Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)


General Description:

Although it may not be the most popular entrance test in India, no one can argue against the fact that the best B-Schools the world over accept GMAT scores. It is an online, computer-adaptive test which is considered the standard management entrance exam worldwide.

Of course, before taking the GMAT, it’s important to realize that a good GMAT score does NOT guarantee you admission into the best universities in the world. Not only do they require a terrific profile, but most big B-Schools also need a few years of work experience. Don’t let that deter you though – the GMAT is still a handy exam to take. If not now, it can certainly be worth the effort in the long run.


Accepting Institutes:

Well, there are thousands. The Harvards and Whartons of the world accept GMAT scores, and so do absolutely unheard-of institutes. Popular institutes in India that accept these scores are:

  • Indian School of Business, Hyderabad (ISB)
  • SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR)
  • Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A)*
  • Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B)*
  • Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIM-C)*

*Only for NRI Students



You can take the GMAT anytime you like, provided you schedule an appointment well in advance. You can do that on the official GMAT website, of course.


Format and Peculiarities:

The GMAT consists of three sections:

  • Analytical Writing Ability (AWA)
  • Verbal Ability
  • Quantitative Ability

The Verbal and Quantitative Ability sections have about 25-30 questions each and are worth 400 marks each, which contribute to your overall GMAT score of 800. The Verbal Ability section consists of grammar and vocabulary related questions, as well as Reading Comprehensions (RC) and Sentence Completions. The Quantitative Ability section is quite straightforward and has questions based on things you’ve probably learnt at school. That doesn’t mean it’s a cakewalk, though – you need to be quick, or you’ll swiftly realize you’ve run out of time.

The AWA section is essentially an essay, which is marked out of 6, but doesn’t contribute to your GMAT score. However, most universities need a minimum score of 3 out of 6 in AWA, and some universities demand more than 4.



The GMAT is one of the best-designed exams in the world, and the ‘adaptability’ of the exam means that there’s no sure-fire way to crack the GMAT. Except perhaps one – practice. You need to be quick with the quant section, but there’s no shortcut to doing well in the Verbal section. If you have a strong command over your English, which means a good vocabulary and excellent grammar, you should do fine. Cramming difficult words may help a few, but students who do really well in the GMAT are those who have built their language skills over the years.