Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

Definition

The term Graduate Management Admission Test refers to an examination used by graduate business schools as part of their admissions decision making process.  The GMAT tests the student's analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative and verbal skills, with total test scores that range from 200 to 800.

Explanation

The Graduate Management School Admission Test (GMAT) is used by the admissions departments of university graduate schools to identify prospective students.  The examination is administered throughout the year in test centers located throughout the world.  Results are available for online viewing in as little as 20 calendar days; reports are delivered by mail to up to five schools in that same timeframe as part of the test fee.  Schools typically require students to take the GMAT in December to be admitted to an MBA program the following fall.

The test consists of four sections and students have approximately three hours and 30 minutes to complete the entire examination, including:

  • Analytical Writing:  measures the student's ability to think critically and communicate ideas (six points, 30 minutes, one topic).
  • Integrated Reasoning:  measures the student's ability to evaluate information presented in multiple formats and from multiple sources (8 points, 30 minutes, 12 questions).
  • Quantitative Skills:  measures the student's ability to analyze data and draw conclusions using their mathematical skills (60 points, 30 minutes, 37 questions).
  • Verbal Skills:  measures the student's ability to read and understand written material as well as correct grammatical errors (60 points, 75 minutes, 41 questions).

Raw scores are converted to a scale that ranges from a low of 200 to a high of 800 points.  Students will also receive their percentile score.  For example, a score of 750 might place the student in the 97th percentile, meaning only 3% of students achieve higher raw scores.  Generally, a score of 700 or higher is required to gain entry into a top tier business school or MBA program.  The test can be taken every 31 days, but students cannot take the test more than five times in 12 months.

Related Terms

associate's degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree, doctoral degree, Latin honors, dissertationSAT ACT, LSAT, MCAT, GREMAT, DAT, PCAT