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Graduate Management Admission Test (GMA…

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

Each year, more than 200,000 people from all over the world take the GMAT exam. GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admission Test, the scores of which help business schools predict your academic performance in graduate business programs.

About the author

Alan E. Jones graduated from the Business School of Texas A&M University, with an MBA degree, which is essentially one of the many attributes that make Alan qualified to offer expert advice on business school and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

His career path as a business consultant found a way to bring Alan and Erudera together—a unique combination from which thousands of prospective business students have benefitted and continue to do so.

Erudera gave Alan a doorway to use his knowledge for something great! How so?

Although many may be skeptical about what great really is, to us, greatness is found in helping others. One word at a time and one study plan after the other, Alan continues to be generous with his knowledge, skills, and insight towards the future generation of people in business.

What is GMAT?

The GMAT is used to measure your aptitude in analytical writing, verbal skills, and mathematics. It is also considered to be one of the most important factors in the admission process to business schools.

The GMAT exam is computer-based and computer-adaptive, and it is a test that has been used for more than 60 years. In addition to this, the GMAT exam is used in more than 2,000 graduate business schools around the world, by more than 6,000 programs. Although the GMAT can be seen as just an exam, it is also an opportunity for you to put yourself at an advantage, reach your academic and professional goals, and most importantly show your potential to your target business school.

Administration of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

GMAT is administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) which is an NGO of 220 leading graduate business schools around the world, established in the year 1953. GMAC is made up of a team of experts and it administers other exams such as NMAT and the Executive Assessment - designed for executive programs specifically. As a global organization, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has offices in China, India, the U.S., and the UK.

Over the years, GMAC has repeatedly conducted studies to analyze, modify, and evaluate the GMAT exam to ensure its reliability and validity. The mission of GMAC, apart from ensuring the reliability and validity of its exams, is to help graduate business schools and talented business students connect with each other. To ensure that their goals are met, in addition to administering these exams, GMAC also provides professional development opportunities and offers its services to multiple management education industries.

Below you will find the most frequently asked questions about the GMAT exam:

Who Can Take the GMAT?

The eligibility criteria to enter the GMAT exam have not been officially stated by GMAC - the governing body for this exam. Usually, the requirements that must be met when taking the GMAT are the ones set by your target universities. The institution in which you seek admission may have its own GMAT requirements that you, as a prospective student, must meet. Although GMAC has not identified specific GMAT requirements, below you can find the basic requirements that determine your eligibility to take the GMAT:

Age Criteria: In order to schedule the GMAT exam you must be at least 18 years old. If you are a test taker between the age of 13 and 17 you must have the permission of your parent or legal guardian to take the test. There is no upper age limit for test-takers that wish to enter the GMAT exam. As a matter of fact, many of the candidates that take the test each year are older than 30, and they manage to achieve great success.

Nationality: When it comes to the nationality of GMAT test-takers, there are no restrictions or difficulties to enter the exam. The GMAC aims to treat each test taker fairly with impartiality regardless of their cultural background. The rules and eligibility criteria to take the GMAT exam are the same for each candidate, so you can come from any part of the world and still be able to apply and take the GMAT exam.

ID Requirements: Even though the GMAC offers each person the opportunity to apply for the GMAT test, some candidates may encounter difficulties when it comes to their ID requirements. There is a list of countries, test takers of which are obliged to enter the GMAT test with a passport instead of an ID. If your country of origin belongs to this category, and you do not have a passport, you will not be eligible to take the GMAT.

Academic Qualifications: The GMAT exam can be taken by graduates of any type of field. So, even if you did not study mathematics as part of your Bachelor’s degree you can still apply to take the test. This means that you cannot take the GMAT test right after high school. If you have obtained an undergraduate degree in any discipline, you have the green light to go ahead and register for the GMAT.

English Language Proficiency: Although the GMAT is an exam that tests your reasoning and quantitative abilities, being fluent in English is an important determiner of your success in this test. GMAC has not listed knowledge of English as part of the requirements, yet each candidate should have knowledge of the English language since English is the only language of instruction of the GMAT exam.

How to Register for the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

The registration process for the GMAT exam can be completed by following 4 steps.

Step #1: Create an Account

You can create an account by using one of the following ways:

  • Online - You can open an account by visiting the official website - mba.com and clicking sign up at the navigation bar. All you need to do is fill in all the boxes with the required information (Full name, e-mail address, home address, phone number, gender, date of birth, nationality, payment information; optional - educational and work history, native language)

  • Via Phone - You can call GMAT Customer Services in your region and they will help you with the registration. Using this route to complete the registration can result in additional service fees.

  • Via Postal Mail - This option works if your only way of payment is by check or money order. If these are the options you chose to make the payment with, you can complete the form on the official website and mail it together with your payment information.

Step #2: Pick an Exam Date and Find Your Testing Centre

After creating your account you can choose when and where you wish to take the GMAT exam. You have the option of choosing up to three test centers. You can choose three centers that are the nearest to you, and compare the available spots on these locations.

Step #3: Confirm Your Personal Information Details

Make sure that all the information you write is exactly the same as the information that appears on your form of identification. This is important because you will use your ID or passport to enter the GMAT exam, and if your information does not match that in your ID, you will not be allowed to sit for the exam.

