All You Need to Know About the GMAT Exam 2023

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is an assessment test taken by students who are aspiring to pursue a management course at one of the business schools around the world. Almost every business school has a similar application process with students applying their candidature with an application form along with their GMAT score. In this blog, we’ll discuss the things you need to know about the GMAT Exam 2023.

The GMAT exam is a computer adaptive test. It has 4 sections – Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Analysis (AWA).

GMAT preparation helps ca`ndidates to gain a thorough understanding of the GMAT exam syllabus. When to take the GMAT? The GMAT preparation requires at least two months and up to six months to finish the entire GMAT course.

Diagnostic tests are essential for GMAT preparation. Candidates identify their strengths and weaknesses based on their GMAT score. GMAT preparation tips assist aspirants in understanding the GMAT quantitative and GMAT verbal concepts prior to the exam.

GMAT Overview

What is tested on the GMAT? The GMAT is a computer administered and computer adaptive assessment. This means that the actual exam is taken on a computer either at a test center or at home.

What Does Computer Adaptive Mean?

On the GMAT exam, the quant and the verbal sections are computer adaptive. This means the difficulty level of questions changes based on your performance. When you answer a question correctly, the next question will be of the same difficulty level or a higher difficulty level.

On the other hand, if you answer a question incorrectly, the next question will be of the same difficulty level or a lower difficulty level. You cannot skip a question or move to any other question during the exam. This is because the computer uses your performance on the current question to determine the difficulty level of the next question.

Sections of the GMAT Exam

The GMAT exam consists of 4 main sections:

Syllabus of the GMAT exam

• GMAT Verbal syllabus: basic verbal skills (grammar, reading comprehension, writing, etc.), logical reasoning
• GMAT Quant/GMAT math syllabus: problem solving using basic math concepts (arithmetic, geometry, algebra, etc.), data sufficiency.
• GMAT Integrated Reasoning syllabus: data analysis abilities (data from figures, graphs, tables, charts, etc.), logical reasoning
• GMAT essay: ability to analyze an argument, write a coherent and convincing essay.

Why Should You Write the GMAT?

GMAT vs CAT

GMAT is an internationally accepted exam and your GMAT score can be used for applying to B-Schools in India and abroad. CAT is for applying to B-Schools in India only. Your GMAT score is valid for five years, unlike the CAT score which is valid only for 1 year.

Check the link for a detailed comparison of GMAT and CAT exams.

GMAT vs GRE

Though the GRE is also an internationally accepted exam, it is mainly used to apply to Masters and Ph.D. programs. However, more and more B-Schools are now accepting GRE scores also for their MBA programs.

Other Reasons to Take the GMAT

1. Other exams become easier.
2. NMAT which is accepted in many B-Schools in India is very similar to the GMAT.
The Executive Assessment is a shorter version of the GMAT for candidates with many years of work experience. This assessment is more suited for the Executive MBA programs.
3. GMAT scores are accepted for programs such as the ISB YLP, Harvard 2+2 program, Yale Silver Scholars program, or the Booth Scholars Program. These programs are a boon for students in the final year of study and do not have work experience. Students can get admits from the top B-Schools and join after some work experience.
4. The GMAT doesn’t have an exam date; it can be taken on any day of your choice.
5. Convenience: You can choose to take the GMAT in the nearest of 650 test centers in 114 countries or online from the convenience of your home
Scores are valid for 5 years

Eligibility Criteria for the GMAT Exam

GMAC, the organization that owns and administers the GMAT, has not set any specific eligibility requirements for taking the GMAT. However, understanding the following GMAT eligibility requirements will be helpful for the test taker.

• Age: There is no upper age limit for candidates. Candidates between the age of 13 and 17 should have written permission from a parent or legal guardian.
• Education: GMAC has not mentioned any educational requirements or qualifications needed to take the GMAT.
• ID Proof: If you choose to take the GMAT at a test center in India, the only acceptable ID proof is a currently valid passport. If you choose to take the GMAT at home (GMAT Online), from April 8, 2021, Aadhar card is also accepted as ID proof.
• Special considerations are available for people with disabilities. For example, after obtaining written permission from GMAC, people with disabilities can write the GMAT with slightly relaxed timings (more time is available for people with documented disabilities to complete the GMAT).

