Everything You Need To Know About GMAT – Fees, Eligibility, Syllabus, Pattern, Preparation Tips and More

Everything You Need To Know About GMAT – Fees, Eligibility, Syllabus, Pattern, Preparation Tips and More

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The Graduate Management Admission Test, also known as GMAT, is an important part of the business school application process. GMAT is basically a multiple-choice, computer-based and computer-adaptive standardized exam that is often required for admission to graduate business programs (MBA) globally. The GMAT is developed and administered by test maker GMAC to provide business schools with common measures of applicants’ preparedness for graduate-level academic work. Business school admission committees look at your GMAT score, along with work experience, academic record, and supporting materials, to assess your readiness for the rigors of an MBA program. The takeaway here is that a high score on the GMAT will have a direct, positive impact on your business school application. WHAT IS ON THE GMAT? The GMAT exam asseses your command of the following: basic arithmetic, algebra, geometry, multi-source data analysis, and grammar. More importantly, it measures your ability to analyse and evaluate written material, think critically, and solve problems. The GMAT is first and foremost a test of your critical thinking skills. Knowing how to reason through and analyse information is the key to a great GMAT score.

GMAT Exam Structure An Assessment of the Skills That Matter Most in Business

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment—measures your ability to think critically and to communicate your ideas
  2. Integrated Reasoning—measures your ability to analyse data and evaluate information presented in multiple formats
  3. Quantitative Reasoning—measures your ability to analyse data and draw conclusions using reasoning skills
  4. Verbal Reasoning—measures your ability to read and understand written material, to evaluate arguments and to correct written material to conform to standard written English

In total the test takes just under 3 1/2 hours to complete, including two optional breaks.

Structure of the GMAT Exam

The GMAT Exam has four separately timed sections. You will have the opportunity to take two optional eight-minute breaks during the exam.


Time Limit / Number of Questions

Question Types

Score Range

Analytical Writing Assessment

30 minutes
1 question

Analysis of an Argument

(in 0.5-point increments)

Integrated Reasoning

30 minutes
12 questions

Graphics Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-source Reasoning, Two-part Analysis

(in 1-point increments)

Quantitative Reasoning

62 minutes
31 questions

Data Sufficiency, Problem Solving

(in 1-point increments)

Verbal Reasoning

65 minutes
36 questions

Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction

(in 1-point increments)

Analytical Writing Assessment

This section assesses the candidate’s ability to think critically and communicate their ideas. The candidate is required to analyse a given argument and write a critique on it. The topics are usually of general interest. This section checks the candidate’s ability to organize his/her thoughts and use of given evidence to support their viewpoint.

Integrated Reasoning

This section requires candidates to analyse and evaluate information presented in different formats. The questions in this section will test your quantitative and verbal skills.

  • Multi-source reasoning: in these questions, you have to compare, interpret or apply the information presented in tables, graphs, diagrams, written passages, and other types of visual representation
  • Table analysis:in these questions, a candidate has to determine statistics, ratios, probabilities or proportions, etc. from a given spreadsheet-like table
  • Graphics interpretation:there will be fill-in-the-blanks type questions to be answered on the basis of given bar graphs, bubble graphs, and line graphs
  • Two-part analysis:in these questions, a candidate has to determine trade-offs, calculate proportion, etc. and choose answers that will be given in the tabular format

Quantitative Reasoning

It measures the candidates’ ability to analyse data and give conclusions using reasoning skills.

  • Algebra:inequalities, equations, functions, exponents, and absolute value
  • Geometry:circles, lines and angles, solids, coordinate geometry, and polygons
  • Arithmetic:ratio and proportion, fractions, decimals, percentages, discrete probability counting methods, and sets
  • Word problems:time and work, rate, simple and compound interest, discounts, profit and loss, data interpretation, measurement problems, and geometry questions

Verbal Reasoning

This section measures candidates’ ability to understand the written matter, evaluate arguments, and correct written matter to make it to standard English.

  • Reading comprehension:in these questions, you have to refer to a passage of up to 350 words and answer questions based on the main idea, supporting ideas, context, style, and tone, etc.
  • Critical reasoning:these questions check a candidate on argument evaluation and formulating/evaluating a plan of action
  • Sentence correction:these questions are characterized into an agreement, grammatical construction, logical predication, parallelism, idiom, verb form, and rhetorical construction

Why take the GMAT Exam?

