MBA Frequently Asked Questions


What is the GMAT?

What is the GMAT? Why should I take it?

GMAT stands for “Graduate Management Admission Test.” The GMAT is a standardized test that is required to apply for many MBA programs and other masters-level management programs around the world. It assesses skills that are important to management, including analytical and quantitative skills, as well as the test-taker’s ability verbal, reading and writing ability. All else considered, a good score indicates strong management aptitude. 

How does the GMAT work?

The GMAT is delivered entirely on a computer, at test centers all over the world. Currently, the GMAT is divided into four categories:

  • An analytical writing assessment
  • An integrated reasoning component
  • A quantitative component
  • A verbal assessment

The test is 3.5 hours long; individual sections range from 30 minutes to 75 minutes each.

The verbal and quantitative sections are 30 minutes each. These two sections consist solely of multiple-choice questions, which are computer adaptive, meaning if a test-taker gets one question right, the next question will be more difficult.

For the integrated reasoning section, test-takers are asked to analyze data that is presented in tables, graphs, or other sources. It is 75 minutes long.

For the analytical writing assessment, test-takers are asked to analyze reasoning in an argument. It is also 75 minutes long.

How is the GMAT scored?

After test-takers complete the GMAT, they will be given a score between 200 and 800, which is based on scoring on the verbal and quantitative portions of the test. The analytical writing and integrated reasoning sections are graded separately, on scales of 1-6 and 1-8, respectively.

On test day, test-takers can choose to have their GMAT scores automatically sent to up to five business schools. A fee is required to send the score to additional schools.

What GMAT score do I need to get into an MBA program?

It depends. Some MBA programs have minimum score requirements. Also, many business schools will provide information, such as the median GMAT score of accepted students, from which you can determine your competitiveness. You can find some of this information on individual business school profiles at FIND MBA.

Are there alternatives to the GMAT for MBA admission?

Yes. Some business schools will accept a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score in lieu of a GMAT score. The GRE is another computer-adaptive test that is used when candidates apply to masters-level programs. Additionally, some business schools have their own admissions test.

Can I retake the GMAT?