For students considering other educational possibilities besides medical school, an advanced degree in management may be in order. Should you choose this option, you will need to successfully pass the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Around 4,700 graduate management programs at more than 1,900 schools accept GMAT scores, which are intended to help programs determine how qualified an applicant may be for advanced work in business and management.
It is important to remember that GMAT scores are only one indicator of how you may perform in graduate management school. Prospective students should contact the school to which they are applying for additional information about how their scores will be considered during the admissions process.
All About the GMAT Exam
The GMAT includes Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing sections. The Verbal section includes questions requiring sentence correction, reading comprehension, and critical reasoning. The Quantitative section includes questions emphasizing data sufficiency and problem solving. Examinees must utilize basic math skills and know about arithmetic, fundamental algebra, and common geometry principles. In the Analytical Writing section, two essay topics are presented, and the examinee must type his or her essay response. One essay will require that the examinee analyze the reasoning behind a particular argument and provide a critique. Another will ask the examinee to analyze an issue or opinion and offer his or her point of view on the subject.
To help test takers prepare for the test, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) offers free GMATPrep software. The program contains two full-length, timed tests that simulate the actual test. A larger collection of questions can be found in The Official Guide for GMAT Review. The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review and The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review are also available for purchase and can help examinees prepare for those test sections. In addition, there are many other GMAT prep resources provided by companies not affiliated with the GMAC.
The GMAT is a computer adaptive test, and questions are selected for examinees as they take the exam. Test takers begin each multiple-choice section with a medium-difficulty question, and based on that response, the computer will then select either a more difficult or an easier question. Each subsequent question you receive is based on the answer to the prior question, and the exam will adjust to your individual abilities. This format requires that you answer every question on the exam.
You will need to select a test center location in order to register for the GMAT and schedule your testing appointment. A listing of test centers is available at The Official GMAT Web Site. When scheduling your testing appointment, keep in mind the applications deadlines at the graduate management programs to which you are applying. Because it can take up to 20 days for any schools of your choosing to receive your score report, you want to make sure your appointment is early enough.
On test day, examinees should arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes before their scheduled appointment. A check-in process will take place once you arrive at the center. Those who are more than 15 minutes late for their scheduled appointment time may not be permitted to take the exam. Do not forget to have the necessary identification with you, as failure to bring this information can preclude you from taking the test and cost you your test fee.
The GMAT is owned, sponsored, and directed by GMAC, a nonprofit organization composed of graduate business schools in the United States and elsewhere around the world. Pearson VUE aids GMAC with test administration, and ACT, Inc., develops test materials and helps score the exam.