Step #4: Complete the Payment

You can pay the registration fee by using a credit card or a debit card. You can read more about the payment fees in the GMAT Examination Fees section.

Note that you can register for the GMAT exam anytime between 6 months and 24 hours before your planned test day, but you should keep in mind that it is quite difficult to find a spot at the last minute. Therefore, make sure you register as early as possible! Considering that you will make the payment upon registration, you might feel more encouraged to start preparing for the GMAT. Registering early should leave you enough time to prepare and excel on test day.

Additional note: If you are a test taker with a disability do not register for GMAT before receiving a decision on your accommodation.

GMAT Testing Accommodation for Test Takers with Disabilities

GMAC - the association that administers the GMAT exam aims to make all its products easily accessible to each test taker. GMAC ensures that each test taker that is not able to take the GMAT under the standard conditions will be offered accommodation depending on the nature of the test taker’s disability.

Some accommodations that are requested more frequently include:

  • Someone who can read the items to the test taker.
  • Someone who can record the responses of the test taker.
  • Additional time (50% additional time; 100% additional time; additional rest break; extended rest breaks).
  • Access to Zoom Text or JAWS software.

Creating a candidate profile on the official website (mba.com) is the same for all prospective test-takers of the GMAT exam. However, test-takers with a disability that request accommodation should not register for the GMAT before having their request approved. This is due to the fact that you cannot change a standard testing appointment to an accommodated testing. If the committee approves your request you will then receive directions in scheduling your accommodated test appointment.

Things to Consider When You Submit an Accommodation Request

Make sure you provide clear evidence of your disability: Whatever testing accommodation you plan to request, you must provide a reason why you need that specific accommodation type. Note that any request that might interfere with the accuracy of the test measurement is considered as an unreasonable request, and thus, will be denied.

Submit all the documentation in English: If your documents are not issued in the English language, you must have them translated by a professional translator. On that note, make sure you do not submit any of your original documents since everything that you submit becomes the property of GMAC and will not be returned to you.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor: Take the time to meet with the doctor that evaluated or diagnosed your disability and provide them with the guideline for GMAT test-takers with disabilities. It is best if your doctor can provide you with a detailed report of your condition or disability and its impacts on your academic life or in this case test-taking. A brief, simple note from the healthcare professional will not suffice if you wish to have your request approved.

What Should Be Addressed in a GMAT Accommodation Request?

Although GMAC understands that each individual is unique and offers flexibility to accommodate persons with a disability, it aims to do so by still being fair to other candidates who believe in the reliability and validity of the GMAT exam. So, the documentation you submit with your accommodation request plays a huge role in the final decision of the committee.

What you must address in your GMAT accommodation request is:

  1. Effects of disability in the study process. Describe your disability and how it is having an impact on your study process or when you take any practice exams.
  2. Effects of disability in work settings. Describe how your disability has had an impact in work settings (i.e. how it has affected your ability to finish your tasks). It would be great if you can state your job title and your tasks. If you have never held a job, you can state that in your request.
  3. Effects of disability in social situations. Describe the effects of your disability when you are in social situations or doing everyday tasks and activities.
  4. Previous formal/informal accommodations. Write about any formal or informal accommodations you may have received during or prior to registering for college. Write about when did these accommodations take place and what accommodations you were offered (i.e. additional time on exams, or the like).
  5. Your previous school performance. Write about your performance in school up to and including college. Note if you were placed in special, advanced, or regular education classes.
  6. Write about previous tests you have taken. These tests may include TOEFL, GRE, SAT, ACT, PSAT, etc. If applicable, write about any accommodations you received while undertaking any of these tests and the scores you received (if possible, attach a copy of your score reports to your accommodation request).

Note: Decisions for accommodations are made after careful review of the documentation submitted by prospective test-takers. If you do not send all the required documentation or do not successfully reason your request for accommodation you will receive a negative answer. Therefore, submitting an accommodation request will not guarantee its approval.

The Analytical Writing Assessment Section (AWA)

In the Analytical Writing Assessment section, you will have one task. You will be presented with an argument and you will be required to analyze the reasoning behind that argument. You will have 30 minutes to complete this section. There are three main categories on which you will be assessed in the Analytical Writing Assessment section.

The first is your organization and presentation skills, more precisely your ability to present thoughts in a coherent way. You will also be tested on your ability to present a logical analysis of the argument you will have in front of you. This is usually seen based on the ideas you present in your argument. And lastly, you will also be tested based on your ability to write standard English. So, your linguistics skills will also be tested.

The Integrated Reasoning Section

In June of 2012, the Integrated Reasoning section was added to the GMAT exam. This section has four types of questions, presented in the form of charts, graphs, and tables. The purpose of the Integrated Reasoning section is to test your ability to analyze data presented in these formats. The Integrated Reasoning section has a total of 12 questions. You will have 30 minutes to complete this section.

  1. Multiple-Source Reasoning Questions

These types of questions can be in the form of charts, graphs, or passages, or the three at once. You will see these questions in two types of formats:

  • Multiple Choice Questions: You will have to choose between five answer choices.
  • Two-Column Grid: Answer with yes/no, increase/decrease, or true/false.
  1. Table Analysis Questions

In this section, you will have to analyze a table full of data. According to the data presented in this table, you will have to decide whether the statements that have been presented to you are true or false.

