The GMAT is an exam designed specifically for students applying to MBA programs. If you want to study business or management, there is a high probability that you will be required to take the GMAT exam.

GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admission Test. This standardized exam is 3,5 hours long and a lot of business schools use it to assess your potential for successful completion of the business degree. Not all business schools require you to take the test – some of them also accept GRE scores. Find out what your dream school’s requirements are before you make the decision about which test to take.

Scoring system

To understand the scoring system of the GMAT exam, one needs to first understand what different sections are being tested.

  • Analytical Writing Assessment – this is the essay writing part and takes 30 minutes. The score for this section is given on a scale of 0 to 6.
  • Integrated Reasoning – this section assesses your reasoning skills when working with various question formats. There are 12 questions that require you to interpret and analyze data from such sources as graphics or tables. Multiple correct answers might be available. The score is given on a scale of 1 to 8.
  • Quantitative section – in this section you are required to solve quantitative problems. Your mathematics, algebra, and geometry skills are assessed which in turn gives business schools a rough idea about the applicant’s problem-solving skills. You may not use a calculator during the exam. The score is given on a scale of 0 to 60.
  • Verbal section – this section consists of reading comprehension questions, critical reasoning problems, and sentence correction to check your English grammar and communication skills. The score is given on a scale of 0 to 60.

The AWA and IR sections are scored separately as standalone sections while the Quantitative section and Verbal section scores are combined to give a score ranging from 200 to 800. This is called the total score.

The total score is not so simple to measure due to the fact the two sections are conducted using computer-adaptive format. This means that the test difficulty is adjusted according to the test taker’s ability. As you answer correctly, you get higher difficulty questions next. Answering them gives you a better score than if you were to answer correctly to low-difficulty questions. So, in total, you get three different scores when taking the GMAT exam. Some schools might value some scores over others.

Preparation

Because the GMAT is a standardized test, you need to get to know it really well to get a good score. The more practice tests you complete, the more you will know what to expect on the day of the test. Most test-takers study for three to five months to thoroughly prepare for the GMAT.

You need to make sure you have all the necessary resources. The best GMAT prep book should allow you to check which sections you do worse in so that you know what to focus on. The Capitol Words website has many textbook and prep book reviews that you can use to find the perfect book for you.