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The ultimate guide to the GMAT exam

For any MBA student, their GMAT exam scores are the most essential part of their university application. So, to help with your GMAT preparation, this blog tells you all about the GMAT exam.

No time to read? Check out this video with all the GMAT exam info!

The GMAT exam is the first step towards a prosperous career in business management. All the top universities in the USA require GMAT test scores to determine the eligibility of students. If you’re not familiar with GMAT or confused about GMAT preparation, don’t worry. This article covers all you need to know about the GMAT exam.

What is GMAT Exam?

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is an exam designed to assess a person’s analytical writing, verbal, quantitative and reading skills in written English. The exam is a pre-requisite for admission in graduate management programs such as MBA and Masters in Finance. The GMAT exam is used as a standard measure of applicants’ abilities and preparedness for graduate-level academic work. All top-ranked business universities include it in their admission criteria.

The GMAT exam is computer-adaptive. This means that the difficulty of the next question will depend on the correctness of your latest answer.

GMAT Syllabus

Girl paying the GMAT exam fees and procuring the GMAT exam dates
The GMAT exam fee is US $250 and it is ideal to book your GMAT exam date 2-3 months prior to your preferred test date.

The new format of the GMAT exam comprises of four sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Section, Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing. Students have the option of choosing the order to attempt these sections in. While the exam initially lasted longer, right now, the total time for the GMAT exam is clocked at 3 hours and 30 minutes. This includes test instructions and breaks.

The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative sections have 36 questions. Both of these are clocked at 75 minutes each. While the Analytical Writing and Integrated Reasoning sections are timed at 30 minutes each. You will have to write about a single topic in Analytical Reasoning, and attempt 12 questions in the Integrated Reasoning section.

The information and instructions for each category can certainly be confusing. So here’s a breakdown of these 4 sections:

1) Analytical Writing

The syllabus of this section is open-ended. For the test, you may be given any relevant topic of interest. These topics are mainly, of general interest or related to the field of business. You may also be asked questions from some of the passages and you have to frame your answers accordingly.

2) Integrated Reasoning

This section tests the student’s ability to understand the data presented in a graphical or tabular format. This section consists of 12 questions which are based on the following topics:

  • Multi-source Reasoning
  • Table Analysis
  • Two-part Analysis
  • Graphics Interpretation

3) Quantitative Section

The Quantitative section has two sub-sections. Both of them have 18 questions each. These questions are objective and multiple-choices, therefore your GMAT prep requires a thorough study of both. This section comprises of fundamentals in Mathematics like:

  • Permutation and combinations
  • Geometry
  • Ratio Proportions
  • Linear equations
  • Exponents and roots
  • Arithmetic
  • Elementary Algebra
  • Properties of Integers

4) Verbal Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning has 36 multiple-choice questions and is divided into three sub-sections. These sub-sections are Critical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and Sentence Correction. They will cover the following topics:

  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Critical reasoning
  • Sentence correction related to finding error or omission
  • Rhetorical construction of the sentences
  • Parallelism
  • Countable vs uncountable
  • Reading unseen passages
  • Misplace modifiers

What do the top B-schools want?

MIT Sloan main building and GMAT scores for top business schools
Like all the B-Schools mentioned below, MIT Sloan’s programs rank at the very top in the World University Rankings. MIT Sloan has 120,000 successful Alumni spread across the globe.

Before you apply to any business schools, it is important to know the average GMAT score of the last incoming classes. To help you along, here are the average GMAT scores for top business schools in the USA:

1Stanford GSB733
2Wharton (Penn)732
3Chicago Booth726
4Harvard Business School725
5Kellogg (Northwestern)724
6Yale SOM721
7New York Stern720
8Tuck (Dartmouth)717
9MIT Sloan716
10Columbia University715

To give your best shot at the GMAT exam, your mind must be free from all dull details of paperwork. And to ease your admission process, you need a reliable consulting firm to help you get through.

iSchoolConnect are overseas education consultants that help students throughout the admissions process by finding the right program and universities across the globe. Contact us to know more about the admission process in the top universities in the US.

We have several helpful blogs for students who wish to know about the GRE exam, IELTS exam, writing the Letter of recommendation, and so much more!


About the author

Bright, bold, and bubbly, Akanksha Vora is a writer at iSchoolConnect. She writes creative and curious blogs that help students with their life and studies abroad.


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