It is the most widely accepted exam for MBA admissions worldwide. No other exam has as wide acceptability as GMAT, as per the GMAC, globally 9 out of 10 MBA enrollments are made through GMAT Score. Further, 2,300 + schools accept GMAT Scores for giving admission. Also, there are 650 testing centers in 114 countries that administer the GMAT Exam

Few Best Practices to prepare for the GMAT?

  1. Learn all about the test sections and chart your study plan accordingly
  2. Candidates should follow their study plan judiciously
  3. Gather GMAT prep material online and offline. There are a lot of online GMAT preparation materials that you can use to prepare for the GMAT test
  4. As it is a limited-time test, develop skills that will come in handy while giving the test. Find areas you are weak at and work on them with sincerity
  5. Practice more and more! As we have all heard, practice makes a man perfect, you need to remember and apply this while preparing for the exam and once you are complete with your preparation go for the free GMAT sample papers. It will help you in finding how well you are prepared for the test

Section-wise preparation tips for GMAT

 Making slow progress but continuous efforts will help you achieve a GMAT score of 700 or above.

GMAT Preparation Tips: Integrated Reasoning section

  • This section includes 12 questions with a time of 30 minutes. 
  • Ensure to cover every topic whether, graphics interpretation or table analysis, so, you can attempt the GMAT test confidently
  • Revise with the help of books and study material you have

GMAT Preparation Tips: Quantitative section

  • This section includes 31 questions and a time limit of 62 minutes
  • Cover questions related to Data Sufficiency and Problem-solving while practicing
  • Keeping the mathematical formulas on tips in these topics will help in increasing the speed and give you more clarity
  • Practice both easy and tricky questions to cover the entire GMAT syllabus

GMAT Preparation Tips: Verbal section

  • A total of 65 minutes are allotted for the Verbal Section of the GMAT test during which you need to solve 36 questions
  • This checks your English language skills and usage. For the Verbal section enhance your grammar with grammar books and read newspaper editorials
  • The section will have questions from various topics like reading passages, critical reasoning and idioms, synonyms-antonyms, sentence correction, and subject-verb agreement
  • Cover all these topics while preparing and using different guide books as this section will also test your reasoning and analytical skills

GMAT Preparation Tips: Analytical Writing Assessment

  • A total of 30 minutes are allotted to the Analytical Writing Section
  • Try to wrap up the writing assignment in 25 minutes and spare the last 5 minutes for revising the written content
  • Develop a habit of reading and try to read topics from different areas
  • Read newspapers that will be of great help to prepare for the Writing section
  • Read articles that argue on relevant topics and also highlight examples
  • Try to remember important points in a topic and practice continuously, so, you can use them while writing
  • Practice writing on different topics and highlight argumentative points
  • Try to increase your speed, so, manage time efficiently

GMAT Section Order

In July 2017, GMAC introduced Select Section Order that allows students to customize their GMAT exam experience by giving them the freedom to choose the section order they want to adopt during the exam.

Also, the candidates have the opportunity to choose from three options for the exam’s section order:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal
  2. Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
  3. Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

This choice gives candidates the freedom to take the GMAT Exam as per their own preference.

GMAT Section Order

Order 1

Order 2

Order 3

Analytical Writing Assessment



Integrated Reasoning


8-min break (optional)




8-min break (optional)


Integrated Reasoning

Integrated Reasoning


Analytical Writing Assessment

Analytical Writing Assessment

GMAT Eligibility: As such, there are no set criteria for GMAT eligibility set by GMAC, the body conducting of GMAT for appearing for the GMAT exam. However, one should always meet the eligibility criteria set by the university/college one aspires to get into after giving the GMAT.

GMAT Age Criteria

  • The candidate must have completed 18 years of age
  • There is no upper age limit for the candidate
  • If the candidate is between 13 to 17 years old, they should have permission in writing from their parents or legal guardian

Educational qualification

  • GMAC has not announced any official statement regarding the qualifications required to appear for GMAT
  • Candidates who wish to enroll in an MBA programme should possess a graduate degree in any discipline from a recognized university


How to book for GMAT Registration 2022?