Make sure that you understand what you are being asked to do. Normally, the correct statements that are presented should help in completing the information presented in the table. Moreover, these statements should help explain what is being seen in the table.

  1. Graphic Interpretation Questions

In this part of the Integrated Reasoning section, you can get any kind of chart and graph. Once you are presented with a graphic, you will see below the sentences that you must complete. These are fill-in-the-blank sentences, and you will have to choose the correct answer among a few answer choices.

If you are prepared to interpret the graphic, meaning if you are already familiar with these types of questions, you will not spend much time answering them. This is why it is important that you get comfortable with reading all types of graphic questions.

  1. Two-Part Analysis

Questions in this section can either be verbal or mathematical. This part of the test will usually start with some introductory material. Afterward, you will see a chart and you will be required to select your answer for each column. To best prepare for this section you need to:

  • Develop your reading comprehension skills
  • Work on your graph reading skills
  • Take practice tests
  • Review concepts such as calculating rate, speed, profit, etc.
  • Use the on-screen calculator
  • To not waste time make your best guess and move on to the next question

Quantitative Reasoning Section

The Quantitative Section is used to test your skills in arithmetic, geometry, and algebra. You will have to answer a total of 31 questions in 62 minutes. This means that you have approximately 2 minutes to answer one question. Although you will be using your math skills during this section to solve problems, the focus of the test falls upon your ability to reason critically and solve problems.

You will have two types of questions in this section:

  1. Problem Solving

A big part of the questions in the Quantitative Reasoning section falls into the category of problem-solving. They are multiple-choice questions that are presented as word problems and will require your skills in arithmetic, algebra, and geometry to solve them.

  1. Data Sufficiency

Questions of this type will evaluate your ability to recognize what data is necessary to solve the presented equations. In these questions, you will be given two pieces of information and you will have to choose which one best answers the question.

Verbal Reasoning Section

The Verbal Reasoning section is used to measure your ability to comprehend written material, reason and analyze arguments, and test your ability to write in standard written English. You will have to complete a total of 36 questions in 65 minutes. You will encounter three types of questions in this section and they include:

  1. Reading Comprehension Questions

Questions in this section begin with a passage about a certain topic. You will answer 3 to 4 questions and you will be asked to answer these questions by finding and summarizing the main idea of the passage, analyzing its structure, and identifying the author’s tone on the topic.

Your ability to infer information based on what you are presented will also be analyzed. Usually, the topics on passages in the Reading Comprehension section relate to business, historical events, social science and they are generally written in an academic tone.

  1. Critical Reasoning Questions

The critical Reasoning section will also begin with a passage. You will have to answer questions about this passage - which will be a written argument. While answering these questions you should look into what strengthens or weakens the argument presented in the passage.

Note that questions in this section are known for tricky wording, so make sure you read the passage carefully.

  1. Sentence Correction Questions

The question in the Sentence Correction section will test your knowledge of English grammar - to be more specific your knowledge of written standard English. Questions will be presented in the form of a sentence with bits or all of the information underlined. As they are multiple-choice questions you will select the best version of the underlined part of the sentence.

What makes these sentences a bit confusing for both native and non-native English speakers is the fact that they are quite long and contain a lot of details, so you will have to concentrate as best as you can while answering the questions. Practicing them before the test is crucial since they can be deceptive and you must familiarize yourself with questions of this type.

Why Should I Take the GMAT?

The GMAT is one of the exams that business schools trust the most. It is a test, the scores of which help your prospective school see how determined and prepared you are to earn a graduate business degree. Many students take this exam because they see it as an opportunity to highlight their strengths and because scoring high will give them the opportunity to stand out from other applicants.

If you are still thinking of reasons as to why you should take the GMAT exam, consider the following:

  1. Gain Admission to Top Business Schools

One of the most important and obvious reasons why a student takes the GMAT exam is to gain admission to graduate business schools. MBA enrollments are usually achieved using the GMAT exam, and that is why applicants tend to score high so they can represent themselves with the best possible score. So, if your aim is to apply to a graduate business school this should be one of the primary reasons to take the GMAT.

  1. Great Chances of Receiving an MBA Scholarship

Taking the GMAT exam will not only increase your chances of getting you into a business school, but it will also give you the opportunity to pursue your business studies on a full scholarship. The GMAT scholarship committee has not listed a minimum score that will guarantee you a scholarship, but managing to score high will increase the probability of getting one. Note that the scholarship committee will also look into your academic performance before granting you a scholarship.

  1. Excellent Employment Prospects Post-MBA

Apart from securing you a place in a business school, taking the GMAT exam will also play a part in the future of your career. There are many companies that require their prospective employees to submit scores of the GMAT exam. This is due to the fact that the skills that the GMAT exam assesses are also critical to many industries, and your score will only demonstrate how committed and prepared you are to succeed in the business industry.

