The Graduate Management Admission Test abbreviated as the GMAT is a standardized entrance examination for some of the finest and most coveted Management colleges or B-school across the globe. It is conducted and administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council or the GMAC.

Over 23000 colleges across the globe consider the scores of the GMAT when they start their admission process. The test intends to assess analytical writing and problem-solving abilities while also addressing data sufficiency, logic, and critical reasoning skills that GMAC believes to be vital to real-world business and management success.


The GMAT is a computer based test which contains four sections, namely Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning. Two sections, the Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections are adaptive in nature which means that the sections adapt themselves according to the correctness or incorrectness of the test takers response. 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 medium of language of the test is English. The total time for the test is three hours and seven minutes.


    Section Duration Number of Question(s) Adaptive Question Type
    Analytical Writing 30 1 essay NO Analysis of an argument/ Analysis of an issue.
    Integrated Reasoning 30 12 NO Graphics Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-source Reasoning, Two part Analysis
    Quantitative Reasoning 62 31 YES Data sufficiency, Problem Solving.
    Verbal Reasoning 65 36 YES Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction

    Candidates are given the option to choose their preferred order, among the three orders available, to write the test. An on-screen calculator is available only for the Integrated Reasoning section. There are 8-minute optional breaks given between the exam, the timing of which must be selected by the candidate by choosing the order.


    The total GMAT score ranges from 200 to 800 and measures performance on the quantitative and verbal sections together. Scores are given in the multiple of 10s. Although the Integrated Reasoning section and the AWA section do not count toward the total score, those sections are scored separately. In essence, GMAT test-takers who complete the test should expect to receive five scores. The sectional scores for analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning, plus a total score, which is based upon performance on the verbal and quantitative sections. The official GMAT score report consist of the sectional scores as well as an equivalent percentile for each section.

    Scores range from 0 to 6 on the analytical writing assessment, which is graded in half-point increments, and extend from 1 to 8 on the integrated reasoning section, which has eight possible scores, all of which are whole numbers. Both the quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning sections have a minimum score of 0 and a maximum score of 60, but scores below 6 and above 51 are rare.

    The final GMAT score depends upon, total number of questions answered, the number of questions answered correctly and the level of difficulty of the questions correctly answered. There is no negative marking in the GMAT examination.

    A score of 720-730 can give an aspirant a good chance of making it to some of the best B-schools in India and around the world. A score of 760+ is considered around the 99th percentile mark.

    The syllabus for the GMAT can be extensive but if one prepares well then the time required would be limited. The AWA and the IR sections are not concept or theory intensive. An adequate amount of practice is required for these two sections.

    The AWA contains topics based on which an aspirant will have to write or a passage will be provided which the aspirants would have to read and provide an answer. The AWA section mainly checks an aspirant’s critical reasoning skills, communication skills and grammatical proficiency.

    The Integrated Reasoning section which was introduced in June 2012 is designed to measure a test taker’s ability to evaluate data presented in multiple formats from multiple sources. Broadly speaking the questions asked in the section can be classified as:

    The AWA contains topics based on which an aspirant will have to write or a passage will be provided which the aspirants would have to read and provide an answer. The AWA section mainly checks an aspirant’s critical reasoning skills, communication skills and grammatical proficiency.

    Table Analysis: These questions require the analysis of data presented in the form of a table.

    • Graphics Interpretation: These questions intend to assess the test-takers ability to interpret a graph or graphical images.

    • Multi-source Reasoning: These questions intend to measure the ability of test-taker to collate and assimilate information from multiple sources and interpret them.

    • Two-part Analysis: These questions expect the test-takers to analyse complex relationship between two entities.

    The other two sections, Quantitative reasoning and the Verbal reasoning require aspirants to know certain concepts.

    The Quantitative reasoning section, not too dissimilar to the CAT assesses two major aspects. First, the test-takers ability to find out whether the data is adequate enough to solve a problem or not. Second, the aspirant’s ability to apply basic concepts of math. The first type known to most as data sufficiency again needs a lot of practice as the necessary theory would be covered in the second part. The second part which basically means problem solving requires the test-taker to know concepts such as;

    1. Numbers and Exponents

    2. Linear and Quadratic equations.

    3. Inequalities.

    4. Ratio, proportion and variation.

    5. Percentage, profit and loss, discount.

    6. Time, Speed Distance and Work.

    7. Geometry and Mensuration.

    8. Functions, Graphs, Co-ordinate geometry.

    9. Probability, permutation and combination.

    10. Venn diagram.

    A caveat has to be put here that there is no fixed “syllabus” as such for an exam like the GMAT. So the above at best is indicative and not exhaustive, and therefore must be taken with a pinch of salt.


