What is the GMAT Exam? Eligibility and Fee Structure

11 mins

According to B-school admissions staff, candidates for exclusive graduate business programs should recognize that a high Graduate Management Admission Test score will increase their chances of admittance.

Although most business schools use a holistic evaluation process that considers all aspects of an application to provide a complete picture of each candidate, the test score certainly plays a significant role.

Therefore, admissions committees take the GMAT score extremely seriously since it is "a strong predictor" of whether someone is intellectually prepared for business school.

About GMAT

Business school admissions require the Graduate Management Admission Test or GMAT. A multiple-choice, computer-based, and computer-adaptive standardized exam called the GMAT is usually required to enroll in MBA programs all over the world.

GMAC created and administers the GMAT to give business schools standardized assessments of candidates' readiness for graduate-level academic study.

Admissions committees at business schools consider your GMAT score, as well as your job experience, educational qualifications, and supporting papers, to determine your preparation for the rigors of an MBA program.

What is the main point? First, a good GMAT score will have an immediate and favorable influence on your business school application.

What exactly is on the GMAT?

The GMAT assesses your knowledge of fundamental arithmetic, algebra, geometry, multi-source data processing, and language. More importantly, it evaluates your ability to think critically, analyze, and assess textual content.

The GMAT is primarily an assessment of your reasoning skills. Thinking through and considering the material is essential for a high GMAT score.

The GMAT is a school of management entrance test that lasts almost 3 1/2 hours and consists of four parts:

  • An analytical writing test that assesses critical reasoning and communication abilities.
  • An integrated reasoning portion assesses students' ability to analyze facts and understand the information presented in various formats.
  • A quantitative reasoning component that assesses pupils' mathematics aptitude and numerical literacy.
  • A component of verbal reasoning assesses reading comprehension, editing abilities, and the ability to understand written arguments.

Online GMAT Exam

GMAC has introduced the GMAT Online Exam for students who choose to take the GMAT entrance exam at home rather than at a testing facility due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Candidates can now take their GMAT examinations online or at testing nearby.

GMAT Online Test Availability

Candidates taking the GMAT Online Exam can book an online test schedule 24 hours before the first available testing time. Continuously, new reservations for the GMAT Online exam are available.

Candidates may attempt the GMAT Online exam twice. GMAT Online exam efforts will count against your 5 GMAT exam attempts per year and 8-lifetime attempts.

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, GMAC has been forced to stop the test-center-based GMAT exam for applicants since several nations worldwide have imposed restrictions on the movement of persons.

As a result, GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council), the administrator of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), announced the launching of the GMAT Online on April 15th, 2020.

Top business schools do not require GMAT scores; some even eliminate application costs. Colleges also are extending deadlines so that more students may apply.

Why should you take the GMAT?

The GMAT exam, which over 2,400 colleges and universities use, is supported by more than 60 years of testing experience and peer-reviewed research, with numerous validity studies in the last ten years alone.

In addition, because the GMAT test was created in close collaboration with graduate management program instructors, you may be confident that their knowledge and skills will yield results for you.

The GMAT exam assesses abilities critical to business and management degrees. It evaluates analytical writing and problem-solving knowledge, data sufficiency, logic, and necessary reasoning abilities, which are essential for real-world business and management success.

In addition, the GMAT exam added Integrated Reasoning in June 2012; a new component meant to assess a test taker's ability to analyze the information provided in various formats and from multiple sources—skills required for management students to flourish in a technologically sophisticated and data-rich society.

Eligibility for the GMAT

As a result, there are no clear requirements for GMAT eligibility provided by GMAC, the corporation that administers the GMAT, for taking the exam. However, after taking the GMAT, one should always fulfill the eligibility requirements specified by the university/college one wishes to attend.

GMAT Age Requirements

  • The candidate must be at least 18 years old.
  • The applicant has no upper age restriction.
  • If the applicant is between 13 and 17, their parents or legal guardians must provide written authorization.

Educational Qualification

GMAC has not issued an official declaration addressing the criteria for taking the GMAT. Candidates for an MBA program must have a graduate degree in any field from a recognized university.

