How hard is the gmat

How hard is the gmat

To answer the question ‘Is the gmat hard ?’, a little intro first: the official GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is an exam that evaluates a student’s ability to succeed in a graduate business program. MBA programs typically use the GMAT as part of their admissions process and to evaluate a candidate’s readiness for graduate studies in business.

The official GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is an exam that evaluates a student’s ability to succeed in a graduate business program.

The official GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is an exam that evaluates a student’s ability to succeed in a graduate business program. The test evaluates your quantitative, verbal and writing skills, and consists of four sections: two analytical writing tasks, an integrated reasoning section and a multiple choice section. It’s important to know exactly how many questions there are on the GMAT so you can plan out your strategy for answering them all!

MBA programs typically use the GMAT score as part of their admissions process and to evaluate a candidate’s readiness for graduate studies in business.

MBA programs typically use the GMAT as part of their admissions process and to evaluate a candidate’s readiness for graduate studies in business. The GMAT is designed to predict your academic performance in graduate management programs, so it is important that you understand how your scores will be used by business schools.

The following are some questions commonly asked about the GMAT:

How hard is the test?

How long does it take?

What is a good GMAT score?

You’re probably wondering what a good GMAT score is, and what this means for your future. Well, the average GMAT score is around 570. The average GMAT score for the top 10 business schools is 730. Here’s a table listing the average gmat scores for each school:

School Average Score

Harvard business school 740

Stanford 730

University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) 730

Columbia University 720

Massachusetts Institute of Technology 720

How hard is the GMAT?

The GMAT is hard in the same way that learning to play the piano is hard. It requires you to learn new skills and strategies, even if your goal is just for fun. It tests your ability to think critically, even if you’re not going for a job in finance or business management. And it attracts a large pool of self-selecting candidates who are interested in getting into business school—so you can expect more competition from people with similar backgrounds and goals.

This brings us back to the question: how hard is it to do well?

The answer depends on your current reasoning skills. Note that the gmat is an adaptive test: your score depends not only on the number of questions you answer correctly, but also on their difficulty level.

If your quant and verbal reasoning skills are already well developed, then you are almost ready to take the test. If you take a practice test now and score more than 600 on your first attempt then 1 or 2 months of gmat practice may be enough to take the gmat already.

If you score in the 400 or 500 range, then you will have to make the gmat a priority for a period of at least 6 to 8 months because the skills required need time to be learned and ‘acquired’. Think of the piano example above, learning what the notes are is easy. Playing them effortlessly however requires a lot of practice. It is for this reason that candidates from technical backgrounds have a major advantage.

Well, I don’t know what “hard” means exactly—and neither do any of my colleagues or friends—but I’ll tell you this much: if your goal is simply getting into business school (and there are many reasons why someone might want that), then having high marks on this test isn’t as important as being able to demonstrate other strengths through essays and interviews.

What’s on the GMAT test?

The GMAT is made up of four sections:

  • Quantitative Section: This section assesses your problem-solving ability and includes questions on arithmetic, geometry and data analysis.
  • Verbal Section: This section determines your ability to read, understand and analyze written passages. It also includes antonyms, sentence corrections and critical reasoning questions.
  • Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA): The AWA assesses your writing style in two essays—one analyzing an argument (topic A) and one analyzing an issue (topic B). Your essay responses are scored by computer using a holistic approach that takes into account such elements as content, organization and language use. You’ll need to take this test if you’re applying to business school as part of an international program or if English isn’t your first language; otherwise it’s optional but can give admissions officers insight into your personality traits (including those not covered by other parts of the application).
  • Integrated Reasoning (IR): IR uses graphics-based questions to measure how well you understand relationships between numbers or concepts without having specific knowledge of either field—for example, interpreting charts or graphs from different disciplines across industries; evaluating quantitative information; predicting trends based on historical data; communicating conclusions via written reports or oral presentations

Quantitative section

The GMAT test has five sections, but the first one is called the quantitative section. The quantitative section tests your ability to solve problems by using math. This means that in order to do well on this section, you need to have a strong grasp of basic math skills like fractions, decimals and percents. There are two question types: problem solving and data sufficiency.

If you’re not good at math right now or if it’s been awhile since your last math class (maybe all those years ago when you were in school?), don’t worry! You can prepare yourself for this section by practicing some “test-like” questions every day so that when it comes time for test day, it won’t be as hard as it would otherwise have been if you hadn’t prepared ahead of time.

Verbal Section

The verbal section tests your ability to read and understand written material. It consists of 36 questions. The verbal section is the longest section of the GMAT exam.

The Verbal Section has three question types: sentence correction questions, critical reasoning, and reading comprehension. Sentence correction questions test your understanding of grammar rules like subject-verb agreement or parallelism; critical reasoning questions test your analytical skills by asking you to analyze arguments used to support or refute a position, and reading comprehension tests your skills in analyzing large bodies of text and distilling the main ideas.

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) is a 30-minute essay section, which requires you to write two essays. A reader will grade these essays based on their overall quality and the response to an assigned topic. You can choose between two topics:

  • Describe a significant academic experience you’ve had in college or school that has impacted your life. This can be related to the subject matter of your coursework, but could also be something unrelated like working with a professor on a project outside of class hours or volunteering at a local organization
  • Discuss how you would improve education in our community while implementing ideas from current research studies or theories into practice; using examples from both personal experiences and other sources as support.

Integrated Reasoning (IR)

Integrated Reasoning is a relatively new section on the GMAT exam. It tests your ability to analyze data, solve problems, and draw conclusions in integrated ways with specific types of questions. This means that it’s not a test of math or verbal skills; rather, it requires you to think logically about information presented within the multiple-choice format and use what you’ve learned from past experiences to come up with an answer.

Integrated Reasoning questions are found in two formats: table analysis (similar to what you’d see on an aptitude test) and graphic interpretation (seen more commonly on standardized exams like SATs). Table analysis involves looking at charts and graphs; for example, if there were five different brands of soda over time—say Coca-Cola®, 7Up®, Fanta® Soda®, Sprite® Soda®, Dr Pepper® Soda®—and they all had their own market share across four different years—2011 through 2014—then this would be an example where table analysis could come into play: what percentage did each brand gain or lose over those years? Graphical interpretations involve looking at visual representations like scatter plots or Venn diagrams; for instance: do these two sets represent the same thing? If so how do they differ?

In other words, the GMAT is hard because it takes time to learn all the skills and strategies needed to conquer this test.

In other words, the GMAT is hard because it takes time to learn all the skills and strategies needed to conquer this test. The GMAT is a standardized test. The GMAT is a computer-based test. The GMAT is a multiple choice exam (MCQ). Computerized testing means that you will be required to use your mouse or trackpad on your laptop or desktop computer in order to complete this exam. Multiple choice means that there are only four answer options per question: A, B, C and D. Each correct answer gets one point while each incorrect answer gets zero points.


The GMAT is a tough test, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be conquered with the right preparation and mindset. Keep in mind however that the gmat is not the only important part of your application: the essays are critical. If you struggle to achieve your target score on the gmat, you should consider taking the GRE instead.


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