If you are planning to pursue an MBA degree, do you know that you have to answer the GMAT exam? Do you know what the GMAT exam is? Do you know what the syllabus includes? Do you know how to go about it? Well, it’s obvious to have all these questions in mind. Worry not! If you don’t have answers to any of the questions. In this article, we’ve listed some common GMAT FAQs and their answers for you. So, keep reading!

1. What is GMAT?

GMAT is a graduate-level MBA entrance test, conducted by GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council). The computer-adaptive test evaluates your analytical writing, logical reasoning, problem-solving and critical thinking skills. These skills are tested through four sections: Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Integrated Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. The duration of the GMAT exam is 3.5 hours. The total score of GMAT lies between 200-800.

2. How many times is the GMAT exam conducted in a year?

The GMAT test is conducted throughout the year. Hence, the admission enrollment is carried out all around the year.

3. What is the full form of GMAT?

The full form of GMAT is Graduate Management Admission Test.

4. How to prepare for GMAT?

To prepare for GMAT, you need to create a study plan, refer to official GMAT books and enroll into coaching classes for better guidance. You could choose CareerLabs’s GMAT prep classes for an effective learning process. Besides, you have to attempt a lot of practice/mock tests that will help you measure your progress during your preparation period.

5. What is the syllabus of the GMAT exam?

The GMAT test comprises four sections: Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Integrated Reasoning (IR), Quantitative Reasoning (QR), and Verbal Reasoning (VR). In the AWA section, you have to write one essay — analyse an argument. The VR section evaluates how well you can comprehend information, analyse and evaluate arguments and it also tests how proficient you are in the English language. The IR section measures your ability to understand and evaluate multiple types of information/data given in graphics, text, charts, etc. And, the QR section tests your high school level mathematics knowledge to solve complex problems.

7. When is the GMAT exam conducted?

The GMAT exam is conducted throughout the year. So, there is no specific date allotted for it. You can take the exam from anywhere, at any time, according to the dates available and as per your convenience. Remember, once you take the exam, you can reschedule the exam after 16 days from the date of your previous test. The lifetime limit for taking the GMAT is 8. Also, you are not allowed to take the exam more than 5 times in a rolling 12-month period.

8. How much is the GMAT fee?

The GMAT fee is US$250.00 which converts to INR 18,500(approx).

9. How to register for the GMAT exam?

To register for the GMAT exam, you have to fill in the registration form available on the official website of GMAT. You have other options too.  If not online, you can apply through post, fax, or phone.

10. What are the GMAT eligibility criteria?

According to GMAC, there are no such eligibility criteria mentioned for GMAT. However, there are some  preferable conditions and they are:

  • You must have a Bachelor’s degree  in any stream from a recognized university or institution.
  • Your age should be at least 18 years. If you are 13 to 17 years old,  you can take the GMAT only if you submit an authorization or consent letter from your parent/legal guardian.
  • In case you want to retake the GMAT exam, you need to wait for a minimum of 16 days, i.e. there must be a gap of 16 days between two attempts of the exam.
  • The GMAT exam can be taken all throughout the year, where you will have the flexibility to appear for it any day. However, you can only appear for the exam 5 times in a 12-month period.
  • There is no upper age limit for taking the GMAT exam.

11. Which are some of the best GMAT books?

The Official Guide for GMAT contains all the relevant topics related to GMAT test syllabus. Besides, there are other books such as Total GMAT Math by Jeff Sackmann or GMAT for Dummies. You can also opt for GMAT preparation coaching centers like CareerLabs which provide their own study material for preparation.

12. What is the difference between GMAT and CAT?

Both are standardized common entrance tests for getting admission to an MBA program. GMAT is mainly for all the international B-schools, whereas, CAT is for Indian B-schools only. However, students can also apply to Indian B-schools even with the GMAT.

13. What is the difference between GMAT and GRE?

GMAT is a common entrance test for business and management studies abroad. The GRE is an entrance test for a master’s program related to any field of study, including management and law. However, over the years a lot of B-schools have started accepting GRE scores too for admission to MBA programs.

14. Is an MBA without GMAT possible?

Yes! One can pursue an MBA abroad without qualifying for GMAT. However, this may not be applicable in all cases. Hence, it is important to check with the concerned schools about this.

15. How important is the GMAT score?

The GMAT score is an important admission requirement for several top b-schools like Harvard Business School, Stanford Business School, etc. Getting a good GMAT score can open doors for you to some of the best MBA colleges worldwide.

16. How is the GMAT exam scored?

The score of GMAT sections are gauged on a scale of 0-60. The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections of GMAT are scored on a scale of 6-51, while the AWA and IR sections are scored on a scale of 0-6, and 1-8 respectively. The maximum score you can achieve is 800, and the total score is the average of your marks in the Verbal and Quant sections.

17. What is the best time to take the GMAT?

It is advisable to start preparing for GMAT six months ahead of the Fall or Spring admission process. 

18. How long does GMAT preparation take?

Generally, the GMAT preparation requires three months of rigorous studies. This includes learning the concepts, attempting mock tests, solving questions from the Official Guide and practicing previous year’s papers, etc. We suggest you devote at least two to four hours daily if you want to achieve a GMAT score of 700+.

19. Can I select my B School based on MBA Ranking online?

Yes, you can use the rankings to note down the colleges that you want to target for admission. Rankings are generally subject to change, so no rankings can be considered as final. In order to get a fair idea of the b-school rankings, make sure that you follow only those rankings that have received global recognition like the QS Global MBA Rankings.

