The GMAT Exam

Graduate Management Admission Test [GMAT] is the standardized Computer Adaptive Test [CAT] that intends to assess if you have the foundations of analytical, quantitative, verbal, writing, and reading skills in standard English. It also evaluates if you have the data sufficiency, logical, and critical reasoning skills to cater to the business and management needs of the industry.

However, we need to be clear that GMAT is a Computer ‘Adaptive’ Test and not a Computer ‘Based’ Test. The Adaptive Tests give a question at a time to the candidate. The difficulty level of the next question is established based on accuracy of the answer to the previous question.

Based on the test scores, the admission committees of Masters Programs in Business Management compare the credentials of candidates and so, higher GMAT Test scores increase your chances of success to the MBA, Masters, or PhD program of your choice. Different Universities abroad require different average scores. Most of the top tier universities require at least 700+, while middle tier universities accept 650 GMAT score.

Other than GMAT, we have tests for shorter duration EMBA Programs. The test is called Executive Assessment Exam [Mini GMAT] which is introduced by the Graduate Management Admission Council® [GMAC]. The test gauges the analytical and logical thinking capabilities of the candidates, which are more appropriate for the Executive MBA course.

Every year more than 250,000 students appear for MBA and other Masters Programs in Business Management and each student put their highest efforts with respect to the admission criteria and academic preparedness. Apart from this huge competition, the components of MBA that are mostly subjective make it difficult for the admission committees to compare the applicants, who come from diverse backgrounds and possess different levels and areas of experience. GMAT Test scores provide the committees with a common benchmark to gauge applicants’ academic abilities. If your GMAT score is low then it is a signal that you lack the required skills or are underprepared. Higher GMAT scores indicate that you have the academic abilities to demonstrate skillset obligatory to perform in MBA Programs.

The factors like prior degrees, work experience, and leadership skills are important to assess candidates’ capabilities, but these cannot surrogate the GMAT Test scores that measure analytical ability, reasoning skills, and aptitude.

More importantly, higher GMAT scores reflect how willing the candidate is to pursue the Post Graduate Management Programs that are rather rigorous.

GMAT also help the candidates understand what they will have to learn during the Management Programs. So, when they prepare for GMAT Tests, they also prepare themselves for the School of Management.

Structure of the GMAT Exam

The section order selection will take place at the test center on exam date, immediately prior to the start of the GMAT exam.

At the GMAT exam center, you have the flexibility to choose the order of your sections. The original order is depicted in the picture above and the following are the other two choices.






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The GMAT Sections

The GMAT 2019 Syllabus includes wide array of topics that are covered under four main sections—Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal. Candidates have to attempt specified number of questions (described below in a table) in overall time duration of three hours and thirty minutes. You receive two breaks of eight minutes each between the exams.

All the candidates are scored on the scale of 200-800 points which are covered under the two sections viz. Quantitative and Verbal. The Analytical Writing Assessment is scored on the scale of 0-6 range whereas the Integrated Reasoning section is scored on the scale of 1-8.

To ensure highest possible GMAT score, you need to know the GMAT Syllabus and understand the exam pattern beforehand and practice accordingly.

GMAT 2019 Exam pattern will be like the following:

GMAT Test Section Number of Questions Question Types Timing
Analytical Writing Assessment 1 Topic Analysis of Argument 30 Minutes
Integrated Reasoning 12 Questions Multi-Source Reasoning Graphics Interpretation Two-Two Part Analysis Table Analysis 30 Minutes
Quantitative 31 Questions Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving 62 Minutes
Verbal 36 Questions Reading Comprehension
(Approx. 3RCs, 3 Questions in each)
Critical Reasoning
(Approx. 11-14 Questions)
Sentence Correction
(Approx. 12-16 Questions)
65 Minutes
Total Exam Time 3 Hours 7 Minutes (excluding breaks)




The GMAT Syllabus

The GMAT exam 2019 has the following four sections discussed in detail:

According to the GMAT 2019 Syllabus, this section evaluates your ability to think critically. In this section, you would have to analyse a topic and write a critic with a reason. This section has no set topics. The Analytical Writing measure consists of one single timed analytical writing tasks. "Analyze an Argument" requires you to evaluate a given argument according to specific instructions. You will need to consider the logical soundness of the argument rather than agree or disagree with the position it presents.

