Monday, July 2, 2007

The GMAT

Most MBA schools require their potential students to write the GMAT. The GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admissions Test and is used by schools as a tool to help judge the potential success of students in an MBA program. That being said, it is not the only factor that schools consider when evaluating applicants and in some cases is a minor item of consideration.

The test itself is run by the Graduate Management Admissions Council and costs students $250 US to write. You can expect to spend at least 3 and a half hours sitting to write the exam. It is broken down into 3 sections. The first section is the essay portion of the exam, and require takers to complete two 30 minute essays and measures your analytical writing ability. The score for the analytical writing portion doesn't appear in the typical score that people mention when they say how good they did on the GMAT. The analytical writing portion is reported seperately on the score report.

The second and third sections are both 75 minutes long and cover both verbal and a quantitative performance. These sections are computer adaptive. That means that the next question you get on the test depends on whether or not you answer the previous question correctly. To put it simply, both sections seem to harken back to high school math and high school english. These are the two sections that make up the final score that schools report when they state the average GMAT score of their entering class. The highest score possible is 800.

Before registering for the exam (online at www.mba.com) it's best to make sure that the schools you are hoping to attend require you to write the GMAT. Most of the top schools in Canada, North America, and the rest of the world will require applicants to report a GMAT score, whether or not it is used in assessing your application.

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