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The Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®) is a standardized assessment—delivered in English—that helps business schools assess the qualifications of applicants for advanced study in business and management. Schools use the test as one predictor of academic performance in an MBA program or in other graduate management programs.
What the GMAT® Measures
The GMAT® exam measures basic verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills that you have developed over a long period of time in your education and work. It does NOT measure:
- Your knowledge of business,
- Your job skills,
- Specific content in your undergraduate or first university course work,
- Your abilities in any other specific subject area, or subjective qualities—such as motivation, creativity, and interpersonal skills.
Format and Timing
The GMAT® exam consists of three main parts, the Analytical Writing Assessment, the Quantitative section, and the Verbal section.
Analytical Writing Assessment
The GMAT® exam begins with the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA). The AWA consists of two separate writing tasks—Analysis of an Issue and Analysis of an Argument. You are allowed 30 minutes to complete each one.
Following an optional ten-minute break, you begin the Quantitative Section of the GMAT® exam. This section contains 37 multiple-choice questions of two question types—Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving. You will be allowed a maximum of 75 minutes to complete the entire section.
After a second optional ten-minute break, you begin the Verbal Section of the GMAT® exam. This section contains 41 multiple choice questions of three question types—Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction. You are allowed a maximum of 75 minutes to complete the entire section.
Understanding Your GMAT® Scores
The Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®) yields four scores: Verbal, Quantitative, Total, and Analytical Writing Assessment. Each of these scores is reported on a fixed scale and will appear on the official GMAT® score reports that you and your designated score recipients (programs) receive.
Your Score Report
Score reports include all your GMAT® scores from tests taken in the last five (5) years. The contact and demographic information that was required for you to register for the test will also appear on your score report.
The digital photograph you provided at the test center will be sent with your score report to the score recipients you select, if those recipients have asked to receive such information. In addition, if you provided the following background information during registration or on the day of the test, it may also appear on your score report: telephone number; undergraduate institution, grade point average (GPA), major, and date of graduation; intended graduate study; and the highest level of education attained. This information is self-reported and will be marked as such.
For each of your scores on the GMAT® test (Verbal, Quantitative, Total, and Analytical Writing Assessment) you will receive a percentile rank. Each rank indicates the percentage of examinees who scored below you based on the scores of the entire GMAT® testing population for the most recent three-year period. Your percentile rank may change from year to year. However, your scaled score never changes
Total, Verbal, and Quantitative Scores
Total GMAT® scores range from 200 to 800. Two-thirds of test takers score between 400 and 600.
The Verbal and Quantitative scores range from 0 to 60. Scores below 9 and above 44 for the Verbal section or below 7 and above 50 for the Quantitative section are rare. Both scores are on a fixed scale and can be compared across all GMAT® test administrations. The Verbal and Quantitative scores measure different constructs and cannot be compared to each other.
Please note that, if you do not finish in the allotted time, you will still receive scores as long as you have worked on every section. However, your scores will be calculated based upon the number of questions answered, and your score will decrease significantly with each unanswered question.
Analytical Writing Assessment Score
The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) score is an average of the ratings given to the Analysis of an Issue and the Analysis of an Argument sections.
Each response is given two independent ratings. Once both essays have been scored, the scores are averaged to provide an overall score. Scores for the AWA range from 0 to 6 in half-point intervals.
Writing scores are computed separately from the multiple-choice scores and have no effect on the Verbal, Quantitative, or Total scores.
How AWA Is Scored
Each of your essays in the AWA section will be given two independent ratings, one of which may be performed by an automated essay-scoring engine. The automated essay-scoring engine is an electronic system that evaluates more than 50 structural and linguistic features, including organization of ideas, syntactic variety, and topical analysis.
If the two ratings differ by more than one point, another evaluation by an expert reader is required to resolve the discrepancy and determine the final score.
College and university faculty members trained as readers for the AWA will consider the following:
- The overall quality of your ideas about the issue and argument presented
- Your overall ability to organize, develop, and express those ideas
- The relevant supporting reasons and examples you used
- Your ability to control the elements of standard written English
In considering the elements of standard written English, readers are trained to be sensitive and fair in evaluating the responses of examinees whose first language is not English.
If you have reason to believe that your scores for the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) portion of the GMAT® test are not accurate, you may request that your essays be rescored.
When Are GMAT® Scores Available?
When you schedule your GMAT® appointment you will be asked to indicate if you wish to access your Official Score Report online or in the mail. Please note that you must respond to both essay prompts and work on each multiple-choice section of the test in order to obtain an Official Score Report.
