GMAT 2020 Exam – Dates, Registration, Fees, Eligibility, Syllabus

The GMAT can seem like an irritant – the mountain standing between your dream business school and you. Students often wonder why they need to give the GMAT to get admission to a business school. “What do ‘speed time and distance’ problems have to do with business problems?”, “why am I correcting sentences? I want to be a manager, not an editor!” are common refrains.

All these are fair questions! The GMAT can seem arbitrary. In this guide, we try and explain the ins and outs of the exam to make it less of a mystery.

Let’s get started.

The GMAT Exam

The full form of GMAT is the Graduate Management Admission Test. The GMAT is an online computer-adaptive entrance test for admission to a masters program in business such as Masters in Business Administration (MBA).

The GMAT exam is a computer-adaptive test that assesses a candidate’s quantitative and qualitative abilities, as per standard written English. Costing US $250, GMAT along with GRE, is your ticket to get admission in the top business schools across the world.

GMAT 2020: Key Highlights

Exam NameGMAT
GMAT full formGraduate Management Admission Test
Official Website
Most popular forMBA courses across world. 1 Year MBA course on India
 Also accepted forMS courses outside India


Two Year MBA courses in India (special cases)

 Conducted byGMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council)
Mode of ExamComputer-based adaptive test
GMAT feeUS $250 (INR 18,700 approx)
Score RangeMin 200, Max 800
GMAT Contact+91 120-439-7830, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Indian Standard Time
Fax: +91-120-4001660.
Email: [email protected]

Also read: 


Computer-adaptive tests are designed to adjust their level of difficulty—based on the responses provided—to match the knowledge and ability of a test taker. If a student gives a wrong answer, the computer follows up with an easier question; if the student answers correctly, the next question will be more difficult. Everyone who gives the GMAT sees a different set of questions. And every question you answer correctly increases the difficulty of the next question presented to you in the exam.

The final score, in GMAT therefore depends on the difficulty level of questions that the student had attempted. Correct answers to difficult questions will result in obtaining higher scores while correct responses to easier questions will result in getting lower scores.


The GMAT assesses Quantitative aptitude, verbal aptitude, writing ability, analytical skills, logic, critical reasoning skills, needed for successfully completing a management course.


More than 7,000 programs at approximately 2,300+ graduate business schools around the world accept the GMAT as part of the selection criteria for their graduate management programs, including

  • Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Masters in Business Management (MiM / MBM)
  • Master of Accountancy
  • Master of Finance programs among others


  • The Graduate Management Admission Council has shortened the GMAT exam by 30 minutes (effective from 16 April 2018).
  • The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative sections are shortened by 13 and 10 minutes respectively
  • The new exam will be of 3 hours and 30 minutes including test instructions and breaks.
  • The Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment along with the Score Preview and the optional break time remain the same.
  • Candidates now have the flexibility to customize their GMAT experience by choosing the section order in which they feel most comfortable taking the exam

Fact: GMAT 2020 does not have any negative marking

The changes don’t have any effect on the scoring of a student, according to GMAC, only unscored items have been removed.

Provision for Online GMAT

This year, keeping in mind the restrictions of the movement and lockdown imposed, GMAC announced the revolutionary idea of the GMAT online exam, on 15th April 2020.

Find out all about the GMAT Online Exam from registration to test dates to score reporting to retesting here.

Check out the top business schools not insisting on GMAT and some even waiving application fees. Deadlines are also being extended to more student enrolment.

Why take the GMAT Exam?

The GMAT Exam is the most preferred exam for admission in MBA worldwide – according to reports, 9 out of 10 B-schools prefer a GMAT score. The exam is offered at about 650 test centres in 114 countries which makes it a convenient exam to take. But that said, the GMAT can seem like an irritant – it’s not uncommon for students to wonder “What do ‘speed time and distance’ problems have to do with business problems? Why am I correcting sentences? I want to be a manager, not an editor!”

And you are right! The GMAT exam is not a good predictor of your success in running your own business or managing a business for someone else. What it is good at, is predicting how well a student will perform academically in the first year of a graduate business education, at least as per GMAC. According to GMAC, it has continually performed validity studies to statistically verify that the exam predicts success in business school programs.

Second, the GMAT is a standardized test, so it’s seen as an equalizer in the admissions process. Some business school admissions factors, like letters of recommendation or undergraduate GPA, are more subjective. For example, your undergraduate GPA could be influenced by the rigor of the school you attended or the exact courses you took. By contrast, the GMAT is administered in the same format and under the same time limits to thousands of students every year, and the content has been examined and revised to ensure it’s fair for students of various backgrounds.

