All you need to know about your next GMAT exam

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The elements and aspects of a Masters in Business administration are many to consider and leverage, such as the accreditation, different specializations, rankings & other important elements that all contribute to what type of ROI (return on investment) you can expect from your chosen MBA program

All the previous elements may differ from one place to the other and the institution or school that is granting you the degree one constant however is that the examination process for your MBA will include a Graduate management admission test or a GMAT exam. Today we will dive deeper into what the GMAT is, its structure, and the different sections of the GMAT

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1) What is the GMAT?

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As per Wikipedia, the GMAT is a test that comes in the computer-adaptive format and means to test a variety of analytical, writing, quantitative & verbal skills in written English that is used in the admission process of most, if not all graduate business programs. 

The test requires knowledge of different but specific grammar, knowledge, algebra, geometry & arithmetic pieces of knowledge among others. As per the test creating and designing company the GMAT is designed to test the candidate’s analytical writing & problem-solving skills & abilities and general ability to analyze different situations. 

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2) Structure of the GMAT

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Now that you have a pretty good idea of what the GMTA is, let’s dive deeper into the different sections of this graduate standardized test and do some test prep, as a test taker of the GMAT the sections you will be met with will be the Analytical writing assessment, Integrated reasoning, Quantitative & Verbal which we will be breaking down individually

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Analytical Writing Assessment

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This section of the GMAT test is formed mainly of a single task or a single question in other words and contributes to your total GMAT score by 6 points maximum. This section is usually labeled as the essay section of the graduate management admission test and is mainly used to assess your writing skills.

 The scores of this section are calculated once by a human grader and another time by a computer and their two grades are averaged resulting in the final grade or result that you get. The main thing that the graders are looking for here is the reflection of your ability level to analyze the different parts of the argument and organize & develop your ideas in a thoughtful and logical manner. 

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Integrated Reasoning 

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This section of the test is formed of many multiple-source reasoning questions, graphic interpretation questions, two-part analysis questions & table analysis questions, totaling a total of 12 questions with 30 minutes to answer this section. This section grants you from 1 to 8 points.

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Quantitative Section

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The quantitative section is formed of 14 to 15 sufficiency questions, 16 to 19 problem-solving questions totaling a maximum of 31 questions total. The time granted to solve this section is 62 minutes and grants you a score from 0 to 60 points 

This section is mainly dedicated and designed to test your content and analytical chops of some basic mathematical concepts including but not inclusive to arithmetic, number properties, algebra, geometry. The two types of questions you will be facing here will be Data sufficiency & Problem-solving questions.

Data Sufficiency questions are the questions in which you’re given two statements and tasked to deduct if you have enough information to resolve the question, In case the statements are insufficient, you will be tasked to identify the missing information you would need to resolve the question allowing you to eliminate one of the choices. 

As for the Problem-solving questions, it comes in its standardized form where you will be given a question with five possible answers 

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Verbal Section

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The verbal section is formed of 12 comprehensive reading questions, 10 critical reasoning questions, 14 sentence correction questions totaling almost 26 questions to be solved in 65 minutes. The type of questions you can expect to encounter in this section will be as follows

Critical Reasoning 

These questions mainly have to do with the analysis of arguments & the formulating of a plan of action. These question will usually come in the form of several statements and a short argument which will engage your critical thinking skills through your analysis of connection and conclusions

Sentence correction 

These questions will traditionally come in the form of longed yet related sentence with a specific line underlined or highlighted among them, which you will need to figure out its best alternate version out of 5 other choices, hence testing your sentence correction skills

Reading Comprehension

Last but not least these questions are designed to challenge & test your critical reading skills, more accurately your ability to summarize the main ideas in a body of text, differentiate between them, make insightful connections between them & and other business-related topics such as business, social science & biological sciences out of others

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3) How is it scored & what’s a good score?

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That’s the main structure you’re gonna face when going for our GMAT exam, now we move onto how the exam is scored and what’s the score you should be targeting. As we stated before the exam is a computer adaptive test, meaning that the CAT adapts to your performance with each test taken

The process of the algorithm by which the AI scores you in between the 200 to 800 score range. How this scoring process occurs is that the computer starts you off with a number of points and a medium difficulty question if you answer it correctly it serves you a  harder question and then and increases the estimate of your ability and so on and so forth, meaning that both your score and the difficulty of the questions contribute to your exam progress and final score.

As for the score, you should be looking to get, a good place to start with would be the average that’s GMAT score achieved by those applying to the same program you’re applying to. The different sections of the exam total to approximately 552 and here are the percentages of those that achieve different grade ranges

  • 10% of test-takers get an average GMAT score of 710
  • 25% of test-takers get an average GMAT score of 650
  • 50% of test-takers get an average GMAT score of 580
  • Less than 50% of test-takers get an average GMAT score of 570

Those were some of the most important pieces of information relevant to your GMAT test, we hope this article has been useful in providing you with more information about the GMAT examination process and its different elements. 

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