Sample:
The following appeared in a memorandum from the business department of the Apogee Company:
“When the Apogee Company had all its operations in one location, it was more profitable than it is today. Therefore, the Apogee Company should close down its field offices and conduct all its operations from a single location. Such centralization would improve profitability by cutting costs and helping the company maintain better supervision of all employees.”
Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion
This section evaluates your ability to interpret information that is presented in different formats from multiple sources. You will be judged on the basis of how efficient you are at performing in the technology advanced and data-driven world. The 12 questions cover the following four topics and measure how well you integrate data to solve complex problems:

Graphics Interpretation

You would have to interpret a graph and select correct answer option from a drop-down list.

Two-Part Analysis

You would have to select one answer from each column to solve a problem with a two-part solution. There will be possible answers will presented in a table with a column for each part.

Table Analysis

You will have to sort the table and organise data to decide whether certain conditions are met. Each question will have statements with opposing answers (for example, Yes/No, True/False, Inferable/Not Inferable). You will have to select one answer for each statement.

Multi-Source Reasoning

In these questions you will have to discern which data you need to answer the question.
In this section, you will be measured on the basis of your ability to analyse data and draw conclusions using reasoning skills. However, most of the mathematics questions that are included in the section are more similar to your secondary school mathematics classes. All the 31 questions from this section cover two types of questions—Problem Solving (Approx 18 questions) and Data Sufficiency(Approx 13 questions).
Following are the main topics of this section:
• Arithmetic
• Geometry
• Elementary Algebra

As per the GMAT syllabus 2019, some of the sub-topics include the following but are not limited to this list:
• Circles
• Co-ordinate geometry
• Decimals
• Fractions
• Integers
• Linear equations
• Lines and angles
• Number properties
• Order of operations
• Percentage
• Permutation & combination
• Pipes, cisterns, work, time
• Polygon
• Powers and roots
• Probability
• Profit and loss
• Quadratic equations
• Quadrilateral
• Ratio and proportion
• Sets Theory
• Simple and compound interest
• Speed, distance and time
• Statistics: Average, Median, Mode, Range, Standard deviation
• Triangles
• Volume and surface area

(1) Problem Solving
In these questions, you are asked to solve each problem and select the best of the five answer choices given.
Example 1:
If the sum of 5, 8, 12, and 15 is equal to the sum of 3, 4, x, and x + 3, what is the value of x?
(A) 14
(B) 15
(C) 16
(D) 17
(E) 18
Answer: B

Example 2:
How many integers x are there such that 1< 5x +5 < 25?
(A) Five
(B) Four
(C) Three
(D) Two
(E) One
Answer: B

(2) Data Sufficiency
(A) Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked;
(B) Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked;
(C) BOTH statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question asked, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient;
(D) EACH statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question asked;
(E) Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient to answer the question asked, and additional data are needed.

Type of Data Sufficiency Question
(i) Yes/No questions
Example: If x > 9, is x = 10?
(1) x < 11
(2) x is an integer
Answer: C


(ii) Find/Value questions
Example:
If x is a prime number, what is x?
(1) x < 3
(2) x is an even number
Answer: D
This section will evaluate your understanding of reading and written material that evaluate arguments and your ability to correct sentences of the standard English language. Here your comprehending skills, grammatical skills, and reasoning skills are measured. The 36 questions will cover the following:
Reading Comprehension
Most farmers attempting to control slugs and snails turn to baited slug poison, or molluscicide, which usually consists of a bran pellet containing either methiocarb or metaldehyde. Both chemicals are neurotoxins that disrupt that part of the brain charged with making the mouth move in a coordinated fashion - the "central pattern generator" - as the slug feeds. Thus, both neurotoxins, while somewhat effective, interfere with the slugs' feeding behavior and limit their ingestion of the poison, increasing the probability that some will stop feeding before receiving a lethal dose. Moreover, slugs are not the only consumers of these poisons: methiocarb may be toxic to a variety of species, including varieties of worms, carabid beetles, and fish.

