GMAT Test Review & GMAT Facts

GMAT Test Overview

The GMAT™ Focus Edition is a streamlined version of the previous GMAT Exam that offers test takers greater control and helps reduce exam day pressure with reduced test time, number of problems and increased flexibility/control. It has three sections in total: two of the three sections require math and data skills (Quantitative Reasoning; Data Insights) and one section focuses on verbal skills (Verbal Reasoning).

The test is 2 hours, 15 minutes. For each of the 3 sections, there are 45 minutes (64 questions in total) to be completed in the order of your choosing: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Data Insights.

The three sections are:

  • Data Insights: 20 questions, 45 minutes (All Integrated Reasoning and Data Sufficiency questions) (Calculator is allowed only this section)
  • Quantitative Reasoning: 21 questions, 45 minutes (All Problem Solving questions)
  • Verbal Reasoning: 23 questions, 45 minutes (All Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning questions)

GMAT Focus no longer includes the following sections: Sentence Correction, the Analytical Writing essay section, and questions that involve Geometry (only coordinate plane geometry questions remain) and Combinatorics. Data Sufficiency questions are moved to Data Insights from Quantitative Section.

The test is delivered in a computer-adaptive format. Questions are dynamically selected as you take the test to stay commensurate with your ability level. Therefore, your test will be unique. Just one question is shown on the screen at a given time. It is impossible to skip a question or go back to a prior question. Each problem needs to be answered before the next question.

The test can be taken up to 7 days a week at a test center or around the clock for exams delivered online at any location of your choice. It can be scheduled up to 6 months in advance.

  • The average time per question to 2.1 minutes – 25% more time than the new GRE General Test.

  • The new Question Review & Edit tool: As you answer questions in any of the three exam sections, you can bookmark questions to review later. Once you’ve answered all the questions in that section, you’ll see the new Question Review & Edit screen, where you can read through all the questions and answers you’ve bookmarked.

  • Provided you’ve got time left, you now have the opportunity to edit up to three of your answers.

GMAT Score Distribution

Total Score:

  • Score range: 205-805
  • Mean score: 546
  • Score intervals: 10
  • Standard error of measurement: 30-40 points

Individual Section Score:

  • Score range: 60-90
  • Score intervals: 1
  • Standard error of measurement: 3 points

Your GMAT score is an important part of your overall application.

  • If you receive a score below 500, we recommend that you retake the exam. A score below 500 will make acceptance to any school rather difficult.

  • A score below 600 will make acceptance into a top school unlikely without an otherwise flawless application.

  • A score in the range of 600-700 will help keep you in the running for acceptance into a top business school.

  • A score above 700 is terrific and will help improve your MBA applications.

  • Scaled scores of 715 out of 805 on the combined test generally correspond to the 99th percentile.

GMAT Scoring

In all three sections of the GMAT Focus exam, everyone starts out with an average difficulty level. The difficulty of subsequent questions then increases or decreases based on the correct or incorrect answers a person submits in the test. For each correct answer you give, you are given a harder question for each subsequent question and for each incorrect answer you are given an easier question.  This process will continue until you finish the section, at which point the computer will have an accurate assessment of your ability level in that subject area.

Your score is determined by three factors:
1) the number of questions you complete;
2) the number of questions you answer correctly and;
3) the level of difficulty and other statistical characteristics of each question.
To derive a final score, these questions are weighted based on their difficulty and other statistical properties, not their position in the test.

Although the GMAT score is considered as a reasonable indicator of future academic performance at business schools, it does not measure your job performance, knowledge of business, interpersonal skills, and personality traits such as motivation and creativity. Instead, your application, essays, recommendation letters and interviews will capture most of those aspects.