What is GMAT?
GMAT CAT – the admission test for MBA programs is required by most universities and colleges worldwide and is considered one of the most important criteria in order to be accepted onto an MBA program. In many cases, the GMAT score is the main factor in determining whether one is accepted or not. In addition, the score can help considerably when applying for scholarships abroad. A non-profit organization named the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is responsible for writing and editing the GMAT tests.
What is the GMAT test?
The GMAT is carried out in English and tests quantitative and verbal reasoning skills, as well as logic and analytical abilities. The under lying assumption of the test creators is that these abilities are acquired over time (during elementary school, high school and higher education), and in testing them, institutes can predict the likelihood of academic success among applicants. Research examining the relationship between GMAT scores and academic success found a significant correlation between those achieving high GMAT scores and students defined as successful academics.
However, there are basic problems which were not examined in most of the research and may challenge the test's ability to predict academic success. Firstly, most of the published research is carried out by GMAC (the council that is responsible for creating the test), a fact which raises doubt about the objectiveness of their findings. Secondly, most students who take the test prepare in some way. It has been undoubtedly proven that after a few weeks of intense preparation, candidates can significantly improve their scores. The researchers failed to consider the number of students who were coached for the test. Finally, there is a problem in using the term “academic success”. It's important to remember that the test is used as a tool in determining acceptance onto MBA programs, but is a student who gets high grades during the degree course necessarily a better businessman/ woman?
Does the GMAT predict success in the business world?
No need to worry! Academic institutes know only too well that the GMAT is not designed to test each and every aspect of a candidate's suitability. They carry out their own research and each institute decides independently how much importance to place on the GMAT test score in the overall admission process. They are aware that students prepare for this test and raise admission requirements in accordance. Academic success in American academic institutions teaching Business Management is well recognized. Student s obtaining good grades during the course are more likely to become successful workers in their specialized fields. The top international academic programs are not only compromised of theoretical study and regular testing, but in addition, aim to teach and examine analytical and conceptual abilities and nurture personal traits that specifically suit the world of business.
Discussion regarding the pros and cons of the test are complex and full of interests. Suffice to say that they probably won't be determined once and for all in the next few years. In the meantime, more and more academic institutes require the test and its relative importance continues to rise statistically over time. If you have your heart set on a prestigious MBA degree, you must firstly overcome the hurdle that is the GMAT exam!
The test center
The test center conditions are excellent; new and advanced computerized equipment, spacious and comfortable work stations, a quiet environment and the staff are usually very professional. There are even lockers for bags and personal belongings outside of the test room. During the test, CCTV cameras record the room to ensure fair play. At the end of the test, you are given your score report which is stamped and given to you for your use. Extra copies are available at extra cost. Identification is important for the test. Two different types of photo ID are required. If you arrive with only one, you will not be tested and you will not get a refund. In the test you will receive an erasable noteboard booklet and a marker. Your fingerprints will be checked too for identification purposes, when entering the exam and when returning from breaks. You can learn more about the test center in which the GMAT test is conducted in the following video (from GMAT official website).
How the GMAT test is conducted? Watch the video now (recommended):
Setting a date for the GMAT test
You can book a test date on the website: www.mba.com. The cost is $250 and only international credit cards are accepted.
You need to book the test at least three weeks in advance in order to make sure that you secure a time that suits you (towards the end of universities' registration deadlines, it's preferable to sign up even earlier than that). Test dates can be changed at a charge of $50. Testing is available twice a week, sometimes more, depending on demand. The test can be taken once during each calendar month on the condition that 31 days have passed since last taking the test at a maximum total of 5 times during one year.