GMAT Exam 2021-22- 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.

Fair questions all! The GMAT can seem arbitrary and plenty of GMAT myths exist.

So wondering if you’ll ever use your GMAT skills again is natural. In this guide, we will try to make the exam less like a random step in your MBA marathon. 

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).

GMAT has been around a long time and has become the de-facto MBA Entrance test and the number of GMAT test takers is only rising. The test assesses a candidate’s quantitative and qualitative abilities, as per standard written English. The exam costs US$ 250. 

GMAT, however, is not the only exam that can get you inside a business school. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is fast becoming a viable and somewhat simpler alternative to the GMAT. If you are interested in learning more about how GRE differs from GMAT, hop over to GMAT vs GRE for a detailed comparison between the two exams.  

There are also some MBA programs that don’t require a GMAT Score.

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GMAT 2021: Key Highlights

 

Exam NameGMAT
GMAT full formGraduate Management Admission Test
Official Websitehttps://www.mba.com
Most popular forMBA courses across world. 1 Year MBA course on India
Also accepted for

MS 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] pearson.com https://www.mba.com/service/contact-us.aspx

The GMAT is an Adaptive Test

The GMAT is a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT). CAT exams 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.

This is why everyone who gives the GMAT sees a different set of questions. 

The final score in GMAT, therefore, depends on the difficulty level of questions attempted by the student. Correct answers to difficult questions will lead to a higher GMAT score while correct responses to easier questions will increase the score by a lower degree, resulting in an overall lower GMAT score. 

What Does The GMAT Exam Test?

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

Programs That Accept A GMAT Score 

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

Colleges accepting GMAT scores

About 2300 business schools with more than 7000 programs accept the GMAT score. With more than 114 countries accepting GMAT, it is the most important exam to get into B school, around the globe.

GMAT Scores for Top 10 Business Schools

Your GMAT Scores allow you to apply to the top business schools across the world. Here are the 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

Read More About Average GMAT Score

GMAT Scores at Top One Year MBA Programs in India

Indian MBA Programs accepting GMAT Scores:

 

University/CollegeProgramAvg. GMAT Score Range Over the Years (out of 800)Total Fee (2021)
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, Ghaziabad PGDM-Ex690INR 15,00,000
Great Lakes Institute of Management, ChennaiPGPM680INR 17,70,000

Also Read: More Indians Using GMAT to Apply To Indian B-Schools

Recent Updates In GMAT

  • 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

Also Read: GMAT to be 30 Minutes Shorter, Cuts in Number of Questions

GMAT Negative marking meme.

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

Online GMAT

This year, keeping in mind the restrictions on movement and lockdown due to COVID-19, GMAC announced the revolutionary idea of the Online GMAT exam on 15th April 2020.

Some B-Schools are also doing away with GMAT Scores to help aspirants in a tough year. Check out the top business schools not insisting on GMAT

Reasons to take the GMAT Exam

The GMAT Exam is the preferred exam for admission to MBA courses worldwide – according to many reports, 9 out of 10 B-schools prefer a GMAT score. The exam is offered at about 650 test centers in 114 countries which makes it a convenient exam to take.

That said, the GMAT exam can seem disconnected from the role of a manager – how many managers you know are cracking time and distance problems at office? And the GMAT never claims to be a good predictor of your success in running your own business or managing a business for someone else.

The reason B-Schools insist on the GMAT is because it s good at predicting how well a student will perform academically in the first year of business school. That said, all is not hunky dory for the GMAT. Many B-Schools have skipped test from admissions requirements in COVID times and some have been vocal about the test’s shortcomings. Read B-Schools Not Sold on GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning Section.

However, the GMAT is a standardized test, and so it is 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.

Hate the GMAT all you want, the reality remains that the GMAT is still the number one choice for MBA aspirants despite the increasing acceptability of GRE scores and decisions by some of the top schools in India such as ISB to accept GRE scores. About 90% of people applying to business school still submit GMAT scores. 

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

Eligibility For GMAT

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

Age Criteria 

  • Only candidates aged 18 and above candidates are eligible
  • There is no upper age limit to take the exam
  • Mandatory written permission from parents or legal guardian is required if the candidate’s 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.

Nationality

  • 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

Read More About GMAT Eligibility Criteria

GMAT Exam Fee

The GMAT fee in USA is $275 while it is $285 in a few European countries where the fee is charged in either Euros or Pounds. The fee for GMAT 2021 in India is US $250, approximately INR 18,700 but extra charges apply if a candidate wishes to change the center or reschedule the test. Candidates who fail to appear for the exam are charged the full fee.