How to Register for GMAT?

How to take the GMAT? You can register for the GMAT exam online, over the phone, by mail (post), or by fax. To register online you need to create an account at mba.com. If you register over the phone, it may cost an additional USD 10. If you choose to register by mail, you need to ensure that the mail would be received by Pearson Vue at least 10 days before the chosen exam date.

How to Cancel GMAT?

You can cancel your appointment online or over the phone. Managing exam appointments over the phone will incur an additional charge of USD 10. To cancel your GMAT appointment, you can login to your GMAT account on mba.com.

If you choose to cancel your exam appointment, you will only get a partial refund. You cannot make changes within 24 hours before your exam appointment. If you miss your appointment, you will not get any refund.

How to Reschedule GMAT?

You can reschedule your exam using your GMAT account on mba.com after paying additional fees. You cannot make changes within 24 hours before your exam appointment. You can also reschedule your exam over the phone, but this will cost an additional USD 10. If you miss your appointment, you will not get any refund.

How Many Times Can You Take the GMAT?

A lot of students ask – How many times can I take the GMAT? Students are only permitted to take the GMAT exam five times in a rolling 12-month period. The GMAT test has a lifetime limit of 8 attempts for the candidates.

How is the GMAT Scored?

The Analytical Writing Assessment section is scored on a scale of 0 to 6 in 0.5 point increments. The Integrated Reasoning section is scored on a scale of 1 to 8 in 1-point increments.

What is Percentile Scoring?

GMAT scores have a percentile ranking associated with them and the percentile rankings keep changing over time. The percentile rank refers to the percentage of people who have scored less than you. For example, if your score is in the 95th percentile – this means that you have scored more than 95% of the people taking the exam.

How Do I Obtain and Apply GMAT Scores?

Candidates cannot share the GMAT scores directly with universities. GMAC sends an Official Score report to the universities. When you register for the GMAT you can select up to 5 programs to which you wish to apply. If you wish to apply to any additional programs, each additional score report will cost USD 35.

What is an Unofficial and Official Score?

At the end of the GMAT exam, you will be able to see your scores for the Quant, Verbal and IR sections. This is the unofficial score.

The Official GMAT Score Report will be available within 20 working days. It includes the scores from every reportable exam in the past five years and shows the following scores: Total GMAT, AWA/essay, Integrated Reasoning, Verbal and Quant scores. It will also include the most recent AWA essay response, and the background information you provided when you created your GMAT profile.

Along with your GMAT scores – your academic scores, resume, work experience, letters of recommendation and application essays are all important parts of your application. A good score is one that will help you join the program of your dreams. Remember that the GMAT score is part of your application and can set your application apart from the others.

Points to Consider Before the GMAT Study Plan

Preparation for the GMAT is often compared to running a marathon as it requires exploration, deliberate practice, self-assessment from time to time, continuous growth, and regular refinement.

Without a concrete plan, it is almost impossible to reach the desired target score. Furthermore, since every individual’s learning style is unique, a common plan might not be a great solution. It is critical to build your own GMAT Study Schedule, customized as per your needs & style and is instrumental in bringing the coveted change.

Before you start creating a study plan, do ponder upon the following points. It will be better to put them on a piece of paper to create an outline.

If you are serious about your international MBA dreams, you would have surely done the required research on B-schools that meet your expectations and their minimum GMAT score requirements. Take a diagnostic test, preferably Manya’s GMAT mock test and determine the amount of time it will take you to reach the desired score. It should definitely be more than the minimum score requirement.

Be Practical

Yes, it is important to be practical. If you are a working professional or a regular college student, you won’t be able to spare more than 2-3 hours for the GMAT every day. Don’t create a plan which you won’t be able to adjust to your daily schedule. Draw a plan which is more feasible. Otherwise, you will lose focus and motivation at some point of time.

