GMAT: Graduate Management Admission Test

  What is the GMAT®?

A standardized test, the Graduate Management Admissions Test measures the Verbal, Mathematical and Analytical skills. The test primarily intends to aid graduate schools of business assess the potential of the applicants for advanced study in business and management. Nearly 1000 management institutes all over the world require GMAT® scores from the applicants.

The GMAT® is different from most other customary examinations. The examination is entirely computer-based, and no two students get identical sets of questions. Also, students cannot skip questions. The test is scored on a maximum of 800. The GMAT® Score alone cannot guarantee admission into a school. The test is only one of the major factors taken into consideration in the long process of an applicant getting admitted into a Business School he/she desires.

The GMAT has three sections – Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Writing Assessment. The following is the GMAT test structure.


The US-based "Pearson VUE”, which is under the directions of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) develops and administers the GMAT®. Pearson VUE is responsible for setting questions, conducting the test and sending score reports to each examinee. For detailed information about GMAT, please refer the official website of GMAT –



Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)



- Analysis of an Argument


30 min

Integrated Reasoning (IR)  


30 min

Optional Break


8 min

Quantitative Section


75 min

- Problem Solving - Data Sufficiency



Optional Break


8 min

Verbal Section


75 min

- Reading Comprehension - Critical Reasoning - Sentence Correction




approx. 226 min


What is the IR section?

The Integrated Reasoning (IR) section will be a part of the GMAT from June 05, 2012. The IR section will:

1. Replace the AWA issue task
2. Consist of 12 questions (some with sub parts), to be done over 30 minutes
3. Not be adaptive
4. Be scored separately

The IR section will test your ability to read, understand, and interpret the information presented to you. The information will be provided in different formats (or a combination of different formats, such as text, tables, and graphs). It will test basic data interpretation based on mathematical/ verbal concepts, and you will have access to a calculator during the IR section.

What is the scoring scale for the NextGen GMAT?

  AWA section grades are from 0-6 in 0.5 increments.

  IR section is scored on a scale of 1-8 in 1 point increment.

  Quantitative score from 0 to 60 (known as scaled score). However, 51 is 98 percentile.

  Verbal score from 0 to 60 (scaled score). However, above 45 is 99 percentile on verbal.

  Total Score from 200-800 in 10 point increments.

What is the role of IR section score in university admissions process?

GMAC changed the GMAT exam and added the IR section at the request of the admissions committees of numerous B schools. So, obviously, B schools will give importance to the IR section score. However, it is difficult to guess exactly how much importance is given to sectional scores of GMAT since B schools do not release that data in the public domain.

Q1. Does admission to B schools depend only on GMAT scores?
It is one of the various criteria that the admission council looks at. However, a good GMAT score does improve chances of admission.

Q2. Does one have to be a graduate for taking the GMAT?
Not necessarily. However, to do a master's course, one has to be a graduate in any stream.


Q3. What is the cost/registration fee for GMAT?
Ans. The registration fee for taking GMAT is USD 250. After administering the test and before getting the final scores, the test takers are asked to submit the names of 5 B Schools that they would like to send their scores to. This facility is part of the USD 250 fee that is charged for the test.


Q4. How do I register for the GMAT?
Ans. You can register online or by phone or by mail. The detailed information about registering for the GMAT® can be found at


Q5. How many times in a year is GMAT exam held?
Ans. GMAT® is offered usually on all working days in India (ie, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday). The schedule can be obtained from Pearson VUE in person, through phone, e-mail or online. For more information, please visit


Q6. How many times can I take GMAT?
Ans. GMAT® can be taken unlimited number of times with a gap of a minimum of 31 calendar days between 2 tests. (It is highly advisable not to appear for GMAT too many times as it may affect the applicant’s candidature). However, one can give the test only 5 times in a calendar year.


Q.7 What is the validity of the GMAT exam?
Ans. Your GMAT score will be valid for 5 years after from the date the test was taken


Q8. What is the scoring pattern?
Ans. Scoring is between 200 (Minimum) and 800 (Maximum) with 10-point increment for Quantitative and Verbal section combined. About 2/3rd of the test takers score between 400 and 600. The Quantitative and the Verbal scores are scaled out of 60 and range between 0 and 60. Score below 9 and above 44 in Verbal and below 7 and above 50 in Quantitative are rare.

The AWA section is scored between 0 and 6 with 0.5 point increments. An AWA score of 4.0 + is a decent score.


Q9. How soon do I get my score?
Ans. You will see your score for the math and verbal section the moment you finish the exam but official scores (with scores for AWA) take one to three weeks to reach you.


Q10. How do I pass on my score to the colleges where I want to apply to?
Ans. The universities only accept official scores sent directly by Pearson VUE. Scores to five colleges can be sent free of cost while taking the exam. Subsequently, for each score report sent to a college, you would have to pay $28.


Q14. Is GMAT valid only for going abroad or it has some relevance in India also?
Ans. GMAT® is accepted in a lot of Indian Business schools like ISB, IIMA (PGPX), IIMC (PGPEX), SP Jain, Great Lakes, etc.