What you need to know about the GMAT

Student taking the Graduate Management Admission Test.

The GMAT is taken by college graduates, or pending graduates, as they seek admission to business schools for graduate programs in management. It is a computer adaptive test, which means that each question level is based on your expertise on the previous question. If you answer a question correctly, the next question will be a bit harder. The difficulty is reduced when you answer a question incorrectly.

The total score possible for the Verbal and Quantitative sections is between 200 and 800. The testing company states that about 66% of test-takers score between 400 and 600 on these two sections. You will also receive test results for each individual section of the GMAT.

Scores on the Integrated Reasoning section range between 1 and 8. The Analytical Writing section will be scored by both a machine and a human reader, on a scale of six points. If the two scores differ by more than one point, an additional score is determined by an expert human reader and this would be considered your final score.

Unofficial scores on all sections except Analytical Writing will be available upon completion of the test.

What are the costs?

The fee for taking the GMAT is $250.

There are extra charges for rescheduling the GMAT appointment you make.

What should I bring?

On the day of the test, you will be required to show a current, government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license, military ID, green card, or passport. All information on the ID must match the information you gave when registering for the GMAT.

Additional requirements may apply if you take the GMAT outside of the United States. See this page from the official GMAT website for further information.

The testing center will provide a storage locker. The only items allowed in the testing room are your ID, locker key, prescription glasses, a light jacket or sweater, and tissues or cough drops as approved by the testing center. You will be able to access the locker for snacks and medication between sections of the test. No cell phones are allowed in the testing room and you will not be allowed access to your phone during the entirety of the testing sessions.

Do not bring a calculator. One will be provided for your use only during the Integrative Reasoning section.

What kind of job can I get?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists numerous occupations available to candidates with a business management degree. They range from managing farms to the management of entire corporations. Fields of interest include education, technology, industry, community service, company management, and management of natural resource organizations.

Am I eligible?

You should plan on taking the GMAT at least 2 months before your applications to management school are due. Scores are valid for 5 years, so taking the test even earlier may be advisable. That way you can be assured of sufficient time to study and retake the test to improve your scores.

Why does it matter?

Your prospective business schools want to know how capable you are in various areas. They are looking for students who will be successful in their programs of study. The GMAT demonstrates your level of skills in areas important for business management school success. Your GMAT scores will weigh heavily in your acceptance at the management school of your choice.

What salary can I expect?

Compensation in the field of business management varies as widely as the opportunities in this job arena. The fields listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show average salaries ranging from $43,000 to well over $100,000 annually.

When is it available?

The GMAT is administered year-round at testing centers located in numerous areas. To register, go to the official GMAT website to make an appointment and pay the fee.

Time Allowed

There are four timed sections in this test. In total, testing time is about 3.5 hours and is divided in this way:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment: 30 minutes
  • Integrated Reasoning: 30 minutes
  • Quantitative: 75 minutes
  • Verbal: 75 minutes
Practice using our expertly crafted questions!