Prepare Yourself Physically and Mentally

Taking the GMAT is no joke because of the GMAT difficulty. It requires a hell of a lot of patience and endurance. If you are not healthy – both physically and mentally – this 3-hour test will take a serious toll on your mind as well as body. Thus, you must start doing some physical exercises and meditations on a daily basis if you are not engaged in them already.

Know Your Strengths and Weak Areas

Use your diagnostic test to find your areas of strengths and weaknesses. You may take the help of an expert or draw it on your own. Make a note of it. In fact, it is ideal to use an Error Log to note down the details for each test. Don’t rely on your memory too much. Use your brain to store other essential learnings which you need to master while preparing for the GMAT.

Let’s learn how to make a study plan…

1. Note down the number of weeks you have before taking the actual GMAT. It’s better to have a week-wise study plan.
2. Fix up a time for your daily preparation. It is significant to study at the same time on a daily basis in order to discipline the mind. You must make time for studying both Quantitative and Verbal on an everyday basis. Some students prefer learning for one section at a time which can add a dent in your prep. Regular study for both subjects is critical.
3. Once you are done fixing the number of weeks and number of hours for everyday study, it’s time to create a plan. Devoting at least the first two weeks to learning the general techniques and the application of these techniques on the various topics is vital. For practicing basics, you need to prepare around 22 topics for the Quantitative section and some grammar rules for the Verbal section. You need to split them wisely in the time slots. Check 1-month and 3-month fixed study schedules to learn more about the topics and the system of division for the self-study.
4. Choose study material carefully. You should practice only from the authentic resource which contains standardized questions. Practicing online is essential for the GMAT prep as the GMAT is an online test. Check out The Princeton Review Portal (TPR Portal) to practice GMAT-like questions topic-wise. The DrillBuider feature in the TPR Portal gives you the liberty to create drills of your own choice; you have the option of optimizing or customizing the drills. It is helpful in creating sectional tests too. Include the GMAT Official Guide in your practice, if possible.
5. You should mindfully distribute the practice tests throughout your study plan. After going through the basics, take at least 1 test per week and more tests per week when you are close to the test date. It will help condition your mind in such a way that a 3-hour long test will feel like a cakewalk after some time. Note carefully that you should not take any test a day before your actual exam. Use this day to replenish your energy and to prepare your mind and body for D-day.
6. Don’t exhaust yourself by taking tests and several practice exercises. Nothing will change much in a day. Just revise important formulas and strategies. Go through your notes and keep yourself away from anything which can overwhelm you.
Don’t forget to schedule a time slot for the test analysis. This is again critical. Moving on with your preparation without stopping to know your weak areas can prove to be a folly. Keep an error log and use it after every practice test. Keep track of your progress.

Check out the two study schedules to get some idea of how you should be preparing one for yourself.

GMAT: 1-Month Study Schedule (4 Weeks; 4 Hours Per Day)

Week 1 (Plan, Learn, and Practice)

Monday

• Learn about the GMAT structure
• Take a Diagnostic Test
• Don’t worry about the scores

Tuesday

• Quick Review of the Math Basics from the GMAT Quantitative Review Book
• Quick Review of the Grammar Rules from the Verbal Review Book

Wednesday

• Quick Review of the Math Basics from the GMAT Quantitative Review Book
• Quick Review of the Grammar Rules from the Verbal Review Book

Thursday

• Learn General Strategies & Techniques for the GMAT Quant
• Practice the Strategies learned using the Student Portal

Friday

• Learn & Practice the basic approach to solve GMAT SC Questions.
• Practice the Strategies learned using the Student Portal

Saturday

• Take a Practice Test
• Focus on Pacing

Sunday

• Review the test – both the wrong questions and right questions but took more than 3-minutes or found challenging.
• Create an Error Log

Week 2 (Learn and Practice)

