Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT): A Comprehensive Guide

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT): A Comprehensive Guide

When you apply to a master’s program abroad, you may be required to submit your Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores as part of the application documents. Taking the GMAT exam is usually a must for most international business schools. Even if it is not a mandatory requirement, having an impressive GMAT score will put you ahead of all the other students who are competing to be part of the business program at the same university. Acing your GMAT exam is evidence enough of your ability to successfully complete any master’s degree in business management that you apply to.

International students planning to get into management schools in Australia are required to take Graduate Management Admission Test as a mandatory requirement. A good GMAT score will definitely put you ahead in the race of getting into a top Australian university for management programs.

What is GMAT?

  • GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admission Test created by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). Every year, about 2,00,000 MBA aspirants write the GMAT exam.
  • According to the FT-100 Global MBA Programs (2017) out of every 10 MBA enrolments in the world, 9 are made primarily based on the applicant’s GMAT score.
  • The official website for GMAT calls the GMAT exam “The Most Globally Recognized Indicator of Your Readiness for Business School”.
  • As a standardized exam that is exclusively designed and carefully structured for aspiring MBA students, the GMAT exam is a perfect measure of your readiness to undertake a life-changing journey in business school.
  • Unlike the GRE test that is generally accepted for graduate programs in a wide array of disciplines, the GMAT exam specifically targets students who wish to be future business leaders.
  • Conducted online, GMAT is computer based and uses a multiple-choice format to test students of their various abilities.
  • The exam in itself is 3 hours and 7 minutes long with 4 main sections that need to be completed. The four sections are Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning.

Why take the GMAT exam?

  • If you aspire to study at a world-class business school, GMAT is the way to go. For one, GMAT requires quite a lot of persistent work and dedication which are qualities of business leaders. Doing well in your GMAT exam proves your commitment to being a professional in the field.
  • The various sections in the GMAT exam measure different aspects of your personality and skills to check if you are a suitable candidate for some of the world’s best business schools.
  • Depending on how well you score in each section of the GMAT exam, you can choose a business program that best aligns with your strengths and career goals.
  • Based on your performance in the GMAT exam, you get a personalized list of recommended business programs to help you find and connect with the most suitable business programs for you.
  • GMAT is one of the most widely accepted exams worldwide for MBA admissions and has been so consistently for the last 60 odd years. The exam’s reputation puts you as a front-runner in all your university applications.
  • Even attempting the GMAT exam opens up a plethora of opportunities to you in your future as a student and a professional. You can add your score to your CV and make a positive impression on job recruiters as well.
  • Business schools all over the world trust GMAT scores to be a reliable indicator of your capabilities as a prospective student and use it to evaluate your application and come to a decision on whether they should admit you into the university.

Who accepts GMAT and when do you take the GMAT exam?

  • Over 2,300 business schools in the world today use the GMAT exam to filter out prospective students for their competitive MBA programs. More than 7,000 MBA and master’s programs in management and business administration accept GMAT scores as an indicator of student competence.
  • Both public and private universities worldwide use the GMAT exam test scores as a globally trusted measure and entry criterion for higher studies especially in the US and UK.
  • Allow yourself enough time to thoroughly prepare for the exam and do enough number of practice tests. It is highly recommended that you book your GMAT exam date at least 3 months in advance.
  • The earlier you take your GMAT exam, the better. Since most universities have early application deadlines for international students, the best thing to do to is to ensure that you have your GMAT scores ready well in advance to the university application deadline.
  • If in case you are unable to take the GMAT exam beforehand, you should still remember that it can take about 20 working days for GMAT to process your test scores and send them to the program you wish to apply to.
  • One great thing about the GMAT exam is that your score is valid for a good 5 years, which means that you do not have to worry about your marks being invalid within a year or two.
  • You can retake your GMAT exam 16 days after your first attempt if you are not happy with your scores. In a single year you can take the GMAT exam up to 5 times.

Registering for GMAT

How to register for the GMAT

Source: Kaplan

  • In order to register for the GMAT exam, you should meet certain criteria. You have to be of at least 18 years of age. Younger candidates are required to have official permission in writing from their legal guardian allowing them to appear for the GMAT exam.
  • Although the Graduate Management Admission Council does not stipulate a condition for GMAT candidates to have a bachelor’s degree, almost all master’s and MBA programs in the world require you to have a recognised degree beforehand in order to be eligible to apply to their business programs.
  • Attempting the GMAT exam involves an application fee of $250 with an extra charge of $50 if you want to change your exam centre or reschedule your exam date. There are also cancellation and rescheduling fees for GMAT exams.
  • In an ideal situation, you should book for your GMAT exam slot at least 3 months before the actual exam date. This allows you more time to prepare and avoids the last-minute stress involved in finding empty slots for your preferred dates.
  • You can register for your GMAT exam online, via telephone or through the post. The easiest way is to register via their official online portal by filling in the forms with your verified personal information, and scheduling a date, time slot and test centre of your convenience. Your GMAT exam registration will be complete only after you pay your registration fee via your debit or credit card.

Studying for GMAT

  • If you do not have enough time to prepare for your GMAT exam, it is recommended that you join a credible and result oriented coaching institute to speed up your learning process.
  • There are many good resources that you can get for free online or buy that will help you score well in your GMAT exam. With a little determination and a lot of time management, you will be able to prepare for the test on your own.
  • Analytical writing section which is 30 minutes long where you have to analyse an essay on one topic only. In this section you should demonstrate your ability to think logically and effectively communicate your thoughts.
  • Integrated reasoning section which is again 30 minutes long and consists of 12 questions that range from interpreting tables to graphics. In this section you are expected to successfully absorb and analyse information in different formats.
  • Quantitative reasoning section is 62 minutes long and has 31 questions on data sufficiency and problem solving. This section measures your mathematical and reasoning skills to come to useful conclusions and workable solutions.
  • Verbal reasoning section is 65 minutes long and has 36 questions based on critical reasoning, sentence correction and reading unseen passages. This section is often underestimated by students but you need adequate practice to improve your business language skills and effectively evaluate arguments.


Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is fundamentally used to assess your analytical writing and problem-solving skills, while also evaluating your logical and critical reasoning capabilities. As these are the essential skills required to run business set-ups in the real world, management schools have made GMAT scores as a selection tool for admitting aspiring international students. This article on Graduate Management Admission Test covers all the necessary information on GMAT, including how to register for the GMAT exam.

This comprehensive guide on studying in Australia gives you detailed inputs on everything you need to know about higher studies in Australia.