The candidates have the liberty of giving the exam anytime in the year as per their convenience. The important thing to note is that the candidates can reschedule their next attempt only after 16 days of taking the first attempt. A candidate is only allowed five attempts in one year. Here, are the steps to schedule your exam.

Steps to register for GMAT:

Step 1: Visit the official GMAT website, mba.com

Step 2: Candidate needs to create his/her account.

Step 3: Give your personal details like Name, address, etc.
Step 4: Provide your academic and work details.

Step 5: Verify and submit your details.

Step 6: Schedule your exam. Choose your closest or preferred test center.

Step 7: Select the preferred date and time slot.

Step 8: Pay the GMAT Registration fee online through debit or credit card.

Step 9: After paying the fee your GMAT Registration is complete.

How to book GMAT Slot?

Its advisable to book the slot at least a month before the day you wish to attempt the exam. Especially, during the peak season which begins around November every year, one should try to book the slot for the GMAT exam 3-4 months before the desired date of making the attempt.

Different ways to register for the GMAT

  • Through Phone: The candidates can also schedule through phone by calling the GMAT Customer Service of their region. Candidates have to pay US $10 surcharge for scheduling the exam by phone.
  • Postal Mail: The candidates can also pay through cheque to schedule the GMAT exam.


GMAT Test Centers in India

The GMAT exam is conducted and offered on-demand, round the year in 17 of the following GMAT test centers in India: Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Ranchi, Bangalore, Kochi, Indore, Pune, Nagpur, Mumbai, Chennai, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Coimbatore, Jaipur, and Kolkata.

Rescheduling and Cancelling GMAT Exam

If you cancel the GMAT test 1 to 14 days before the test date then you will be charged $200 and $50 will be refunded. If you cancel the exam 15 to 60 days prior to the appointment then you will be charged $175 and $75 will be refunded. In addition, if you cancel the test more than 60 days prior to the appointment then you will be charged $150 and will receive $100 as a refund. Moreover, the test appointment cannot be cancelled or modified within 24 hours of the scheduled test and time. The only difference in rescheduling the exam is through the phone is that you would need to pay a $10 surcharge along with the rescheduling fee.

GMAT Reschedule Fee

1 to 14 days prior to appointment


15 to 60 days prior to appointment


More than 60 days prior to the appointment


GMAT Cancellation Fee

1 to 14 days prior to appointment

$200 ($50 refund)

15 to 60 days prior to appointment

$175 ($75 refund)

More than 60 days prior to the appointment

$150 ($100 refund)

Accommodations for Disabled GMAT Test Takers

GMAC – The official GMAT conducting body has over the years evolved to make GMAT exam accessible to a maximum number of students. Candidates with a disability can appear for their GMAT exam with aid, provided they fulfil certain eligibility criteria and properly document their request. Candidates with a disability who need to request accommodation need to complete the following steps,

  • They would have to create an account with mba.com
  • They would then be required to complete the GMAT Exam Accommodations Request Form
  • Along with the completed form, they would have to attach medical/clinical documentation
  • They would then have to mail/ fax the completed GMAT Accommodation Form along with all supporting documents to Pearson Vue. Kindly note, no emails will be accepted
  • Applicants can expect an email confirmation of the receipt of their documents within four business days and a decision regarding their request within one month.
  • On approval, applicants can then schedule an appointment for their GMAT exam

GMAT Exam Fees

GMAT Registration fees is US $275 (approx. Rs 20,600) in India. Candidates need to pay a GMAT Reschedule fee of US $50 at least if they want to reschedule the exam on a different date. Also, candidates will be charged US $150 at least as a GMAT cancellation fee if they cancel the exam.


GMAT Cancellation Fee

If you reschedule the exam 1 to 14 days before the test date, you have to pay US$150. Also, if you reschedule the exam 15 to 60 days prior to the appointment then you have to pay US$100. If you reschedule the exam more than 60 days before the test date then you have to pay US$50.

