Planning to pursue a graduate management program at one of the top-notch global institutions? Well, if yes, what you need to know is that standing between you and your admission to a top business school will be the GMAT exam. Of course, even if you have a tentative plan about pursuing a graduate management program, you would have surely heard about GMAT.

However, having a rough idea of it and knowing everything about GMAT in detail could well be the difference between you making it to your dream business school or missing out. Having said that, in this comprehensive blog, we will explain all that you need to know about the GMAT exam. From the overview of the exam to eligibility and to essential trips and tricks, this is your all-inclusive GMAT guide. 


To begin with, GMAT is a computer-adaptive test that is meant to assess students’ abilities across the following academic disciplines.

  • Analytical Writing 
  • Quantitative Aptitude 
  • Verbal Ability 
  • Reading Skills 

Needless to say, each of the above skills or academic disciplines is highly essential for a career in management or business administration. This explains why the GMAT exam is focused on these four parameters. The higher you score in GMAT the brighter your chances of making it to the top business schools. 

Going further, the score range for GMAT is 200 to 800 with 800 being the maximum score. To give you an example of the kind of competitiveness with respect to the GMAT, the MBA Class of 2024 at the Wharton Business School has an average GMAT score of 733. 

So, clearly, if you are aiming for a premium university in the IVY League across the US or the G8 Universities in Australia, you will have to score above 740 in the GMAT exam. However, otherwise, for other good universities, the average score needed is a minimum of 565 which is of course, subject to change as per other factors in the near future.

Given the challenging curriculum of the GMAT exam and the competitiveness with respect to cut-off, it becomes essential for students to undertake extensive preparation and practice. The first step is of course to know the exam well and have in-depth information about the structure of the exam and the way it is conducted. 

The Importance of the GMAT in the Business School Admissions Process 

The GMAT is an important part of the business school admissions process because it provides a standardized measure of a candidate’s academic abilities. Admissions committees use GMAT scores to compare applicants from different academic backgrounds and evaluate their potential for success in the program. 

A high GMAT score can help demonstrate a candidate’s ability to handle the rigors of graduate-level coursework, which is particularly important for programs with a quantitative focus. In addition, a high GMAT score can help differentiate a candidate from other applicants and increase their chances of being accepted into a top program. 

Conversely, a low GMAT score can hurt a candidate’s chances of being accepted into their desired program. Admissions committees may view a low score as an indication that the candidate is not prepared for the academic rigor of the program or lacks the necessary analytical and quantitative skills to succeed. 

The GMAT is primarily a computer-adaptive test, with every correct answer the difficulty level increases and vice versa. Hence, you must pay careful attention while solving the first few questions of the exam 

Preparing for the GMAT 

Preparation for GMAT requires a significant amount of time and effort. The test covers a wide range of subjects, including quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, integrated reasoning, and analytical writing. So, it is important to develop a comprehensive study plan that addresses each of these areas. 

Several resources are available to help individuals prepare for the GMAT, including study guides, practice tests, and prep courses. Here are some tips for developing an effective GMAT study plan: 

1. Identify your strengths and weaknesses: Start by taking a diagnostic test to assess your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you focus your study efforts on areas where you need the most improvement. 

2. Create a study schedule: Develop a study schedule that incorporates regular study sessions over a period of several weeks or months. Be sure to schedule study sessions for each of the different sections of the exam. 

3. Use study guides and practice tests: Utilise study guides and practice tests to help you review the material and get familiar with the types of questions you will encounter on the exam. 

4. Take a prep course: Consider taking a prep course, either online or in-person, to help you develop a structured study plan and receive expert guidance and support. 

5. Practice, practice, practice: The key to success on the GMAT is practice. The GMAT exam is a comprehensive exam to get into a business school which requires focused preparation. A high score leads to high ranking school.  

6. Improve your mental maths: Avoid using a calculator every time you answer a question will save you time. Instead, focus on doing calculations in your head. 

7. Time Management: Needless to say, effective time management will always be one of the key soft skills needed for success. Managing time effectively on each section of your study plan will help you to complete the entire syllabus and save time for revision. It will also help you to gain confidence. 

8. Focus on the time limit: Focus on improving your speed to complete the test on time. 

Eligibility Criteria

The GMAT exam is conducted by GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council). As such, there are no specific criteria that have been laid down by GMAC with respect to taking the GMAT exam. However, it is noteworthy that every university or business school will have its own set of criteria and this is where carrying out enough research will be beneficial. 

