Demystifying GMAT

Demystifying GMAT

What is GMAT?

GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a three -and-a-half hour standardised exam designed to predict how test-takers will perform academically in MBA (Masters in Business Administration) and other graduate management education programmes worldwide.
GMAT scores are used by graduate business schools to assess the qualifications of applicants for advanced study in business and management. Schools use the test as one predictor of academic performance in  MBA or other graduate business management programmes. More information about GMAT, which is the standardised test designed  by business schools expressly for graduate business and management programs worldwide, is available at www.mba.com.

What is GMAC?    
The Graduate Management Admission Council is a non-profit association of leading graduate business schools worldwide, dedicated to creating access to and disseminating information about graduate management education. GMAC is the owner and administrator of the GMAT® exam, which was created in 1954. GMAC (www.gmac.com) is based in McLean, Virginia, USA, with a European office in London.

When is the GMAT test held?
The test is held year-round.  Unlike other exams, the GMAT allows you to choose your own date and time to take it. The test is administered five days a week (Monday through Friday), twice a day. September to December is the high season for GMAT, so in case you intend to take the test during this period, you are advised to register very early (say 90 days in advance) to get a date of your choice. Otherwise, registering at least 24 hours in advance is mandatory. The test lasts roughly four hours, and most centres offer two slots: 9 am and 2 pm.
The GMAT exam is delivered via computer at individual workstations. Because it is computer adaptive, the GMAT exam can determine a test taker’s true ability by selecting questions based on previous answers and the test design. The GMAT exam consists of three main parts, the Analytical Writing Assessment, the Quantitative section, and the Verbal section. The entire exam lasts about 3½ hours, but plan for a total time of approximately four hours to allow for registration and breaks.
A strong GMAT score can help get you admission to a top school, but remember that your score on the exam is only one of the criteria admissions offices consider. Essays, undergraduate grades, work experience and other factors are also important.
If you are considering US universities, 16 years of education is a pre-requisite for admission to graduate studies.
For those with more than 3 years of work experience, some universities may waive the 16th year requirement. If you are a student with nil or less than 2 years of work experience, the academic record holds particularly high value.

Who administers the GMAT test?
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) owns and administers the GMAT exam and works closely with two strategic partners to manage the test: ACT, Inc., which develops and reviews the questions; and Pearson VUE, which delivers the exam at 110 testing centres around the world.

How does one apply for GMAT?
The test-taker must first select a GMAT test centre location. Most test centres are in permanent locations and offer the computer-adaptive GMAT exam throughout the year. Each test centre operates on its own schedule and can accommodate varying numbers of test takers. Once they have decided where to take the test, test takers then need to schedule a GMAT exam appointment using one of three methods: online at mba.com, by phone, or by mail.
To schedule a test appointment online you have to complete the required details online on the official GMAT registration website. Be sure to enter your name and birthdates exactly as they appear on the identification you will present at the test centre.

Which institutes are part of GMAC?
GMAC’s membership currently includes 179 business schools located in 19 countries. The full list is available at  www.gmac.com/gmac/aboutus/governance/memberschools.htm. Note that membership in GMAC is not required for an educational institution to receive GMAT scores. Indian schools which are members of GMAC include the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and the Indian School of Business.  
A total of 24 business schools in Indian and 53 programmes within those schools use the GMAT exam.

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