The GMAT, or Graduate Management Admissions Test, is the most commonly taken test for admissions into MBA and other graduate Business programs. Test scores, work experience, and essays are the most important factors for admission into most MBA programs.
The GMAT consists of 4 sections which always appear in the same order.
9 of the math questions and 11 of the verbal questions are “experimental," meaning that they have no impact on your final score. The experimental questions are not identified as such and can appear anywhere within their respective sections. There are short breaks after the Integrated Reason section and the Quantitative section.
The GMAT is best known for its 200-800 score which is a composite of the Math and Verbal scores.
Math and Verbal scores themselves theoretically range from 0 to 60. There have been no reliable reports of scores below 7 or above 51 for either of these subscores. That the Graduate Admissions Management Council (GMAC) continues to claim in all their literature that the range is from 0 to 60 is one of the great absurdities of standardized testing.
The essay, which is scored on a scale of 0 to 6, and the integrated reasoning, which is scored on a scale of 1 to 8, have at most a marginal impact on admissions decisions.
You will receive your unofficial scores, except for the essay score, as soon as you complete the test. Your official scores, which rarely differ from your unofficial scores, and your essay score will be sent to you and any schools you indicated when you took the test within 20 days of your completion of the test.
The GMAT is a Computer Adaptive Test (or CAT). This has several important effects on both the format of the test and on basic strategy.
The GMAT is available year round at a variety of testing centers. Weekend dates are particularly popular, so you’ll want to make sure to sign up well in advance if you need a weekend date.
Generally, it’s a good idea to allow for 3-6 months of preparation for your GMAT, depending on how much improvement you need to achieve your target score.
The test fee is $250. You can reschedule your test date for a $50 fee more than 7 calendar days before the test date. If you wait until 7 days before or less, rescheduling costs the same as signing up for the test in the first place ($250).
Finally, you must wait 30 days after taking the test to retake the exam.