAT score. Participants in the MBA programs come from all over the world, come from different study systems and do not necessarily have the same academic background. The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) helps to compare candidates better. Therefore, both local and international interested parties must take the test.
As an alternative to GMAT, some business schools – especially in the USA – also accept the GRE. Those who have already passed this admission test should check whether this is still necessary before taking the GMAT.
Test contents and test structure of the GMAT
The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) examines four areas:
- Scientific Writing (Analytical Writing Assessment)
- Networked Thinking (Integrated Reasoning)
- Mathematical Thinking (Quantitative Section)
- Linguistic reasoning (Verbal Section)
The GMAT consists mainly of multiple choice questions and lasts three hours and thirty minutes.
The Analytical Writing Assessment test takes thirty minutes. There are no multiple-choice questions in this part of the GMAT. Instead, the candidates write a text in which they analyse and evaluate a given argumentation on a certain topic. GMAC provides on its website a list of all the topics that may be considered.
The GMAT also provides for a thirty-minute part of the Integrated Reasoning exam, which will also last for thirty minutes. Here the examiners answer multiple-choice questions. This involves capturing complex interrelationships and evaluating information from data material (diagrams, graphics, tables). For this part of the GMAT test, participants may use a calculator provided by GMAC. Participants are not allowed to use their own devices.
More than 75 minutes of multiple-choice questions on mathematical contexts have to be answered in the Quantitative Section. In this part of the GMAT, the use of a calculator is not allowed.
The verbal section also takes 75 minutes. The multiple-choice questions in this part examine reading comprehension, reasoning skills and linguistic expression.
Graduate Management Admission Test Rating Scale
Each of the four parts of the test receives its own score. The Quantitative and Verbal sections are rated on a scale of 0 (low) and 60 (high) points. These two scores form the total score of the GMAT. The total score ranges from 200 to 800 points.
The valuation of the other two parts is not included in the overall valuation, but is shown separately. For the Analytical Writing Assessment 0 to 6 points are awarded, for the Integrated Reasoning Assessment 1 to 8 points.
It is possible to repeat the GMAT to improve the score. The test can be taken once every 31 days and a maximum of five times within twelve months.
Preparing for the GMAT
The organizer GMAC offers various learning aids to prepare for the GMAT. Whoever creates a free account online will get access to the GMATPrep software. In addition, there are also various fee-based offers, such as the Official Guide or a collection of questions.
GMAT Test Centres and Examination Dates
There are test centres around the world that offer GMAT continuously throughout the year. In Germany, for example, they are located in Frankfurt, Berlin, Düsseldorf and Hamburg. In Austria there is currently only one test centre in Vienna. In Switzerland, on the other hand, there is a centre in Zurich, St. Gallen and Lausanne.
Each month, there are usually several examination dates to choose from. Visit the official GMAT website to see which exam dates are currently available at the desired test centre.
You can register for the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) online via the GMAT website, by telephone, mail or fax. It should be done a few weeks in advance. It is also important to take into account the deadlines of the business schools to which the test results are to be sent afterwards. The evaluation of the test can take up to twenty calendar days.
Costs and payment options
The cost of the GMAT is currently US$250 and the examination fees can be paid by credit card. If you register by post, you can also pay by cheque or money order.
GMAT Preparation Courses
- GMATPill. com – Ace your GMAT in under 1 month – Preparatory videos for the GMAT (fee required)
- Magoosh – Online GMAT Test Preparation (fee required)
Book tips for GMAT preparation
- The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2015 Bundle: The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2015 with Online Question Bank and Exclusive Video
- Manhattan GMAT Complete Strategy Guide Set, 5th Edition (Manhattan GMAT Strategy Guides)
- The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2015 Bundle (Official Guide + Verbal Guide + Quantitative Guide)