Researchers are experimenting with an alternative compound based on aluminum, which may solve these problems, but this may well have a limited future as we learn more about the hazards of aluminum in the environment. For example, some researchers suggest that acid rain kills trees by mobilizing aluminum in the soil, while others have noted that the human disease Alzheimer's is more prevalent in areas where levels of aluminum in the soil are high. With farmers losing as much as 20 percent of their crops to slugs and snails even after treatment with currently available molluscicides, there is consider able incentive for researchers to come up with better and environmentally safer solutions.
Question1:
In the passage, the author is primarily concerned with
A. describing the limitations of molluscicides that affect feeding behavior
B. proposing alternatives to current methods of controlling slugs and snails
C. emphasizing the need for an alternative to currently available
molluscicides D. explaining how molluscicides are used to control slugs and snails
E. criticizing the use of hazardous material for controlling slugs and snails
Answer: C

Question2:
The author cites which of the following as a disadvantage of methiocarb?
A. It contains high levels of aluminum.
B. It may react with acid rain to kill trees.
C. It has been associated with Alzheimer's disease.
D. It may be toxic to some species of fish.
E. It may not be as effective in killing slugs as metaldehyde is.
Answer: D

Critical Reasoning
Citizens of Parktown are worried by the increased frequency of serious crimes committed by local teenagers. In response, the city government has instituted a series of measures designed to keep teenagers at home in the late evening. Even if the measures succeed in keeping teenagers at home, however, they are unlikely to affect the problem that concerns citizens, since most crimes committed by local teenagers take place between 3pm and 6pm

Which of the following, if true, most substantially weakens the argument? 1) Similar measures adopted in other place have failed to reduce the no of teenagers in the late evening
2) Crimes committed by teenagers in the afternoon are mostly small thefts and inconsequential vandalism
3) teenagers are much less likely to commit serious crimes when they are at home than when they are not at home
4) Any decrease in the need for police patrols in late evening would not mean that there could be more intensive patrolling in the afternoon
5) The schools in Parktown have introduced a number of after-school programs that will be available to teenagers until 6pm on weekday afternoons

Sentence Correction
A peculiar feature of the embryonic mammalian circulatory system is that in the area of the heart the cells adhere to one another, beating in unison and adopting specialized orientations exclusive of one another.
(A) beating in unison and adopting
(B) they beat in unison while adopting
(C) beat in unison, and adopt
(D) beating in unison yet adopting
(E) even though they beat in unison and adopt
Answer: D

FAQs

1What changes are made to the GMAT release 2017 by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)?
The following two main changes have been made to the GMAT release for 2017:
First, a change to Select Section Order will get affected from 11th July 2017. According to the update, candidates will be able to choose Section Order based on their preferences. You will have the flexibility to choose from the following three options:
• Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal (which is the original order)
• Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
• Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
You will select your section order right before the GMAT Test at the Test Center on the Exam Day itself.

Secondly, some changes have been made to how you can update your profiles. Earlier you were required to fill in or answer profile questions immediately before GMAT Test. The profile questions such as questions about your undergraduate degree or years of work experience or demographics were presented to you on the screen before you would start your GMAT Test.

Now, there will be no such questions presented to you at the Test Center followed by the exam. Now you will be required to update your profile on mba.com at any time before you will appear for your GMAT Test. Both the changes will get implemented from July 11, 2017 at 12:01 AM Indian Standard Time.
2Why the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has made the above-mentioned changes to GMAT Test?
With the changing times, GMAC focuses on enhancing the GMAT Test experience. They focus on providing candidates with the flexibility so that they can appear for the exam without trouble and score the best. For past many years, candidates have been requesting for procedure update that lets candidates select the section order as per their convenience. Our Pilot Testing for Select Section Order confirmed our research that candidates require more flexibility and so, we should recommend adding this feature to our Test Systems.

