Abbreviation for Graduate Management Admissions Test. The GMAT is the standardized test used in the admissions process for American graduate business schools. Basically, the business school equivalent of the SAT.

The GMAT is given in an interesting computer-only format. After two essays (30 minutes each), there's a verbal section and a math section (both multiple choice). For those sections, the computer "adapts" to the tester's level. Each section starts with an average-level question. If this question is answered correctly, the computer gives the user a harder question. If the initial question is answered incorrectly, the next question will be easier. The program keeps trying to find your level of knowledge by increasing and decreasing the levels of the questions (similar in a way to getting weighed on a doctor's scale). By the time the test is over, the computer will have a good idea of your level of knowledge (in theory). The math and verbal sections are 75 minutes each and have approx. 40 questions each. Like the SAT, the maximum score for the multiple choice parts is 800. Essays are graded separately.

No business knowledge is required. Like the SAT, just how important the test score is to admission is often debated. Also like the SAT, the GMAT is administered by ETS (Educational Testing Service) and is highly stressful for testtakers.

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