Monday

• Learn and Practice the basic approach to solve GMAT CR Questions.
• Learn the strategies for solving Algebra Questions involving inequalities, absolute values, quadratic equations, roots & exponents, and functions

Tuesday

• Practice the basic approach of CR on the Student Portal
• Learn the Strategies for solving Arithmetic Questions involving rates, ratios, and averages

Wednesday

• Learn and Practice the basic approach to solve GMAT RC Questions
• Practice the Strategies learned using the Student Portal

Thursday

• Practice the basic approach of RC on the Student Portal
• Learn the Strategies for solving Geometry and coordinate Geometry Questions

Friday

• Practice IR
• Learn and Practice the Strategies for solving questions on Probability and Counting

Saturday

• Take a Practice Test
• Focus on Pacing

Sunday

• Review the test – both the wrong questions and the right questions but took more than 3-minutes or found challenging.
• Update the Error Log

Week 3 (Learn, and Practice)

Monday

• Solve questions from the GMAT Official Guide

Tuesday

• Practice IR and AWA
• Solve Official Guide Questions

Wednesday

• Take a Practice Test
• Focus on pacing

Thursday

• Review the test – both the wrong questions and the questions which you got right but took more than 3-minutes or found challenging.
• Update the error log

Friday

• Solve questions from the GMAT Official Guide

Saturday

• GMAT Official Practice Exam 1
• Focus on Pacing

Sunday

• Review the test – both the wrong questions and the questions which you got right but took more than 3-minutes or found challenging.
• Update the Error Log

Week 4 (Practice)

Monday

• Take a Practice Test
• Focus on Pacing

Tuesday

• Review the test
• Update the Error Log
• Check Pacing
• Practice remaining questions from the GMAT Official Guide, if time allows

Wednesday

• Take a Practice Test
• Focus on Pacing

Thursday

• Review the Tst
• Update the Error log
• Check Pacing
• Practice remaining questions from the GMAT Official Guide, if time allows

Friday

• GMAT Official Practice Exam 2
• Focus on Pacing

Saturday

• Review the Test
• Revise Formulas
• Go through the basic approaches and your notes
• Take ample rest

Sunday

Actual GMAT (D-DAY)

Note – Give more time to the preparation on the weekends if you are a working professional and cannot give 4 hours for the daily practice. A minimum of 2 hours each weekday is a must.

GMAT 2-Month Study Schedule (8 Weeks; 3 Hours Per Day)

Week 1 (Plan, Review, and Learn)

Monday

• Learn about the GMAT structure
• Take a Diagnostic Test

Tuesday

• Review the test
• Don’t worry about the scores
• Use Error Log to note down your mistakes and weak areas

Wednesday

• Quick Review of the Math Basics from the GMAT Quantitative Review Book
• Quick Review of the grammar rules from the Verbal Review Book

Thursday

• Quick Review of the Math Basics from the GMAT Quantitative Review Book
• Quick Review of the grammar rules from the Verbal Review Book

Friday

• Quick Review of the Math Basics from the GMAT Quantitative Review Book
• Quick Review of the grammar rules from the Verbal Review Book

Saturday

• Learn General Strategies and techniques for the GMAT Quant
• Practice the Strategies learned from the Manual and the Student Portal

Sunday

• Learn the basic approach to solve GMAT SC questions
• Practice SC questions — Subject-Verb agreement, Verb tense, and Pronouns

Week 2 (Learn, Practice, and Review)

Monday

• Learn the strategies for solving Algebra questions involving inequalities, absolute values, quadratic equations, roots & exponents, and Functions & Sequences
• Practice SC questions on the Student Portal – Misplaced modifiers and Parallel construction

Tuesday

• Practice questions on inequalities, absolute values, quadratic equations, roots & exponents, and functions on the Student Portal
• Practice SC questions on the Student Portal — Comparisons

Wednesday

• Learn the strategies for solving Arithmetic questions involving Rates and Averages
• Practice SC questions on the Student Portal — Idioms

