About the GMAT


About Test Subjects
Governing Body Grading
Official Website Test Dates
Test Length Registration
Test Format Fees

The GMAT is a 4-hour computerized exam required for admission to graduate business school.  The maximum score on the GMAT is 800.  Currently, examinees receive a separate Analytical Writing score graded on a scale from 0 to 6.  Starting in June 2012, examinees will also receive a separate Integrated Reasoning score on a scale from 1 to 8.  Neither of these scores factor into the total GMAT score.

Governing Body: Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)

Official Website: www.gmac.com OR www.mba.com

Test Length: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Test Format: Currently, the GMAT consists of a 60-minute Analytical Writing section, a 75-minute Quantitative section and a 75-minute Verbal section.  Starting in June 2012, the GMAC is shortening the Analytical Writing section to 30 minutes and adding a 30-minute Integrated Reasoning section.  Either way, the test lasts 3 hours and 30 minutes

Test Subjects:

Analytical Writing (2 essay questions – 30 minutes each)
Question Type Question Content
Analysis of an Argument Analyze the reasoning behind a given argument and write a critique of the argument. You are not being asked for your point of view on the subject. Sample Question
Analysis of an Issue Analyze an issue presented to you and explain your point of view on the subject. Sample Question
**Please note that, starting in June 2012, the Analytical Writing section will be reduced to one 30-minute Analysis of an Argument question.
Quantitative Section (37 questions – 75 minutes)
Question Type Question Content
Problem Solving Questions Problem Solving questions test basic mathematical skills, understanding of elementary mathematical concepts, and the ability to reason quantitatively and solve quantitative problems. Sample Question
Data Sufficiency Questions Data Sufficiency questions require you to analyze a quantitative problem, recognize which information is relevant and determine the point at which there is sufficient information to solve a problem. Sample Question
Verbal Section (41 questions – 75 minutes)
Question Type Question Content
Reading Comprehension Questions Passages up to 350 words long accompanied by interpretive, applied and inferential questions
Tests your understanding of words and statements in reading passages; understanding of logical relationships between significant points and concepts in the reading passages; ability to draw inferences from facts and statements in the reading passages; and understanding of quantitative concepts as presented in verbal material. Sample Question
Critical Reasoning Argument construction: asks you to recognize the basic structure of an argument, properly drawn conclusions, underlying assumptions, well-supported explanatory hypotheses, or parallels between structurally similar arguments
Argument evaluation: asks you to analyze a given argument, recognize factors that would strengthen or weaken an argument, reasoning errors committed in making an argument, or aspects of the methods by which an argument proceeds
Formatting and evaluating a plan of action: asks you to recognize the relative appropriateness, effectiveness, or efficiency of different plans of action; factors that would strengthen or weaken a proposed plan of action; or assumptions underlying a proposed plan of action. Sample Question
Sentence Correction Correct expression: tests your understanding of proper English grammar
Effective expression: tests your understanding of proper diction and your ability to make a sentence as clear, concise, and grammatically correct as possible. Sample Question
Integrated Reasoning (12 questions – 30 minutes) NEW!
Question Type Question Content
Graphics Interpretation Graphs or graphical images must be interpreted to fill in the blanks to answer statements accurately. Sample Question
Table Analysis A sortable table, similar to a spreadsheet, has to be analyzed to determine whether statements are accurate. Sample Question
Two-Part Analysis Solutions involve two components, and possible answers will be in a table format with a column for each component. Sample Question
Multi-Source Reasoning Different data from two or three tabbed pages must be used to answer these questions. Sample Question

The GMAT is comprised of 3 sections (4 beginning in June of 2012), and each has a unique grading scale.

Section Scales
Verbal Section: 200-800
Quantitative Section: 200-800
Analytical Writing Section: 0-6
Integrated Reasoning Section: 1-8  (Will be on the test beginning June 2012)

Overall Scoring
Quantitative and Verbal scores are averaged to get a score between 200 and 800. This forms the overall composite GMAT score.  The Analytical Writing and Integrated Reasoning sections are scored separately and do not affect the total score.  All four individual section scores are also given a percentile ranking.

Universities focus on the composite score between 200-800. They also look at the Writing and Integrated Reasoning section for additional information about the applicant.


Test Dates: The GMAT is available year-round at testing centers across the nation.  Generally, GMAT appointments are available six days a week, but testing centers set their own hours to meet local and regional needs.  To inquire about available testing dates in your area, click here to find a testing center.


Registration: Students can registers for the GMAT online, by phone, through fax, or by mail.

  • Online: www.mba.com
  • Phone: 1-800-717-GMAT (4628)
  • Fax: 952-681-3681
  • Mail: Pearson VUE
    Attention: GMAT Program
    PO Box 581907
    Minneapolis, MN 55458-1907

Fees: $250

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