As a matter of fact, removing the profile question screens will also simplify the test experience, because this will enable you to see your unofficial test scores immediately after the exam. This further will reduce your overall time at test center.
3How will you be able to select the section order based on your preferences for the GMAT Test?
You will select your section order right before the GMAT Test at the Test Center on the Exam Day itself.
You will be required to select your section order after you select the schools where you want to send your score report and after you go through your navigation tutorial. On the computer screen, just before beginning your GMAT Test, you will be presented with the Select Section Order screens which will have the following three options:
• Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal (which is the original order)
• Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
• Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

You will be given two minutes to select your section order. If you would not select any section within two minutes then the original section order will be given to you by default.
4Which Section Order should you select for better results?
There is no standard way of concluding which section order should you select or how should you arrange your section orders. We can’t recommend you a standard format of making choices. It, in fact, is more prudent to assess your strong and weak points and choose your section orders accordingly. You can consult our esteem faculties who can help you in assessing your strengths and weaknesses based on which you can set your preferences right.

For example, you could either take your strongest section order first so that you gain confidence before you move on to work harder on your weaker section orders. Whereas, you could also practice your weakest Section Orders first so that you can easily eat the biggest frog first.

We always suggest our candidates to assess their strengths and weaknesses and set their preferences in order. If you are unable to plan your Section Orders, it will be suggested that you take the GMAT test in its original order.
5Can you skip any of the Section Orders?
You cannot. You are required to complete each section of the GMAT Exam and a section is considered complete only when you answer every question within it or when the time of the section runs out.
6How will my breaks be altered by the section order I will select before GMAT Test?
: According to standard format, a candidate can have two optional 8-minutes break that are usually spread out at even time intervals depending on which section order you have selected. The customary break schedule for the section orders is as follows:
Order #1 Order #2 Order #3
Analytical Writing Assessment Verbal Quantitative
Integrated Reasoning
Optional 8-minute Break
Quantitative Quantitative Verbal
Optional 8-minute Break
Verbal Integrated Reasoning Integrated Reasoning
Analytical Writing Assessment Analytical Writing Assessment
As pointed out earlier, the two 8-minutes breaks are optional. You have the flexibility of skipping your breaks, if you do not need them. You would only need to skip your break and continue with the next section of the exam. However, if you take longer break viz. you exceed the 8-minute break then excessive minutes will be deducted from the time given for the next section of the exam. So, it is advised that you plan your breaks wisely.
7Does the Score Report display which Section Order you chose for the exam?
No. No matter which Section Order you choose for GMAT Testing, it will not be displayed on your GMAT Report—Unofficial or Official. You can apply for any Business School and they will not know which Section Order you appeared for. They only get to know your GMAT Score.
8Do we provide study materials for preparation to candidates for replicating the GMAT exam experience within different section orders?
Certainly. We offer the latest version of GMATPrep software to our candidates, further to our sole purpose of helping students have an experience of real-time examination environment beforehand. You could even select your preferred Section Order through the enhanced integrated feature of our advanced GMATPrep software. Our software includes two full-length practice exams with your initials that you can download and two additional exams within each Exam Pack 1 and 2.
9What was the purpose of conducting the Pilot Testing for Select Section Order in 2016? How successful was it
There were two purposes of conducting the Pilot Test for Select Section Order in 2016:
1. The test was held to establish which section orders are most popular amongst candidates who appear for GMAT.
2. It was also held to confirm that the integrity of GMAT score is not interrupted, when the examination is held in different section orders. The Pilot Test was held successfully and it concluded which are the two most popular section orders that can be integrated as new features with the original section order without trouble. It also concluded that when the exam is held within different section orders, the integrity of GMAT Scores is not affected.
10How can you update your profile for GMAT testing?
It is not that once you have created your GMAT Profile, you can’t change or update it. You can update your profile at any point you wish to on mba.com. Though you certainly would need to have an account on the site (mba.com). If you don’t have an account, you will first have to create it from scratch. To update your profile, you would have to log into the account and then, go to ‘My Profile’ button on the Navigation Menu in the left of the screen. Then, click ‘Edit’ button under the ‘Personal Information’ Section [My Profile > Personal Information > Edit]. On the Edit Profile screen, you can update your profile.

Earlier you were required to answer profile questions at the test center, immediately prior to GMAT exam. But, now you can update your profile beforehand on mba.com, which has eventually made it easier to update your profile and reduce your time at the test center.
11Is the GMAT Content being updated lately, as the content looks different?
Yes. The GMAT brand is renewing itself to be in sync with the commitment to improve the experience of appearing for the GMAT Testing. For that purpose, the authorities are planning to refresh all GMAT related content and study materials by the coming year.
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