Thursday

• Practice questions on Rates and Averages on the Student Portal
• Learn the basic approach to solve GMAT CR questions

Friday

• Learn the Strategies for solving Arithmetic questions involving Ratios and Percentages
• Practice CR questions on the Student Portal — Assumptions

Saturday

• Take a Practice Test
• Focus on Pacing

Sunday

• Review the test – both the wrong questions and the questions which you got right but took more than 3-minutes or found challenging.
• Update the Error Log

Week 3 (Learn, Practice, and Review)

Monday

• Practice questions on Ratios and Percentages on the Student Portal
• Practice CR questions on the Student Portal — Negation Test

Tuesday

• Learn the strategies for solving Geometry and coordinate geometry questions
• Practice CR questions on the Student Portal — Inference questions

Wednesday

• Practice questions on Geometry
• Practice CR questions on the Student Portal — Common Argument Patterns

Thursday

• Practice questions on Coordinate Geometry
• Practice CR questions on the Student Portal — Identify the Reasoning

Friday

• Revise all the basic strategies and approaches learned so far (both Quant and Verbal)

Saturday

• Take a Practice Test
• Focus on Pacing

Sunday

• Review the test – both the wrong questions and the questions which you got right but took more than 3-minutes or found challenging.
• Update the error log

Week 4 (Learn, Practice, and Review)

Monday

• Practice Geometry and Coordinate Geometry questions using DrillBuilder on the Student Portal
• Practice CR questions on the Student Portal — Resolve/Explain questions and Minor Question Types

Tuesday

• Learn the strategies for solving Simultaneous equations, Sets, Groups, and Venn Diagrams
• Learn the basic approach to solve GMAT RC questions; Finding the Main Idea (General questions)

Wednesday

• Practice questions on Simultaneous equations on the Student Portal
• Practice RC questions on the Student Portal – Finding the main idea

Thursday

• Practice questions on Sets, Groups, and Venn Diagrams on the Student Portal
• Practice RC questions on the Student Portal — Specific questions & POE

Friday

• Revise all the basic strategies and approaches learned so far (both Quant and Verbal)

Saturday

• Take a practice test
• Focus on pacing

Sunday

• Review the test – both the wrong questions and the questions which you got right but took more than 3-minutes or found challenging.
• Update the error log

Week 5 (Learn, Practice, and Review)

Monday

• Learn the strategies for solving Probability and Counting (P&C) questions
• Learn the strategies for solving SC questions on Redundancy, Clauses & Connectors, Grammar & Meaning

Tuesday

• Practice questions on Probability on the Student Portal
• Practice SC questions on the Student Portal — Redundancy

Wednesday

• Practice questions on Counting (P&C) on the Student Portal
• Practice SC questions on the Student Portal — Clauses & Connectors

Thursday

• Practice Mixed bag questions on Probability and Counting using DrillBuilder on the Student Portal
• Practice SC questions on the Student Portal — Grammar & Meaning

Friday

• Revise all the basic strategies and approaches learned so far (both Quant and Verbal)

Saturday

• Take a practice test
• Focus on pacing

Sunday

• Review the test – both the wrong questions and the questions which you got right but took more than 3-minutes or found challenging.
• Update the error log

Week 6 (Learn, Practice, and Review)

Monday

• Learn strategies for solving Mixtures and weighted Average questions and practice questions on the Student Portal
• Learn the basic approach for attempting AWA

Tuesday

• Practice SI and CI
• Solve questions from the GMAT Official Guide (Verbal)

Wednesday

• Solve questions from the GMAT Official Guide

(Both Quant and Verbal)

Thursday

• Solve questions from the GMAT Official Guide (Both Quant and Verbal)

Friday

• Revise all the basic strategies and approaches learned so far (both Quant and Verbal)

Saturday

• Take a practice test
• Focus on pacing

Sunday

• Review the test – both the wrong questions and the questions which you got right but took more than 3-minutes or found challenging.
• Update the error log

Week 7 (Practice and Review)

