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MBA Ranking | B-School | Average GMAT score | Average Months Work Experience | Website
1 Harvard University Boston, MA | GMAT 720 | 42 Months |www.hbs.edu 2 Stanford University Stanford, CA |GMAT 726 | 47 Months| www.stanford.edu 3 Northwestern University (Kellogg) Evanston, IL | GMAT 710 | 60 Months |www.northwestern.edu 4 University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) Philadelphia, PA | GMAT 714 |70 Months | www.upenn.edu 5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) Cambridge, MA | GMAT 708 |60 Months|www.mitsloan.edu 6 University of Chicago (Booth) Chicago, IL | GMAT 713 | 60 Months| www.chicagobooth.edu 7 University of California–Berkeley (Haas) Berkeley, CA | GMAT 714 | 65 Months|www.haas.berkeley.edu 8 Dartmouth College (Tuck) Hanover, NH | GMAT 712 | 67 Months| www.tuck.dartmouth.edu 9 Columbia University New York, NY | GMAT 709 | 58 Months| www.columbia.edu 10 Yale University New Haven, CT | GMAT 718 | 65 Months| www.yale.edu
What is the GMAT?
The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a standardized test that is an admissions requirement for most graduate schools in the United States. GMAT is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). It is typically administered as a computer adaptive test (CAT) and has been designed to assess a candidate’s analytical, quantitative, verbal, writing, and reading skills in standard written English in preparation for being admitted into a graduate management program, such as an MBA. The GMAT exam is administered in standardized test centres in over 100 countries across the globe and GMAC periodically perform validity investigations to statistically verify that the exam predicts success in business school programs.
The total time for the GMAT exam is approximately 3.5 hours of which testing time accounts for three hours and seven minute. The remainder is made up of break times. There are four timed sections in the GMAT exam – analytical writing assessment, integrated reasoning, a quantitative section, and a verbal testing section. Candidates are given 30 minutes for the analytical writing assessment, 30 minutes for the integrated reasoning section, 62 minutes for the quantitative section and a further 65 minutes for the verbal testing section.
GMAT Parts Breakdown
The four sections of the GMAT exam are tested in the order presented.
Section 1: Analytical Writing Assessment (often abbreviated to AWA)
Structure: One essay writing task
Time: 30 minutes
Description: Analysis of an Argument
Approach: The task is designed to assess a candidate’s ability to analyse the reasoning behind a given argument and write a critique of that argument.
Section 2: Integrated Reasoning
Structure: 12 multiple part questions
Time: 30 minutes
Description: This section contains problems on data interpretation and combined verbal and math reasoning.
Approach: This section is designed to measure a test taker’s ability to evaluate data presented in new formats and multiple sources. Questions are given in four different formats: graphics interpretation, two-part analysis, table analysis, and multi-source reasoning.
Section 3: Quantitative Assessment
Structure: 31 questions some of which may be multiple choice. Questions are of two types: data sufficiency and problem solving formats.
Time: 62 minutes
Description: This section measures the ability to reason quantitatively, solve quantitative problems, interpret graphic data, and analyse and use information given in a problem. The use of calculators is not allowed on this section.
Approach: Test takers must work only by hand using a dry erase pen and laminated graph paper which are given to them at the testing centre. Questions require knowledge of topics such as arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. Problem solving questions are designed to test the ability to reason quantitatively and solve quantitative problems. Data sufficiency is a unique question type that appears on the GMAT and is designed to measure the ability to understand and analyse a quantitative problem, recognize what information is relevant or irrelevant and determine at what point there is enough information to solve a problem or recognize the fact that there is insufficient information given to solve a particular problem.
Section 4: Verbal Assessment
Structure: 36 questions some of which may be multiple choice. Questions are of three types: Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction.
Time: 65 minutes
Description: This section measures the ability to read and comprehend written material, reason and evaluate arguments and correct written material to express ideas effectively in standard written English.