Where Can I Take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

The GMAT exam is offered both at test centers and online. Now, the choice between taking the GMAT test center exam or the GMAT online exam falls entirely on you. If you live far from a test center, taking the GMAT exam online is your best option. There are more than 100 countries with around 650 testing centers for persons that wish to take the GMAT exam. There are not many differences between the GMAT test center exam and the one taken online. You can read more about it below:

GMAT Online Exam

If you are someone who wishes to take the GMAT exam from the comfort of your own home, GMAC offers you the opportunity to do so. Facts about the GMAT online exam include:

  • The test can be taken on laptops, Windows, or Mac computers. All mobile devices and tablets are strictly forbidden
  • The test is exactly the same in content
  • You have the same time limit as other candidates
  • You can reschedule, cancel and reinstate your scores

Duration of the GMAT

The GMAT exam takes around 3.5 hours to complete including the optional breaks. Each section of the GMAT exam has different time limits. The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) and Integrated Reasoning are two 30-minute sections. Quantitative Reasoning is a 62-minute section, and Verbal Reasoning is a 65-minute section.

You also have the option of taking two breaks. Breaks count for a total of 16 minutes, so during the GMAT exam, you will have the opportunity to take two breaks for up to 8 minutes. You will see the specific scheduled break message during your exam. If you decide to skip the break message, your break will start automatically in 60 seconds.

Note that each section of the GMAT exam is strictly timed. This means that unless you have had your accommodation request approved by the committee, you will not be allowed to get any additional time. Also, choosing a certain section order does not mean that the test length will change. The length of the test and the breaks remain the same.

GMAT Section Duration
Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) 30 minutes
Integrated Reasoning 30 minutes
Optional Break 8 minutes
Quantitative 62 minutes
Verbal 65 minutes
Optional Break 8 minutes
Total Approximate Time 3 hours, 30 minutes

Can I Choose in Which Order to Take the GMAT Exam Sections?

Yes, once you arrive at the test location, you have the opportunity to choose in which order you want to take the four sections of the GMAT exam. Before you begin with the GMAT exam you will be presented with three test order options and you have 2 minutes to choose before the system chooses the default section order for you. You can choose between the following:

Order #1: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal (the default section order)

Order #2: Verbal. Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

Order #3: Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

Suggestion: If you are wondering which GMAT section you should do first, you can choose the section in which you are confident you will deliver your best performance. On the other hand, if you believe that certain sections might be more challenging, you can start with those sections first while you are still fresh.

Note: You should know that none of the section orders you choose will give you an automatic advantage over other candidates that have chosen another section order. Your final score will mainly depend on how much you studied and prepared for the exam.

How Is the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) Scored?

You may often see the term GMAT accompanied by the acronym CAT which stands for Computer Adaptive Test, and this is because the GMAT testing software adapts to your performance on the separate sections. This means that apart from the number of questions you answer correctly, you will also receive scores on the difficulty level of the questions you answer correctly. From all the four sections of the GMAT exam, the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections are the only computer-adaptive sections.

General GMAT Score

Scores in the GMAT exam range from 200 to 800 where around 60% of the test takers score between 400 and 600. The first questions on each section will be of medium-level difficulty. Therefore, your answers to the questions of the GMAT exam will determine the difficulty level of the next question. Your total scores will be based on your calculated performance. Afterward, the raw score is converted to a number in your total score range. GMAT Scores are reported in intervals of 10. The standard error of measurement is 30-40 points.

Note: Due to the fact that your answers determine what question you get next, you will not be able to go back and change the answers to the questions you have already answered. Therefore, make sure you review each response carefully before moving on to the next question.

Analytical Writing Assessment Score

Your scores in the Analytical Writing Assessment section will be reported in intervals of 0.5. Considering that you will be writing an essay analyzing an argument in this section, you will receive scores based on 4 categories:

  1. How you analyze the issue
  2. How you support your ideas
  3. How you manage to organize your ideas, and
  4. Your language skills

Note that your essay will be scored using a machine algorithm, and the expertise of professional essay raters.

Integrated Reasoning Score

In the Integrated Reasoning section, you will receive scores based on the number of questions you answer correctly. However, there is a catch. These questions may have multiple parts, so to receive credit for these questions you must answer all parts correctly.

Scores in this section are reported in intervals of 1.

Verbal Reasoning Score

Scores in the Verbal Reasoning section are item-level adaptive as well, so you will be scored based on the number of questions you answer correctly and their difficulty level. Of course, if you manage to answer more questions and qualify for those with a higher difficulty level you will earn a higher score.

Scores in this section are reported in intervals of 1 with the standard error of measurement being 3 points.

Remember that if you do not complete each section of the exam you will receive a penalty. If you do not manage to complete your exam in the allotted time, your score will decrease significantly.

What is a Good GMAT Score?

Considering that total GMAT scores range from 200 to 800, the average GMAT score is around 550, and the highest GMAT score is 800. Whereas, If you are thinking about what a good GMAT score is, apart from scoring the highest, you should look into the range of scores your prospective MBA program accepts.

How Long are GMAT Scores Valid?

GMAT scores are valid for 5 years.

How Long Does It Take to Send GMAT Scores?

You will receive your GMAT scores within 20 days of your exam date. This is the same time that your chosen schools will also receive your scores.

Can I Choose Which GMAT Scores to Send?

Yes, you have the option of choosing which GMAT scores to send to your chosen schools. If you are satisfied with the scores you receive on test day you can send them immediately. If not, you can reappear for the GMAT exam and do your best on the next try.

