Universities

What is GMAT?

1: What is the GMAT?

Short for Graduate Management Admission Test on Abbreviation Finder, the GMAT is a standardized test used to apply for admission to business schools. If you want to study an MBA, a Master’s in Finance, a Master’s in International Business, or another similar postgraduate degree, you must take the GMAT as part of your admission process.

Many local universities do not request the GMAT as an admission requirement. However, if you are applying for MBAs or other business master’s degrees at prestigious universities abroad, you will most likely have to take this exam. This gives universities a benchmark to compare you to other postgraduate applicants, and allows them to know your reasoning skills. Therefore, a good score on the GMAT helps them determine whether or not you will be successful in a rigorous academic environment.

2: What does the GMAT test?

The GMAT assesses quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, analytical writing, and comprehensive reasoning.

The GMAT has 4 sections:

  • The quantitative reasoning section, considered one of the most difficult, determines your ability to solve number problems and find the missing pieces of information to reach conclusions about these problems.
  • The verbal reasoning section measures your ability to read and understand written material, evaluate arguments and correctly use written material that conforms to the rules of English.
  • Analytical writing measures your ability to think critically and communicate your ideas by developing an essay about an argument.
  • Comprehensive reasoning measures your ability to analyze data and evaluate information presented in various formats, as well as verbal reasoning and text manipulation skills.

3. How long is the GMAT and what is its structure?

On the test dates listed by Top Schools in the USA, the exam lasts three and a half hours, including two optional breaks of 8 minutes each. All four sections of the GMAT feature a clock that runs without stopping. The following table shows each section with the allotted time you will have to answer it, as well as the types of questions in each of the GMAT sections.

Exam section Time limit / Number of questions Type of Questions Score range
Analytical Writing 30 minutes 1 question Analysis of an argument 0-6 (in 0.5-point increment)
Integral reasoning 30 minutes 12 questions Interpretation of graphs. Table analysis, multiple resource reasoning, two-part analysis. 1-8 (in 1-point increments)
Quantitative reasoning 62 minutes 31 questions Data Sufficiency, Troubleshooting. 6-51 (in 1-point increments)
Verbal reasoning 65 minutes 36 questions Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence correction. 6-51 (in 1-point increments)

4. What is the GMAT: What is a competitive score on the GMAT?

In this table you can see how the total GMAT score for the verbal and quantitative reasoning section is composed. The Comprehensive Reasoning and Analytical Writing sections are scored separately. For the verbal and math sections, a calculation is done to get a combined score.

The table above shows different colors. These colors will help you determine if your GMAT score is competitive or not, from a Spanish-speaking perspective.

The table is adjusted for someone who speaks Spanish as a first language because, as a Spanish speaker, a high percentile on the GRE verbal section is more difficult to obtain than if your first language was English. It does not matter if you are a Spanish speaker or not, a high percentile in the quantitative section is a requirement to gain admission to the most competitive graduate programs. As you can see in the table, there are several ways to get the same score. For example, there are 38 ways to get a score of 610, but only three in which a score of 610 is moderately acceptable. This means that you cannot think that a score is competitive only if you exceed the barrier of certain points or not, but you have to speak in terms of percentiles.

The percentiles you get in each of the sections are much more important than the score of 600, 500, 700.

Likewise, your context will be as test-taker. The admissions committee evaluates the exam with a holistic perspective. They weight your profile to define if your score is competitive or not, so obsessing over a specific score may not be the right way to study.

5. How to prepare for the GMAT?

The GMAT is a difficult test, and you compete against others to achieve the best percentiles. As a Spanish speaker, there are additional challenges that make this test especially difficult. To get entry to a business school, you will also need a high GMAT quantitative section. Especially if you come from a not very well known university, studied a non-quantitative degree, or want to enter the best MBAs in the world.

Now you have all the necessary information about the GMAT. What are you waiting to start preparing?

What is GMAT