And hate the GMAT all you want, the reality is that the GMAT is still the number one choice for MBA aspirants despite the increasing acceptability of GRE scores. About 90% of people applying to business school submit GMAT scores. However, more and more people are submitting GRE scores each year. And some studies even suggest that you may be able to get admission with a lower GRE score than an equivalent GMAT score at the same B-School.

For MBA aspirants in India, with the GMAT exam scores you can apply to the following types of management programs:

  • International MBA
  • International Masters in Management programs
  • One Year MBA in India at ISB, IIMs, etc
  • Two Year MBA in India at 100+ B-schools/Universities (for foreign students)

Eligibility criteria for the GMAT exam

A candidate needs to meet the criteria set by the university for admissions. GMAC does not have any criteria besides age to appear for the exam and any individual can attempt the exam.

Age Criteria 

  • Only 18 and above candidates are eligible.
  • As such, there is no upper age limit to apply.
  • Mandatory written permission from parents or legal guardian, if the candidate age is between 13 to 17 years.

Educational Qualification for GMAT

A graduate degree in any discipline from a recognized university is important to enroll in an MBA program. However, there is no official announcement by the GMAC, on the need to be a graduate to appear for GMAT.


  • There are no restrictions regarding the nationality of the applicant

Number of Attempts

  • Candidates can appear for GMAT Exam a maximum of 5 times in a year

Retaking the GMAT

  • Candidates have to wait for a minimum of 16 days before taking the test again

Cooling off period

  • Candidates have to wait at least five years to take the GMAT Exam again if the previously obtained GMAT score is a perfect score of 800.

GMAT Exam Fee: How much does the exam cost?

The exam fee is US $250, approximately INR 18,700 but extra charges apply if a candidate wishes to change the centre or reschedule the test. Candidates who fail to appear for the exam are charged the full fee.

If cancellation of the exam is made 1-14 days before test date$200$50
If cancellation of the exam is made 15 to 60 days before$175$75
If cancellation of the exam is made 60 days before$150$100

NOTE: Test cancellation requests will not be entertained before 24 hours of the test.


If rescheduling is done 1 to 14 days before the test date$150
If rescheduling is done 15 to 60 days before$100
If rescheduling is done 60 days before$50


How to Register for GMAT  2021?

Candidates aspiring to take the GMAT can register themselves any time of the year. Registration can be done at a maximum, six months before the date you want to take the GMAT exam. You can book a test as late as 24 hours prior to the exam, but its best to plan it well in advance.

There are three ways candidates can register–Online, on the phone, and postal mails.

You can read the complete steps to register for the GMAT Exam here.


  1. The first step is to create an account with GMAC on the official website of GMAT.
  2. Once the account is created the candidates can opt for any of the below-mentioned GMAT 2019 Registration. The same modes are available for rescheduling or canceling GMAT Test:
  • Online on the official website of GMAT: The candidate can register themselves directly on the official website of GMAT
  • Through Phone: This can be done by calling the GMAT Customer Service in your region with an additional fee of US$10.
  • Through Postal Mail: If the candidate pays via cheque or money order, this is the only option to register and schedule the GMAT Exam.

GMAT Exam Dates 2021-22

There is no single date to take the GMAT unlike other competitive exams which are held once or twice a year.

The GMAT is offered on many days throughout the year. You can usually find the GMAT given on almost every day of the week, especially if you live in a large city.

Fact: Candidates have to wait at least five years to take the GMAT Exam again if the previously obtained GMAT score is a perfect score of 800 

You can register for GMAT appointments anytime between six months and 24 hours before you’re desired date, depending on availability. Given the rush during admissions season, you should sign up at least a few weeks in advance to secure a spot.

Students can retake the exam after 16 days again, and a maximum of 5 attempts are available in a year. It is advised to book your test at least two months in advance to avoid panic.


There are four sections: Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative reasoning, Verbal reasoning:

SectionTime LimitNumber Of QuestionsQuestion TypeScore Range
Analytical Writing Assessment30 min1Analysis of an Argument0-6 (in 0.5-point increments)
Integrated Reasoning30 min12Graphics Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-source Reasoning, Two-part Analysis1-8 (in 1-point increments)
Quantitative Reasoning62 min31Data Sufficiency, Problem Solving6-51 (in 1-point increments)
Verbal Reasoning65 min36Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction6-51 (in 1-point increments)

Read more about the GMAT Exam Pattern

Syllabus of GMAT Exam 

The GMAT tests a student’s ability on various parameters:

  • Analytical writing – measures how well a candidate communicates his/her ideas.
  • Integrated reasoning – evaluates a candidate’s ability to analyze data
  • Quantitative reasoning – evaluates a student’s data analysis
  • Verbal reasoning – tests the candidate’s verbal and written English

Read more about the GMAT Exam Pattern 

GMAT Score

Check out our detailed article on GMAT Scores here: Low GMAT Score. Candidates should also understand various aspects of the Good GMAT Scores.

