GMAT: To Take Your MBA Dreams Beyond India
We all are very familiar with CAT or Common Admission Test exams for MBA in India. Students who are about to graduate or thinking of doing an MBA must prepare for CAT to get into the best Business school in the country. GMAT or Graduate Management Admission Test is like an older cousin of CAT. GMAT is a standardized test to apply for top business schools globally.
GMAT has become the go-to test for students who want to study abroad. It is accepted by more than 7,000 graduate programs in business and management across the world, including top-tier universities like Harvard University, Stanford University, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In fact, many international business schools require GMAT scores as a part of their application process.
Before you start preparing for the GMAT exam, it’s important to know whether you are eligible to appear for the test. The eligibility criteria for GMAT are as follows:
- Age Limit: There is no age limit for taking the GMAT exam.
- Educational Qualifications: You must have completed a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university or college.
- Work Experience: Although work experience is not mandatory, it can add value to your application and help you stand out from the competition.
The GMAT exam is a computer-adaptive test that measures your analytical, quantitative, verbal, and writing skills. The exam is divided into four sections, and you will have 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete the entire test. The four sections of the GMAT exam are as follows:
- Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA): In this section, you will have 30 minutes to write an essay analyzing an argument.
- Integrated Reasoning (IR): In this section, you will have 30 minutes to answer 12 multiple-choice questions that test your data analysis and reasoning skills.
- Quantitative Reasoning (QR): In this section, you will have 62 minutes to answer 31 multiple-choice questions that test your problem-solving and mathematical skills.
- Verbal Reasoning (VR): In this section, you will have 65 minutes to answer 36 multiple-choice questions that test your reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction skills.
Difference Between CAT and GMAT
|Full Form||Graduate Management Admission Test||Common Admission Test|
|Purpose||Apply for MBA programs globally||Apply for MBA programs in India|
|Sections||4 sections, namely: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning||3 sections, namely: Verbal Ability, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Ability|
|Time Limit||3.5 hours||2.5 hours|
|Number of Questions||80||100|
|Acceptance||7,000+ programs worldwide||MBA programs in India|
|Eligibility||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree|
|Exam Frequency||Year-round||Once a year|
|Test Fees||$250 (Approx ₹ 20,695)||₹2,000- ₹2,500|
Benefits of GMAT
1. Global Recognition: GMAT scores are recognized worldwide and accepted by more than 7,000 graduate programs in business and management across the world. This means that you can use your GMAT scores to apply for MBA programs in top-tier universities in the US, Europe, Asia, and beyond.
2. Career Advancement: An MBA degree can help you advance your career, increase your earning potential, and open up new job opportunities. By taking the GMAT and getting into a top-tier MBA program, you can position yourself for career growth and success.
3. Networking Opportunities: By taking the GMAT, you can open doors to various business schools and programs that offer networking opportunities with professionals from diverse backgrounds and industries. These connections can help you gain valuable insights, access new opportunities, and build relationships that can benefit you throughout your career.
4. Personal Development: Pursuing an MBA can help you develop your leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills. By taking the GMAT and getting into a top-tier MBA program, you can challenge yourself and push yourself to new levels of personal and professional growth.
5. Better Salary: According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), MBA graduates can earn a median salary of $115,000 per year, which is significantly higher than the median salary for bachelor’s degree holders. By investing in your education and taking the GMAT, you can set yourself up for a higher salary and greater financial stability.
How to Book a GMAT Exam
1. Visit the official website of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) at www.mba.com.
2. Click on “Register” on the top right corner of the page and create an account if you don’t have one already.
3. Once you have created an account, click on “Schedule Exam” and select your preferred test location, date, and time.
4. Review the exam policies and procedures, and accept the terms and conditions.
5. Pay the exam fee using a valid credit or debit card.
After completing these steps, you will receive a confirmation email from GMAC with the details of your test date, time, and location. You can also log in to your account on the GMAC website to view and manage your GMAT test registration.
GMAT Exam Online
The GMAT Online Exam is a remote proctored version of the GMAT exam that can be taken from the comfort of your own home. It is designed to offer greater flexibility and convenience for test-takers who may not be able to take the in-person exam due to health concerns or other reasons.
To take the GMAT Online Exam, you will need to meet certain technical and security requirements, including having a stable internet connection, a computer with a webcam and microphone, and a private and quiet testing environment with no other people or distractions. You will also need to follow all of the rules and requirements set by GMAC, the organization that administers the GMAT.