The fee for the Online GMAT is $250 no matter where you are situated.

 

GMAT CANCELLATION FEECHARGES  Refund
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

GMAC does not entertain test cancellation requests less then 24 hours of the test.

 

GMAT RESCHEDULING FEEEXTRA CHARGES
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

Registering for GMAT 2021

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

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

Steps to Register For GMAT

Step 1

The first step is to create an account with GMAC on the official website of GMAT.

Step 2

Once the account is created the candidates can opt for any of the below-mentioned ways to register for GMAT 2021. 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.

Read More About GMAT Exam Registration

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 a GMAT test date almost every day of the week, especially if you live in a large city.

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 again after 16 days, and a maximum of 5 attempts are allowed in a year. We advise you to book your test at least two months in advance to avoid panic.

GMAT Exam Pattern & Syllabus

There are four sections in the GMAT test: Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative reasoning, Verbal reasoning.

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 skills

Verbal reasoning – tests the candidate’s verbal and written English

Here are more details on each section:

 

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 GMAT Exam Pattern

GMAT Result & Score

GMAT Score Range

Here are the minimum and a maximum score of each section, along with average:

 

SectionScore RangeMean Scores*
Analytical Writing Assessment0-64.5
Integrated Reasoning1-84
Verbal0-6027
Quantitative0-6038
Total200-800548

GMAT Cut-offs & Good GMAT Scores

So what’s a good GMAT score? Generally a score of 700 and above on the GMAT is considered good and competitive at most business schools. Read more about Good GMAT Scores, Average GMAT Scores and Low GMAT 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 as GMAT is only one of the criterion for admissions into an MBA program. A good read on this aspect: Your Story Matters More Than Your GMAT or GPA.

That said, generally speaking, top 10 MBA programs consistently look for GMAT scores of 710 or above. Top B schools such as Harvard, INSEAD, and Stanford demand a GMAT score of above 720.

Read More About Good GMAT Scores

When is the GMAT score available?

The GMAT score report is available after finishing the exam, except for the AWA score. Candidates receive a complete GMAT score report, including AWA score, within 20 days of writing the test.

Students have a choice to accept or reject the GMAT score after the exam. If a candidate accepts the score, the results are reported to schools selected by you for sending the report to and the score is available in your dashboard for sending to more schools in the future.

If a candidate declines to see his/ her score or rejects the 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 a 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 (from 0 to 6) with percentile
  • Integrated Reasoning Score (from 1 to 8)

How to access the GMAT score report?

Candidates will receive a link on registered email id with instructions on how to access the report. The candidate can check their official GMAT Score Report by following the instructions. 

The GMAT score is valid only for five years.

Read More About GMAT Result And Score

GMAT Preparation Tips

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

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

 

GMAT Prep

Also Read: How To Run The GMAT Marathon – Some Tips & Tricks

GMAT Syllabus

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

Here are some guidance in including core concepts, sample problems and solutions on some of the key topics you will face in the GMAT:

If you are in India and have already prepared for Common Admission Test read GMAT vs CAT to understand what aspects would be different on the GMAT exam and Leveraging CAT Prep for GMAT to see what concepts would be transferable to your GMAT prep.

Strategy For Preparing For GMAT

An effective and appropriate strategy is needed to score well in the GMAT 2021 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.

While there are no official sample papers for GMAT since the exam is electronic, unofficially you will find plenty of questions sourced from test takers available online. GMAC also provides two GMAT mock tests.

E-Gmat, Magoosh, Princeton Review, Manhattan prep, Kaplan books, Khan Academy, and Veritas are some of the good options to study from, and they also provide various mock tests for checking your preparation levels.

You can also check OneYearMBA’s 10 Step GMAT Prep Strategy. This interesting blog about Last Minute GMAT Prep Tips & Tricks is useful for those who are a bit late to the GMAT party.  

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.

Read More About GMAT Test Centres

GMAT Scholarships 

There are no scholarships for GMAT – there are scholarships available for MBA courses you get into based on your GMAT score.

There are no set rules for grabbing a scholarship; it mainly depends upon the school’s admission process. It’s better to check the guidelines from the college before applying for a scholarship, whether it is 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.

GMAT Examination FAQS

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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