When is the GMAT result available?

The GMAT score report is available after finishing the exam, except for the AWA score. Students have a choice of whether to accept or reject it. Candidates receive a complete GMAT score report, including AWA score, within 20 days of writing the test. If a candidate accepts the score, the results are reported to schools of your choosing and the score is available in your dashboard for sending to more schools in the future.

But if a candidate declines to see his/ her score, the score stands canceled and the institutes will not receive this score and it will be removed from your score record. Of course, exercising this option only makes sense in case you are completely sure that you haven’t performed well on the test.

How is the GMAT Score calculated?

Your official score includes the marks of 4 GMAT sections and total score, which is calculated on a fixed scale. Only verbal and quantitative scores makes up your total GMAT score – no other section is included. The scores report will cover the following:

  • Your Quantitative Score (0–60), with percentile
  • Your Verbal Score (0–60), with percentile
  • Your Total GMAT Score (200–800), with percentile
  • AWA Score (half-integers from 0 to 6), with percentile
  • Integrated Reasoning Score (integer from 1 to 8)

GMAT Score range

Minimum and a maximum score of each section, along with average:

SectionScore RangeMean Scores*
Analytical Writing Assessment0-64.5
Integrated Reasoning1-84

How to access the GMAT score report?

  • Candidates will receive a link on registered email id.
  • With the help of instructions in the link, the candidate can check their official GMAT SCORE REPORT

The validity of the GMAT score

The GMAT score is valid only for five years.

Also read:

GMAT Preparation Tips

Self-study is an effective way to crack the exam; you just need a few good GMAT books and resources, some study material, and of course, discipline. If you need professional guidance, then joining a coaching centre for GMAT in your location is a good option.

The time required for GMAT Preparation 

Most people prepare for 3-5 months for the GMAT. More preparation is correlated to higher scores. Here’s what the GMAC says about the link between time spent on preparation and GMAT score.



GMAT Prep tips for each section:

Analytical Writing AssessmentThe Analytical Writing Assessment section analyses the candidates’ ability to analyze an argument.
Quantitative SectionThe Quantitative section evaluates how a candidate analyses stats and data.
Verbal SectionThe Verbal section measures the aspirants’ ability to read and comprehend written material.
Integrated Reasoning SectionThe Integrated Reasoning Section measures the candidates’ ability to evaluate information, presented in multiple formats from multiple sources

Strategy for preparing for GMAT 

An effective and appropriate strategy is needed to score a perfect 800 in the GMAT 2020 exam.

But you don’t need 800 to get into your dream school. The score you need depends on your profile and it will be a good idea for you to decide on a score you want to target in order to get an admit to your preferred colleges and then prepare for it.

Previous years of sample papers could be of great help. Princeton Review, Manhattan prep, Kaplan books, Khan Academy, and Veritas are some of the best platforms to fetch study material. Apart from this, you can also check out our GMAT Preparation Plan for four weeks.

Also read:

GMAT sample questions

A sample question paper for each section is provided, you can check it here:

GMAT Sample Questions

GMAT Test centres

It is always advisable to choose a test centre near your location, as it will save you time spent on travel and reduce exhaustion. After you choose your preferred state/city, you can check the availability of dates at the nearest test centre.

Colleges accepting GMAT score 

About 2300 business schools with more than 7000 programs accept the GMAT score. Top B schools such as Harvard, INSEAD, and Stanford demand a GMAT score of above 720. With more than 114 countries accepting GMAT, it is the most important exam to get into B school, around the globe. If you want your GRE score to be accepted, along with the GMAT Scores, you might also need to know GMAT to GRE Score Conversion, to convert their scores.


Colleges that accept GMAT accept students across a range of scores – there is no one cutoff for any B-School. There is a wide range of GMAT scores that can gain you admission to your business school of choice. Generally speaking, top 10 MBA programs consistently look for GMAT scores of 710 or above.

Read this article to understand What is a Good GMAT Score? 

