The GMAT: Overview and prep material

Published: 21 November 2016 | by Thomas Graf

The following content is provided by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC):


Once you decide to pursue a business master’s degree, it’s time to start preparing for your GMAT exam.

Internationally recognised and valued by thousands of programmes, universities and employers around the world, the Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®) is the most widely used test for management and business school admissions.

Not an English or maths test. The GMAT is a test of your reasoning and critical thinking skills. It assesses how well you analyse and evaluate information through a series of timed multiple-choice question.

Visit, the official site for the GMAT to learn more about the schools that accept the GMAT exam, how to prepare and the benefits to taking the exam

Why the GMAT?

There are a few reasons why the GMAT is an important part of the admission process.

  • The GMAT exam helps business schools assess candidates fairly and predicts their success in the classroom.
  • The exam is a scientifically-proven and valid predictor of your academic performance, which means the better you do on the GMAT, the better you should do on your business management coursework.
  • Succeeding on the GMAT provides you with the confidence that you have the right skills and aptitude to succeed in your programme, and more importantly, that your peers studying alongside you can perform at a standard equal to your own.

Try our GMAT mini quiz and see how many questions you get right

The format of the GMAT

The GMAT® consists of four separately timed sections and is administered entirely on a computer at a GMAT approved test centre. The test takes about four hours to complete, including the optional breaks. The four sections of the test are:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA): one 30-minute essay.
  2. Integrated Reasoning: 12 questions over 30 minutes.
  3. Quantitative Section: 37 multiple-choice questions over 75 minutes.
  4. Verbal Section: 41 multiple-choice questions over 75 minutes.

Learn more about the format and timing for the GMAT

Preparing for the GMAT

The GMAT exam may seem intimidating at first, but it’s really just a test of the skills you’ve learned over time. Understanding the format, practicing sample questions, and reviewing one section at a time will help you arrive fully prepared on the day of your exam.

Download our Free GMATPrep® software

Get a first-hand look at what your GMAT exam test day will be like with GMATPrep software. Not only is it a great way to prepare, but because the free software uses the same technology as the official exam, and provides you with scores, you will be more comfortable and confident on test day. Free to registered users of, the official site of the GMAT exam.

Click here to download.

Get even more practice with the real testing experience and analyse your results with our Exam Packs

Besides adding two more full-length practice exams each, Exam Pack I and Exam Pack II will give you access to enhanced / diagnostic score reporting for all your completed exams. This allows you to gain deeper insights into your performance and time management, benchmark against past test takers and focus your future study efforts.

Download Exam Pack I here

Download Exam Pack II here