Advantages of taking the GMAT Online Exam:
- Can be taken from the comfort of your own home.
- Greater flexibility in scheduling, with a wider range of test times and dates available.
- No need to travel to a test center.
- No potential distractions from other test-takers.
Disadvantages of Taking the GMAT Online Exam:
- Technical issues and connectivity problems can disrupt your concentration and potentially affect your score.
- Slightly different rules and requirements compared to the in-person exam.
- Potential issues with the testing environment at home, such as noise or interruptions.
Advantages of Taking the GMAT Exam at a Test Center:
- Structured and supervised testing environment with high-quality equipment.
- Proctors are trained to help ensure a fair and secure testing experience.
- Greater sense of focus and concentration, with a quiet and controlled environment.
What Percentile Means When it Comes to GMAT Scores?
Percentile is a way to assess your performance in comparison to other test-takers. Let’s say you score in the 80th percentile; that means you’ve outperformed 80% of the other aspirants. Pretty impressive, right? On the other hand, scoring in the lower percentile range indicates that you didn’t perform as well as most of the candidates. So, when it comes to the GMAT, your percentile score can make or break your chances of getting into your dream school.
How is the GMAT Score Calculated?
Here’s a breakdown of how the GMAT test score is calculated:
1. The GMAT Total Score ranges from 200 to 800.
2. The Total Score is calculated using the scores of both the Quantitative and Verbal sections.
3. The Quantitative and Verbal section scores range from 0 to 60.
4. The number of questions answered correctly in each section is used to calculate the raw scores for each section.
5. The raw scores are then converted to scaled scores using a complex algorithm that takes into account the difficulty level of the questions answered correctly.
6. The scaled scores for the Quantitative and Verbal sections are then combined to produce the Total Score.
7. The AWA (Analytical Writing Assessment) and Integrated Reasoning sections are scored separately and do not contribute to the Total Score, but they do appear on the test taker’s score report.
Overall, the GMAT test score is a measure of a test taker’s ability to reason and analyze information in a business school setting.
Validity of GMAT Scores
The GMAT scores are valid for five years, and you can send your scores to up to five programs for free. After the test, you will receive your unofficial scores for the Verbal and Quantitative sections. You can cancel your scores if you feel that you did not perform well, but this decision must be made before you leave the test center.
GMAT Preparations Tips
- Study Material: To prepare for the GMAT exam, you need to have the right study material. There are many GMAT prep books, online courses, and practice tests available that can help you prepare for the exam. You can also take advantage of free resources such as GMAT study apps and sample questions available on the official GMAT website.
- Time Management: Time management is crucial when preparing for the GMAT exam. You need to create a study schedule that allows you to cover all the topics and practice regularly. Allocate time for each section of the exam and make sure you practice under timed conditions to get used to the pace of the exam.
- Practice Tests: Taking practice tests is essential to identify your strengths and weaknesses and track your progress. You should take as many practice tests as possible to get comfortable with the exam format and types of questions.
- Test Day Preparation: On the day of the exam, make sure you have a good night’s sleep and eat a healthy breakfast. Arrive at the test center early and bring all the necessary documents such as your ID and appointment confirmation. Make sure you are familiar with the test center’s location and parking arrangements.
Maximizing Your GMAT Scores Through Professional Coaching
1. Structured preparation: GMAT coaching can provide a structured preparation plan that helps individuals to cover all the topics and sections of the GMAT in a comprehensive manner.
2. Expert guidance: GMAT coaching is usually conducted by experienced instructors who have a deep understanding of the GMAT exam and its nuances. This expertise can help individuals to identify their strengths and weaknesses and work on them accordingly.
3. Personalized approach: GMAT coaching can provide a personalized approach to preparation that takes into account an individual’s learning style, strengths, and weaknesses. This can help individuals to maximize their scores on the exam.
4. Access to resources: GMAT coaching can provide access to a wide range of study materials, practice tests, and other resources that can help individuals to prepare effectively for the exam.
5. Time management: GMAT coaching can help individuals to develop effective time management strategies that can enable them to complete the exam within the allotted time.
6. Confidence building: GMAT coaching can help individuals to build their confidence and reduce anxiety, which can lead to better performance on the exam.
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