GMAT Scores for Top 10 Business Schools

Your GMAT Scores allow you to apply to the top business schools across the world. We have provided average GMAT Scores required to get into the top business schools globally:

Business SchoolsAverage GMAT Score
University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)732
Stanford University (CA)732
Yale University (CT)724
Harvard University (MA)730
Columbia University (NY)732
University of California—Berkeley (Haas)726
University of Chicago (Booth)731
Northwestern University (Kellogg) (IL)732
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)728
Dartmouth College (Tuck) (NH)722

GMAT Scores at Top One Year MBA Programs in India

Indian MBA Programs accepting GMAT Scores

University/CollegeProgramAverage GMAT Score Range Over the Years (out of 800)Total Fee
Indian School of Business (ISB), HyderabadPGP, YLP700-710INR 25,54,725
Indian Institute of Management, AhmedabadPGPX700-710INR 24,00,000
Indian Institute of Management, BangaloreEPGP695-7INR 22,77,500
Indian Institute of Management, CalcuttaPGPEX700-710INR 22,00,000
Indian Institute of Management, LucknowIMPX680-700INR 19,11,000
XLRI, JamshedpurGMP680-700INR 14,95,000
Indian Institute of Management, IndoreEPGP680-700INR 18,00,000
S.P.Jain Institute of Management & Research, MumbaiPGPM680-700INR 17,40,000
IMT, GhaziabadPGDM, PGDM-Ex690INR 15,00,000
Great Lakes Institute of Management, ChennaiPGPM680INR 17,70,000

Read more

GMAT scholarships 

There are no set rules for granting scholarships; it mainly depends upon the school’s admission process. It’s better to check the guidelines of the college before applying for the scholarship, whether need-based or merit-based. There are two types of scholarship available:

  • Full – covers the entire cost of the program.
  • Partial – covers only part of the fees.

We have given detailed information on GMAT Scholarships for Indian students, which you can read here.


Q. What are some lesser-known facts about GMAT?

A. Some of the common facts are:
● The maximum number of attempts is not more than five times a year.
● Candidates can’t go beyond eight attempts in their lifetime.
● GMAT Is the most flexible exam, as there is no specific date, and students can choose when to appear, accordingly.

Q. What is the difference between GMAT and GRE?

A. While GMAT is a dedicated exam to get into business school,  GRE is also accepted for a graduate degree. The exam pattern is the same as GMAT. You can read more about GRE vs GMAT: Which Exam Should You Take?


Q. What is the difference between GMAT vs CAT?

A. Both GMAT and CAT are widely accepted exams to get into top business schools, including IIMs. The only difference is that CAT operates at the national level for students looking for admission in B schools in India. In comparison, GMAT is held at a global platform, and also acceptable in the case of NRI/Foreign students, who wants to study in India. Candidates can learn in-depth about the difference between GMAT and CAT exams. You can also read Why B-Schools now prefer GMAT over CAT?

Q. What is a computer adaptive test?

A.  The Computer-Based Test adapts to the ability of students, while giving the test. The difficulty level can be altered according to the candidate’s response. Wrong answers will lead to easy questions and vice versa. Candidates cannot visit the previous question while attempting GMAT; he/she has to solve it, to move ahead.

Q. What is Percentile vs Marks assessment in GMAT?

A. A percentile score compares your performance with other test-takers. 80th percentile means that you performed better than 80% of aspirants. Low percentile means you scored lower than most candidates.

Q. How can I Reschedule and Retake GMAT Exam?

A. You can either reschedule the exam online or via your phone.
Charges of rescheduling
1 to 14 days before exam US $150
15 to 60 days before exam US $100
More than 60 days before exam US $50
NOTE: The GMAT exam can’t be rescheduled on the test date, although you can retake the exam after 16 days from your previous attempt. You have to pay an extra $10 surcharge, along with the rescheduling fee, if you are doing it over the phone.

Q. What is the Executive Assessment Exam?

A. For Executive MBA, GMAC has introduced a new Mini GMAT called Executive Assessment Exam. Especially a designed exam for EMBA applicants, and generally of shorter durations. Mostly the analytical and logical thinking is tested, which is required for an Executive MBA.

Q. How to send my GMAT scores to B-schools?

A. It can be done in two ways:
● While registering, candidates have the option of sending a score report to five programs for free.
● Candidates can even send it later after receiving the score information by paying $28/ school.

Q.What if I want to score-report a GMAT exam taken over five years ago?

A. This depends on the school’s policy on whether they accept the score of the exam taken over five years ago.

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