The GMAT and MBA Admissions

Graduate Management Admissions Test

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT*) is a 4-hour computer adaptive test (CAT) used by MBA programs to measure academic ability. The test measures general verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills. It does not measure specific business knowledge.

Individuals applying to upper level management schools, and specifically to MBA programs, must take the GMAT and achieve the minimum score required by Admissions Councils. According to the 2011 Business School Admissions’ survey conducted by Kaplan*, 58% of the admissions officers acknowledged that a low GMAT score is the biggest “admission killer”. Preparation is therefore key for success.

Preparing for the GMAT
Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions has helped over 3 million individuals since 1938 to obtain the test scores they need for entry into the programs of their choice. As the world leader in test preparation, our in-depth of knowledge, experience, and resources is unparalleled. Our comprehensive menu of classroom-based courses, online courses, private tutoring, and admissions consulting services, all have proven successful in helping students achieve their goals.

Kaplan’s teaching expertise involves a collaborative, customized, results-oriented approach. Our state-of-the-art diagnostic and prescriptive tools help students to achieve their best. Kaplan has an exclusive agreement with Pearson testing centers which allows our GMAT students to take a practice test before their real test day.

The New GMAT 2012
As of June 2012, GMAT test takers will face a new section: Integrated Reasoning. The Quant and Verbal sections remain the same, but the new GMAT is more difficult due to substantially more material to prepare for on the test:

The average number of hours of preparation (including class time, for those who take a course) that it takes to score 600+ or 700+ on the GMAT is 100 hours, according to the test maker (2010). Integrated Reasoning only adds to that number and in no way subtracts.
GMAT results are valid for 5 years, and the exam itself can be (re)taken once every 31 days (with a maximum of 5 times in 1 year).

Why is preparation crucial for the GMAT?

1. You’ll need a high score. Admissions committees use your score as a predictor of your success in the MBA program, so a high score is vital. While a high score alone cannot guarantee acceptance into a top program, a low score can certainly be an eliminating factor.  

2. GMAT scores are valid for 5 years. Schools will receive a history of all your GMAT scores over 5 years. It is therefore strategically advised not to take the test too often. A record of multiple insufficient scores can weaken your application. It’s therefore best to prepare well and score your best the first time!

3. The test is adaptive. On top of critical thinking and time management skills, you’ll need to master the exam’s adaptive format. Throughout the Quantitative and Verbal sections, the difficulty of the exam will tailor itself to your ability. For example, if you give a correct answer, the following question will be harder and your score will increase. Be careful, it works the other way around too!


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What are the other exams required?
International students must take a test of English to certify their proficiency level as non-native English speakers. The TOEFL is the most required and appreciated test. If you have a university degree from an English program, you will not need to take an English test.

Now that you know everything about the GMAT, test yourself for free. Kaplan offers a free GMAT practice test to help you assess your starting level and experience the test!

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