Standardized test: GMAT
The Graduate Management Admission Test is a standardized test that measures verbal, mathematical and analytical writing skills. It is intended to help the graduate schools of business assess the potential of applicants for advanced study in business and management. Nearly 900 management institutes all over the world (almost all of them in the US) require GMAT scores from each applicant. The GMAT tests the fundamental skills - Reasoning and Comprehension included - and does not require any subject-specific theoretical study.
The test is designed in such a way that it would be unlike any other test you would have taken at school or college. First, the test has no question paper or answer sheets, nor does it have the same set of questions for all the examinees. Further, it does not give you the option of not answering a question (unless, of course, you run out of time at the end). All this because the GMAT is now an entirely Computer based test - the keyboard and mouse do the work of a pen or pencil. The test is scored out of 800 (in multiples of 10), and most scores fall in the range of 500-600. However, a score of even 800 is not unheard of!
The GMAT is only one of several parameters which the graduate schools look at to determine the selection of an applicant. A high score alone does not translate into an admission offer from a great school. But the test can be looked upon as the first major hurdle to be cleared in the process of getting admission into a B-school of your choice.
Who administers the GMAT?
The GMAT is developed and administered by the US-based "Educational Testing Service" (ETS) under the direction of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a non-profit organization of graduate business schools worldwide. This implies that ETS sets the questions, conducts the test, and sends each examinee the score report. For the conduct of the test, ETS has appointed Testing Agencies in various countries, which act as franchisee for ETS. In India, this agency is the "Sylvan Testing Services Pvt Ltd" which administers the test at 9 centres in the country: Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Trivandrum.
When is the GMAT held?
All-round-the-year. Unlike other exams, you can choose your own date and time for taking the GMAT! The test is administered in the above cities five-days-a-week (Monday through Friday), twice-a-day. September to December is the high season for GMAT, so in case you intend to take the test during this period, you need to register very early (say 90 days in advance) to get a date of your choice. Otherwise, registering at least 15 days in advance is mandatory. The test lasts roughly four hours, and most centres offer two slots: 9 A.M. and 2 P.M.
Eligibility and fees
Anyone and everyone is eligible for taking the GMAT - there are no restrictions based on age or qualifications. The test scores are valid for five years, i.e., most universities accept scores up to five years old. But it is always better if your scores are recent (not older than 2 years).
Test fees for GMAT may vary according to the country in which you take the test. In India, this fee is US $250, payable at the time of registration. You can now pay in Indian Rupees. Payment in Indian Rupees must be made at the telegraphic transfer selling (TTS) exchange rate of the U.S. dollar equivalent. The draft should be made out in favour of "ETS - GMAT" payable in the U.S. and should be drawn on a Indian bank.
Alternately, the payment can also be made through a credit card which has global acceptance. The credit card need not necessarily be yours - you can get your father to sign for you!
GMAT test registration
Online registration is now available for taking the GMAT in India. To schedule a test appointment online in India, you can complete the required details online on the official GMAT registration website.
Registering by phone
To schedule your test appointment by phone in India, please call the Regional Registration Center located in Gurgaon (Near New Delhi):
Prometric Testing Private Limited
2nd Floor, DLF Infinity Tower - A
Sector 25, Phase ll
DLF City, Gurgaon
Please note that test fee payments for online test appointments can only be made by credit card. So, you need to have a VISA, MasterCard, or American Express card to register for the GMAT online or by phone in India.
Register by fax or mail
To schedule your appointment by mail or by fax in India, you can download the International Test Scheduling form from the official GMAT site.
When your form is complete, get the dollar draft made in favour of ' ETS-GMAT' (if you are not paying by credit card), and submit these to the Prometric Centre at Gurgaon (Near New Delhi) either by fax or by hand or by registered post/courier.