Age Criteria

  • The candidate must be over 18 years. 
  • There is no upper age limit for the candidate. 
  • If the candidate is between 13 and 17, they must provide written consent from their parents or legal guardians.

Educational Qualification

As of now, there are no required educational qualifications required for the GMAT. If candidates wish to apply for the MBA program they need to have a graduate degree from an accredited university. 

GMAT Registration 

Registrations for the GMAT exam are open throughout the year. You can select the date at your convenience. A stepwise elaboration of the registration process is provided below.

Step 1

The candidate needs to create an official account. That includes personal information like username and password.

Step 2 

After you have made your account, you may begin creating your student profile. That includes providing your name, birth date, and your educational background.  

Step 3 

After you’ve completed your profile, you can choose your preferred exam date and venue.  

Step 4

Make the payment online through a debit or credit card. After the payment, you will receive an email with your test date, location, and other necessary details.     

Fee Structure 

The fee for the GMAT exam is USD 300 if you are choosing the online mode and USD 275 if you are going to take the exam at the exam center. 

GMAT Pattern and Scoring 

The GMAT Exam has a sectional structure where each section has a specific time limit. The total number of questions in the exam is 80, and the time limit to complete the test is 3 hours and 7 minutes. GMAT score ranges from 200-800. 

There are a total of 4 sections, Integrated Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment.  

The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning section are given scores in the range of 0-60. The Integrated and Analytical Assessments are scored on a scale of 1-8 (in one-point increments) and 1-6 (in half-point increments). 

The GMAT Exam has the following sections:

1. Analytical Writing Assessment- This section mainly focuses on your ability to analyze a given situation and write a critique of the given argument. 

2. Integrated Reasoning- In this section, you must interpret the given data and find the solutions to the given problem.

3. Verbal Reasoning- In this section, the candidate is tested on their knowledge of the English language. These include Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction. 

4. Quantitative Reasoning- In this section, the arithmetic and logical aptitude of the candidate are tested. The two kinds of questions asked in this section are Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency. 

Analytical Writing Assessment 1 question 30 minutes 0-6
Integrated Reasoning 12 questions 30 minutes 1-8
Verbal Reasoning 31 questions 62 minutes 6-51
Quantitative Reasoning 36 questions 65 minutes6-51

Additional Tips & Tricks

  1. Set SMART Goals for your GMAT preparation and measure the progress with mock tests and other self-assessments. 
  1. Make GMAT preparation a part of your routine and practice the time-blocking technique to prepare in an uncompromising manner. 
  1. Use online forums to practice for the exam as that will help you find answers to questions not given in books. 
  1. Use de-stress techniques on the day of the exam as nervousness during the exam can cause you to choose the wrong answers. 
  1. Be ready to use the process of elimination. Look for the wrong answers because those are easier to spot. Sometimes they are illogical, and other times they sound strange. 
  1. Answer all the questions. There is a penalty for not answering questions in the exam, so you must answer all the questions even if you are short on time. 

To conclude, we are pretty sure that on the other side of this blog, you have much greater clarity with respect to the GMAT exam. Now, you know all that you ever needed to know about the GMAT exam from the exam pattern to the trips and tricks for scoring high. Wishing you all the best! 

Silver Fern Education Consultants is committed to helping students achieve their academic goals and thrive in their future ambitions. As a study abroad counselling agency, we understand the challenges and obstacles that Indian students face when studying for standardised assessments such as GMAT.

As a result, we’ve teamed with Testler, a renowned online test preparation platform, to give our clients high-quality materials and personalised support to master their tests. Our professional team at Testlers works directly with students to assess their specific needs and build custom tactics to maximise their GMAT and other exam success. We are here to help you every step of the journey, whether you need assistance with test registration, study resources, or exam-taking tactics. Contact us now to learn more about our services and how we can assist you in reaching your academic objectives.

Author Bio: Shivam Garg

As an entrepreneur working in the domain of education with the vision of empowering young learners to be future leaders, I love to share my insights and views quite passionately through my pieces of content which too are aimed at bringing a positive difference. With 10 plus years of experience  entrepreneurship, mentoring and writing, there is a lot I have to share with the youngsters around. 

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