The Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®) examination is a standardized test designed to measure an aspirants’ aptitude for business studies at graduate school. The GMAT® is required for admission to more than 2000 B-schools across the world. GMAT® is also accepted by Indian schools like Indian School of Business (ISB), XLRI and Great Lakes as well as for the PGP-X MBA programs at the IIMs. In Nov-2011, AICTE has approved that GMAT® can be taken as a qualifying test for MBA admission and hence more Indian schools are likely to accept GMAT® scores.

GMAT® is administered round the year and candidates should book a slot on to take the test. GMAT® score is valid for five years unlike most of the examinations like CAT whose scores are valid only for one year.

This test has been administered, for over 50 years, in more than 150 countries around the world including USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New-Zealand, India and China by the GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council). From January 2006 onwards, the test is being administered by Pearson VUE headquartered at Minneapolis.

The application for the test is to be submitted with a payment of  US$250. One should have a valid passport at the time of applying for the test. After administering the test and before getting the final scores, the test takers are asked to submit the names of 5 B-Schools that they would like to send their scores to. This facility is part of the US$ 250 fee that is charged for the test. A further payment of  US$28 (per copy) should be made for additional copies of the score sheets, whenever these may be required, especially to send the scores to B-Schools. Hence, test takers should decide which schools they wish to apply to even before appearing for the test. The test can be taken 5 times in a year and there must be a gap of at least 30 days between two attempts.

GMAT® is a Computer Adaptive Test which indicates that the test adapts itself to the correctness / incorrectness of your responses. There is an Integrated Reasoning Section which is not adaptive. The first few questions in Verbal Ability and Quantitative sections are of moderate difficulty. With correct responses, the level of difficulty increases, and conversely – with incorrect responses the level of difficulty decreases. The score does not depend only on the number of correct and incorrect answers. It also depends on the difficulty level of the questions encountered. The weightage for tougher questions is more than for the easier questions. The test is administered on the computer and the questions have to be tackled in the order in which they appear; you cannot skip a question. Neither can you revert to an earlier question to change the answer. The final score will be in multiples of 10. It is essential that all questions are completed as there is a heavy penalty for the questions not attempted. These factors make time management very critical in GMAT® .

It is enough if you are familiar with the basic functions of the computer and no special expertise is needed. An online calculator is provided only for the Integrated Reasoning Section.

You can view the total score obtained on completion of the test. However, if you are dissatisfied with your performance, and wish to have the test attempt cancelled, this can be done immediately on completion of the test and BEFORE the test score is viewed.

What is a good GMAT® score?

A score of 720/800 will give an aspirant a decent chance of getting into top Indian schools like ISB, PGP-X of IIMs and top-10 schools across the world. A score of about 700 is required to get into top-25 schools across the world. A score of about 680 is required to get into top-100 schools across the world. However, GMAT® is just one of the factors influencing the admission. Other factors like quality of SOPs, work experience, recommendations and under graduate GPA/percentage also play crucial roles.

GMAT® Structure: Understanding the sections
1. Analytical Writing Assessment

The topics are of general interest related to business and a variety of other subjects. While in-depth knowledge of the essay topic is not tested, the test taker’s capacity to write analytically is assessed.

Analysis of an Argument

Example: “The drastic cut in air fares must be strongly resisted by the railways and road transport operators because such a reduction would result in their losing business and would result in losses.”

Analyze the reasoning behind the given argument and analyze the argument highlighting the logical flaws and suggest how the argument can be made better. You have to determine whether the reasons are adequate and properly support the argument. Do not present your own views on the subject.

A score above 4.5 in this section is required to get admission into good B-schools

2.Integrated Reasoning (IR) Section

The four question types in the IR section are:

  •  Graphic Interpretation that tests ability to understand graphs and draw inferences from them.
  •  Two Part Analysis that measures ability to understand relationship between two entities.
  •  Multi-Source reasoning that measures ability to assimilate information from multiple sources of information. The sources can be tables, graphs, emails etc…
  •  Table Analysis that presents questions based on a sortable data table.

On screen calculator will be provided for this section and hence calculation speed is not critical. Most of the students should be able to answer the 12 questions within the time limit of 30 minutes quite comfortably. As per the information provided by GMAC, the new section will not be computer adaptive and the scoring pattern is on a scale of 0 to 8.

Experimental Questions

The Quantitative and Verbal sections consist of some multiple choice questions which are included in the test on an experimental basis and they do not carry any points. One should not spend time trying to identify these questions, as they are mixed with the regular questions in both the sections.

4. Quantitative Section

The quantitative section is scored from 0-60 points with 51 the maximum possible score. There are two types of multiple choice questions in this section. The questions are intermingled throughout the section.

