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  Standardized Tests


The Graduate Management Admission GMAT is a computer adaptive test (CAT) intended to assess certain analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English for use in admission to a graduate management program, such as an MBA. , the GMAT assesses analytical writing and problem-solving abilities, while also addressing data sufficiency, logic, and critical reasoning skills that it believes to be vital to real-world business and management success. GMAT is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council. More than 5,900 programs offered by more than 2,100 universities and institutions use the GMAT exam as part of the selection criteria for their programs. Business schools use the test as a criterion for admission into a wide range of graduate management programs, including MBA, Master of Accountancy, and Master of Finance programs.

The GMAT exam is administered in standardized test centers in 112 countries around the world GMAT exam consists of four sections: Analytical writing assessment, integrated reasoning, the quantitative section, and the verbal section.

Test Format


Duration in minutes

Number of questions

Analytical writing assessment



Integrated reasoning









The AWA consists of one 30-minute writing task—analysis of an argument. It is important to be able to analyze the reasoning behind a given argument and write a critique of that argument. The essay will be given two independent ratings and these ratings are averaged together to determine the test taker's AWA score. One rating is given by a computerized reading evaluation and another is given by a person at GMAC who will read and score the essay themselves without knowledge of what the computerized score was. 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 The analytical writing assessment is graded on a scale of 1 (the minimum) to 6 (the maximum) in half-point intervals (a score of zero means the answer was gibberish or obviously not written on the assigned topic or the test taker failed to write anything at all on the AWA).

Essay score



An essay that is deficient.


An essay that is flawed.


An essay that is limited.


An essay that is adequate.


An essay that is strong.


An essay that is outstanding.

Integrated reasoning
Integrated Reasoning (IR) is designed to measure a test taker’s ability to evaluate data presented in multiple formats from multiple sources. The integrated reasoning section consists of 12 questions (which often consist of multiple parts themselves) in four different formats: graphics interpretation, two-part analysis, table analysis, and multi-source reasoning. Integrated reasoning scores range from 1-8. Like the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), this section is scored separately from the quantitative and verbal section. Performance on the IR and AWA sections do not contribute to the total GMAT score.

Quantitative section
The quantitative section of the GMAT seeks to measure the ability to reason quantitatively, solve quantitative problems, interpret graphic data, and analyze and use information given in a problem. Questions require knowledge of certain algebra, geometry, and arithmetic. There are two types of quantitative questions: problem solving and data sufficiency. The use of calculators is not allowed on the quantitative section of the GMAT. Test takers must do their math work out by hand using a wet erase pen and laminated graph paper which are given to them at the testing center. Scores range from 0 to 60, although GMAC only reports scores between 6 and 51.

Verbal section
The verbal section of the GMAT Exam seeks to measure the test taker's ability to read and comprehend written material, reason and evaluate arguments and correct written material to express ideas effectively in standard written English. The question types are reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction questions. Scores range from 0 to 51, although they only report scores between 6 and 51

Reading comprehension passages can be anywhere from one paragraph to several paragraphs long. Reading passages contain material from subject areas like social sciences, history, physical sciences, and business-related areas (marketing, economics, human resource management, etc.). Reading comprehension passages are accompanied by interpretive, applied, and inference questions. This section measures the following abilities :

Understanding words and statements in reading passages.

Understanding the logical relationships between significant points and concepts in the reading passages.

Drawing inferences from facts and statements in the reading passages.

Understanding and following the development of quantitative concepts as they are presented in verbal material.

Understanding the author's point of view and their proposed arguments.

Critical reasoning questions are designed to test the reasoning skills involved in making arguments, evaluating arguments, and formulating or evaluating a plan of action. Questions are based on materials from a variety of sources. This section measures the following abilities:

Argument construction

Argument evaluation

Formulating and evaluating a plan of action

Sentence Correction questions present five options for the construction of a sentence from which the test taker must select the most effective construction which expresses the intent of the sentence clearly and concisely following the requirements of standard written English.

The total GMAT score ranges from 200 to 800 and measures performance on the quantitative and verbal sections together (performance on the AWA and IR sections do not count toward the total score, those sections are scored separately). Scores are given in increments of 10 (e.g. 540, 550, 560, 570, etc.). From the most recent data released by GMAC, the average GMAT score of all test takers is about 540.

Registration and Preparation
Test takers may register for the GMAT either online at or by calling one of the test centers to schedule an exam; an appointment must be made at one of the designated test centers. The GMAT may not be taken more than once within 31 days, even if the scores are canceled. The cost of the exam is US $250. All applicants are required to carry their passports to the examination hall without which he or she will not be allowed to take the GMAT exam upon completion of the test; test takers have the option of canceling or reporting their scores. Test preparation resources include university text books, GMAT preparation books, sample tests, and free web resources.



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