Lady preparing for the GMAT taking notesAs your undergraduate program begins to come to a close, you are feeling good with all your hard work. However, sometime during your last years you begin hearing whispers about some test that you have to take to get into graduate school (but I thought that my undergraduate degree was my ticket into graduate school?). Turns out the rumors were true… but what is this test?

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is an assessment of writing, quantitative, verbal, analytical, and reading skills used in admission to a graduate management program such as a MBA. It is not so much a measure of business knowledge or skill, rather it evaluates critical and analytical problem solving and writing skills. It’s very similar to the SAT (that test you took ages ago to get into college) in format, but goes deeper in assessing problem solving skills that relate to business related topics.

How long is the GMAT?

The GMAT exam includes four sections: analytical writing assessment, integrated reasoning, quantitative, and verbal. The test takes roughly 4 hours to complete with 30 min breaks and must be taken in a designated testing center.

What’s a good score for the GMAT exam?

The total GMAT scores range from 200 to 800 and two-thirds of test takers score approximately anywhere from 400-600. Each section of the test has a different number of questions that affect the score. For more specific information on GMAT scoring click the link: http://www.mba.com/us/the-gmat-exam/gmat-exam-scores/your-score-report/understand-your-gmat-score-report.aspx

How often can I take the GMAT exam?

The GMAT can only be taken a total of five times in a 12 month time period, and the tests must be taken at least 16 days apart. Allowing students to take the exams closer together provides flexibility in accommodating the student’s schedule. So even if you take the exam closer to MBA application deadlines, you have the ability to retake the exam for a better score.

How much does it cost to take the GMAT exam?

The price to take the GMAT is the same across the globe at the equivalent of $250 (U.S.). However, there are rescheduling and cancellation fees so be certain that you are able to take the test on your scheduled day. In the event of a necessary cancellation or rescheduling, there are cheaper fees if you cancel or reschedule farther than a week out from your original exam date.

How long can I use my GMAT scores for applications?

The GMAT scores are valid for five years. So even if getting an MBA right after college isn’t in your plans it’s a good idea to go ahead and take the GMAT before you graduate because you may decide to pursue a graduate degree before the five year time period has passed.

How can I prepare to take the GMAT exam?

The official GMAT site includes free downloads of the GMAT handbook along with GMAT Prep software. We’ll be writing additional articles soon to help you prepare for the GMAT if that’s the path you choose.

Good luck, and may the odds forever be in your favor…in your career.