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The Graduate Management Admission Test

The test measures skills and abilities that develop over time. Although it is basically verbal and mathematical, the complete test offers a method of measuring overall ability. It doesn't test specific knowledge in specific subject areas.

The test has three main sections - quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning , and analytical writing. Each complete test has the same format and areas of content, but specific questions vary from one to another. The questions are continuously replaced, but must fit the overall content and statistical requirements for the test.

The GMAT is only available as a Computer Adaptive Test ( CAT )


The test scores are intended as one measure of your ability to do graduate work. The test aims to predict your chances of academic success in the first year of an MBA program. It yields four scores - verbal, quantitative, total, and analytical writing.

Quantitative, Verbal and Total Scores
Both verbal and quantitative scores range from 0 to 60, (scores below 10 and above 46 are unusual). These are on a fixed scale and can be compared across any individuals. They measure different things and are not comparable to each other. The total scores for the test ranges from 200 to 800.

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Analytical Writing Score
The analytical writing score is an average of the ratings given to two writing tasks. Each response is given two independent ratings. Once both essays by a candidate have been scored, they are averaged to provide an overall score. This average score can range from 0 to 6 in half point intervals.

How Schools Use and Interpret Scores
Test scores have two important characteristics:

1. They are reliable measures of certain developed skills that have been found to be important in the study of management/business at the graduate level. They have been found to be good, but imperfect, in predicting academic success in the first year of study at Graduate Schools of Management.

2. Unlike academic grades, which vary in meaning across School, test scores are based on the same standard for all test takers.


The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has published guidelines for the use of test scores. Because the test only measures some of the characteristics related to success in graduate School, Schools usually use test scores as only one source of information. Undergraduate record and information obtained from applications, interviews, and letters of recommendation are other good predictors of success. Each School evaluates the scores in its own way. Some set and state a minimum total score for entry.



The test is available, year-round, at test centers throughout the world. In the United States, U.S. territories, Canada, and Puerto Rico, it may be possible to schedule your test within a few days of taking it, but popular dates (especially weekends) book up quickly. In some countries the test may be offered only once per year, so planning is essential. Refer to the admissions deadlines of the Schools to which you are applying and make your appointment early enough to increase your chances of receiving your chosen test date and the test center most convenient to you. You cannot take the test more than one time in any calendar month, even if you have taken the test and cancelled your scores. If you test more than once in a calendar month, your new scores will not be reported and your test fee will be forfeited.

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