Approach: Reading comprehension passages can be anywhere from one paragraph to several paragraphs long. Reading passages contain material from a variety of subject areas Reading comprehension passages are accompanied by interpretive, applied, and inference questions. Critical reasoning questions are designed to test the reasoning skills involved in making arguments, evaluating arguments, and formulating or evaluating a plan of action. Questions are based on materials from a variety of sources. Sentence Correction questions ask the test taker to determine if there is a mistake within a given sentence and if so, to determine the best way in which the sentence should be written.
How is the GMAT Scored?
Performance on the AWA and integrated reasoning sections do not contribute to the total GMAT score. For the AWA section the essay will be given two independent ratings and these ratings are averaged together to determine the test taker’s AWA score. One rating is given by a computerized reading evaluation and another is given by a GMAC appointed scorer who will read and score the essay themselves without knowledge of what the computerized score was. The automated essay-scoring engine is an electronic system that evaluates more than 50 structural and linguistic features, including organization of ideas, syntactic variety, and topical analysis. If the two ratings differ by more than one point, another evaluation by an expert reader is required to resolve the discrepancy and determine the final score. The analytical writing assessment is graded on a scale of 1 (the minimum) to 6 (the maximum) in half-point intervals. For the integrated reasoning section scores range from 1-8. This section is scored separately from the quantitative and verbal sections.
For the quantitative section scores range from 0 to 60 but only scores between 11 and 51 are reported. The same is true for the verbal section – scores range from 0 to 60 but only scores between 11 and 51 are reported.
An algorithm is used by GMAC to build a final GMAT score. The total GMAT score ranges from 200 to 800 and measures performance on the quantitative and verbal sections combined. Scores are given in increments of 10 and the most recent data released by GMAC indicates that the average GMAT score of all test takers is approximately 540. A higher score indicates a higher level of ability for the GMAT skills tested.
How Often Can You Take the GMAT?
Test takers may register for the GMAT either online or by calling one of the test centres. To schedule an exam, an appointment must be made at one of the designated test centres. The GMAT may not be taken more than once within 16 days, even if the scores are cancelled. All scores and cancellations in the past five years will be recorded on a student’s score report.
How is the GMAT Weighted in the Application Process?
The GMAT exam has been designed to measure overall aptitude and is the standard exam for admission to business and management post graduate schools and courses. In the graduate school admissions process, the level of emphasis that is placed upon GMAT scores varies widely between schools and between departments within schools. The importance of a GMAT score can range from being a mere admission formality to an important selection factor. In general a successful application will be a well-rounded application – of which a good GMAT score will only be one element. Some business schools place more emphasis on the test taker’s combined quantitative and verbal score because it is this score that gets reported when the schools publish class profiles of their students that have been admitted into their program. The higher the school’s average GMAT score is, the more selective that school may appear to be on this factor at least.
What Are the Average Scores Required for Top Graduate schools?
More than 5,900 programs offered by more than 2,100 universities and institutions use the GMAT exam as part of the selection criteria for their programs. Business schools use the test as a criterion for admission into a wide range of graduate management programs, including MBA, Master of Accountancy, and Master of Finance programs.
Based on the findings of The US News and World Report 2013, which compiles annual data on the top graduate schools, graduate programs and applicants, average GMAT scores for applicants of the Top 10 schools for business and finance courses were estimated at 717.6. The average GMAT test taker for the same year received a score of 545.6 according to the findings. The figures in the table below can give candidates a sensible expectation of what is required of applicants.
The GMAT test is still the primary choice of standardised skills testing for MBA applicants despite the increased amount of acceptance of GRE scores from some post graduate schools according to a survey conducted by Kaplan Test Prep. It is important to keep in mind that the GMAT score is only one single element of a graduate school application. Other aspects of a graduate school application, such as past academic performance, the quality of recommendation letters, personal essay, etc., can have as much or even more of an influence on the likelihood of successfully being accepted onto a programme. However, if a candidate is getting results similar to those indicated above they will be in a much stronger position in achieving application success.
Register for the GMAT® here!