Can I Send My GMAT Scores to Additional Schools?

Yes, if you would like to send your GMAT scores to more than the five programs that you selected on test day you have the option of sending them after the test date. You can send your scores by logging into your account and using the Additional Score Reporting service or you can contact the GMAT customer service via phone but this may cost you US$10. Your additional score report will be sent within 7 calendar days.

Can I Cancel My GMAT Scores?

Once you complete all sections of the GMAT exam you will have 2 minutes to decide whether you wish to accept or cancel your scores. If you do not make a selection within these 2 minutes your scores will be canceled automatically. If you decided to accept your scores at the test center but regretted it, you have up to 72 hours (3 days) from your exam date to cancel your score. You can do this by logging into your mba.com account.

Can I Reinstate Canceled GMAT Scores?

Yes, if you have canceled your scores at your test center, you have four years and 11 months after your exam date to reinstate your canceled scores. If you wait for more than that you will not be able to retrieve your scores.

How Do I Reinstate a Previously Canceled GMAT Score?

In order to reinstate GMAT scores that you have previously canceled, you will need to log in to your mba.com account or you can use the help of the GMAC customer service. The processing of your request might take up to 20 days. However, once you submit your request you will have your scores reinstated within five to seven days.

How Many Times Can I Take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)?

The GMAT exam is offered year-round, but this does not mean that you can take it whenever you would like. You can take the GMAT exam once every 16 days but you are not allowed to take it more than 5 times a year. Also, if you have managed to score 800 - which is the highest GMAT score, you must wait 5 years before you take it again.

How Often is the GMAT offered?

GMAT is offered year-round, so you will have the opportunity to schedule a testing appointment up to 24 hours before the test as long as you can find a free slot. However, finding an open spot too close to the test date is quite difficult.

Can I Reschedule or Cancel a GMAT Testing Appointment?

Yes, you have the opportunity to cancel and reschedule a testing appointment but you will have to pay a fee to do. Depending on how many days before the exam date you decide to cancel or reschedule, this service may cost you from US$100 to US$200.

GMAT Examination Fees

The cost of registering for the GMAT exam is $250, for both the online and the test center administered exam. However, this fee is not the same in all countries.

How Much Does it Cost to Cancel a GMAT Testing Appointment?

In order to cancel your GMAT exam, you will have to pay a fee. The amount of this fee depends on how close to the GMAT exam you decide to cancel the testing appointment. Canceling fees are shown in the table below:

Can I study business without GMAT?

Yes, in some cases universities don't require a GMAT test. Learn more about getting an MBA without GMAT:

Cancellation Fee
1 to 14 days prior to the test day US$200
15 to 60 days prior to the test day US$175

If you are wondering if there is a refund for canceling your GMAT test day, the answer is yes. Note that if you decide to cancel your test day 1 to 14 days before the exam date you will receive a refund of $50. If you cancel 15 to 60 days before the exam date you will receive a refund of $75.

How Much Does It Cost to Reschedule the GMAT Exam?

Rescheduling the GMAT exam date will also cost you, and the cost will depend on how close to the test date you decide to reschedule. Rescheduling fees are shown in the table below:

Rescheduling Fee
1 to 14 days prior to the test day US$150
15 to 60 days prior to the test day US$100

How Much Does It Cost to Cancel GMAT Scores?

If you take the GMAT exam but are not satisfied with your scores you can cancel them immediately or you can cancel them within 72 hours of your test date. If you decide to cancel them afterward you will have to pay a fee of US$25.

How Much Does It Cost to Reinstate GMAT scores?

Reinstating GMAT scores will cost you US$50.

How Much Does It Cost to Send GMAT Scores to Additional Schools?

Apart from sending your scores to five different business schools, you also have the option of sending your score to additional schools. However, you can only do this by paying a fee of US$28.

Analytical Writing Assessment Rescoring Fee

You also have the option of requesting rescoring of the AWA section. This will be done by an independent reader and it will cost you US$45. However, you must request rescoring within six months of your test date or your request will be denied.


Many students are torn between taking the GMAT or the GRE test. GMAT for instance is an exam used specifically by graduate business schools. Therefore, students that take the GMAT are the ones that have already decided to pursue a graduate business degree. GRE on the other hand is used not only by business schools but it is also used for admission in a range of other graduate programs. So, students that choose to take the GRE test may be some that have not chosen their preferred graduate program yet.

Applying to Business School - Should I Take GMAT or GRE?

Both the GMAT and GRE are widely accepted by schools around the world. However, there are many reasons why GMAT makes a better choice if you are planning to pursue a graduate business program, and those include:

Test Focus: Each GMAT section targets specific skills that are relevant to business careers. These include your ability to analyze an argument (AWA), how skillful you are in analyzing and synthesizing information (IR), your knowledge in mathematics (Quantitative), and your grammar, logical, and critical reasoning skills (Verbal).

Accepted by All Business Schools: Considering that the GMAT exam is designed specifically for business schools its scores are accepted by business schools worldwide. On the other hand, GRE scores are accepted by around 1,200 business schools, and not only. This is why those that are still not decided which graduate school to pursue take the GRE exam.

