What is it?
The GMAT® (Graduate Management Admission Test®) exam is a standardized assessment used around the world to measure academic potential for graduate study in business and management. Accepted by more global business schools than any other test, the GMAT exam is considered the gold standard for graduate business admissions. When it comes to your success, there is no comparison. No other exam puts you on the path to higher salaries, greater opportunities, and more career options. The GMAT lets you shine a light on the skills that matter most in the business school classroom and in your career.
Who should take it?
Quality graduate business programs worldwide rely on the GMAT exam as part of their admissions process, so if you’re serious about going to business school and getting into the program of your choice, the GMAT should be your first step. For the past 60 years, business leaders worldwide have started their MBA journey with the GMAT. Nearly 10 million students have taken it and been successful. You can too.
How do I register?
The GMAT exam is available at more than 600 test centers in 114 countries worldwide. Visit mba.com/register to schedule your GMAT exam and to find a test center in your area. Although the exam is administered year round, test takers must register at least 24 hours in advance. Appointments near program deadlines and on weekends tend to fill quickly. The test fee is US$250, and you will incur taxes when you schedule an exam in certain countries. Use the contact information listed below for any questions related to your registration.
Please Note: Email services are offered Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT. Emails sent outside of these hours will receive a response the following business day. Telephone services are available Monday-Friday at the following numbers and times:
Telephone (toll-free): +1 (800) 717-GMAT (4628), 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT
Telephone: +1 (952) 681-3680, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CT
Fax: +1 (952) 681-3681
Please Note: Email services are available Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. AEST. Response time for email sent outside of these times may be up to 48 hours. Telephone services are available Monday-Friday at the following numbers and times:
Telephone: +852-3077-4926, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. AEST
India: +91 120-439-7830, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Indian Standard Time
Fax: 60 321 784 925
Please Note: Email services are available Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. China Standard time. Response time for email sent outside of these times may be up to 48 hours. Telephone services are available Monday-Friday at the following numbers and times:
Phone: +86-10-82345675, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. China Standard Time
Europe and Middle East (EME) Region
Please Note: Email services are available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. GMT. Response time for email sent outside of these times may be up to three business days. Telephone services are available Monday-Friday at the following numbers and times:
Telephone: +44 (0) 161 855 7219, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. GMT
Fax: +44 (0) 161 855 7301
What does the GMAT exam cover?
The GMAT exam is an assessment of higher order reasoning skills that matter most to schools and businesses. The exam measures Quantitative, Verbal, Analytical Writing and Integrated Reasoning skills.
- The Quantitative section measures your ability to reason quantitatively and solve quantitative problems. Basic knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, and geometry is required, but the Quantitative section is a test of reasoning and not the underlying math skills.
- The Verbal section measures your ability to read and comprehend written material, to reason and evaluate arguments, and to correct written material to convey meaning effectively in standard written English.
- The Analytical Writing Assessment measures your ability to think critically and communicate your ideas through writing.
- The Integrated Reasoning section measures your ability to interpret and analyze data from different sources and presented in different formats to solve problems. The Integrated reasoning section helps you stand out by showcasing the skills that you need to succeed in our technologically advanced, data-rich world.
The GMAT exam is a standardized computer-based exam administered in English. The Quantitative and Verbal sections are computer adaptive, which means questions are chosen for you based on how you answered previous questions. Your score is based on the difficulty of the questions answered and the number of correct responses.
What should I expect on test day?
To arrive fully prepared on the day of your exam and perform your best, you should understand the GMAT format and pacing, practice sample questions, and review one section at a time.
- Question Formats: The GMAT exam includes question formats that you may not have seen before. Data Sufficiency questions, for example, ask you how much data you need to solve a problem rather than determining the solution. You should work through some sample questions before you sit for the test to make sure you thoroughly understand how the question formats work. This will help you focus on answering the questions efficiently during your test session.
