The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a test to prove your ability to speak, write, and understand English.
It’s run by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) and helps you get admission to a graduate management programme, like an MBA.
The GMAT has been the most widely-used exam for MBA admissions for the last 60 years and is taken by 200,000 candidates worldwide every year. It’s accepted by more than 2,400 schools and 7,700 MBA and Masters programmes.
The test can be taken either online or at one of the Pearson VUE test centres that are available in 114 countries around the world.
The GMAT is split up between:
- Analytical writing assessment
- Integrated reasoning
- Quantitative questions
- Verbal section
It takes three hours in total.
But before you can decide if the GMAT is the right test for you, you need to know if you can take it. Here’s everything you need to know about GMAT eligibility.
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GMAT eligibility guide
The good news is that there aren’t any strict eligibility criteria to meet to take the GMAT. As long as you can afford to pay for it, you should be able to take it.
However, it’s important to check the eligibility criteria for the university or college you are applying to before booking a GMAT. If you aren’t eligible for the course, taking the test will be a waste of time and money.
There are a few things you need to know about GMAT eligibility even if there aren’t strict criteria to meet. These include:
- Age - You need to be 18 years old or above to take the test. It’s possible for 13-17 year-olds to take it with a letter of permission from their parents or guardians.
- Qualifications - There isn’t a specific requirement to have a graduate degree to take a GMAT. However, you will need one to enroll in an MBA programme.
- Nationality - Anyone from any country can apply for the GMAT.
Eligibility for retaking the GMAT
If you’ve already taken the GMAT there are certain factors that can affect your eligibility to retake it. These include:
- You can only attempt the GMAT a maximum of eight times in total.
- Within a single calendar year you can only try a total of five times.
- There needs to be a gap of at least 16 days between test attempts.
- If you’ve achieved the maximum score of 800, you have to wait five years for a retake.
- If you haven’t enrolled in a graduate programme within five years of taking the test, you’ll need to apply to retake it.
How to register for the GMAT
Now that we’ve covered GMAT eligibility, you can apply with confidence. But how do you register for the test?
GMAT registration is available online through the official website or by contacting your local test centre. There are 30 test centres in India where you can register to take the GMAT.
If you’re registering online, here is the process you’ll need to follow:
- Create a free account on the MBA website. This allows you to access the GMAT Starter Kit and two practice exams.
- You can use the site to search for MBA schools and create a calendar of key application dates. There’s also advice and information to help you with your application and test.
- There’s a Registration and Score Reporting Timeline available to help you create an exam preparation plan.
- You can schedule the test online or by calling GMAT customer service and can pay via credit or debit cards, cheques or money orders.
- Note - you may need to wait 48 hours after you have registered to be able to manage your appointment.
GMAT eligibility for people with disabilities
The GMAT is designed to be accessible to as many people as possible. If you have a disability that prevents you from taking the test under standard conditions, you can request accommodations.
Conditions that may require special accommodations can include:
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Learning and Cognitive Disorders
- Physical and Systemic Disabilities
- Psychological Disabilities
- Sensory Disabilities (Vision and Hearing)
The procedure for requesting these accommodations is:
- Create your free account on the MBA site as above.
- Read the GMAT Handbook and GMAT Supplement for Test Takers with Disabilities.
- Gather the relevant documentation specified in the Supplement.
- Click Apply for Accommodations and attach the documentation.
- You will then receive the written decision from GMAC with instructions for what you need to do next.
What you need on the day of your test
Once you have registered, you can start preparing for your test.
You also need to make sure you have the right documentation. If you are taking the test at a test centre, you will need to bring a valid current international passport. Failure to do so will mean forfeiting the test without any refund. You’ll need to pay again to take the test in the future.
If you are taking the test online, the eligible documentation is as follows:
- Current, valid international passport. Expired passports aren’t acceptable even with renewal papers.
- Aadhar Card. Your name on the card must be the same that you used to register for the test. The Aadhar Card number must be linked to your mobile phone. Remember, this is only valid for online tests, not at test centres.
Whichever ID you use while registering must be the one that you share when taking the online test. Again, if it doesn’t or the ID isn’t valid, you will forfeit the test and need to pay again to rebook.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can you take the GMAT?
There are two choices for taking the GMAT. You can attend one of the test centres, where you will take the test on a private workstation. You’ll receive unofficial results after you have finished the test. Alternatively you can take the test online, which means you can do it wherever and whenever you like. There will still be people online to help you if you need it.
What security measures are in place at testing centres?
You will need to take part in a check-in process that involves taking a digital photograph of you and sharing your palm vein pattern. This scan uses biometric technology to ensure that each test taker has a unique GMAT record. This means that no one can have someone else take the test for them.