Exam Guide

IELTS TOEFL GRE GMAT

International English Language Testing System or IELTS is an English language proficiency exam that measures the language ability of candidates willing to study or work in a country where English is the language of communication. The exam mainly assesses the ability of test-takers to communicate in the four basic language skills – listening, reading, speaking, and writing.

Available world-wide in more than 110 countries including Australia, Canada, UK and the US, IELTS is jointly owned and administered by the University of Cambridge – Local Examination Syndicate, The British Council and the IDP Education Australia. Apart from the academic purposes, many government agencies, scholarship programs, and certification agencies use IELTS scores to evaluate English proficiency.

You can take IELTS with the British Council up to once a week (four times a month). The British Council Global Schedule for global test dates is 48 days per year. However, if a candidate is not satisfied with his scores he can take the exam again after three months from the date of the first exam.

Institutes Accepting

A lot of top universities of English speaking nations accept IELTS to measure the language abilities of the probable international candidates. Universities like Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Oxford, and Cambridge – all accept IELTS scores. Apart from universities, schools and training colleges, government departments and agencies, Australian and British Visa, professional and industry bodies and multinational companies and employers accept IELTS score.

Eligibility Criteria

IELTS is open for all and there are no specific eligibility criteria. The only minimum requirement is that a candidate should have passed 10+2 level of recognised board exams. The respective institutes may have a different eligibility criteria but the IELTS has no specific selection criteria. IELTS is recommended for candidates who are 16 years and above.

How to Register

To register for an IELTS test, follow these seven simple steps.

1. Find your nearest IELTS centre and check the test dates to find two options that suit you. Note the deadline for registering for each test date. You can also see the cost of the test at your centre in local currency on the IELTS Worldwide Search

2. Check with your organization or on the Global Recognition System whether you need to sit an Academic or General Training test.

3. Print out the IELTS Application Form or ask your test centre for a copy. Read the information for candidates, terms and conditions, complete the form and sign it. Please make sure you have a valid postal address and use the same name as on your passport.

In some centers, candidates may be able to register for the test online. Please refer to the test centre's website for further information.

4. Organize two passport-sized photographs, less than six months old, and sign the back of each. Please note, you must not wear glasses in the photographs you submit for IELTS registration.

5. Take a photocopy of your current passport – this must be valid and not expired. (Some centers will accept a national identity card.)

6. If you want your results to be sent automatically to a university or educational institution, include the correct details in the section on the IELTS Application Form.

7. Take your application into your IELTS test centre with your money. If you send it by mail, please talk to your centre about the method of payment.

Once you have registered, the test centre will confirm your IELTS test date, time and venue. Please note the Speaking test can be up to 7 days before or after the test date. On the test day, you must bring the same passport or national identity card that you entered on the IELTS Application Form.

Test Pattern

There are four sections in IELTS

1. Reading

2. Writing

3. Speaking

4. Listening

The Academic Reading test is 60 minutes long. It has three sections with 40 questions to answer. (Note that candidates for the Academic module do a different Reading test to the General Training module)

The Academic Writing test is 60 minutes long. It has two writing tasks of 150 words and 250 words. (Note that candidates for the Academic module do a different Writing test to the General Training module)

The General Training Reading test is 60 minutes long. It has three sections with 40 questions to answer. (Note that candidates for the General Training module do a different Reading test to the Academic module)

The General Training Writing test is 60 minutes long. It has two writing tasks of 150 words and 250 words. (Note that candidates for the General Training module do a different Writing test to the Academic module)

In the Speaking test, you have a conversation with a certified Examiner. It is interactive and as close to a real-life situation as a test can get. The test is 11 to 14 minutes long with three parts. In Part 1, you answer questions about yourself and your family. In Part 2, you speak about a topic. In Part 3, you have a longer discussion on the topic.

IELTS Scoring

Section                         Scores Reported

Reading Section                (Score of: 0 - 9)

Writing Section                 (Score of: 0 - 9)

Speaking Section              (Score of: 0 - 9)

Listening Section              (Score of: 0 - 9)

Total Score                      (Score of: 0 - 9)

 

There is no pass or fail in IELTS. Candidates are graded on their performance in the test, using scores from 1 to 9 for each part of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Your results from the four parts then produce an overall Band Score.

This unique 9-band system measures scores in a consistent manner – wherever and whenever the test is taken. It is internationally recognized and understood, giving you a reliable international currency.

 IELTS band Score scale

9 Expert user

8 Very Good user

7 Good user

6 Competent user

5 Modest user

4 Limited user

3 Extremely limited user

2 Intermittent user

1 Non user

0 Did not attempt the test

 

IELTS results

You won't have long to wait for your results – IELTS test results are released online 13 calendar days after you sit for the test. You will receive an email when your scores are available. You can log in to your IELTS account on the IELTS Results website to see your scores. You should select the test date, enter your candidate number, identification number and date of birth for checking your result. The system will not display results for more than 28 days after your test date. Candidates will be sent only one copy of the Test Report Form.

