What is GMAT?

The Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) is organised by Graduate Management Admission Council. The exam scores are admissible in more than 100 countries and is trustworthy when it comes to the assessment of the academic capabilities of candidates. An online exam known to test the analytical and critical thinking ability of candidates, GMAT is accepted as an eligible test by more than 2000 business schools. It is one of the most trusted tests for scores during admission.

What is the Format?

The exam is for a time duration of 3 hours 7 minutes with additional time for logging into the computer system. It is divided into the following sections:

  • Quants (62 minutes)- 31 questions- Problem Solving and Data sufficiency
  • Verbal (65 minutes)- 36 questions- Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction
  • Analytical Writing Assessment (30 minutes)- 1 essay writing question on argument analysis
  • Integrated Reasoning (30 minutes)- 12 questions- combination of quants and verbal

The candidate can take two 8-minute breaks, one after each section.

The exam is computer adaptive meaning the next set of questions to the candidate is based on their answer to the given question which is stored and marked accordingly. This also takes away the liberty to go back to a question and change the answer. It helps the computer to assess the ability of the candidate then and there in the most accurate manner. The exam results can be viewed immediately after the exam is taken.

The final score consists of both section wise and a total score with a percentile which is a relative percentage given to the candidate on the basis of the marks obtained by the other candidates who took the exam.

COVID-19 changes:

Some changes to be noted for the exam format due to the pandemic situation are:

  • Elimination of Analytical Writing section
  • Only one 5-minute break allowed after quants and verbal section
  • Fixed format of sections
  • One-week later results

Section wise analysis:

  • AWA- This tests the critical abilities of a candidate because the candidate is presented with an argument that they need to find loopholes in and write an essay about it. It is the best way to test a candidate’s ability to think critically and can do wonders to the candidate’s profile. This does not add up to the total 800 score of GMAT but is used by institutes to analyse the candidate’s academic capability.
  • IR- Graphic Interpretation, two-part analysis, table analysis And multisource reasoning make a part of the integrated reasoning section of GMAT. This comes in with a combination of both verbal and quants abilities and again does not add to the 800 GMAT score but can make a difference and give the candidate an edge when being considered for different institutes.

The QA and verbal sections of GMAT are very similar to the ones that other competitive exams offer. So, it is important that the candidates work on the concepts and make sure they are crystal clear to avoid errors that can be made on the exam day.

The exam with proper preparation of each section and dedicated time to each one can lead to a successful attempt.