- Pacing: The GMAT exam is timed, so knowing how to pace yourself so that you can finish each section is important. If you don’t finish you will still receive scores, as long as you have worked on every section. But not finishing can substantially affect your score.
On average, you have about one and three-quarter minutes to respond to each Verbal question and about two minutes to respond to each Quantitative question. You’ll have about two and a half minutes to answer each Integrated Reasoning question, most of which have more than one answer statement requiring a response.
Although the “Help” function will be accessible at any time during the test, any time spent reviewing the “Help” screens will count against the allotted time for that particular test section.
The exam requires minimal computer skills, such as using a keyboard and mouse. In addition, the Integrated Reasoning section will require basic computer navigation skills, such as clicking on tabs to reveal data sheets, and using drop-down menus.
When you take the GMAT exam, be prepared to read each question carefully and choose the best answer. If you do not know the answer, try to eliminate answers you know are incorrect and then guess from the remaining choices. You may not skip questions or change answers once they have been confirmed, but you do have to answer each question to move on.
For more information, a video available at mba.com/testday, shows the exam check-in procedure and what a typical test center looks like.
On the day of the exam, prospective business students can preview their unofficial scores before deciding whether to report or cancel them. This score reporting feature is available to all test takers at all 600 test centers around the world that administer the GMAT exam. As a test taker, you are given the option of reporting or canceling your scores immediately after taking the test and before leaving the test center. Under the new process, you will see your unofficial scores — Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal, and Total — and will be given two minutes to decide whether to accept them. If you do not make a choice, your scores will be canceled.
In addition, if you decide to cancel your scores at the test center, you will be able to reinstate them within 60 days of the test date for a $100 fee. After that, scores will not be retrievable.
How should I prepare for the GMAT?
Preparing for and doing well on the GMAT exam is like any goal. If you start with a solid study plan and execute it, you’ll succeed. Smart test takers get the most out of practice tests and preparation resources, understand how they learn, and stay positive throughout the process. Your study plan will help you stay on track week to week, which will translate into progress as you work through the material.
To help you familiarize yourself with the question formats and the pacing required, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) provides free GMATPrep® software (mba.com/gmatprep), which provides a first-hand look at what the exam is really like. GMATPrep® features two timed, full-length computer adaptive tests with questions that have been retired from the actual GMAT exam. The software also includes answers and explanations, as well as a comprehensive math review and real-time scoring of the multiple choice questions.
You can enhance your free GMATPrep® software download with the GMATPrep® Exam Pack 1, which features two more full-length practice exams and custom feedback on your performance.
A number of other resources are available on mba.com (mba.com/prepare). Our Preparation Timeline, for example, offers a step-by-step approach to your best GMAT, and includes links to study tips, prep products, and advice from admissions professionals for improving your weak areas and enhancing your strengths.
Official GMAT study materials are available in the mba.com store (mba.com/store), including: The Official Guide for GMAT® Review, 2016; the Official Guide for GMAT® Quantitative Review, 2016; The Official Guide for GMAT® Verbal Review, 20156 the IR Prep Tool, the GMATPrep® Software Study Collection, and much more.
Your GMAT scores
GMAT scores are the best predictor of your success. The Total score is reported on a scale of 200-800 and is based on your performance on the Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections. Unofficial score reports are available immediately following the exam at the test center. Official reports include scores on all four sections and are available within 20 days of the exam. Your GMAT score is valid for five years.
How do schools use scores?
The GMAT exam is a trusted part of the admissions process of 6,000+ business and management programs worldwide because it measures the real-life business skills that you’ll use in the classroom and throughout your career. Although your GMAT score is just one of several criteria schools use to evaluate applicants, they are reliable measures of certain developed skills that have been found to be important in the study of management at the graduate level. Unlike undergraduate grade point averages and curricula—which can vary in meaning across institutions—GMAT scores provide admissions professionals with a consistent, standardized evaluation tool for all applicants.