Exam Fees for the GMAT

The GMAT costs $275, which translates to almost INR 20,600. Applicants will also be charged extra if they want to change the center or postpone the exam. In addition, candidates who fail to appear for the exam will be charged the entire GMAT exam price.

Cancellation Fee for GMAT

If you cancel the exam between 1 and 14 days before the test date, you will be fined $200 and receive a $50 refund. If you cancel the test between 15 and 60 days before the appointment, you will be billed $175 and will receive a refund of $75.

If you withdraw the test more than two months before the meeting, you will be billed $150 and will receive a refund of $100. Furthermore, the exam appointment cannot be changed or canceled within 24 hours of the planned test time.

Fee for GMAT Rescheduling

You must pay US$150 if you rearrange the exam between 1 and 14 days before the examination date. In addition, if you reschedule the test 15 to 60 days before the appointment, you must pay US$100. You must pay US$50 if you reschedule your test more than 60 days before the test date.

Registration for the GMAT

According to GMAC, students can enroll for the GMAT admissions test 6 months before the Graduate Management Admission Test date or no later than 24 hours before the GMAT exam date 2022; however, the slot is now unavailable.

As a result, you should secure your chosen space well in advance of the scheduled exam day. GMAT registration 2022 methods include online, phone, and postal mail.

What exactly are the GMAT sections?

The GMAT is divided into four sections, but you will employ the same critical reasoning and analysis abilities throughout the exam as you would in your MBA curriculum.

The GMAT material is divided into four scored test portions, two of which would be achieved independently and two of which are assessed separately but combined to form your composite score:

  • Analytical Writing Evaluation
  • Reasoning Integrated
  • Verbal
  • Quantitative

GMAT exam takers have the option of ordering their GMAT test portions. Following the computer lesson and right before the start of the exam, you will select your segment order at the test facility. You would be able to choose one of three orders:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Integrated Reasoning (IR), Quantitative, Verbal
  • Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
  • Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

The GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment is graded independently from 0 to 6 in half-point increments. The Integrated Reasoning portion is also graded individually on a scale of 1-8, with one-point increments.

The scaled score for the Quantitative and Verbal parts is 0-60. They are then added together to provide a score on the 200-800 scale, with 10-point increments you are most likely familiar with.

Your score in a range of 200 to 800, in 10-point increments, represents the complexity of the questions you properly answered using a unique GMAC algorithm.

The average Verbal score is 27, while the average Quantitative score is 39. The mean for Analytical Writing is 4.4, and the standard for Integrated Reasoning is 4.2.

The aggregate Verbal and Quantitative scores are the most important for admission to MBA schools. The GMAT uses its algorithm to transform your Verbal and Quantitative results to the standard 200-800 scale, with a mean score of 552.

Analytical Writing Assessment

The Analytical Writing Assessment, sometimes known as the "essay" component, assists business schools in analyzing your writing abilities. It is scored independently, so the AWA result is not utilized to calculate your 200-800 point total.

Instead, essays are graded by a person grader and a machine marking scheme, and the two results are averaged to get your overall mark. If the ratings differ considerably, your essay is read and scored by another human.

For your writing exercise, you will be given a brief argument, similar to a paragraph from a Critical Reasoning question on the Verbal part. However, you are not expected to provide your point of view on the issue instead, you must critique the author's argument and evaluate the author's evidence and reasoning.

Essay evaluators examine whether you can clearly identify and evaluate aspects of the argument, develop and structure your views intelligently and logically, and connect your ideas with clear transitions when assessing this area.

Integrated Reasoning (IR)

This section will include questions from Multi-Source Reasoning questions, Graphics Interpretation questions, Two-Part Analysis questions, and Table Analysis questions, with a total of 12 questions (many with multiple parts) with 30 minutes to solve them.


The GMAT Quantitative part assesses your conceptual and analytical understanding of fundamental math topics such as arithmetic and number properties, algebra, and geometry. The section contains two sorts of questions:

Sufficient Data

Data Sufficiency questions are made up of a question and two data statements. Your objective is to decide if the statements have enough information to answer the problem.

