A test which is usually taken by candidates who want to get admission into a graduate management program, program such as MBA and Masters in Finance related courses in top business schools across the world.
Most business school admission committees look at the GMAT score, along with work experience, academic record, and supporting materials, to assess the readiness for the rigors of an MBA program.
The GMAT is developed and administered by GMAC, which determines what kinds of skills the GMAT should measure — and how it should measure them.
The GMAT is a computer adaptive test intended to assess certain analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English.
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GMAT VS GRE
Most schools today accept scores from GMAT or GRE for MBA programs.
What this means is that, you have more options now either to take GMAT or GRE.
But before you decide which test to take, research the business schools you’re interested in and find out if they will accept GRE scores instead of GMAT scores.
Then compare the differences between these two test.
Below are few differences between GRE and GMAT.
The GRE consists of a 60-minute Analytical Writing section – with two essays at 30 minutes each.
There are two 30-minute Verbal Reasoning sections. There are two 35-minute Quantitative Reasoning sections.
There’s also a 30-35 minute experimental section that can be either math or verbal.
The GMAT on the other hand, consists of a 30-minute Analytical Writing section with one essay, a 30-minute Integrated Reasoning section, a 62-minute Quantitative section and a 65-minute Verbal section.
GRE is offered as a computer adaptive by section exam.
The paper version is only offered in areas of the world where computer-delivered testing is not available.
The GMAT on the other hand, is a computer-adaptive test.
Verbal and Quantitative scores for GRE ranges from 130 to 170 in 1-point increments.
The overall, or composite, GMAT score ranges from 200 to 800 in 10-point increments.
GRE computer adaptive test takes 3.75 hours, whiles the paper version takes 3.5 hours.
GMAT on the other hand takes 3.5 hours.
GMAT in general is suitable for people who have strong quantitative and analytical skills, who also excel at interpreting data presented in charts, tables, and text to solve complex problems.
The GRE math section tends to be more straightforward and, unlike the GMAT, includes a calculator for all quantitative problems.
Strong editors may gravitate to the GMAT’s verbal section while test-takers with strong vocabularies may prefer the GRE.
Getting into business school is competitive, so the best way to determine which test to go for: GMAT VS GRE is to get your feet wet with a practice test for each exam.
For business school candidates, first make sure that your program accepts the GRE.
If so, see which test better shows off your strengths. If you’re unsure, take a (free) official GRE practice test and an official GMAT test.
You can also compare the GMAT scores of MBA programs with your achieved score. For the GRE, use these average GRE test scores.
If you score significantly better on one, then the answer is clear.
If there isn’t much difference, spend a week getting a feel for each test to see which one suit your skill set better.
GMAT PRACTICE TEST
If you want to prepare for the GMAT, then one important thing to keep in mind is the taking of a GMAT timed practice test.
The official test makers offers two full-length GMAT practice tests on its free GMAT Prep Software.
You will first have to create an account and then download the software, after which you can access the two tests.
You’ll also get 90 free GMAT practice questions — 30 Quantitative, 45 Verbal, and 15 Integrated Reasoning.
The two free GMAT practice tests are almost identical to what you’ll see on test day.
They feature all four sections of the test — Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Integrated Reasoning (IR), Quantitative, and Verbal — and have realistic instruction screens between each section.
Because the questions are made by the GMAC themselves, they are the most realistic representation of GMAT questions.
Your exam will also be scored in the same way that the real GMAT will be.
Please keep in mind though that there’s a certain margin of error.
Total scores within 30 to 40 points of each other are considered to fall in the same range.
Also there are few differences between the free GMAT practice tests and the real exam.
The practice tests allow you to pause time and take as much time as you want reading instructions.
On the real GMAT, you’ll have 10 minutes to read the AWA tutorial and only one minute for all of the other instruction screens.
You can also pause the practice tests at any time, flag questions that you’re not sure about, and reveal a question’s answer whenever you like.
None of these options, of course, will be available to you when you take the real test, but they’re helpful study tools.
There’s one other useful feature of these two official GMAT practice tests. Because they draw on a huge pool of practice questions, you can actually take each one more than once.
You might see a few repeat questions, but most will be new the second and even third time. In essence, you have four to six free practice tests at your disposal thanks to the GMAT Prep Software.
GMAT TEST DATES
GMAT test has no official fixed dates. You can choose any date for your test according to your convenience and availability.
In case you want to retake the test you can do so after 16 days.
You can take or retake the GMAT exam after every 16 days.
You can appear for the exam a maximum of five times a year.
Ideally, candidates are recommended to register themselves two to three months before the exam date.
Registration can be done online or by phone.
It is always safer to stick with early registration as you will then have a set schedule to prepare for the exam accordingly.
Most coaching institutions recommend you to register at the earliest available date so that you have a wide window of time to prepare.
The candidates receive almost the entire GMAT Score Report just after finishing the GMAT test except for the AWA Score.
The candidate will have the option of accepting it or rejecting it.
In the case of accepting the result, the candidate and the institutes of choice can view the result; but if the candidate declines the result none of the parties will be able to view the result of GMAT.
Once the exam is over, candidates can download the non-official GMAT result.
Finally, the candidates receive the complete GMAT Score Report within 20 days of giving the test including the AWA Score.
GMAT SCORE CHART
On the GMAT, you’ll answer questions in four sections: Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, and the AWA.
The number of questions you answered correctly in Verbal and Quant are then turned into a score of 0-60 in each section.
Finally, these 0-60 scores are combined and scaled to give you your overall score on a 200-800 scale.
In other words, the “total” GMAT score report only combines your Verbal and Quantitative section scores, but doesn’t take your IR or AWA scores into account.
Remember this key fact as we take a closer look at GMAT scoring, because you’re going to see a lot of different score types!
When you apply for MBA programs, you’ll be contending against your peers for a limited number of desirable spots, so your GMAT score will have to compare favorably to theirs.
This means that your GMAT percentile rankings are arguably even more important than your score itself.
GMAT percentile rankings, which are provided on your score report, let you know how you did on the exam as a whole and on every section of the exam in comparison to other test-takers.
For example, a total score (that is, the Verbal and Quantitative sections combined) of 650 will give you a percentile ranking of 75%.
A 75% percentile ranking means that you got a higher total score than (or equal total score to) 75% of your peers and a lower total score than 24% of fellow GMAT test-takers.
650, then, is a good starting benchmark for a high GMAT score: it usually lingers around the 75% percentile ranking spot, which is a solid place to be relative to your fellow applicants.
A low GMAT score, on the other hand, is anything under 550.
GMAT SAMPLE QUESTIONS
One of the best ways to prepare well for the GMAT is to try some GMAT sample questions.
Here are free sample GMAT questions to take advantage of: