On the official GMAT website stands the claim that "your future begins with GMAT". Many aspiring MBA students worldwide seem to agree!
GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admission Test, and it's an important part of selection criteria for admission into many graduate management programs, such as an MBA. The candidate's GMAT score tells business schools exactly where he fell with respect to other candidates who took GMAT. It is proven that this test can quite accurately predict candidate's success in business school programs.
GMAT is a computer adaptive test (CAT), administered in secure, standardized test centers around the world. The candidate can take the test all year-round, but not more than once a month. It is possible to reschedule or cancel the test.
Business schools use this test as a criterion for admission into their MBA, Master of Accountancy, and Master of Finance programs. It is certainly a number one choice for MBA aspirants!
GMAT assesses the candidate's analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in standard written English. It consists of three sections.
The first section is an analytical writing assessment, where a candidate must demonstrate his writing skills, the ability to think critically and communicate his ideas, through the analysis of an argument and an issue. In the quantitative (i.e. math) section, a candidate demonstrates his arithmetic, algebra, geometry and problem solving skills. The verbal section tests the candidate's reading comprehension, sentence correction and critical reasoning skills.
It is important to note that the candidate's business knowledge isn't tested in itself. However, the skills a candidate needs to demonstrate to do well on this exam (such as time management, decision making, performing under pressure and prioritization), are those that are needed for success - both in a business school, and later in a business world.
The examination takes about three and a half hours.
The difficulty level of the questions goes up or down depending on whether a given question is answered correctly or incorrectly. The scores are calculated on the basis of the difficulty level, and the number of questions answered and completed.
Although there are only three sections tested in a GMAT, a candidate will actually get four scores. All the sections of the test are scored separately, and then the overall score is given in a range from two hundred to eight hundred. Each of these scores is accompanied by a percentile rank, that highlights what proportion of test takers scored lower than you did.
Those that received a percentile rank of 790 and above (and that's in the top 10% of test takers) can hope to be admitted to the top business schools like Stanford, Wharton or Sloan.