For many people looking to pursue a higher education and create better opportunities for their future career, the GMAT is a large milestone that must first be climbed. The Graduate Management Admission Test, more commonly known as the GMAT, is the standard test for most business school admissions as it determines a test-taker’s knowledge and understanding in critical areas of graduate school ensuring they’re ready and capable of success in the program.
What is the GMAT?
The GMAT is a multiple-choice, computer-based exam offered year round for a small fee. The score from the exam is used to compare applicants for MBA programs to other applicants and is structured on a scale with a combined total of 200-800. Several different categories make up the whole exam that takes more than three hours. The four main sections include:
3) Analytical Writing Assessment
4) Integrated Reasoning
What is the Verbal Section?
Designed to test your comprehensive understanding of the English language and analytical skills, the verbal section consists of 41 questions in a few different categories: reading comprehension, sentence correction and critical reasoning. It is one of the longer sections , allowing 75 minutes for completion.
What is the Quantitative Section?
The other long 75-minute section, this is the math section and contains 37 questions surrounding data sufficiency and problem solving. Questions in this category will test your knowledge of arithmetic including algebra and geometry.
What is the Analytical Writing Assessment?
The analytical writing assessment is exactly as it sounds, an essay designed to determine your writing abilities This portion of the test is actually graded separately and differently, it doesn’t go into your overall score but receives its own score on a scale from 0 to 6. The time allowed to write the entire essay is only 30 minutes, making it one of the shorter sections of the GMAT.
What is the Integrated Reasoning Section?
The only other short section at 30 minutes in length, the integrated reasoning only consists of 12 questions. These questions test your reasoning skills in areas like graphics interpretation and analysis.
The neat thing about the GMAT and its different sections is that you actually get to choose the order in which you tackle each section. When you first sit down to take the test, you get to organize the four sections in the way you feel most comfortable with. If you want to start off with your strongest section or put the most difficult first while you’re still fresh and clear-headed, it’s completely up to you.
Why take the GMAT?
The short and simple answer as to why hundreds of test takers sit down to take the GMAT is because it is a requirement for most MBA programs. In order to get into the program you want, you must take the test and you’re going to want to do the best you possibly can to ensure you’re application is competitive enough for acceptance.
To break the answer down further and determine why the GMAT is a requirement, just look at the rest of the requirements for MBA admission. Schools and programs can’t accept anyone and everyone who feels like walking through the doors so the need a way to identify the top applicants. Although they look at a large variety of things including undergraduate transcripts, resumes and recommendation letters, a test that clearly ranks applicants’ knowledge on an easily read scale makes the process a little easier and fair. All of the factors are taken together and weighed equally to determine which applicants will get into the program.