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Exam information

What you need to know about the GMAT

The GMAT™ is taken by college graduates, or pending graduates, as they seek admission to business schools for graduate programs in management. Two of the four sections (Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning) are computer-adaptive, 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.

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Exam facts

Answers to all your questions about the GMAT

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What are the costs?

The fee for taking the GMAT™ is estimated at $250, but there may be differences based on the testing location.

There are extra charges for rescheduling the GMAT™ appointment you make. As of 2020, rescheduling fees are as follows: $50 for requests made more than 60 days before test day, $100 for requests made 15-30 days before, and $150 for reschedule requests that occur within 14 days or less of the original scheduled GMAT™ appointment.

Similarly, there are also fees if a GMAT™ appointment is outright cancelled. If the cancellation is made more than 60 days before test day, $100 will be refunded. Cancellations 15-30 days before test day offer a $75 refund, and cancellations made within 2 weeks of the appointment only offer a $50 refund.

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.

How is it scored?

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 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?

Test-takers must be at least 18 years old, or 13 years old with certified parental permission. The exam may be taken up through eight times in total, but sessions cannot be closer than 16 days apart and you may not test more than five times during one year.

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.

How much time is 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 Reasoning: 62 minutes
  • Verbal Reasoning: 65 minutes
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