October 30, 2012

Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®)

What is the GMAT® test
The Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®) is a standardized test used to predict a graduate's likelihood of succeeding in a graduate school of business. It is administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC®).

Although not all business schools require candidates to take the GMAT® test, the vast majority of business schools do. The GMAT® is a timed test, which can be taken any month of the year.

How does the test assess candidates?
The test adjusts to a candidates's individual ability level, which both shortens the time it takes to complete the exam and establishes a higher level of accuracy than a fixed test. At the start of each multiple-choice section of the exam, test-takers are presented with a question of medium difficulty. As they answer each question, the computer scores their answer and uses it - as well as their responses to any preceding questions - to determine which question to present next. Correct responses typically prompt questions of increased difficulty. Incorrect responses generally result in questions of lesser difficulty.

This process will continue until candidates complete the section, at which point the computer will have an accurate assessment of their ability level in that subject area. In a computer-adaptive test, only one question at a time is presented. Because the computer scores each question before selecting the next one, candidates may not skip, return to, or change their responses to previous questions.

What is the test structure like?
The Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®) consists of four main sections:
  • Analytical Writing Assessment ( lasts 30 minutes) - consist of one writing assignment on a topic. This involves the analysis of an argument;
  • Integrated Reasoning (lasts 30 minutes) - consists of twelve questions. Involves multi-source reasoning, graphics interpretation, two-part analysis, and table analysis;
  • Quantitative test section (lasts 75 minutes) - consists of 37 multiple questions concerning problem solving and data sufficiency; and
  • Verbal section (also lasts 75 minutes) - consists of 41 questions testing a candidate's skill at reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction.
How is the test timed?
The exam is 3 hours, 30 minutes in length.

How are test scores determined?
Scores are determined by:
  • The number of questions you answer
  • Whether you answer the questions correctly or incorrectly
  • The level of difficulty and other statistical characteristics of each question.
The questions in an adaptive test are weighted according to their difficulty and other statistical properties, not according to their position in the test.

Do you really need computer skills?
You need only minimal computer skills to complete the GMAT® exam. Familiarize yourself with the mechanics of taking a computer-adaptive test by using the GMAT® tutorials that are included with the free GMATPrep® software. The tutorials cover such topics as:
  • Using a mouse
  • Entering responses
  • Moving on to the next question
  • Using the word processor
  • Accessing the Help function
Before the day of your test, review the testing tools covered in the tutorials. Although you will be able to use a Help function during the test, the time spent doing so will count against the time allotted for completing a test section.

How about my test scores? How is it reported?
Official scores are available after about three weeks, either received online or in the mail. However, unofficial scores for the Verbal and Quantitative portions can be viewed before leaving the test facility immediately after writing the test.

The higher the score, the more a candidate's chances of gaining admission to the business school of his or her choice. The GMAT® test is a fairly difficult test, and should be adequately prepared for.

GMAT® Contact Information
For more: GMAC® official GMAT® website
Frequently Asked Questions: GMAT® FAQs

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