For IELTS, both human raters and automated scoring methods are used. This is done in order to offer a complete and accurate picture of the candidate’s ability. While automated scoring method has the advantage of being unbiased, they do not measure the effectiveness of the language and content. Human raters are required to attend to a wider variety of features, such as the quality of ideas and content as well as form.

IELTS Syllabus

There are four sections in IELTS

1. Reading

2. Writing

3. Speaking

4. Listening

The Academic Reading test is 60 minutes long. It has three sections with 40 questions to answer. (Note that candidates for the Academic module do a different Reading test to the General Training module)

The Academic Writing test is 60 minutes long. It has two writing tasks of 150 words and 250 words. (Note that candidates for the Academic module do a different Writing test to the General Training module)

The General Training Reading test is 60 minutes long. It has three sections with 40 questions to answer. (Note that candidates for the General Training module do a different Reading test to the Academic module)

The General Training Writing test is 60 minutes long. It has two writing tasks of 150 words and 250 words. (Note that candidates for the General Training module do a different Writing test to the Academic module)

In the Speaking test, you have a conversation with a certified Examiner. It is interactive and as close to a real-life situation as a test can get. The test is 11 to 14 minutes long with three parts. In Part 1, you answer questions about yourself and your family. In Part 2, you speak about a topic. In Part 3, you have a longer discussion on the topic.

How to Prepare

There are four sections in IELTS

1. Reading

2. Writing

3. Speaking

4. Listening

The Academic Reading test is 60 minutes long. It has three sections with 40 questions to answer. (Note that candidates for the Academic module do a different Reading test to the General Training module)

The Academic Writing test is 60 minutes long. It has two writing tasks of 150 words and 250 words. (Note that candidates for the Academic module do a different Writing test to the General Training module)

The General Training Reading test is 60 minutes long. It has three sections with 40 questions to answer. (Note that candidates for the General Training module do a different Reading test to the Academic module)

The General Training Writing test is 60 minutes long. It has two writing tasks of 150 words and 250 words. (Note that candidates for the General Training module do a different Writing test to the Academic module)

In the Speaking test, you have a conversation with a certified Examiner. It is interactive and as close to a real-life situation as a test can get. The test is 11 to 14 minutes long with three parts. In Part 1, you answer questions about yourself and your family. In Part 2, you speak about a topic. In Part 3, you have a longer discussion on the topic.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) evaluates an individual’s ability to use English at the university level. It is widely accepted by the colleges and the universities in more than 130 countries, like Australia, Canada, UK, and the United States. It is an online test. Every year, people from all over the world take TOEFL test to show their proficiency in English. The people who take this test mainly are students planning to pursue higher education abroad, and workers applying for visas. The TOEFL test is conducted more than 50 times a year and at 4,500 test centers in 165 countries. One can take the test once every 12 days. The test consists of four parts, namely Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing.

Why TOEFL:

For the people aspiring to pursue higher abroad, qualifying TOEFL is very essential. The reason for this is that the score attained by the test taker determines the possibility of getting admission in a reputed college or university for pursuing higher education abroad. The reputed colleges or university take into consideration of the scores attained by the aspirants at the time of admission. Scoring better in TOEFL test allows the aspirants to pursue the desired courses and at the desired destinations chosen by the aspirants.

The TOEFL test is much more flexible in its nature because it allows the test taker to take the test whenever the test take is ready to take the test. Meaning, TOEFL test allows the test taker to schedule and reschedule the test as the test taker pleases.

Preparing for TOEFL empower the aspirants in many ways. It helps to increase the ability of the aspirant’s in listening and understanding lectures and helps to communicate the ideas with the professors effetely. It helps the aspirant’s to talk clearly with the fellow students, enables the aspirants to express once views about a particular topic and substantiate the arguments put forward. It may even help the aspirant’s writing skills required while writing the academic paper as part of the curriculum.

Institutes Accepting

More than 9,000 colleges, agencies and other institutions in over 130 countries accept TOEFL scores.For Australian and UK visa requirements, immigration departments use them to issue residential and work visas. A lot of medical and licensing agencies the world over use TOEFL scores for professional certification purposes. Some individuals also use them to measure their progress in learning English. Universities including the likes of Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Oxford, and Cambridge, all accept TOEFL scores.

Eligibility Criteria

TOEFL exam is open for all and there are no specific eligibility criteria. The only minimum requirement is that a candidate should have passed 10+2 level of a recognised examination board. The respective institutes may have a different eligibility criteria but the TOEFL has no specific criteria of selection.

How to Register

Register Online

• Register 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Be sure to spell your name exactly as it appears on the identification you will bring on test day.

• Pay with a credit/debit card: American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard or VISA. You can also use a PayPal account, or an electronic check (e-check) if you have a bank account in the United States or its territories.

