An Introduction to The GMAT
Reena Vidyarthi | Articlebase
October 27, 2009
The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is an annually conducted examination. It is an analysis of the general skills and abilities that one has aggregated over time.
The GMAT test is a consistent form of evaluation that aids business schools or ‘B-Schools’ in estimating the skills and qualifications of the candidate; which are essential for advanced study in business and management. It helps to calibrate the basic verbal, mathematical and analytical writing skills of the applicant.
The examination is composed of three main sections. There is an essay section called as Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA). There are also two multiple-choice sections, namely, Quantitative and Verbal.
• Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) Section
The GMAT test commences with the Analytical Writing Assessment Section. The AWA division offers and tests two unique writing skills,
1. Analysis of an issue
2. Analysis of an argument
There are 30 minutes allotted for each type of analysis. The applicants are provided with a computer on which they can type and save their essays using a common and manageable word-processing program. After the completion of the AWA section, the Verbal and Quantitative sections follow. However, these multiple-choice questions can appear in random order.
• Quantitative Section
On the completion of the AWA section there is an optional ten-minute break; after which the Quantitative section starts. This division of the GMAT examination consists of 37 multiple-choice questions. The questions are broadly divided into two categories,
1. Data Sufficiency
2. Problem Solving
There are approximately 24 questions on Problem Solving and 13 questions on Data Sufficiency. The candidate is allotted 75 minutes to complete the entire section.
• Verbal Section
After the completion of the Quantitative Section, there is another optional ten-minute break; and it is time for the final Verbal Section of the GMAT test. This section consists of 41 multiple-choice questions. These questions are categorized into three types,
1. Reading Comprehension
2. Critical Reasoning
3. Sentence Correction
There are approximately 41 questions on Reading Comprehension, 14 questions on Critical Reading and 13 questions on Sentence Correction. There are maximum 75 minutes available to complete the entire Verbal Section.
B Schools and GMAT scores
Since 1954, applicants have undertaken the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) to exhibit their skills and potential to Business Schools or ‘B-Schools’ admission committees. The GMAT examination chiefly tests the following skills,
• Endurance and concentration power
• Command over English grammar, mathematics skills, logic and reasoning
• Guesswork and decision making
• Ability to solve problems
An applicant of the GMAT test receives four scores as the result of the examination; every score denoting the result of the corresponding type of section of GMAT. The significance of the different scores is mentioned below,
• Quantitative scaled sub score
This score ranges from 0 to 60. Effectively the maximum score is 51.
• Verbal scaled sub score
This score ranges from 0 to 60. Effectively the maximum score is 48.
• Overall scaled score
This score ranges from 200 to 800. It is the amalgamation of Math and Verbal scores. Hence, it is an overall score. B-schools stress importance chiefly for the overall score.
• Analytical Writing Assessment score
This score ranges from 0 to 6. It has a lower priority compared to the 200 to 800 cumulative score.
The GMAT examination is graded curve that is set beforehand. As a result, the scaled score will correspond to a certain percentile. For example, an overall score of 720 corresponds approximately to 99th percentile. This indicates that 99 percent of the applicants scored at or below this grade.
The demand for MBA is increasing at a breath-taking pace. Hence, now it has become pivotal to acquire high score in GMAT as B-Schools are brimming with applicants. MBA graduates are pulling fat salaries in today’s cut-throat competitive market. This fact has boosted the importance of high GMAT scores.