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• # Going over the GMAT

If you're set on making your mark on the business world, you'll have to conquer the GMAT first. Here's a brief overview of the test.

• Prep Options

•  GMAT quick facts
frequencyevery weekday all year long, minus holidays
duration3 hours, 30 min
sectionsQuantitative, Analytic Writing, Verbal
cost\$250
max. score800
avg. score500

What is the GMAT and why is it important?

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a computer–adaptive test (CAT) required by most business schools. If you want to get accepted to a competitive school, your GMAT score is very important. However, GMAT scores vary in importance at different schools.

In addition to your GMAT score, schools consider the extent and caliber of your work experience (again, especially for more competitive programs), undergraduate GPA, letters of recommendation, interview and essays. Be sure to contact the specific programs to which you are applying in order to determine their unique requirements.

What specifically does the GMAT test?

The GMAT is comprised of four sections: an Analytical Writing Assessment section, an Integrated Reasoning section, a Quantitative Section and a Verbal Section. See more information about each section..

How is the GMAT scored?

A GMAT score is made up of several different numbers, each of which covers a part of your performance on the GMAT. The most familiar number is the Overall, or composite, GMAT score. This number ranges from 200 to 800 in 10-point increments and is determined by a combination of your scores on the Quantitative and Verbal sections of the test. Business schools tend to focus on your Overall GMAT score.

Your Verbal and Quantitative sections are graded separately. You will receive a score ranging from 0 to 60 for each section. Scores below 8 and above 51 are rare.

Your Integrated Reasoning section is scored from 1 to 8 in 1-point increments. Questions have multiple parts, and you must answer each part correctly to get credit for the question. The Integrated Reasoning score is not included in the Overall score.

Your Analytic Writing Assessment (AWA) section is graded on a scale of 0 to 6 evaluated by two readers (one human and one computer). GMAC averages the two grades for the essay and rounds to the nearest 1/2 point. Your AWA GMAT score does not count toward your Overall GMAT score.

Your GMAT score remains valid for five years. If you have taken the GMAT several times, GMAC will report all GMAT scores from the past five years.

How do I know if my score is good enough to get me into my dream school?

Good question. Check out the admissions data in our business school profiles.

How do I register?

You must register to take the GMAT in advance by phone or email; walk-in GMAT registration at test centers is not accepted.

The GMAT is given around the country and the world at Pearson VUE testing centers. Visit mba.com or call 800–717–GMAT to register to take the GMAT test.

How can I prepare?

We can help. We have convenient and personalized GMAT prep solutions that fit any learning style and schedule.