  •  Problem Solving
  •  Data Sufficiency

Problem Solving

The questions cover the basic areas including:

  •  Ratio, Proportion, Variation
  •  Percentage Profit and Loss – Simple Interest & Compound Interest
  •  Numbers
  •  Time and Work & Time & Distance
  •  Geometry and Mensuration
  •  Averages, Mixtures, Alligation
  •  Indices, Surds & Logarithms

Data Sufficiency

The Data sufficiency problems consist of a question and followed by 2 statements labeled (1) and (2), in which certain data is given. You have to determine whether the data given in the statements are sufficient for answering the question. You are given 5 choices of which you must indicate one as the answer.

  • A. if statement (1) alone is sufficient to answer the question.
  • B. if statement (2) alone is sufficient to answer the question.
  • C. if both statements (1) and (2) together are sufficient to answer the question.
  • D. if either statement (1) OR statement (2) is sufficient to answer the question.
  • E. if both statement (1) and (2) together are not sufficient to answer the question.

The average Indian Quantitative Ability score is 42 and global average is 35.6. Indian students aspiring for top B-schools should target at least 48 in this section.

 Verbal Section

The verbal section is scored from 0-60 points with 51 being the maximum possible score. There are three types of multiple choice questions in this section:-

  •  Reading Comprehension
  •  Critical Reasoning
  •  Sentence Correction

The Verbal section measures the test taker’s ability to—

  • read and comprehend written material
  •  reason and evaluate arguments
  •  correct written material to conform to standard written English

Reading Comprehension

The passages are up to 350 words long. They rarely exceed 500 words. Topics from the social sciences, physical or biological sciences, and business-related areas (marketing, economics, etc.) are discussed. All 4 questions are answered on the basis of what is stated or implied in the reading material. The passages are accompanied by questions that test the candidate’s ability to:

  •  Answer direct questions
  •  Understand words and statements in reading passages.
  •  Understand the logical relationships between significant points and concepts
  •  Draw inferences from facts and statements in the reading passages.

Critical Reasoning

The questions are designed to test the ability to understand an argument and evaluate it. You may be asked to find logical flaws and draw logical conclusions/inferences from the evidence presented.

Read the following example: Most of the people who purchase soft drinks in India are aged between 35 and 40 years. They also purchase in more quantities than young people. Hence, the popular belief that teenagers consume more soft drinks must be false.

What is the logical flaw in the argument?

  •  It does not supply information about people in age groups other than 35 to 40.
  •  Research findings are not presented. The argument is based just on popular beliefs.
  •  Precise consumption quantity is not presented.
  •  It only discusses soft drinks rather than more nutritious foods.
  •  It assumes that purchasing and consuming are the same. The last option is the answer

Sentence Correction

The questions ask the candidate to determine which of the five choices best expresses an idea or a relationship. He is expected to be familiar with grammatical rules of standard written English. The corrections required in a sentence could be either of grammatical errors or of inappropriate expression (use of words, connection between the subject and the predicate, etc.). Combinations of these are also possible in one question.

The average Indian Verbal score is 25.9 and global average is 27.9. You need a minimum score of 32 to get a decent net score and a minimum of 37 in the Verbal section for admission to top foreign B-schools.

Average Indian GMAT score is 574 on 800 i.e. 40 more than the global average. A net score of 700 can get you an interview call for programs at the ISB and the IIMs. A score of 700 in GMAT® translates to approximately 90 percentile which is considered good and will provide you with many options.

T.I.M.E.’s GMAT® Classroom Program

The GMAT® classroom program offered by T.I.M.E. is comprehensive with about 100 hours (52 Sessions) of classroom coaching that covers all the concepts and test taking techniques.

Designed for Indian Students:

Over the years, we have coached millions of students for various competitive examinations and developed deep understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of Indian graduates, which are very different from those of American students. Unlike other popular coaching programs available in the market, our GMAT® program is made specifically for Indian students.
For instance, in the Quantitative ability area, while enough attention is paid to problem solving, more emphasis is given to data sufficiency as the official statistics show that Indian students perform poorly in Data sufficiency when compared to Problem Solving.
Careful attention is paid to Analytical Writing, since this is an area where guidance and practice is required. In the Verbal ability area, while we do pay attention to Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning – we focus more on proficiency with Standard English, so as to help you improve in error identification and in correct and precise presentation.

Comprehensive Study Material:

Our online student support includes 90 online sectional practice tests and 12 full length computer based tests and 5 computer adaptive tests. Apart from this, you will also receive study material that comprehensively covers all the concepts and provides sufficient practice in all the test areas.

We will also provide the Official Guide for GMAT® Review (OG) and the GMAT® Verbal Review as a part of the material for in-class discussion and for practice at home.

Assistance in SOP Writing:

We will assist you in that most important part of your application for admission – the Statement of Purpose (SOP). Apart from providing classroom inputs, we will also encourage you to mail in your SOPs (in various stages of progress) so that we can help you with them.

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