Answers to Commonly Asked Questions about the GMAT
- What is the GMAT?
- How much does the GMAT cost?
- Where do I take the GMAT?
- How do I register for the GMAT?
- Is the GMAT hard?
- How should I study for the GMAT?
- Is there a new GMAT format?
- What is the “Next Generation GMAT with Integrated Reasoning”?
- Should I retake the GMAT?
- How long is my GMAT score good for?
Q: What is the GMAT?
A: The GMAT, formally known as the Graduate Management Admission Test, is the standardized test required for admission into most business schools and management education programs worldwide. The GMAT measures verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills that you have developed in your education and work. The test consists of two essays (which receive a score of 0-6), a multiple choice quantitative section, and a multiple choice verbal section. The quantitative and verbal sections yield a collective score from 200-800, which is the score that business schools put the most emphasis on.
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Q: How much does the GMAT cost?
A: US $250 globally.
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Q: Where do I take the GMAT?
A: The GMAT is offered year-round and on demand in testing centers around the world. Click here to find a testing center near you. Note that available time slots change continuously based on capacity and registration, so be sure to register several weeks before you plan on taking the GMAT.
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Q: How do I register for the GMAT?
A: Before you schedule an appointment to take the GMAT, you must first register for a mba.com account. Once you have created your account, you can go ahead and schedule your appointment. Click here to schedule your GMAT appointment.
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Q: Is the GMAT hard?
A: This is a bit like answering the question “Is it cold in Colorado?” It’s a matter of personal opinion. That said, the GMAT is generally considered middle-of-the-road in terms of its level of difficulty. The math tested on the quantitative section is high school level math — arithmetic, basic algebra, basic geometry (no proofs), and data interpretation. There is a unique question type called Data Sufficiency that requires a unique way of thinking about math and takes some getting used to, but it’s nothing that can’t be easily learned and mastered (check out our Data Sufficiency video lessons). On the verbal section, you’ll need to brush up on your basic English grammar for the Sentence Correction questions. The Reading Comprehension passages can be a bit dense but there are plenty of techniques for reading the passages in an effective way and eliminating common wrong answer choices. And Critical Reasoning requires you to learn how to analyze an argument, but that is a skill that can be learned as well. All in all, there are no “unknowns” on the GMAT, and while you might need to brush off a few cobwebs or learn a few new skills and strategies, the test becomes much less difficult with adequate study and practice.
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Q: How should I study for the GMAT?
A: Learning to do well on the GMAT is much like learning to do well at anything — you’ll need to focus on three key areas: 1) Learning the content that is tested on all sections of the GMAT; 2) Learning strategies and test-taking tips that will help you translate that content knowledge into right answers on test day; and 3) Practice, practice, practice! The most important thing you can do is to work hundreds or real former GMAT practice problems, and to take several full-length computer-adaptive GMAT practice exams to learn time management skills and apply what you’re learning during your study time. If you need to brush up on certain content areas or learn those crucial test-taking strategies to improve your score, Dominate the GMAT offers on demand video lessons that cover all of the topics tested on the GMAT. Check out our Recommended GMAT Resources page for free practice tests and recommended textbooks that contain realistic GMAT practice problems and instructional content. For more information about how to study for the GMAT, click here to read a more detailed article on this subject.
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Q: Is there a new GMAT format?
A: Yes. Starting on June 5, 2012, there will be a new GMAT format called the Next Generation GMAT with Integrated Reasoning. Click here to learn more about it.
Q: What is the “Next Generation GMAT with Integrated Reasoning?”
A: The GMAT is scheduled to undergo a facelift starting on June 5, 2012. The new version of the GMAT is being called the “Next Generation” GMAT. It will be very similar to the current GMAT with the following two changes: 1) There will only be one essay (the Analysis of an Argument Essay) instead of two; 2) The Issue Essay is being replaced with a new 30-minute section called Integrated Reasoning. The Integrated Reasoning section will product its own score in addition to the AWA (Essay) score and your 200-800 point Quantitative and Verbal score. To learn more about the Next Generation GMAT, click here. To learn more about the question types you’ll encounter on the new Integrated Reasoning section, click here.
Q: Should I retake the GMAT?
A: Unfortunately there’s no clear-cut answer to this question. Here are several questions that may shed light on the best decision for you: How long did you study for the GMAT before taking it the first time? How many times have you already taken the GMAT? What is the average range of GMAT scores for admitted students at the schools you’re applying to, and where is your score in relation to that? Did you take a GMAT prep course prior to taking the GMAT? Did you get enough sleep the night before your test? Was anything going on in your life around the time of your test that might have distracted you mentally? On average, people only increase their GMAT score by 33 points on a retake; however, that number may differ significantly depending on some of the factors hinted at in the questions above, among other factors. For a more detailed analysis of this question, click here to see an article we wrote titled “Should I retake the GMAT?” Oh, and by the way, Official Score Reports include all GMAT exams you’ve taken within the past five years. If you have taken the exam and canceled your scores, your report will note that scores are unreportable and not include what they were.