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About the GMAT Exam

The Graduate Management Admission Test, or GMAT, is an admissions requirement for most reputable MBA programs in North America, Europe, and Asia. GMAT is a standardized test that admissions committees use to predict academic performance. Most GMAT test-takers start preparing 3-6 months before the test date. 

The GMAT is a 3-hour computer-adaptive test that tests you on basic verbal, math, and analytical abilities. The entire test-taking process takes about 3.5 hours. The GMAT exam currently consists of four sections, of which you may choose the order to start:


  • Analytical Writing - one essay question, 30 minutes

  • Integrated Reasoning - 12 questions, 30 minutes

  • Quantitative - 31 multiple choice questions, 62 minutes

  • Verbal - 36 multiple choice questions, 65 minutes


The GMAT exam adjusts to your individual ability level. At the start of the GMAT math and GMAT verbal sections, you are typically presented a question of medium difficulty. (However, do not count on the first question being a medium-difficulty question: on occasion, the GMAT has been known to start off the test with a 700-800 level question.) As you correctly answer questions, the GMAT exam will increase the difficulty of the questions that you receive. Likewise, if you answer incorrectly, you will start being given less difficult questions. This process continues until you complete the section.


Only one question at a time is presented. Because the computer scores each question before selecting the next one, you may not skip, return to or change your responses to previous questions.

The GMAT Exam

The GMAT score report consists of five scores:


  • Total GMAT score, range 200~800

  • Quantitative score, range 0~60

  • Verbal score, range 0~60

  • Analytical Writing Assessment score, range 1~6, which does not contribute to your Total GMAT score

  • Integrated Reasoning score, range 1~8, which does not contribute to your Total GMAT score


Your GMAT scores for the GMAT math and verbal sections are determined by how many questions you answered, how many you answered correctly, and how difficult the questions were.


The GMAT Integrated Reasoning section (or GMAT IR) section tests how well you can analyze information from multiple sources and formats, evaluate how data points relate, and arrive at the correct outcome. The GMAT IR score is separate from the Total GMAT Score.


See Understanding Your Score Report on the official GMAT website for more details on what your GMAT scores mean.


Your GMAT score is valid for five years.

The GMAT Score

The GMAT can be taken at any time of the year, subject to certain restrictions such as holidays and seat availability at a test center. Watch the video below to learn about the GMAT test center experience. To find a test center, register for the GMAT test in San Antonio or Austin. To find out more, visit www.mba.com.

GMAT Test Centers and Registration

GMAT Score Preview

When you finish taking the GMAT, you will be given a preview of your unofficial GMAT score so that you may decide whether to accept or cancel the score. If you accept, you have the option to have the GMAT score sent to business schools.


The GMAT Score Preview allows you to see your unofficial score: Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal, and Total. You have two minutes to decide whether to accept or cancel the score. If you decide to cancel, the cancellation will not appear on your official score record.


If you accept your GMAT score, you have up to 72 hours to change your mind and cancel your score online (for a small fee).


If you cancel your GMAT score, you have the option to reinstate it at any time up to four years and 11 months after the test date (for another fee).

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Keep your smartphone or tablet in the lockers provided by the test center, and do not remove them until you exit the center. GMAT test-takers have been removed from the test center for checking texts and emails on smartphones and tablets during the optional breaks.


Please note: You may only take the GMAT eight times over your lifetime. So make each try count!