What is the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)?

This refers to a standardized graduate/professional evaluation test, which is coordinated by the Graduate Management Admission Council (a not-for-profit) body. The test evaluates verbal, mathematical, and critical writing skills. This computer-based and computer-adaptive, multiple-choice exam is often necessary for admission to graduate business programs (MBA) worldwide.

Students’ GMAT scores, along with their academic record, work experience, and supporting materials, are used to evaluate their readiness for rigorous MBA programs. This means most business schools employ a holistic review process and consider all parts of an application to get a well-rounded picture of every applicant. Yet, the GMAT score does play a crucial role as it’s regarded as a “strong sign” of whether an applicant is academically ready for B-school. Thus, for business school aspirants, understanding the importance of getting a stellar score in the GMAT is essential.

The GMAT includes four components, namely:

·      An analytical writing assessment (AWA) that tests critical thinking in addition to communication skills.

·      A quantitative reasoning section, which evaluates if the applicants have strong numerical literacy and mathematical abilities.

·      An integrated reasoning (IR) section that tests the applicants’ ability to examine data and interpret information exhibited in varied formats.

·     A verbal reasoning section that assesses editing abilities, reading comprehension skills, and whether applicants can decode written arguments.

When taking the GMAT, students can select the order in which they want to attempt these test sections. They’ll need to pick their section order at the test center after the computer tutorial and just prior to starting their test. The three orders they’ll be able to choose from are:

·      Verbal, Quantitative, IR, AWA

·      AWA, IR, Quantitative, Verbal

·      Quantitative, Verbal, IR, AWA

These choices give students more flexibility and control to take the GMAT based on their testing preferences and strengths.

Since the GMAT is computer-adaptive, the difficulty level of the test adjusts itself in real-time to the test-takers ability. This means as the student answers each question, the computer will score their answer as well as their responses to any previous question to choose the next question. Thus, answering the first question correctly would make the test algorithm choose a harder second question. But if the first question is answered incorrectly, the second question will be easier. This process will continue until the test-taker completes the section, at which point the algorithm will have an accurate assessment of the student’s ability in that subject based on their responses to all previously answered questions.

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