All about GMAT


According to abbreviationfinder, GMAT stands for The Graduate Management Admission Test which is a stress exercise that takes about three hours. Understanding language and quickly grasping complex issues are just a small part of the tasks.

The GMAT requires a good basic knowledge of mathematics and a command of the English language. Special management or other specialist knowledge is not tested. More than 1,800 MBA programs worldwide require this stress exercise.


The GMAT is organized by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC). The international organization has more than 200 business schools worldwide. Participation costs $ 250. The test consists of four sections: The candidate has 30 minutes for an essay. The second section is “Integrated Reasoning”. Data sources must be interpreted here. The candidate has 75 minutes each for the quant and verbal sections with multiple choice questions.


Directly after the test, candidates can name up to five business schools to which the results will be sent free of charge. If you wish to send further score reports, fees apply. After the candidates have taken the computer-based GMAT, they immediately see the total number of points on the screen. Subsequently, the essay that is part of the GMAT is evaluated; however, it is not included in the overall score of the GMAT.


Jörn Meissner is the founder of Manhattan Review and Full Professor of Supply Chain Management & Pricing Strategy at Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. In the interview, he talks about how best to prepare for the GMAT and what special features need to be considered.

The GMAT is a prerequisite for most business schools. Why?
When it comes to admission, many well-known business schools are faced with the task of evaluating a large pool of candidates. All of them have completed various training courses in different countries, sometimes with different grades. Of course, a comparison is difficult. The GMAT as a standardized test is used for pre-selection.

When is the right time to take the GMAT?
Many schools require a GMAT result from the past two years. But I am not aware of any case in which a school asked to take the test again because it was out of date. In this respect, you should take the test as early as possible. This will give candidates more time to choose schools and apply later.

Many students are afraid of failing the GMAT. Is this concern justified?
Participants cannot fail. You will get a score in any case. Since the test format is unusual for Europeans and the GMAT is not an easy test, good preparation is recommended. Of course, the candidate has to invest time for this. The positive thing is that you can prepare very well for the GMAT, so you don’t have to be afraid.

What are the consequences of a bad GMAT score?
A bad score almost always means that applying to a coveted top business school is hopeless. In return, a good score does not automatically mean admission. But the school will then deal intensively with the application.

How exactly does the GMAT work?
The GMAT lasts almost four hours and is taken on a computer in a test center. It consists of four parts. After an essay for which the candidate has 30 minutes, the so-called integrated reasoning follows, in which data sources must be interpreted.

What comes next?
The Quant and Verbal sections follow, for which the candidate has 75 minutes each. They take place in the multiple choice process.

The level of difficulty and the topics are selected by the computer from a pool of possible questions, depending on the level of performance of the candidate. The course of the test is therefore different and unique for each participant. At the end of the test, the candidate receives the scores for the two multiple-choice sections and an entire score directly on the computer. The results for the essays can only be called up later. They are not included in the overall score.

What happens if you cannot answer a question or want to correct it?
This is not possible due to the computer adaptive test procedure. Each question must be answered before the next question is displayed. Since the level of difficulty of subsequent questions depends on whether one answered previous questions correctly or incorrectly, a return is not possible. If you have no idea how to approach a task, you have to guess. With good preparation, however, this should not happen.


Registration for GMAT can be done online if you have a credit card.

The best way to register for the GMAT is online at the GMAT website On the website you will find all the dates and the closest examination locations. In Germany you can take the GMAT in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. You will also find all the relevant information that is important for the GMAT registration.
A valid credit card is important for online registration.


The average score of admitted applicants has risen sharply in many MBA programs.

For example, participants in several well-known MBA programs in the United States now have an average GMAT of over 700 points. This brand has already been reached by the top schools in Europe. Intensive preparation for the test is therefore essential. The Official Guide for GMAT or the GMATPrep software or other preparatory literature can be used for this.


For many applicants, GMAT preparation courses are a worthwhile investment, since self-study often does not lead to the desired result. In this context, the Manhattan Review course, which was designed by a team of PhD students at Columbia Business school, deserves special mention. This training option is particularly recommended for those who are interested and whose MBA programs they want are subject to strong competition in terms of admission.


“Preparing for the GMAT should definitely be taken seriously as a potential gateway to a top MBA program. At least two to four weeks of preparation time are recommended. I spent almost two weeks working intensively on the main GMAT question types and the mathematical ones I learned the basics and logic that I didn’t already know. I then went to a GMAT course and reworked the material for a week. The result I had achieved before using the official preparation software was then in the actual GMAT can increase again by 80 points to a score of 760. “
Marcel Liplijn, MBA (Columbia
Business School)


The right training is important for GMAT. Here you will find free and original exam questions for both verbal training and math training. Deepen your knowledge in the GMAT sections with, because: Good preparation makes you more relaxed and thus achieves a better test result.

Anyone taking part in the GMAT should find out from the respective MBA school which points are required for the selected MBA.


The level of difficulty of the tasks in the GMAT depends on how the participant answered the previous task.

In contrast to the TOEFL, the GMAT is a computer adaptive test (CAT). This means that only one question from a large pool of questions is displayed on the screen at a time, which differ in content and level of difficulty. Every question has to be answered. It is not possible to call up completed questions again and to correct the answers.


The level of difficulty of the questions depends on the quality of the answers. So if you answered a question incorrectly, you will get a question with a lower level of difficulty next. If the next answers are correct, the level of the test increases again. With this procedure, the individual performance is determined as precisely as possible.
The adaptation of the test level is only known to the respective test providers.


The GMAT score is calculated using a complicated procedure that guarantees the comparability of the results over the years.

The GMAT evaluation depends on how many questions have been answered, how many questions have been answered correctly and what level of difficulty the questions were.


However, the assessment does not only consist of an overall result. Separate scores are shown for the individual test areas (verbal section: 0-60 points, quantitative section: 0-60 points, analytical writing: 0-6 points, integrated reasoning score 1-8 points). Many business schools pay attention to balanced results in all four test areas. The points from the new “Integrated Reasoning Section” – like the result of the “Analytical Writing” question – do not flow into the overall result, but are evaluated separately. After the candidates have taken the computer-based GMAT, they immediately see the scores on the screen. The essay that is part of the GMAT is then evaluated; however, as mentioned, this is not included in the overall score of the GMAT.

Theoretically, a score of 200 to 800 points can be achieved with the GMAT. However, results with less than 250 or over 650 points are rare. The average is around 540 points worldwide.

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