Unofficial scores from the Verbal and Quantitative multiple-choice sections, along with the Total score, are available immediately after you complete the test. The Unofficial Score Report will also contain an authorization number.
If you chose to receive your Official Score Report online, you will generally receive an e-mail within 20 calendar days of testing, with a link to access your Official Score Report online. After clicking the link you must enter the authorization number from the Unofficial Score Report to view the Official Score Report. You may view, download, or print your Official Score Report, which includes the AWA score.
If you opted to receive your Official Score Report by mail, it will be sent to you approximately 20 calendar days after testing. Please note that it may take longer than 20 calendar days for the Official Score Report to reach you due to variances in delivery time.
Programs that you select to receive your scores while at the test center will receive your Official Score Report approximately 20 calendar days after testing. If you send your scores to programs by ordering an Additional Score Report (ASR) after your testing experience, those programs will receive your scores in approximately seven (7) calendar days.
Retaking the GMAT® Exam
Sometimes it is necessary or desirable to take the GMAT® test more than once. For example, a graduate management program may request more recent scores than you have on record. However, unless your scores seem unusually low compared with other indicators of your preparation for graduate management study, or unless there are other reasons to believe that you did not do your best on a test for which scores have been reported, taking the GMAT® test again may not be helpful. Statistically, retesting is unlikely to result in a substantial increase in your scores; in fact, your scores may decrease. If you repeat the test, any scores for tests you have taken in the past five years will still be reported to the graduate management programs you designate as score recipients. If you repeat the test and want to resend your scores to programs that previously received your scores, you must reselect the programs at the time you take the test or order an Additional Score Report after your exam with the appropriate fee. Any repeated GMAT® testing is subject to the GMAT® retest policy.
How Schools Use Your Scores
GMAT® scores have two important characteristics:
- They are reliable measures of certain developed skills that have been found to be important in the study of management at the graduate level. They have also been shown to be good predictors of academic success in the first year of study at graduate schools of management.
- Unlike undergraduate grade point averages (or assessments) and curricula, which vary in their meaning across institutions, GMAT® scores provide school professionals with a consistent, standardized evaluation tool for all applicants.
GMAC® has published guidelines for the use of GMAT® scores. The guidelines are provided to all graduate management schools that use GMAT® scores. The test alone does not measure all the characteristics related to success in graduate school. Admissions committees may also consider an applicant’s undergraduate record and other information obtained from applications, interviews, and letters of recommendation.
Each school evaluates the scores in its own way; there are no “passing” or “failing” GMAT® scores. Your GMAT® performance can be related by a school to that of the original 1954 scales, the total testing population for the past three (3) years, or others applying to the same school (local norms).
Pay for the Test
The fee to take the Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®) is US$250 worldwide. You will incur taxes when you schedule an exam in certain countries. Please click tax rates to determine the tax you will have to pay to take the GMAT® exam in certain countries.
There is a US$50 fee to reschedule the date, time, or location of a GMAT® exam appointment if you reschedule your appointment at least seven full calendar days before the date and time of your original appointment. If you reschedule within seven calendar days of the date and time of your original appointment, you will be charged the full registration amount. The rescheduling fee is subject to change without notice.
You will incur taxes when you reschedule an exam in certain countries. Please click tax rates to determine the tax you will have to pay to take the GMAT® exam in certain countries.
For details on how to reschedule your test date or transfer from one test center to another, please see Reschedule a GMAT® Appointment.
You will receive a US$80 refund when you cancel your test appointment more than seven full calendar days in advance of the date and time of your appointment. The cancellation refund is subject to change without notice. If you cancel your appointment within seven full calendar days of your appointment date and time, you forfeit your entire registration fee. For details on how to cancel your test appointment, please see Cancel a GMAT® Appointment.
Additional Score Report Fee
The fee to send an Additional Score Report is US$28. To learn more about Additional Score Reports, please see Selecting Your Score-Report Recipients. You will incur taxes when you request Additional Score Reports (ASRs) in certain countries. Please click tax rates to determine the tax you will have to pay in certain countries.
Preferred Forms of Payment
Credit card (Visa®, MasterCard®, American Express®, or JCB®)
Debit card (Visa® or MasterCard® only)
Cashier’s check (mailed forms only)
Money order (mailed forms only)
Personal check (mailed forms only)
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Register for GMAT
You may register for the test online, by phone, by mail, or by fax at www.mba.com and you can also see the availability of the seat on your desired center.