About the GMAT

GMAT Key Facts

Most of Business School applicants must take the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). Beginning in 2009, many business schools started to accept the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score as well.

The GMAT is a standardized test delivered in English. Unlike academic grades, which have varying significance based on each school's grading guidelines, the GMAT scores are based on the same standard for all test takers and they help business schools assess the qualification of an individual against a large pool of applicants with diverse personal and professional backgrounds. The GMAT scores play a significant role in admissions decisions since they are more recent than most academic transcripts of an applicant and they evaluate a person's verbal, quantitative and writing skills.

The GMAT is a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT). You may take the GMAT only once every 16 days and no more than 8 times within any 12-month period. The retest policy applies even if you cancel your score within that time period. All of your scores and cancellations within the last five years will be reported to the institutions you designate as score recipients.

Total GMAT scores range from 205 to 805. About 66% of test takers score between 400 and 600. All three sections of Data Insights, the Verbal and Quantitative scores range from 60 to 90. Section scores measure different things and cannot be compared to each other, however, each section's score can be compared across different GMAT tests.

GMAT Section Details

There are 3 sections on the GMAT Focus test.

Data Insights: 20 questions, 45 minutes (All Integrated Reasoning and Data Sufficiency questions) (Calculator is allowed only this section)

*The Data Insights section measures candidates’ ability to analyze and interpret data and apply it to real-world business scenarios, one of the most relevant and in-demand skills in business today. 

The questions ask you to assess how multiple sources and types of information – including graphic, numeric, and verbal – relate to one another and can be leveraged to make informed decisions. Questions may require math, data analysis, verbal reasoning, or all three. You can use an on-screen calculator while working on this section.

*The question types you'll find on this section are:

-Data Sufficiency: Measures your ability to analyze a quantitative problem, recognize which data is relevant, and determine at what point there is enough data to solve the problem.

-Multi-Source Reasoning: Measures your ability to examine data from multiple sources including text passages, tables, graphics, or some combination of the three—and to analyze each source of data carefully to answer multiple questions. Some questions will require you to recognize discrepancies among different sources of data, while others will ask you to draw inferences, or require you to determine whether data is relevant.

-Table Analysis: Measures your ability to sort and analyze a table of data, similar to a spreadsheet, in order to determine what information is relevant or meets certain conditions.

-Graphics Interpretation: Measures your ability to interpret the information presented in a graph or other graphical image (scatter plot, x/y graph, bar chart, pie chart, or statistical curve distribution) to discern relationships, and make inferences.

-Two-Part Analysis: Measures your ability to solve complex problems. They could be quantitative, verbal, or some combination of both. The format is intentionally versatile to cover a wide range of content. Your ability to evaluate trade-offs, solve simultaneous equations, and discern relationships between two entities is measured.

Quantitative Reasoning: 21 questions, 45 minutes (All Problem Solving questions)

*This section measures your algebraic and arithmetic foundational knowledge and how you apply this knowledge to solve problems. Answering these questions correctly relies on logic and analytical skills, not the underlying math skills. You cannot use a calculator while working on this section.

Verbal Reasoning: 23 questions, 45 minutes (All Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning questions)

-Reading Comprehension questions measure your ability to understand words and statements, understand logical relationships between significant points, draw inferences, and follow the development of quantitative concepts. Specifically, the following reading skills will be tested: main idea, supporting idea, inference, application, logical structure, and style.

-Critical Reasoning questions measure your ability to make arguments, evaluate arguments, and formulate or evaluate a plan of action. Critical Reasoning questions are based on a short reading passage, usually fewer than 100 words. Typically, the short text comes with a question that asks you which of the five answer options strengthens or weakens an argument, tells why the argument is flawed, or strongly supports or damages the argument. You will not need specialized knowledge of the subject matter to answer the questions.