Graduate Management Admission Test


What does GMAT stand for?

The GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admission Test.  It is administered by Graduate Management Admission Council (or GMAC) and required for admission to most U.S., Canadian, and European business school MBA programs. Also, the GMAT test result can be used for admission to business PhD program, such as Harvard Business School DBA program.

Many test-takers have been working for several years and some are still in colleges. However, the GMAT exam does not test any specific knowledge in business or other subjects. Rather, it tests the "mental intelligence" and the ability to make decision under time pressure. The following table represents GMAT test format:

GMAT Format


 Number (s) of Questions (Total)


AWA (one Issue and one Argument)


 30 minutes for each essay


5 minutes

Verbal: about 14 Reading Comprehension Questions (3 passages), 10 Critical Reasoning Question and 17 Sentence Correction Questions)


 75 minutes


5 minutes

Quantitative (about 13 Data Sufficiency, and 34 Problem Solving)


 75 minutes

GMAT Score and MBA Admissions

The GMAT is an essential element in the evaluation of an applicant, and schools attach great importance to the test for two good reasons: it allows the school to compare applicants from different backgrounds according to the same numerical scale; moreover, the average GMAT score is taken into account in the various business school rankings.

At most schools, the GMAT is a deciding element in your application. Along with your undergraduate grades, your score on the GMAT determines your "academic ability". Although everyone refuses to compare it to an IQ test, the GMAT implicitly provides the school with an indication of your ability to follow the MBA courses.