The GMAT Exam – What’s The Test All About?

The GMAT Exam – What’s The Test All About?

If you are an undergraduate looking to advance your career in the finance field, enrolling for an MBA is the next step. Generally, graduate business programs are highly competitive, and a high score on your Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT®) greatly increases your chances of admission.

While your admission into business school is not fully dependent on your GMAT score, a good test score shows your academic preparedness for the rigorous graduate program.

What is the GMAT exam?

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) develops and administers the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) to measure candidates’ preparedness for graduate-level academic work. It is a standardized exam required for admission into most MBA or graduate school business programs. In addition, the exam is computer-based and computer adaptive, and you can choose to take the exam at a test center or online.

When enrolling for an MBA, your GMAT score is one of the considerations made by the business school admission committees, alongside academic records and work experience. Therefore, you must prepare and get a high score on your GMAT.

What does the GMAT Exam test?

The GMAT exam tests your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Additionally, it would be best if you understood basic arithmetic, algebra, data analysis, geometry, grammar, and communication.

What are the four components of the GMAT exam?

Overall, the GMAT contains four test sections that generate your combined total score. You can choose to take the sections at the test center soon after your computer tutorial. Consequently, here are the options you can choose from:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Integrated Reasoning (IR), Quantitative, Verbal
  2. Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning (IR), Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
  3. Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning (IR), Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

I. Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

The analytical writing assessment is the essay section that tests your writing skills. The essay is scored separately from 0 to 6 in half-point increments. In any case, it’s not part of your 200-to-800-point score. Instead, your essay score is the average of two scores; by a computer grading system and a human grader. However, if there is a significant difference in the scores, another human grader reads and gives the final score.

Generally, your writing task involves critiquing an author’s argument by analyzing their evidence and reasoning. The section takes 30 minutes to complete. You should identify and analyze parts of the argument thoughtfully and logically organize your ideas. Additionally, you should be insightful and show clear transitions between your statements.

II. Integrated Reasoning (IR)

The Integrated Reasoning section tests how well you can analyze and interpret data and information presented in different formats. The section takes 30 minutes to complete. Integrated reasoning is scored separately, with scores ranging from 1 to 8 in one-point increments. In addition, it is not part of your 200–800-point score.

The integrated Reasoning section has 12 questions in different formats, which include;

  1. Multi-source reasoning questions
  2. Two-part analysis questions
  3. Graphics interpretation questions
  4. Table analysis questions

III. Quantitative Reasoning

The quantitative reasoning section tests your numerical literacy and mathematical abilities such as arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. It takes 62 minutes to complete and includes 31 questions in total. Consequently, there are two types of questions;

1. Data sufficiency questions

Data sufficiency questions consist of a question and two statements of data. You should identify the statement providing relevant information to answer the question and thereafter eliminate the answer choices to identify the correct answer. There are 14 to 15 data-sufficiency questions in every quantitative section, and in any case, you should apply the same procedure in answering.

2. Problem-solving

Problem-solving questions include a question section and five possible answers to choose from. The standardized questions require algebra, geometry, and critical thinking skills.

IV. Verbal Reasoning

The verbal section tests your reading and comprehension skills, editing ability, and analyzing written arguments. The section consists of 36 questions and takes 65 minutes to complete. The various types of questions in this section include;

1. Reading comprehension

Reading comprehension questions test your critical reading skills, such as summarizing the main concept, differentiating between stated and implied ideas, making interpretations based on the information given, deducing the authors’ tone and attitude, and analyzing the logical structure.

The question consists of a passage on a business, social science, biological science, or physical science-related topic, and questions test your text comprehension.

2. Critical Reasoning

These questions include a short argument or statements and a question relating to them. They test your skills in making and evaluating arguments and formulating an action plan. Therefore, you should understand the structure of arguments and logically analyze the relationships between evidence and conclusions.

3. Sentence correction

This section will have long sentences consisting of an underlined part or sentence. Consequently, your task is to find the best version of the underlined section from the original or one of the four choices given. The sentence may be correct or contain several errors.

How is the GMAT Exam scored?

The Analytical Writing Assessment segment is scored from 0 to 6 in half-point increments, while the Integrated Reasoning section is scored from 1 to 8 in one-point increments. These scores are not part of your overall score.

The Verbal and Quantitative sections have a scale of 0 to 60 each. The combined scores generate your score on the 200 to 800 scale, with 10-point increments reflecting the difficulty of questions answered correctly.

The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test that adapts to your performance as you are taking the test. At the start of your exam, the computer gives you a question of medium difficulty. When you answer correctly, the computer serves increasingly difficult questions and adds the estimate of your ability and vice versa. An algorithm determines your final score by calculating your ability level based on what you got right and the difficulty level of questions answered.

Once you complete the exam, you get immediate unofficial GMAT test scores after your test, and you can choose to keep or cancel them.

Your GMAT test scores directly impact your graduate school application. Therefore, you should prepare to get a high score by studying adequately. Choose the best test prep for you from and avoid a low GMAT score.

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