GMAT Registration

According to GMAC, you can register for the GMAT entrance exam 6 months before the Graduate Management Admission Test date or latest by 24 hours before the GMAT exam date

GMAT Colleges

The GMAT aspirants can apply to more than 7000 programs at roughly 2300 business schools globally. Further, top business schools across the world like HarvardINSEAD, and Stanford accept the GMAT score of above 720. Further, the management schools should grant a degree to students to be eligible to accept GMAT scores. GMAT scores are one of the most important factors in the entire application process for admission to top B-schools across the globe. GMAT is accepted in more than 114 countries of the world. Apart from this, those who are targeting schools that also accept GRE Scores along with the GMAT Scores might also need to know GRE to GMAT Score Conversion to convert their scores.

Question : another question that might arise in your mind could be what are the top Business Schools in India which accept GMAT scores or which are the GMAT accepting colleges in India for freshers (without work experience)?

A lot a few top business schools in India accept the GMAT score to admit Indian students to their flagship MBA / PGP programs. While some of these are 2-year MBA/PGDM programs, some are one-year programs. The notable exceptions to the list of top business schools in India accepting GMAT scores for fresh Indian students are the Indian Institute of Management (IIMs), the Schools of Management (SoM) of Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), the Faculty of Management Studies (FMS Delhi), and Xavier Labour Research Institute (XLRI). The IIMs, the IITs, and the FMS accept CAT scores to admit Indian students to their 2-year program.

Is prior work experience mandatory for MBA through GMAT?

No. Work experience in not mandatory  for MBA in top business schools in India through GMAT. There are more than a dozen top Indian MBA colleges which accept GMAT scores to admit freshers for their flagship MBA / PGP programs. Notwithstanding the dozen odd good business schools, about one hundred business schools in India accept GMAT scores to admit fresh students to their MBA programs. Obviously, not all of them offer the same value. You can access the complete list of programs and business schools in India that accept the GMAT score on mba.com’s website.

GMAT Scores for Top Business Schools



Average GMAT Score (out of 800)

Total Fee

Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad



INR 25,54,725

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad



INR 24,00,000

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore



INR 22,77,500

Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta



INR 22,00,000

Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow



INR 19,11,000

XLRI, Jamshedpur



INR 14,95,000

Indian Institute of Management, Indore



INR 18,00,000

S.P.Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai



INR 17,40,000

IMT, Ghaziabad



INR 15,00,000

Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai



INR 17,70,000


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

Business Schools

Average GMAT Score

University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)


Stanford University (CA)


Yale University (CT)


Harvard University (MA)


Columbia University (NY)


University of California—Berkeley (Haas)


University of Chicago (Booth)


Northwestern University (Kellogg) (IL)


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)


Dartmouth College (Tuck) (NH)



The GMAT Exam is Computer Adaptive. What Does That Mean?

The Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections of the GMAT are computer-adaptive, meaning the difficulty of the test tailors itself in real-time to your ability level. This feature allows the exam to assess your potential with a higher degree of precision and deliver scores that business schools trust.

Here’s how it works: The first question you receive in either the Verbal or Quantitative sections will be of medium difficulty. As you answer each question, the computer scores your answer and uses it as well as your responses to any preceding question to select the next question. If you answer the first question correctly, the computer will usually give you a harder question. If you answer the first question incorrectly, your next question will be easier.  This process continues until you complete the section, using responses to all previously answered questions, at which point the computer will have an accurate assessment of your ability in that subject.

You will not be able to skip, return to, or change your answers to questions. This is because the computer uses your response to each question to select the next one.


The GMAT is a Computer-Adaptive Test, or CAT. On the GMAT, the CAT actually adapts to your performance as you’re taking the test.

When you begin the GMAT, the computer assumes you have an average score and gives you a question of medium difficulty. As you answer questions correctly, the computer serves up more difficult questions and increases its estimate of your ability. And vice versa, as you answer incorrectly, the computer serves up easier questions and decreases its estimate of your ability. Your score is determined by an algorithm that calculates your ability level based not only on what you got right or wrong but also on the difficulty level of the questions you answered.

GMAC’s algorithm that determines your 200 to 800 score is often misunderstood, and there are many myths surrounding “cracking” the algorithm. The best way to “beat” the algorithm is to be prepared. However, because the adaptive nature of the test doesn’t allow for “skipping” questions, you will need to pace yourself and strike a balance between spending valuable time answering difficult questions correctly and possibly running out of time before you finished the test. There are significant penalties for leaving questions unanswered at the end of the exam.

