Business MBA Study Abroad Tips

What is the GMAT and Who is it for?

What is the GMAT and Who is it for?

Thinking of applying to business school or maybe even studying for an MBA? While you search for schools, you would have realised that a lot of them require the GMAT as part of your application. Each graduate business school has their own policies, some schools even combine GMAT scores and undergraduate grade point average.

But what is the GMAT exactly?

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is an exam used to measure skills that are important to study management. More than 7,000 programmes and 2,300 graduate business schools worldwide use GMAT as a way to make admissions decisions, so preparing for the test is really important.

The exam itself is made up of four sections, and will take you about 3 hours to complete:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment: One writing task, 30 minutes
  • Integrated Reasoning: 12 multiple choice questions, 30 minutes
  • Quantitative: 37 multiple choice questions, 75 minutes
  • Verbal: 41 multiple choice questions, 75 minutes

The GMAT doesn’t have a Pass or Fail grade. You’ll receive a score and this score is what will be used by the schools to make a decision on your admission. The scores are not determined just from what you answered right or wrong, but it also depends on how difficult the questions are.  

Who needs to take the GMAT exam?

You might have noticed that not all business school programmes or even MBAs require the GMAT. Do you need it for a business programme at the Master’s level? Not necessarily. In fact, some MBAs (Master of Business Administration) might also not need you to take the exam. Neither is the GMAT only for people who have a business background.

The programmes that do not require this test will instead need you to meet other requirements. They vary but more often than not, it includes having work experience on top of a Bachelor’s degree.

How do I take the exam?


Register online at the official Graduate Management Admission Test website and you will see what dates, times and centres are available near you. You can manage your appointments with your account on the website and no matter where you are it costs US $250 dollars. Remember to complete the exam and receive your score in time for your MBA application deadline!

How to Prepare for the GMAT

Going to business school or earning an MBA is a huge decision. Because the Graduate Management Admission Test is an important factor in getting you there, you would not want to gamble with how well you do in it. One way to ensure success is to get help in your preparation.

You could try out some GMAT questions on Sqore to have an idea what the test looks like. If you think you could use some help with your preparation, check out what The Economist GMAT Tutor, a preparation course, might be able to help you with. 

All the best with your business school journey!

• Student Advisor

With a wide-ranging professional and educational background, Anna is passionate about travel and learning. Originally from Poland, she considers her time studying abroad in Italy one of the most valuable experience she's ever had. Today Anna lives in Stockholm and loves helping other international students succeed in their academic journey.