GMAT Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the GMAT?
  2. What is the format of the GMAT?
  3. How is the GMAT Scored?
  4. How does the CAT (Computer Adaptive Test) work?
  5. When should I take the GMAT?
  6. How do I register for the GMAT?
  7. How much does it cost to take the GMAT?
  8. What if I take the GMAT and do poorly?
  9. How many times can I take the GMAT?
  10. What is a good score on the GMAT?
  11. Where can I find more information on the GMAT?
  12. Where can I go to find information about business school rankings?
  13. How important is the GMAT for admissions?
  14. What factors are most important in choosing an MBA program?
  15. Why is Excel Test Prep the best GMAT preparation course?
  16. What are the trade offs of going part-time vs. full-time?
  17. What is an Executive MBA?
  1.  

    What is the GMAT?

    The GMAT is a 4-hour computerized exam required for admission to graduate business schools. The maximum score on the GMAT, which is a combination of the Quantitative and Verbal sections, is 800.

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  2. What is the format of the GMAT?

    There are three sections to the GMAT: the Analytical Writing Assessment, the Quantitative Section, and the Verbal Section. The Analytical Writing Assessment consists of two writing tasks: Analysis of an Issue (30 minutes allotted), and Analysis of an Argument (30 minutes allotted). The Quantitative Section contains 37 questions on Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency (75 minutes allotted). The Verbal section contains 41 questions on Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction (75 minutes allotted). The total time to take the test is approximately 4 hours including optional 5-minute breaks in between sections.

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  3. How is the GMAT Scored?

    The Verbal and Quantitative sections are combined to produce a score on a scale from 200 to 800, with 200 being the lowest score and 800 being the highest. In addition to the Verbal and Quantitative sections, there is an Analytical Writing Assessment scored on an independent 0 to 6 scale. The score on the writing section does not contribute to the GMAT score of 800 points.

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  4. How does the CAT (Computer Adaptive Test) work?

    The computer-adaptive format presents questions according to each individual's ability level. These questions are chosen from a pool of test questions categorized by content and difficulty. The first question is of medium difficulty. Every subsequent question is then determined by your responses to all previous questions. You are not allowed to change answers to previous questions as you proceed through the test, and you are not allowed to skip questions. A key part in preparing for the GMAT is to understand the CAT format and how your score is determined.

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  5. When should I take the GMAT?

    The GMAT is given year-round in testing centers all across the country. The only restriction on taking the test is that you may not take the GMAT more than one time in any calendar month, even if you have taken the test and canceled your scores. When you should take the GMAT depends on the application deadline of the school to which you are applying to and if you think you may need to take it more than once. Most MBA schools have up to three rounds for admission; candidates in each round are required to submit an application and in most cases, do a formal interview. Consult your prospective school's admissions office about their schedule.

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  6. How do I register for the GMAT?

    To register online, visit www.mba.com.

    To register by phone, call (800)-717-GMAT (4628).

    To register by mail or fax, obtain the GMAT Appointment Scheduling Form. You can then send your form to:

    Pearson VUE
    Attention: GMAT Program
    P.O. Box 581907
    Minneapolis, MN 55458-1907
    USA

    -or-

    Fax the form to (952) 681-3681

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  7. How much does it cost to take the GMAT?

    The fee to take the GMAT test is $250 worldwide. If you wish to reschedule your test date or transfer from one test center to another, the fee is $50. A partial fee of $80 will be refunded if a test is canceled at least seven calendar days before your scheduled appointment.

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  8. What if I take the GMAT and do poorly?

    The only chance you have to cancel your score is immediately after you finish the exam but before you see your scores. After they have been reported to you, they cannot be canceled. If you cancel your scores, they cannot be reinstated, you will not be eligible for a refund, the score cancellation will be in your permanent record and will be reported on all future reports, and you must wait 31 days before taking the exam again.

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  9. How many times can I take the GMAT?

    You may take the GMAT no more than once in any calendar month and no more than five times within a 12-month period. To take the GMAT more than five times, a written request must be submitted to GMAC. You may take the test beyond five times only after permission is granted. GMAT scores are valid for five years after you take the test.

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  10. What is a good score on the GMAT?

    A good score on the GMAT is a score that will get you into your first choice for business school. This varies with the schools you are applying to, what type of program you are trying to join (full time, part time, or executive education), your work experience, and your undergraduate GPA.

    Business School 2005
    GMAT
    Score
    UGPA
    Harvard University 707 3.64
    Stanford University 712 3.56
    University of Pennsylvania 714 3.52
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology 700 3.50
    Northwestern University 700 3.45
    University of Chicago 701 3.50
    Columbia University 706 3.40
    University of California - Berkeley 702 3.49
    Dartmouth College 699 3.30
    University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) 700 3.57
    Duke University 701 3.42
    University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 690 3.32
    New York University 699 3.40
    University of Virginia 668 3.29
    Yale University 683 3.42
    Carnegie Mellon University 692 3.38
    Cornell University 660 3.31
    Emory University 681 3.50
    University of Texas - Austin 672 3.38
    University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill 672 3.22
    *Source: U.S. News & World Report www.usnews.com

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  11. Where can I find more information on the GMAT?

    For more information on the GMAT, visit www.mba.com or visit www.gmac.com.

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  12. Where can I go to find information about business school rankings?

    For information on business school rankings please visit www.usnews.com or visit www.businessweek.com.

