The Graduate Management Admission Test, or the GMAT for short, is a standardized exam that is required in order to enter most business-related graduate programs. This exam is designed by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) to determine whether or not an individual has the basic knowledge necessary to succeed in a graduate program related to any business field. The GMAT exam is comprised of four sections: Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, Verbal, and Quantitative. Except for the Analytical Writing section, the test format is multiple-choice.
The Verbal and Quantitative sections are computer adaptive, but Integrated Reasoning is not. Verbal covers concepts related to language, reading, vocabulary, communication, etc. Quantitative is also wide ranging, having questions about basic math to much more advanced concepts. The scores on these two sections are the basis of the Total score, which is what most people have in mind when they talk about a GMAT score. Integrated Reasoning is a new section, introduced in 2012. Analytical Writing is also different; it no longer requires two written essays, but only one.
The GMAT exam is not required by every graduate program and certain programs and universities may require other tests instead of or in addition to the GMAT in order to be accepted into a business-related graduate program. The exact score that an individual must achieve on the GMAT in order to gain entrance into a particular program varies from program to program, but most universities and programs do not use the GMAT exam as the only factor considered for admission. In fact, most universities and programs use several other factors such as entrance essays, grade point averages (GPA), and other similar factors that are considered in addition to the individual’s GMAT scores when deciding whether a particular student should be accepted into a graduate program or not.