Career Prospects: Many business industries value applicants that have a good GMAT score. And this is why apart from helping you get into a top business school, good GMAT scores can also help you get an internship during your studies. In addition to this, once you graduate your GMAT score might influence your career trajectory.

Here are the top business schools:

Things to Consider Before Entering the GMAT Exam

  • Decide which section order you want to take.
  • Decide what score you are willing to accept.
  • Choose the names of the schools to which you want to send your scores.

Do some research on your target universities and gain information about their policies and preferences on GMAT scores.

What Should I Bring to GMAT Test Day?

The items you will need to have with you on GMAT test day include:

  • A valid form of ID (Required).
  • Appointment Confirmation Letter or Email (Optional).
  • Directions to the test center (Optional).
  • A light sweater (Optional).
  • Snacks (Optional).
  • Eyeglasses (if medically necessary).

GMAT Test Center Rules

Each applicant that aims to take a test should bear in mind the rules and procedures that apply to that test administration. GMAT test administration begins the minute you walk through the test center doors and ends the minute you check out.

Here are some of the GMAT exam rules:

  • Present original valid identification upon checking in at the test center.
  • Before you begin with the GMAT exam you will be asked to electronically agree with the GMAT Terms of use and sign the GMAT Non-Disclosure Agreement.
  • The test administrator will take your photograph digitally and scan your palm vein pattern.
  • Anytime you leave the testing room, upon return, the test administrator will scan your palm vein to verify your identity.
  • You are not allowed to leave the test room without the permission of the test administrator.
  • You must not leave the building during a break.
  • If you believe to have any issues with your computer or need help raise your hand and notify the test administrator.
  • Disruptive behaviors are not allowed.
  • Weapons or objects that can be used as a weapon are not allowed in the test center.
  • Communications with other test-takers are not allowed during the test session.
  • Disclosing information about the test content is prohibited during and after the administration of the GMAT exam.
  • If you need to leave your workstation for any emergency during timed sections of the test the clock will not stop running during your absence.
  • You have two optional breaks during the GMAT exam, if you exceed the time limit during any of these breaks your time will be deducted from the next test section.

GMAT Policy Violations

You would not want to take an example from the saying “all rules are meant to be broken” during your GMAT exam since the test administrator will report any violation of irregularities on your part and there will be consequences.

GMAT policy violations include:

  • Using electronic devices such as phones, computers, music players, or communication devices.
  • Storing items improperly.
  • Bringing unauthorized items into the test room.
  • Using study guides.

Tips to Avoid Any Policy Violation during the GMAT Exam

  • Store all your items including all your electronic devices in your locker. You are not allowed to access these items even during your breaks.
  • Do not bring more than allowed. The only things that you are allowed to bring to the test room include your identification, the key to your locker, a light sweater, and eyeglasses.
  • Do not bring any food, drinks, or candy (apart from water in a clear container). You must not bring these items to the test room unless you have a pre-authorized permission for a disability.
  • Ask the test administrator if you need to check the time.
  • If you take a break make sure you do not exceed the time limit.

Consequences for Policy Violations during the GMAT Exam

For each policy violation, there will be consequences and these are:

  • Revoked score.
  • Ban from testing: up to 3 years for accessing electronic devices; 1 year for accessing study guides; possible 1 year for storing items improperly.
  • Notification to your chosen schools.

Things that Can be Stored in Your Locker Room at the GMAT Test Center

Electronic Devices (Phones) Thesaurus Stereos
Watches Dictionaries Calculators
Ear Plugs Translators Rulers
Radios Lip Balm Scratch Paper
Writing Tools Pagers Communication Devices

Things To Consider Before You Start Studying for the GMAT Exam

Before you start studying for the GMAT exam we advise you to take the following steps to make sure you have a successful study period:

  1. Find a comfortable place to study.
  2. Figure out what time of the day/night you are the most productive.
  3. Create a neat and organized study zone.
  4. Remove all electronic devices that might distract you.
  5. Maintain a good sleep routine.
  6. Make sure you follow the principles you have set for yourself.

Note: According to Erudera’s Study Plan you will be studying for the GMAT exam from Monday to Saturday. Sundays are left as recharging days. Keep in mind the following abbreviations because they will be used throughout the study plan: AWA - Analytical Writing Assessment; IR - Integrated Reasoning; QR - Quantitative Reasoning; VR - Verbal Reasoning.

GMAT Study Plan

As a prospective test-taker of the GMAT exam, you will need approximately 3 months to fully prepare for the exam. This will give you enough time to go over the concepts and materials you need to review before the exam.

Erudera’s 3-Month GMAT Study Plan consists of:

  • A 1-Month Study Plan
  • A 2-Month Study Plan
Week 1
Weekly Objectives Goals Expert advice:
  • Monday: Read the GMAT Guide.
  • Tuesday: Take a GMAT practice test.
  • Wednesday: Gather my study materials.
  • Thursday: Practice the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section and take notes.
  • Friday: Practice the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section and take notes.
  • Saturday: Review notes of the AWA and IR sections.
  • Sunday: Rest!
  • Familiarize myself with the content of the GMAT exam. 
  • Start practicing under realistic testing conditions.
  • Review my results and note my GMAT strengths and weaknesses.
  • Organize my study materials.
  • Register for the GMAT exam first. (Set a date for your exam)
  • Taking the test is important because you will know for certain where you stand and in which sections you need to work more. 
  • Make sure you take the test without interruptions.