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  13. How important is the GMAT for admissions?

    Admission officers generally look at your application, a transcript, prior work experience, and your GMAT score. While having a very high score on the GMAT will not necessarily get you into your school of choice, a low score will keep you from being accepted to many schools. The GMAT is the only required test for MBA admissions, but schools weight its importance differently. The most competitive MBA schools look for very high GMAT scores for admission.

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  14. What factors are most important in choosing an MBA program?

    Business schools can have part-time, full-time, and executive MBA programs. Many younger MBA students may be looking to change or diversify their professional capabilities while older students may do MBA degrees to improve their chances of moving into management in their current professional careers. The choice of school depends on financial factors, overall academic rank, specialty degree areas, as well as locality. Generally speaking, it is best to get into the highest ranked school for your targeted specialty area that you can; otherwise, pick your nearest best option that leverages your personal situation.

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  15. Why is Excel Test Prep the best GMAT preparation course?

    • Excel Test Prep GMAT Courses offer an intensive program with 12 classes of 3 to 4 hours each. Excel Test Prep Courses offer unique and highly effective strategies not taught anywhere else, by highly experienced, dynamic instructors.
    • Highest Score Increase Guarantee - if you do not improve by at least 100 points, then you can take the next available GMAT course for free.
    • Excel Test Prep provides computerized grading for in-class GMAT exams, giving you information about the various areas you need to focus on to improve your score.
    • Course materials include our Excel Test Prep GMAT Manual with tricks and tips to do well on the GMAT, The Official Guide for GMAT Review, The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review, The Official Guide for Analytical Writing Assessment Review, and The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review for each student.

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  16. What are the tradeoffs of going part-time vs. full-time?

    • Cost - Part-time programs generally allow you to work more during the school year, whereas, full-time students are not given the same opportunities because their schedule does not allow them to work more than 20 hours a week. To off-set this, institutions reserve a larger percent of their grant and scholarship funds for full-time students. If your financial situation dictates that you must keep a job then a part time program is your best option. Many full-time programs expressly forbid students from working at the same time.

    • Academic Experience
      - Part-time students may have a difficult time juggling school, work and a personal life. Many times academic performance of students tends to suffer, if they are unable to juggle different aspects of their lives. Academic performance opens many doors to opportunities, so part-time students may miss out on these opportunities, which can aid in building your resume. Also, part-time students may have limited selection for evening courses, which would make it much more difficult to take required courses, thereby, postponing the completion of the program.

    • Opportunities After Graduation - Part-time students typically have a full-time job, which means that they cannot take part in other programs such as internships in a business related field. These opportunities are a great way of finding a company that you may want to potentially work for after the completion of your program. Although, the part-time students may not get these opportunities, they do have opportunities to apply the knowledge they learn in the classroom to their work. The full-time students have to wait until they get back in to the workplace before getting the chances to apply the knowledge first-hand.

       

    Before deciding on a part-time or full-time program, check with each individual school in which you are interested in to find out the advantages and disadvantages to their programs. Of the top 100 schools according to the U.S. News & World Report, the following 33 institutions offer a part-time program:

    • Arizona State University - Main Campus
    • Babson College
    • Boston College
    • Boston University
    • Carnegie Mellon University
    • Duke University
    • Emory University
    • Georgetown University
    • Indiana University - Bloomington
    • Michigan State University
    • New York University
    • Northwestern University
    • Ohio State University
    • Southern Methodist University
    • Tulane University
    • University of California - Berkeley
    • University of California - Davis
    • University of California - Irvine
    • University of California - Los Angeles
    • University of Chicago
    • University of Florida
    • University of Georgia
    • University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
    • University of Maryland - College Park
    • University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
    • University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
    • University of Pittsburgh
    • University of Rochester
    • University of Southern California
    • University of Texas - Austin
    • University of Washington
    • University of Wisconsin - Madison
    • Washington University in St. Louis

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  17. What is an Executive MBA?

    The Executive MBA Program enables you to continue with your career and take the required classes without creating any disruptions in your career path. This program gives you the ability to build on your existing knowledge and also give you opportunities to gain new knowledge and skills. It is always a good idea to look at the course structure and program requirements to help you narrow down your search to institutions that you want to apply to. Of the top 100 schools according to the U.S. News & World Report, the following 43 institutions offer an Executive MBA Program:

    • Arizona State University - Main Campus
    • Boston College
    • Brigham Young University
    • Columbia University
    • Cornell University
    • Duke University
    • Emory University
    • Georgetown University
    • Georgia Institute of Technology
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • Michigan State University
    • New York University
    • Northwestern University
    • Ohio State University
    • Pennsylvania State University - University Park
    • Purdue University - West Lafayette
    • Rice University
    • Southern Methodist University
    • Texas A & M University
    • Tulane University
    • University of California - Berkeley
    • University of California - Irvine
    • University of California - Los Angeles
    • University of Chicago
    • University of Florida
    • University of Georgia
    • University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
    • University of Maryland - College Park
    • University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
    • University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
    • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
    • University of Notre Dame
    • University of Pennsylvania
    • University of Pittsburgh
    • University of Rochester
    • University of Southern California
    • University of Texas - Austin
    • University of Virginia
    • University of Washington
    • University of Wisconsin - Madison
    • Vanderbilt University
    • Washington University in St. Louis
    • Yale University

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