- The Analytical Writing Assessment is composed of two prompts, one each in the areas of business analysis and business issues. While there are no specific correct answers, reviewers look for a candidate's ability to communicate in writing, explain or persuade and critique a given argument. In the Quantitative section, data sufficiency and problem solving are tested. Algebra and geometry problems are presented, and test takers must read word problems to determine relevant information to find a solution. The Verbal section of the GMAT covers reading comprehension and grammar skills, and passages come from any topic.
- The GMAT is a computer-adaptive exam based on an individual's previous answers, so each test is unique. One question at a time is shown on the screen, and since the program scores each question to determine the difficulty of the next one, test takers cannot navigate to earlier questions. The GMAT is timed by individual sections, with 30 minutes given for each of the two writing topics and 75 minutes each allowed for the Quantitative and Verbal sections. These two latter sections include 37 and 41 multiple choice questions, respectively. Optional eight-minute rest breaks are given between sections.
- For the multiple choice questions on the GMAT, higher scores are earned by answering more difficult questions correctly. Raw scores print immediately upon completion of the exam, but the writing section scores and overalls score do not become available until about three weeks later. Test takers receive scores in the mail or by logging into their accounts on the Graduate Management Admission Council's Score-Reporting website, and may send scores to additional recipients. GMAT keeps scores, which range from 200 to 800, for 10 years before discarding them.
Location and Cost
- Test centers in 94 countries offer the GMAT; locations can be found on the official GMAT website. Each center determines available times and dates for GMAT testing. Test takers should contact a test center to make an appointment or register on the GMAT website. Wherever the testing occurs, the cost for test takers is $250, in U.S. currency only, as of June 2010. Checks, money orders and credit cards, due before the actual test date, ensure a reserved testing spot. Worldwide testing locations confirm test takers' identities upon arrival, and a list of acceptable documents appears on the GMAT site.
- The Next Generation GMAT, a new exam slated for completion in 2013, will reflect changes in technology and the needs of today's businesses, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council. The organization says a stringent content development process ensures bias-free questions, and as formation of the new test progresses, it will release details about format, scoring, cost and comparisons to the current GMAT.