20. Are Official Guide questions enough to score more than 700+ in GMAT?

GMAT Official Guide contains a lot of practice questions which may be enough for you to score 700+ in the GMAT exam. The best way to check whether they are good enough for you is by taking a mock test. It will give a clear idea of your current level of preparation and also help you plan your preparation accordingly.

21. Can I get MBA scholarships if I get a 720 GMAT Score?

Most business schools do not state a minimum GMAT score for granting scholarships. For merit-based university scholarships, you will need a well-rounded profile and a GMAT score that is considerably higher than other candidates.

22. What are the exact skills that MBA admission committees look for in a student?

The MBA admission committees look out for leadership, interpersonal, teamwork and more skills in candidates. They also take into account a candidate’s academic record and work experience for deciding their suitability for the course.

23. I just started working. Should I do my MBA now or later?

Ideally, you should gain some experience before pursuing an MBA. Work experience will allow you to figure out your core interests and define a clear career path. The average work experience required for admission into top b-schools in the US is 4-5 years.

24. I am financially not so sound. Can I still do an MBA?

There are many universities that provide need-based scholarships to students based on their financial hardships. Several third party organizations also provide scholarships to students who wish to pursue a master’s degree abroad such as the Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship and the Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme.

25. What are the typical profile requirements of a student to be selected at ISB?

The main components of an MBA profile are the academic record, leadership potential, and personal attributes. So make sure that you are good in all these areas. The final selection may be subject to other factors such as your performance in the interview, academic records, etc.

26. Where should I search for an MBA Scholarship?

Here are some of the most prominent colleges that provide MBA scholarships to the students:

  • Harvard Business School (Harvard University)
  • Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Sloan School of Management (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Haas School of Management (University of California)

You can connect with the concerned authorities of your choice of schools to get more information on scholarships.

27. As doing an MBA is expensive, how can I get a successful MBA scholarship?

Keep these things in mind while applying for an MBA scholarship:

  •  Research about the terms and conditions of scholarships thoroughly.
  • Apply for as many scholarships as possible.
  • Take your time while writing the scholarship essay.
  • Make sure that the essay reflects your financial situation in a compelling manner.
  •  The scholarship essay should present your personal traits and qualities that set you apart from the rest of the applicants.

28. Should  I select a business school based on geography?

B-school shortlisting is done based on many factors and the location of the b-school is one of them. If you want to settle in a foreign country, then it is probably best if you do your MBA in the same country. Location of related industries nearby the college can also be extremely beneficial for your career growth, so choose wisely!

29. Should I quit my job to focus on my MBA applications?

No, quitting your job is not an ideal thing to do. All you have to do is prepare the documents that you need to submit as a part of your MBA application like SOP, LOR, etc. Make sure you devote the required time and effort for the preparation of the same. Do not forget to take some mock interviews as they will help in increasing your confidence by making you more familiar with the entire MBA interview process.

30. Should I take up CAT and choose an Indian B-school?

The choice depends on your goals. Both GMAT and CAT are very popular among Indian students. While CAT is taken by students who want to pursue an MBA in India, GMAT is taken by candidates who wish to pursue an MBA abroad. Here are some interesting facts, which you should consider before making the final decision:

  • Percentage of students getting admission in top B-schools through GMAT is 10% and for CAT it’s mere 1%.
  • The average salary of students from colleges that accept GMAT scores for MBA admissions is Rs. 65,00,000 per annum, whereas for students from colleges accepting CAT scores, the average salary is around 15,00,000 per annum.

31. Which is more effective: 2 years or 1 year MBA Program?

The effectiveness of a course completely depends on your ability to keep up with the pace of the course. Due to the shortage of time, the one-year MBA program ends up becoming more intense, whereas the two-year program provides enough time for the students to explore MBA and a life beyond. The training schedules in the one-year MBA program are much more demanding than in a regular two-year MBA program. This peculiar nature of the one-year program is the reason why they are not everyone’s cup of tea.

32. What is the role of pre-MBA academics in your MBA application?

Pre-MBA academics play a very important role in determining your chances of getting admission into the b-school of your choice. Many b-schools pay special attention to the past academic performances of candidates at school and graduate level for shortlisting their profiles for admissions.

33. How to finance your MBA abroad?

There are various options for funding that you can avail for pursuing an MBA abroad. Some of these options are:

  • Student Loans – Students loans are provided at much lower interest rates by the government banks as compared to private ones.
  • Scholarships/ Fellowships – There are many colleges and private organizations that provide need-based scholarships to the students.
  • Part Time Jobs – You can do some part-time jobs while studying to get through your basic living expenses.

34. DOs and DON’Ts while creating your MBA resume?

Here are some do’s and don’ts that you must keep in mind while preparing an MBA resume:


  • Highlight your accomplishments that standout.
  • Make sure that everything is mentioned in a clear and concise manner.
  • Pay special attention to the formatting of the document to make it easy on the eye.


  • Refrain from using any fancy words.
  • Avoid any grammatical mistakes.

35. How MBA Admission Interviews differ from regular ones?

The MBA admission committee will test you on different parameters as they will be checking your competency for the course and not for a job position. So, it is very important to know the common skills and qualities that the members of the MBA admission committees look for in a candidate.

  1. Leadership Qualities
  2. Intellectual Capability
  3. Communication Skills
  4. Ability to work in a team environment

36. Why are MBA Admission essays so important?

Candidates who come from competitive academic pools like IT, Finance, etc. can use these essays as a tool to differentiate themselves from other candidates with a similar professional background. You should use these essays to portray your professional and personal attributes in an effective manner and leave a mark on the minds of the members of the Admissions Committee.

We hope these GMAT FAQs have been of great help! Now, all you have to do is start your preparations.

Good luck!



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