Your first week of study might seem chaotic until you manage to organize everything but do not let yourself get discouraged!

Week 2
Weekly Objectives Goals Expert advice:
  • Monday: Practice the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) section and take notes.
  • Tuesday: Practice the Verbal Reasoning (VR) section and take notes.
  • Wednesday: Start reviewing my notes.
  • Thursday: Analyze an argument.
  • Friday: Work problems of the IR section.
  • Saturday: Work problems of the QR section.
  • Sunday: Rest!
  • Become familiar with the questions of the GMAT exam.
  • Master the ability to read charts, symbols, and tables.
  • Build my knowledge in algebra, geometry, number properties, and world problems.
  • Avoid getting stressed. This is only your Week 2 of studying for the GMAT.
  • Be determined to study as best as you can.
  • Stay consistent.
Week 3
Weekly Objectives Goals Expert advice:
  • Monday: Practice question types of the Verbal Reasoning Section such as critical reasoning questions, correction questions, and comprehension questions.
  • Tuesday: Review my notes.
  • Wednesday: Read more about the AWA section.
  • Thursday: Read more about the IR section.
  • Friday: Read more about the QR section.
  • Saturday: Read more about the VR section.
  • Sunday: Rest!
  • Build more knowledge in critical reasoning.
  • Build more knowledge of the IR section.
  • Build more knowledge in the QR section.
  • Build more knowledge in the VR section.
  • Always track your progress.
  • Practice these sections and their problems until they are second nature.
  • Get used to the ways questions are presented in each section.
Week 4
Weekly Objectives Goals Expert advice:
  • Monday: Take the GMAT practice exam again.
  • Tuesday: Practice the Analytical Writing Assessment Section.
  • Wednesday: Practice the Integrated Reasoning Section.
  • Thursday: Practice the Quantitative Reasoning Section.
  • Friday: Practice the Verbal Reasoning Section.
  • Saturday: Review all my notes.
  • Sunday: Rest!
  • Get comfortable in performing under time pressure.
  • Make sure I understand where each answer is coming from.
  • Make sure I am able to show step by step how I am solving a problem.
  • Make sure I am reading tables, charts, and symbols correctly.
  • Take the test in one sitting so you test under real testing conditions.
  • Make sure that you are able to explain steps of how you are solving a problem or answering a question.

You may choose to study only for 4 weeks for the GMAT exam so this might be your last week of study. We advise you to stay calm before and during the test. This will allow you to work with a clearer mind.

If you have 2-Months to study for the GMAT exam, keep reading to complete your 2-Month Study Plan.

Week 5
Weekly Objectives Goals Expert advice:
  • Monday: Start analyzing an argument as asked in the AWA section.
  • Tuesday: Review unclear concepts of the AWA section.
  • Wednesday: Analyze questions of the IR section.
  • Thursday: Review unclear concepts of the IR section.
  • Friday: Analyze questions of the QR section.
  • Saturday: Review unclear concepts of the QR section.
  • Sunday: Rest!
  • Determine how much you have progressed during the past few weeks.
  • Practice Graphic Interpretation.
  • Practice taking information from multiple sources so I can answer questions.
  • Practice table analysis questions.
  • Review all unclear concepts of each GMAT section.

Ask yourself these reflective questions:

  1. Am I understanding what is being asked in the questions of the GMAT exam?
  2. Am I able to understand what went wrong while solving a problem?
  3. Am I using logical reasoning while answering questions?
  4. Am I understanding the language of the question?

Depending on your answer to these questions you should understand how much you need to practice.

Week 6
Weekly Objectives Goals Expert advice:
  • Monday: Practice AWA analyzing arguments and take notes.
  • Tuesday: Practice the IR section questions and take notes.
  • Wednesday: Practice the QR section questions and take notes.
  • Thursday: Practice the VR questions and take notes.
  • Friday: Review previous week's notes.
  • Saturday: Take notes of all my strengths and weaknesses.
  • Sunday: Rest
  • Focus on concepts that are unclear to me.
  • Determine all my strengths and weaknesses and work on them.
  • Keep in mind all the strategies and methods you have used so far.
  • Do not let stress sabotage your progress.
Week 7

Weekly Objectives Goals Expert advice:
  • Monday: Take the GMAT Practice exam.
  • Tuesday: Review notes of the AWA section and practice more. 
  • Wednesday: Review notes of the IR section and practice more.
  • Thursday: Review notes of the QR section and practice more.
  • Friday: Review notes of the VR section and practice more.
  • Saturday: Take a GMAT simulation test.
  • Sunday: Rest!
  • Take AWA, IR, VR, and QR timed practice.
  • Deal with unclear concepts.
  • Plan your time wisely even during the simulation test. In this way, you will see how developed your time management skills are.
  • Time management is critical to completing the GMAT exam so you must practice pacing.
Week 8

Weekly Objectives Goals Expert advice:
  • Monday: Take note of all the mistakes I made while taking the GMAT practice test.
  • Tuesday: Work on my weaknesses in the AWA section.
  • Wednesday: Work on my weaknesses in the IR section.
  • Thursday: Work on my weaknesses in the QR section.
  • Friday: Work on my weaknesses in the VR section.
  • Saturday: Review all my notes.
  • Sunday: Rest!