For the Analytical Writing Assessment, your essay receives a score from one human reader and a computerized program, using a holistic 6-point scale. The Integrated Reasoning section is not adaptive, but as with the Quantitative and Verbal sections, you cannot leave questions unanswered or return to previous questions. The IR section is scored on a 1 to 8 scale.

You will receive your unofficial GMAT score immediately following the test, when you will have the option to keep or cancel your score.


When considering your GMAT score goal, it’s always a good idea to look at the mean or average GMAT score of admitted applicants to the MBA programs you’re considering applying to. This will give you a good baseline

The Quantitative and Verbal sections of the GMAT are each scored from 0 to 60, with the mean score for Quantitative at 39 and the mean score for Verbal at 27. The score business schools and MBA programs pay the most attention to is the combined 200–800 score scale, where the mean score is 552.

You can use the tables below to see the relationship between scaled scores and the test-takers achieving them:


Total GMAT Score*

Top 10% of all test takers


Top 25% of all test takers


Top 50% of all test takers


Below 50th percentile of all test takers


HOW HARD IS THE GMAT? There are a lot of aspects of the GMAT that make it a tough test. In the first place, the unique computer-adaptive format of the GMAT , that means you will not be able to skip a hard question and come back to it later; you must pick an answer and move on. At the same time, you’re rewarded not only for correct answers but also for correct answers to high-level questions. All this means that you have to both answer difficult questions and do it quickly. In addition, you’ll see question types and formats that you’ve likely never seen in your academic career.

HOW LONG IS THE GMAT? On Test Day, you can expect to sit for the exam just over 3.5 hours, including test-taking time and optional breaks. Note that this time does not include your check-in time at the testing center. It is recommended that you arrive at the testing center at least 30 minutes before your exam.

GMAT Section


Analytical Writing Assessment

30 minutes

Integrated Reasoning

30 minutes


62 minutes


65 minutes

Optional Breaks (Total)

16 minutes

Total Approximate Time

3 hours, 23 minutes


The GMAT is administered year-round at Pearson VUE centers. You can full list of testing centers and seat availability on the GMAT official site here.

It is highly recommended that you register for your preferred GMAT test date early so you can select a test date that will allow enough time for GMAT to process your scores and send them to the MBA programs you’ll be applying to. This can take up to 20 calendar days. During popular testing times, seats in Pearson VUE testing centers can be limited. You can take the GMAT once every 16 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period (365 days) and up to eight total times.

Identification Requirements

Present Acceptable and Valid Identification at the Test Center or Online


  • In addition to the information below, some ID requirements also vary by location. Be sure to review this entire page AND check the requirements for your location here.
  • On exam day, if you are taking the exam at a test center, and you do not have an appropriate ID with you, you will forfeit your exam fee, and you will need to pay the full fee again to reschedule. There are no exceptions.
  • On exam day, if you are taking the exam online, you MUST have previously uploaded an appropriate ID during registration AND have the exact same ID with you for the online proctor to verify. If you do not, you will forfeit your exam fee, and you will need to pay the full fee again to reschedule. There are no exceptions. IMPORTANT: Your ID must be uploaded at least 48 hours prior to your scheduled exam.

What are the acceptable forms of ID?

  • International travel passport
    • A passport is always required when taking the exam at a location outside of your country of citizenship.
    • Expired passports are not acceptable and renewal papers do not make an expired passport valid.
  • In some locations, additional forms of ID (other than a passport) may be acceptable. Be sure to check the requirements for your location here.

Your ID must be current (not expired*), legible and include:

  • Your name using the Roman alphabet, shown exactly as you provided when you registered, including the order and placement of your names
  • Date of birth that matches exactly the date provided when you registered
  • A recent, recognizable photograph
  • Your signature

If you are taking the exam at a test center (not online) and you are unable to provide one form of ID that includes all four of the above elements, you will be required to present a second ID that is acceptable for your location that includes the missing elements.

Examples of Unacceptable Forms of Identification

The following forms of identification will not be accepted at your test center:

  • Expired identification*
  • Passport cards
  • Social security cards
  • Draft classification cards
  • Credit cards
  • Employee or student IDs
  • Letters from your university or college
  • IDs with physical descriptions in place of photos
  • Photocopies of any form of ID
  • Any other kind of ID that does not meet the requirements described above

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