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What Is the GMAT® Exam?
The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT*) exam is a standardized exam used in admissions decisions by more than 5,200 graduate management programs worldwide. It helps you gauge, and demonstrate to schools, your academic potential for success in graduate level management studies.
The GMAT exam is delivered entirely in English and solely on computer. It is not a test of business knowledge, subject matter mastery, English vocabulary, or advanced computational skills. The GMAT exam also does not measure other factors related to success in graduate management study, such as job experience, leadership ability, motivation, and interpersonal skills. Your GMAT score is intended to be used as one admissions criterion among other, more subjective, criteria, such as admissions essays and interviews.
Myth -vs- FACT
Myth – If I don’t score in the 90th percentile, I won’t get into any school I choose.
Fact – Very few people get very high scores.
Fewer than 50 of the more than 200,000 people taking the GMAT exam each year get a perfect score of 800. Thus, while you may be exceptionally capable, the odds are against your achieving a perfect score. Admissions officers use GMAT scores in conjunction with undergraduate records, application essays, interviews, letters of recommendation, and other information when deciding whom to accept into their programs.
Format of the GMAT® Exam
 
Questions
Timing
Analytical Writing
  Analysis of an Argument
1
30 min.
Integrated Reasoning
Multi-Source Reasoning
    Table Analysis    Graphics Interpretation    Two-Part Analysis
12
30 min.
Optional break
 
 
Quantitative
    Problem Solving
    Data Sufficiency
37
75 min.
Optional break
 
 
Verbal
    Reading Comprehension
    Critical Reasoning
    Sentence Correction
41
75 min.
                                              Total Time:
210 min.
Myth -vs- FACT
Myth – Getting an easier question means I answered the last one wrong.
Fact– Getting an easier question does not necessarily mean you got the previous question wrong.
To ensure that everyone receives the same content, the test selects a specific number of questions of each type. The test may call for your next question to be a relatively difficult problem-solving item involving arithmetic operations. But, if there are no more relatively difficult problem-solving items involving arithmetic, you might be given an easier item.
Computer-adaptive tests become more difficult the more questions you answer correctly, but if you get a question that seems easier than the last one, it does not necessarily mean you answered the last question incorrectly. The test has to cover a range of content, both in the type of question asked and the subject matter presented.
Because the computer uses your answers to select your next questions, you may not skip questions or go back and change your answer to a previous question. If you don’t know the answer to a question, try to eliminate as many choices as possible, then select the answer you think is best. If you answer a question incorrectly by mistake—or correctly by lucky guess—your answers to subsequent questions will lead you back to questions that are at the appropriate skill level for you.
When you take the test:
  • Only one question or question prompt at a time is presented on the computer screen.
  • The answer choices for the multiple-choice questions will be preceded by circles, rather than by letters.
  • Different question types appear in random order in the multiple-choice and Integrated Reasoning sections of the test.
  • You must select your answer using the computer.
  • You must choose an answer and confirm your choice before moving on to the next question.
  • You may not go back to previous screens to change answers to previous questions.
What Is the Content of the Test Like?
The GMAT exam measures higher-order analytical skills encompassing several types of reasoning. The Analytical Writing Assessment asks you to analyze the reasoning behind an argument and respond in writing; the Integrated Reasoning section asks you to interpret and synthesize information from multiple sources and in different formats to make reasoned conclusions; the Quantitative section asks you to reason quantitatively using basic arithmetic, algebra, and geometry; and the Verbal section asks you to read and comprehend written material and to reason and evaluate arguments.
Integrated Reasoning Section
The Integrated Reasoning section measures your ability to understand and evaluate multiple sources and types of information—graphic, numeric, and verbal—as they relate to one another; use both quantitative and verbal reasoning to solve complex problems; and solve multiple problems in relation to one another.
Four types of questions are used in the Integrated Reasoning section:
  • Multi-Source Reasoning
  • Table Analysis
  • Graphics Interpretation
  • Two-Part Analysis
Integrated Reasoning questions maybe quantitative, verbal, or a combination of both. You will have access to an online calculator with basic functions for the Integrated Reasoning section.
Quantitative Section
The GMAT Quantitative section measures your ability to reason quantitatively, solve quantitative problems, and interpret graphic data.
Two types of multiple-choice questions are used in the Quantitative section:
  • Problem Solving
  • Data Sufficiency
Both are intermingled throughout the Quantitative section, and both require basic knowledge of Arithmetic, elementary algebra, and commonly known concepts of geometry.
Verbal Section
The GMAT Verbal section measures your ability to read and comprehend written material, and to reason and evaluate arguments. The Verbal section is not a test of advanced vocabulary.
Three types of multiple-choice questions are intermingled throughout the Verbal section:
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Sentence Correction
Analytical Writing Assessment
The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) consists of one 30-minute writing task: Analysis of an Argument. The AWA measures your ability to think critically, communicate your ideas, and formulate an appropriate and constructive critique. You will type your essay on a computer keyboard.
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