This question type necessitates you immediately identify what knowledge you would have to solve the problem and swiftly eliminate response options.

Solving Issues

Solving Problems is a common sort of standardized test question. You'll be asked a question and given five possible answers. To test your critical thinking, problem-solving problems involve high school-level arithmetic up to algebra and plane geometry.


The GMAT Verbal portion assesses your mastery of standard written English, ability to analyze arguments, and critical reading skills. This section has three categories of questions:

Critical Thinking

Critical Reasoning questions assess your ability to construct and test theories and formulate a plan of action. You will be given a short explanation, a sequence of assertions, and a question about it.

Understanding the structure of reasoning and careful logical examination of the relationships between evidence and conclusion is required for success in Critical Reasoning problems.

Correction of Sentences

Long and involved sentences are common in GMAT Sentence Correction. A portion of the sentence—or the entire sentence—will be highlighted, and you will be asked to choose the better version of the underlined segment from the original or one of four options. The statement may be error-free or have one, two, or more mistakes.

Reading Understanding

These questions assess your ability to summarize the primary concept, distinguish between ideas expressed explicitly and those inferred by the author, make conclusions based on facts in a text, analyze the logical structure of a paragraph, and derive the author's style and attitude toward a topic.

You will be given an academic reading passage on a business, social science, biological science, or physical sciences subject and asked 3-4 questions about it.

What are typical GMAT test scores?

GMAT test takers should anticipate earning five scores: section scores for analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning, and a total score based on performance in the oral and quantitative sections.

Scores on the analytical writing assessment vary from 0 to 6, with half-point increments, and from 1 to 8 on the integrated reasoning component, with eight potential scores, all of which are whole numbers. The numeric and verbal reasoning parts have a minimum score of 0 and a maximum possible score of 60.

However, scores less than six and greater than 51 are uncommon. Total GMAT scores can range from 200 to 800 and are presented in 10-point increments.

The accuracy of test-responses takers determines these full scores to questions on the GMAT's verbal and quantitative sections and the difficulty level of the questions answered.

Between January 2015 and December 2017, the average total GMAT score was 561.27 out of 800. A score of 590 outperformed the achievement of 52% of test-takers during that period, while scores of 760 or higher amounted to the 99th percentile among test-takers during that period.

How is the GMAT calculated?

The GMAT is a CAT (Computer-Adaptive Test). On the GMAT, the CAT adjusts to your performance as you take the exam.

Before you begin the GMAT, the algorithm believes you have an average score and assigns you a medium-difficulty question. As you properly answer questions, the machine will throw tougher questions and enhance its estimation of your skill.

When you respond wrong, the device sends up easy questions and lowers its assessment of your talent. Finally, an algorithm computes your skill level based on what you got right or wrong and the difficulty level of the questions you answered.

The GMAC method, which calculates your 200-800 score, is frequently misunderstood, and there are numerous stories around "breaking" the process. Being prepared is the greatest way to "beat" the algorithm.

However, given the adaptability of the exam does not permit "skipping" questions, you will have to pace yourself and find a balance between investing important time accurately answering tough questions and perhaps running out of time before finishing the test.

There are severe consequences for failing to answer questions at the end of an exam.

Good GMAT Score

When deciding on a GMAT score objective, it's usually a good idea to check the mean or average GMAT score of approved applicants to the MBA schools you're interested in. This will provide you with a solid starting point.

The GMAT Quantitative and Verbal parts are graded on a scale of 0 to 60, with the mean score for Quantitative being 39 and the mean score for Verbal being 27. The combined 200-800 score scale, with a mean score of 552, is the highest score that business schools and MBA programs focus on.

Candidates for business schools who wish to improve their GMAT score should first consider if they are establishing reasonable expectations and whether obtaining their target score is necessary for admission to their top-choice MBA program.

Every academic year, schools strive for variety in the classes they bring in. Your GMAT score is an important element of what you get to the table, but a specific number does not always close the deal in either direction. Therefore, consider your GMAT score part of your full value offer to a school.

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