  • Get confident in the test-taking strategies.
  • Work on the mistakes I made on the last practice test.
  • You can take the GMAT test even after 8 weeks of studying
  • If this is your last week with this study plan use it for the last review of all your notes and do some more practice.
  • Stay focused, and be confident that you have studied enough to succeed.

If you have 3-Months to study for the GMAT exam, keep reading to complete your 3-Month Study Plan.

Week 9

Weekly Objectives Goals Expert advice:
  • Monday: Take the GMAT practice test.
  • Tuesday: Practice the AWA section by using the necessary strategies. 
  • Wednesday: Practice the IR section by using the necessary strategies.
  • Thursday: Practice the QR section by using the necessary strategies.
  • Friday: Practice the VR section by using the necessary strategies.
  • Saturday: Review and compare all notes. 
  • Sunday: Rest!
  • Keep notes of my progress.
  • Know where to focus on the upcoming week/s. 
  • Expand my preparation by practicing with real GMAT questions.

  • Always study for one section at a time.
  • Remember that taking the GMAT practice test is crucial because you will take the test under the same testing conditions and this will not let anything throw you off on test day.
Week 10

Weekly Objectives Goals Expert advice:
  • Monday: Research how others are answering questions of the AWA section and take notes.
  • Tuesday: Research how others are answering questions of the IR section and take notes.
  • Wednesday: Research how others are answering questions of the VR section and take notes.
  • Thursday: Research how others are answering questions of the QR section and take notes.
  • Friday: Review all my notes.
  • Saturday: Practice.
  • Sunday: Rest!
  • Look into the ways others answer questions of each section and determine if I am missing anything.
  • Take examples of what and what not to do during the exam.
  • Review all my notes.
  • Practice as much as possible. 
  • Use this week to think about everything you have learned so far.
  • Make sure that you are not missing any crucial information.
  • Do not get stressed!
Week 11

Weekly Objectives Goals Expert advice:
  • Monday: Take the GMAT Practice test.
  • Tuesday: Analyze an essay and take notes.
  • Wednesday: Work on the IR sections I performed poorly and take notes.
  • Thursday: Work on the QR sections I performed poorly and take notes.
  • Friday: Work on the VR sections I performed poorly and take notes.
  • Saturday: Organize all notes.
  • Sunday: Rest!
  • Take the GMAT test and study more on the sections I do not perform as well.
  • Be mindful of the mistakes I am making on the simulation test and make sure I do not repeat them. 
  • Practice more on the sections I am weak at.
  • Taking the GMAT simulation test again will allow you to see in which section of the test you need to work more.
  • Focus as best as you can in noting your mistakes, but also your skills.
  • You have had almost 3 months to study for the exam, so the mistakes you make can be manageable.
Week 12

Weekly Objectives Goals Expert advice:
  • Monday: Review all my notes.
  • Tuesday: Study for the AWA section.
  • Wednesday:Study for the IR section.
  • Thursday:Study for the VR section.
  • Friday:Study for the QR section.
  • Saturday:Rest!
  • Sunday: Rest!
  • Repeat all that I have learned through my 3-month study period.

Normally week 12 could be the last week you can use to study before the exam.

So, the tips you should keep in mind are:

  • Be calm.
  • Be confident.
  • Do not stress.

Erudera’s Study Plan Success Rate

Erudera has selected 297 test-takers from around the world, most of whom have entered the GMAT exam in the period 2018/2019. Although the majority were 2018 test-takers, there were also prospective business school students who entered GMAT in 2019 administrations.

Background Information

Ever since we started publishing Study Plans, we have thought it necessary to see how our Study Plans actually affect the scores of people who trust us. We wanted to figure out the exact correlation between our Study Plans and the scores of people who use them.

Of course, before publishing a Study Plan, our experts test it and its effectiveness. Although all our Study Plans are compiled by professionals, nothing gets published without a trial period.

Conveniently, our statistical analyses have shown promising results up until now. This has been encouraging to both, the Erudera experts who create these Study Plans and our visitors who use these Study Plans.

Results & Statistics:

Who were our 297 respondents?

  1. 120 test-takers who used their own study plan.
  2. 97 test-takers who used Erudera’s Study Plan.
  3. 80 test-takers who did not use a study plan.

What were their scores?

  • The majority (51%) of test-takers belonging to the first category scored just over 450.
  • The majority (67%) of test-takers belonging to the second category scored just over 550.
  • The majority (68%) of test-takers belonging to the third category scored just over 350.

What does the data conclude?

The data concludes that the success rate of test-takers who used Erudera’s Study Plan is higher than the success rate of test-takers who used their own study plans or did not use a study plan at all. On the other hand, students who did not use a study plan at all scored the lowest amount among the three categories.

On a more specific scale:

  • 61 out of 120 test-takers (51%) who used their own study plan scored above 450.
  • 65 out of 97 test-takers (67%) who used Erudera’s Study Plan scored above 550.
  • 54 out of 80 test-takers (68%) who did not use a study plan at all scored above 350.