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All You Should Know About GMAT: Preparation Tips And Important Guides

GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admission Test. It is a computer-based exam or test designed to predict or assess one’s suitability for admission into MBA (Masters in Business Administration) programmes.  GMAT scores are used by graduate business schools to make admission decisions.

The GMAT is developed by GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council). Though the council does not develop the test questions, it determines the skills GMAT should measure and how to measure those skills.

It has been reported that 9 out of 10 MBA admission decisions are made using a GMAT score. So if you really want to gain admission into a business school, you need to take the GMAT.

Target audience: Business school applicants.

Required by: Business schools.

Duration: Three hours and 30 minutes (four hours if you take the optional breaks).

Cost: about US$250 (worldwide).

Test Content: The GMAT seeks to measure four skills; hence it is divided in to fours parts:

    1. Analytical writing assessment: This is a writing task. An essay analyzing an argument (one essay in 30 minutes).
    2. Integrated reasoning: A multiple choice section. Here one’s ability to evaluate information presented in different formats and from multiple sources is tested (12 questions in 30 minutes).
    3. Quantitative: One’s ability to to solve problems and understand data is tested (37 questions in 75 minutes).
    4. Verbal: Multiple choice questions testing the candidate’s ability to understand written material, evaluate arguments and correct written material to conform to standard English (41 questions in 75 minutes)

GMAT Scoring System: The verbal and quantitative sections of the GMAT are both scored from 0-60; the analytical writing is scored on a scale of 0-6 (in increments of 0.5); the integrated reasoning section is scored on a scale of 1-8 (increments of 1). The percentile rating of each of the four parts of GMAT is also provided. A combinations of the Quantitative/Verbal score called a “Total Score” is given on a scale of 200-800. A percentile rank or rating of the “Total Score”  is also awarded. It is worth mentioning that the GMAT is not a pass/fail test.

If you are not satisfied with your score, you can take the test again (a maximum of five times with a 12 month period).

What Score Do I need? The score you need will depend on the school to which you are applying since schools have different requirements. Most GMAT candidates score between 400 – 600. It is actually rare to achieve extremely high and low scores. Your official scores will be made available after 20 calendar days.

Immediately after taking the test and before you leave the test centre, you will see your unofficial scores — Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal, and Total. You will be given two minutes to decide what happens to the scores — either to accept the scores by reporting it to your target schools or cancelling the scores if you are not satisfied with the outcome.

However, if you do not make a choice,  your scores will be canceled. This is the reason you ought to know the requirements of your target schools before taking the test. This will help you easily make the decision whether to report or cancel.

You can cancel your score at the test center immediately at no charge, or within 72 hours after you complete your exam online for $25.

How Long is the Result Valid for? Five years

Preparation Tips For GMAT:

The GMAT is basically a measure of skills developed over time. Cramming may not really be helpful. The best way to prepare is to take practice tests and go through exam prep guides. It will help you learn and understand strategies for answering difficult questions as well as managing your time properly.

The Quantitative section of the GMAT contains questions related to inequalities, least common factors, greatest common multipliers, common multiples, linear equations, and other mathematical concepts. Developing the needed skills to do well in this section, depends on how well you have practiced them. In some cases, you can eliminate one or more of the answers based on the information found in the question. If a problem includes the phrase “positive integer,” for instance, you can eliminate any option that has a negative number.

The Verbal section of the test has several different types of questions. It is easier to avoid common mistakes and eliminate red herrings when one is familiar with each type. There is no need spending more time in learning definitions. Study time should be spent more on learning test-taking strategies. One of the most common questions in the verbal section is about finding the main idea of a passage. The practice of reading complex passages (such as New York Times newspaper articles) and identifying their purpose will help a student gain more possible points on this section of the exam.

The Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT comprises four fairly unique questions formats. When you are familiar with each question type, it will be easier to avoid mistakes on the actual test. Time management is especially important for this section because there is no partial credit. If you miss one part of a question, the entire question is marked wrong.

Other Important Points To Note:

  • In Verbal and Quantitative sections, the computer displays a question of medium difficulty at the beginning of each multiple-choice section of the test. If you answer a question correctly, the next question is likely to be more difficult. On the other hand, if you answer a question incorrectly, the next question will be easier.
  • Since it is a computer adaptive question, you cannot change your answer or return to a previous question.
  • Every official GMAT exam is a combination of experimental and actual test questions. However, there is no way to differentiate the questions. This is the reason it is important for students to do their very best on every question.
  • A GMAT score is based on the number of questions completed, the difficulty level of each question, and whether the given answers were correct or incorrect.

Helpful Links:

For more information on GMAT and test centres all over the world visit the official GMAT Exam Website:

If you are in Nigeria, and would like to know how to get practice questions or information on test dates, registration and where to register for GMAT in Nigeria, check this websites: and

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