Graduate Management Admission Test Details

TheGMAT(Graduate Management Admission Test) exam is a computer-adaptive test (CAT), which means that questions are selected as a candidates takes the exam. At the start of each multiple-choice section of the GMAT ,CAT exam, candidates are presented a question of middle difficulty. As a candidate attempts each question, the computer scores the answer and uses it to determine which question to present next. As long as a candidate answers correctly to each question, questions of improved difficulty are offered. Whenever a candidate enters the incorrect responses, the computer generally presents questions of lesser difficulty. Next question reflects both the previous performance and the requirements of the test design, which means that different test takers will be presented different questions. Question selection is based on the responses to the previous questions and the GMAT CAT adjusts to an individual ability level. As a result, a candidate gets few questions that are either too easy or too difficult to answer.

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) examination consists of three main parts the Analytical Writing Assessment, Quantitative section, and Verbal section.

Analytical Writing Assessment

The analytical writing section requires one to
write – two short essays in thirty minutes each. The first is the Analysis of an Issue, in which a candidate needs to analyze the issue presented and explain his/her views on it. The second essay is Analysis of an Argument, in which a given argument has to be critically analyzed and evaluated.

For both the essays, the emphasis is on the “Analytical” part and not on the “Writing” part. This implies that a concise essay with well-reasoned points written in simple English will be looked upon more favorably than an essay which falls short on the analytical aspects even though it reflects excellent writing skills.

A five-minute break follows the two essays. The computer gives you the option to take this break or to move directly to the subsequent section. Even if a candidate finishes the essays before the stipulated sixty minutes, the break will still be of five minutes. It is advisable to utilize this break by gearing oneself up for the tougher sections that follow subsequently.

Quantitative Section

The 37 questions in this section comprise two kinds of questions: Problem Solving (PS) and Data Sufficiency (DS). The two kinds do not have a definite break-up; usually there are around 20 PS and 17 DS questions. This section tests the level of Mathematics which is comparable with the level of Class 10 exams, with questions on Number Systems, Percentages, Fractions & Decimals, Algebra (including Quadratic Equations), Geometry (including Basic Coordinate Geometry), Ratio & Proportion, Area & Volume of 2-D and 3-D diagrams, Probability etc. This list is not exhaustive; questions from beyond these topics may also be asked.

While the Problem Solving question requires one to solve a mathematical problem directly and choose the right answer, the Data Sufficiency is of a trickier variety. Each problem comprises a question followed by two statements, which may or may not lead to the answer to the given question. This is what a candidate needs to ascertain – whether the given statements can be used to answer the question or not and if so, whether the statements can be used independently or in conjunction. Each of the five answers options presents five possibilities that arise in this case and candidate has to apply the basic principles of mathematics with strong logic to solve them.

Verbal Section

The verbal section in GMAT requires the basic skills of correct English coupled with reasoning and analysis. The 41 questions, to be attempted in 75 minutes, consist of three types: Sentence Correction (SC), Critical Reasoning (CR) and Reading Comprehension (RC). The three types are intermingled, with no fixed number for each type. The break-up of the questions among SC, CR and RC could be 14-14-13 or 15-13-13 or any such combination.

The GMAT(Graduate Management Admission Test) exam is a computer-adaptive test (CAT), which means that questions are selected as a candidates takes the exam. At the start of each multiple-choice section of the GMAT ,CAT exam, candidates are presented a question of middle difficulty. As a candidate attempts each question, the computer scores the answer and uses it to determine which question to present next. As long as a candidate answers correctly to each question, questions of improved difficulty are offered. Whenever a candidate enters the incorrect responses, the computer generally presents questions of lesser difficulty. Next question reflects both the previous performance and the requirements of the test design, which means that different test takers will be presented different questions. Question selection is based on the responses to the previous questions and the GMAT CAT adjusts to an individual ability level. As a result, a candidate gets few questions that are either too easy or too difficult to answer.

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) examination consists of three main parts the Analytical Writing Assessment, Quantitative section, and Verbal section.

Analytical Writing Assessment
The analytical writing section requires one to
write – two short essays in thirty minutes each. The first is the Analysis of an Issue, in which a candidate needs to analyze the issue presented and explain his/her views on it. The second essay is Analysis of an Argument, in which a given argument has to be critically analyzed and evaluated.

For both the essays, the emphasis is on the “Analytical” part and not on the “Writing” part. This implies that a concise essay with well-reasoned points written in simple English will be looked upon more favorably than an essay which falls short on the analytical aspects even though it reflects excellent writing skills.

A five-minute break follows the two essays. The computer gives you the option to take this break or to move directly to the subsequent section. Even if a candidate finishes the essays before the stipulated sixty minutes, the break will still be of five minutes. It is advisable to utilize this break by gearing oneself up for the tougher sections that follow subsequently.

Quantitative Section
The 37 questions in this section comprise two kinds of questions: Problem Solving (PS) and Data Sufficiency (DS). The two kinds do not have a definite break-up; usually there are around 20 PS and 17 DS questions. This section tests the level of Mathematics which is comparable with the level of Class 10 exams, with questions on Number Systems, Percentages, Fractions & Decimals, Algebra (including Quadratic Equations), Geometry (including Basic Coordinate Geometry), Ratio & Proportion, Area & Volume of 2-D and 3-D diagrams, Probability etc. This list is not exhaustive; questions from beyond these topics may also be asked.

While the Problem Solving question requires one to solve a mathematical problem directly and choose the right answer, the Data Sufficiency is of a trickier variety. Each problem comprises a question followed by two statements, which may or may not lead to the answer to the given question. This is what a candidate needs to ascertain – whether the given statements can be used to answer the question or not and if so, whether the statements can be used independently or in conjunction. Each of the five answers options presents five possibilities that arise in this case and candidate has to apply the basic principles of mathematics with strong logic to solve them.

Verbal Section
The verbal section in GMAT requires the basic skills of correct English coupled with reasoning and analysis. The 41 questions, to be attempted in 75 minutes, consist of three types: Sentence Correction (SC), Critical Reasoning (CR) and Reading Comprehension (RC). The three types are intermingled, with no fixed number for each type. The break-up of the questions among SC, CR and RC could be 14-14-13 or 15-13-13 or any such combination.

CAT stands for Computer Adaptive Test. The GMAT® uses the CAT to offer a platform for delivery to its test-takers a range of multiple-choice questions (MCQs).

The MCQ format is one of the most widely used testing strategies in
educational programs. When constructed well, this format assumes many of the psychometric properties that characterize valid assessment practices.

The CAT is user-adaptive, in that it “adapts” the level of the questioning
according to the test taker’s abilities. What this means is that the computer throws questions at you based on the correctness of response you gave to the question preceding it. If you answer the present question correctly, the following one will be of greater difficulty. If you choose an incorrect answer to the present question, then the next question will be less difficult.

Is the CAT an improvement over the old P&P (paper and pencil) based test? The jury is still out on that, but we feel it is.

By giving you questions in order of increasing difficulty, is the CAT allowing you to increase the likelihood of a better score? Nope. Gone is the confidence building by skipping questions, and answering questions in random order to build up the tempo. Gone is skipping when you run aground with a tough one. If you get stuck, it may unnerve you. If you lose your composure, you lose the perspicacity needed to attack the questions with the full force of your arsenal.

If you fail to answer questions towards the end of the test you are sanctioned (you cannot normally fail to answer in the middle of the test, because you cannot skip unless you abandon!). The final score views the correct choices and the penalties that have been sanctioned.

The exam is three and a half hours long, but with the breaks and intervals that are provided, the test can take upwards of four hours.

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