What is the GMAT?

Graduate Management Admission Test

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized computer test to select prospective students. Universities and business schools use the GMAT to screen applications for their (pre-)Master and MBA programmes. The GMAT takes 3.5 hours and consists of four parts.

1 essay | 30 minutes | score: 0-6

You start your GMAT by writing a short essay about a specific topic given to you. This section tests your ability to clearly express your arguments and lines of thought. We advise you to structure your essay in five paragraphs: start with a short intro, then make three points or arguments, and close your essay with a conclusion or weighting of your arguments. Most universities do not pay particular attention to this section.

12 questions | 30 minutes | score: 1-8

You need to answer 12 multiple choice questions about information presented to you in tables and graphs. This section tests your ability to interpret data in a business environment, which is an important skill for managers and business students. Since this section has only been recently introduced (June 2012), universities do not pay particular attention to it. We will spend some time on it in our GMAT course.

37 questions | 75 minutes | score: score: 0-60

This section tests your applied knowledge about mathematics, as well as your ability to tackle abstract quantitative problems. Together with the Verbal Section, it will determine your total GMAT score. You need to answer 37 multiple choice questions in the so-called Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency format. Since you have only 2 minutes per question, it is important that you know exactly which mathematical method or short-cut you need to use for each question type, so you don’t “waste time”.

41 questions | 75 minutes | score: score: 0-60

This section tests your ability to extract meaning from texts and to recognize relations between words and parts of sentences. You need to answer 41 multiple choice in three different formats: Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction. Our experience is that people having done English at the HAVO/VWO level or Danish high school (or equivalent) should be able to acquire a decent score by practicing lots of past GMAT Verbal questions.

Your total GMAT score: 200-800

our separate scores on the Quantitative and Verbal Sections are combined into a total GMAT score on a scale between 200-800. Therefore, you should spend most of your study time preparing for those two sections. Most Dutch and Danish universities use 600 as the cut-off value, which in our experience is a challenging score for most people who are not dealing with mathematics on a regular basis. Top schools in the US require a score above 700. Important benchmark values:

GMAT 550 = 49%
GMAT 600 = 64%
GMAT 650 = 79%
GMAT 700 = 90%

Percentile GMAT scores: 0-100%

Your scores on the four sections will also be expressed in percentile scores. Your percentile score is the percentage of test takers that score lower than you. For example, a percentile score of 80% on the Quantitative Section means that you belong to the top 20% of all test takers worldwide on that section.