Monday

• Solve questions from the GMAT Official Guide

(Both Quant and Verbal)

Tuesday

• Learn the basic approach for solving IR questions and practice the same from the Student Portal

(Both Quant and Verbal)

Wednesday

• Take a practice test
• Focus on pacing

Thursday

• Review the test – both the wrong questions and the questions which you got right but took more than 3-minutes or found challenging.
• Update the error log

Friday

• Revise all the basic strategies and approaches learned so far (both Quant and Verbal)

Saturday

• GMAT Official Practice Exam 1
• Focus on pacing

Sunday

• Review the test – both the wrong questions and the questions which you got right but took more than 3-minutes or found challenging.
• Update the error log

Week 8 (Practice and Review)

Monday

• Take a practice test
• Focus on pacing

Tuesday

• Review the test
• Update the error log
• Check Pacing
• Practice remaining questions from the GMAT Official Guide, if time allows

Wednesday

• Take a practice test
• Focus on pacing

Thursday

• Review the test
• Update the error log
• Check Pacing
• Practice remaining questions from the GMAT Official Guide, if time allows

Friday

• GMAT Official Practice Exam 2
• Focus on pacing

Saturday

• Review the test
• Revise formulas
• Go through the basic approaches and your notes
• Take ample rest

Sunday

Actual GMAT (D-DAY)

Note – Give more time to the preparation on the weekends if you are a working professional and cannot give 3 hours for the daily practice. A minimum of 2 hours each weekday is a must.

Anyone who wants to do their MBA in India or MBA in Abroad can write the GMAT exam. More than 7000 MBA and Master’s Programs accept the GMAT score in 110+ countries. A good GMAT score can set your application apart from other applicants and can contribute to scholarship offers from universities.

In India, the GMAT exam costs USD 250 and you can send your scores to five programs of your choice. You can take the GMAT exam up to 5 times in a rolling year (with a 16-day gap between the attempts). You can take the GMAT exam only 8 times in a lifetime.

Manya – The Princeton Review Advantage

Manya – The Princeton Review offers end-to-end study abroad services encompassing admissions consulting services, test preparation, English language training, career assessment, and international internship opportunities to study abroad aspirants. Founded in 2002, Manya holds an impeccable track record of enabling more than 4 lac students to accomplish their study abroad dreams through its network of 47+ centers across India.

Manya has formed long-lasting global alliances with several market leaders in the education industry in order to maximize the benefits of its large service portfolio. Their list of esteemed partners and affiliations includes – The Princeton Review (TPR), Cambridge University Press (CUP), Cogito Hub, British Council, Tuding to name a few. Manya has also forged 600+ partnerships with international universities across top study abroad destinations.

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What is tested on the GMAT?

The GMAT exam is designed to assess skills critical to business and management programs.

It evaluates analytical writing and problem-solving abilities, as well as data sufficiency, logic, and critical reasoning abilities, all of which are essential for real-world business and management success.

How long does it take to prepare for the GMAT?

Keep in mind that studying for the GMAT takes time. Spend two to three months and 100-120 hours reviewing material and practising on a regular basis.

Top GMAT scorers spend an average of 120+ hours studying for Test Day over a period of time.

Can I pass the GMAT in one month?

An effective GMAT preparation plan for one month requires an average of 200 hours of preparation. This means you may need to devote at least 7 hours per day to GMAT preparation. Best of luck with your exam!

Can I reschedule a GMAT appointment?

One can reschedule even 1 day before the test date. No appointment changes can be made or modified within 24 hours of the exam appointment time. The reschedule fees is structured in three tiers based on your scheduled appointment day. It varies from \$50 to \$150. Check mba.com to know the latest fee structure.

How do I register for the GMAT Examination?

You can register for the GMAT exam online, over phone, by mail (post) or fax. To register online you need to create an account at mba.com. If you register over the phone, it may cost an additional 10 USD. If you choose to register by mail, you need to ensure that the mail would be received by Pearson Vue at least 10 days before the chosen exam date.