Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized test used by most graduate business schools for admission. The test is broken into three sections: analytical writing assessment, a quantitative section and a verbal section. GMAT scores range from 200-800, with different schools requiring different scores for their admission.

Analytical Writing Assessment

Analytical writing consists of two 30-minute sections of the test. These sections measure "your ability to explore the complexities of an issue or opinion and, if appropriate, to take a position that is informed by your understanding," according to GMAT officials. These sections will ask you to analyze an issue and write your view of the subject. Although there is no correct answer, the test looks to see your reasoning and examples drawn to support your argument. The scoring for each of these sections is 0-6, given in half-point increments.

Quantitative Section

The Quantitative section is a multiple-choice mathematics section. The section involves arithmetic, basic algebra and basic geometry. The section is composed of problem-solving and data-sufficiency questions. The problem-solving questions test math skills and concepts as well as qualitative and quantitative reasoning. Data-sufficiency questions test recognizing relevant information and determining when sufficient information is obtained to solve a problem. Scores range from 0-60 in this section.

Verbal Section

The verbal section of the test is a multiple-choice section that is to be 350 words in length. The material's topics include social sciences, physical or biological sciences and business-related areas. This section includes critical reading questions that measure: understanding words and statements in reading passages, understanding the logical relationships between significant points and concepts in the reading passages, drawing inferences from facts and statements in the reading passages and understanding and following the development of quantitative concepts as they are presented in verbal material. There are also critical reading questions to measure: argument construction, argument evaluation and argument evaluation. Lastly, this section also has a sentence-correction section to measure: finding the correct expression and finding the most effective expression. Scores range from 0-60 in this section.

Overall Score

Scores for the GMAT range from 200-800 based on a scaled score reflecting an overall performance on the multiple-choice exam. Two-thirds of the test-takers will get between 400-600 (Note that this is not a summation of the scores from the individual sections). The individual sections are also given a numerical score of their own. In the verbal section, scores above 44 are rare; also rare are scores above 50 for the quantitative section. Note that for the AWA section 4.5 is the average score. Good scores depend on the school to which you are applying. For example, Stanford looks for scores around 713, while Georgetown looks for scores in the 678 range. Generally, scores above 650 are good while scores above 700 are considered exceptional.

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