    There is no fixed official date for the GMAT. An aspirant can choose a date according to the availability and his or her preference throughout the year. However, in case an aspirant wants to retake the GMAT he or she has to wait for at least 16 days. The maximum number of times an aspirant can take the GMAT in a year is 5. And the maximum number of times overall is 8.


    The GMAT is open to candidates around the world and across the various academic disciplines and streams. There is no discrimination in terms of nationality, gender, educational qualification etc. However, there are some minimum criteria that an aspirant has to meet in order to be eligible to sit for the GMAT.

    1. An aspirant must be at least 18 years old to apply for the GMAT without any consent. However, if the aspirant is between the age of 13 and 17, he or she can still apply for the GMAT provided a letter permission or consent from their parent or legal guardian is submitted. There is no upper limit in terms of age to apply for the GMAT.

    2. Any candidate with a Bachelor’s degree from any recognized college or institute or university is qualified to appear for the GMAT. Students in their final year can also appear for the GMAT.

    3. The maximum number of times that a candidate can appear for the GMAT in his or her lifetime is 8. And the maximum number of the times that a candidate can appear for the GMAT in a single year is 5, with at least a gap of 16 days within two attempts. Also, if you score a perfect 800 in the GMAT then you need to wait for 5 years before appearing for the exam again.

    4. There is no fixed requirement as to the number of years of work experience you have in any particular industry, to apply for the GMAT. A fresh graduate out of college as well as a professional with 6-7 years of work experience can appear for the GMAT. However, different B-schools and colleges have different requirements and weightages to work-ex.

    5. Although the GMAT requires a sufficient amount of proficiency in English, there is no restriction put on those who have done their schooling or graduation in an institute where the medium of instruction was not English.

    6. It is necessary to have a valid passport to write the GMAT. Indian GMAT takers must produce their passport as ID proof when they go for the test.


    GMAT has centres all over the world. Aspirants can choose to write the exam in any place or country that hosts the GMAT. The test centres in India are located in the following cities:

    1. Bengaluru

    2. Cochin

    3. Lucknow

    4. New Delhi

    5. Pune

    6. Chennai

    7. Mumbai

    8. Ahmedabad

    9. Kolkata

    10. Hyderabad

    11. Manipal

    12. Mohali

    13. Mumbai

    14. Mysore

    15. Nagpur

    16. Noida

    17. Patiala

    18. Patna

    19. Bhubaneswar

    20. Cochin

    21. Coimbatore

    22. Gurgaon

    23. Guwahati

    24. Pilani

    25. Indore

    26. Jaipur

    27. Vellore

    28. Vijayawada

    29. Ranchi

    30. Trichy

    31. Thiruvananthapuram


    The exam fee of the GMAT is $250 or roughly 18,600 INR. One needs to pay $50 for rescheduling exams on different dates. An amount of $80 is also charged if a candidate cancels an exam.


    Indian B-schools

    Rank B-school Program GMAT score
    1 Indian School of Business(ISB), Hyderabad PGP 710+
    2 Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad PGPX 710+
    3 Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore EPGP 700+
    4 Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta PGPEX 700+
    5 SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai PGDM 690+
    6 XLRI, Jamshedpur GMP 700+
    7 Indian Institute of Management, Indore EPGP 680+
    8 Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow IMPX 690+

    Foreign B-schools

    Rank B-school Country Program
    1 Harvard University MBA 730+
    2 Stanford University MBA 730+
    3 INSEAD MBA 700+
    4 University of Pennsylvania(Wharton) MBA 700+
    5 London Business School MBA 720+
    6 University of Chicago (Booth) MBA 700+
    7 CEIBS MBA 700+
    8 Massachusetts Institute of Technology(Sloan) MBA 720+
    9 Columbia Business School MBA 710+
    10 Yale School of Management MBA 720+

    All the cut-off scores mentioned above is at best indicative. These scores can help you set a benchmark so that you can start your preparation accordingly.


    Every year the Financial Times, conducts a highly precise quantitative and qualitative research and comes out with the top 100 MBA colleges in the world. In the 2021 ranking, five Indian B-schools found their place among the very best B-schools of the world. Indian School of Business was at the 23rd position globally, IIM Bangalore at the 35th position, IIM Calcutta at the 44th position, IIM Ahmedabad at the 48th position and IIM Indore at the 94th position. INSEAD, France led the Global ranking, with London Business School and University of Chicago(Booth) at the 2nd and 3rd position respectively. It must be noted that the Financial Times Global MBA rankings only take into consideration 1-year MBA programs, where prior work experience is a necessary admission criterion.

    Have a look at their rankings:

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