• Payment can also be made using a registration voucher obtained from a local master TOEFL iBT Resource Center. Check http://www.ets.org/toefl/ibt/about/who_accepts_scores

Payment methods are subject to change without notice.

Note: American Express, Discover, JCB and MasterCard are NOT accepted for the following locations: Benin, Cameroon, Cote D'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Togo.

• Registration closes seven days before your test date.

• Late registration closes three days before your test date (not including the day of the test) and has a late fee of US$35.

Register By Phone

• Review the Registration Form  before you call. Spell your name exactly as it appears on the identification you will bring on test day. 

• Inside the United States, U.S. territories and Canada, call: 1-800-468-6335 or 1-443-751-4862.

• All other locations, call your Regional Registration Center.

• Pay with credit/debit card: American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard or VISA; via a PayPal account; or use an electronic check (e-check) if you have a bank account in the United States or its territories. You can also pay with a TOEFL voucher by phone.

• Registration closes seven days before your test date (not including the day of the test).

• Late registration by phone closes at 5 p.m. local test center time on the business day before the test and has a late fee of US$35.

Register By Mail

• Download and fill out a Registration Form . Spell your name exactly as it appears on the identification you will bring on test day. 

• Choose one of the payment methods listed on the form.

• Send the form with your payment to the address on the form or to your Regional Registration Center 

• Forms must be received at least four weeks before your test date.

• If you do not receive a confirmation, call the location where you mailed your paperwork — at least three business days before your registration deadline.

• If you register by mail you will need to enter certain codes manually that are input automatically online. See Code Lists for Registering by Mail. 

Register in Person at a TOEFL iBT Resource Center

• In some areas, you can purchase test registration vouchers with local currency and/or register in person at a master TOEFL iBT Resource Center. 

• If you don't want to register at a TOEFL iBT Resource Center, you can use a registration voucher online from any computer or on the phone.

• Registration deadline is seven days before the test date.

• Late registration closes three days before your test date and has a late fee of US$35.

• When you register, make sure to spell your name exactly as it appears on the identification you bring on test day.

Test Pattern

The TOEFL test provides scores in four skill areas — Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing — along with the total score.

The total score is the sum of the scores of the four skill areas. Scores will be posted online approximately 10 days after the test date. ETS will send up to four official score reports directly to the institutions the student selects.

The TOEFL score is on scale from 0 to 120 points. Each section in TOEFL namely Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing, is on the scale from 0 to 30. The score attained in the all four sections of TOEFL are added up to derive the final score that is out of 120. The score for speaking is calculated on a scale from 0 to 4. The score for writing is calculated on a scale from 0 to 5. Later, the scores attained by the test taker in writing and speaking sections are converted into the scale from0 to 30.

SectionsTime LimitQuestionsTasks
Reading  60-80 Minutes 36-56 questions Read 3 or 4 passages from academic texts and answer questions
Listening 60-90 Minutes 34-51 questions

Listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, and then answer questions

Break ------- 10 minutes  -----
Speaking 20 minutes  6 tasks Express an opinion on a familiar topic; speak based on reading and listening tasks
Writing  50 minutes  2 tasks Write essay responses based on reading and listening tasks; support an opinion in writing
       
TOEFL Scoring

The TOEFL score is on scale from 0 to 120 points. Each section in TOEFL namely Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing, is on the scale from 0 to 30. The score attained in the all four sections of TOEFL are added up to derive the final score that is out of 120. The score for speaking is calculated on a scale from 0 to 4. The score for writing is calculated on a scale from 0 to 5. Later, the scores attained by the test taker in writing and speaking sections are converted into the scale from0 to 30.

 

SectionsNumber of QuestionsDurationScore
Reading  36-56 60 - 80 minutes 30
Listening 34-51 60 - 90 minutes 30
Break ------- 10 minutes  -----
Speaking 6 20 minutes  30
Writing  2 50 minutes 30
Concluding Score ----- ----- 120

TOEFL result

You will receive an email when your scores are available, which would be approximately 10 days after your test date. You can log in to your TOEFL iBT account on the TOEFL Registration website to see your scores. Printed score reports will be mailed approximately 13 days after your test date. Your scores are valid for two years and can be sent to other higher education institutions during that time.

TOEFL Syllabus

Reading Comprehension: In this section, you will read 3-5 passages and answer 12-14 questions about each passage. The section is scored based on the number of correct reading comprehension responses.

Question type: 3–5 passages, 12–14 questions each

Total no. of questions: About 50

Total time: 60–100 minutes

Listening Comprehension: In the test section, you will hear short conversations as well as long conversations. After the short conversation, you will be asked one question and multiple choices of answers will be given. You have to choose one answer. In the long conversations, you will be asked multiple questions based on the conversation.

Question type: a) 4–6 lectures (3-5 minutes long, about 500-800 words), 6 questions each; About 30

questions in total

b) 2–3 conversations (about 3 minutes long, about 12-25 exchanges), 5 questions each; About 12 questions in total

Total no. of questions: 40+

Total time: 60–90 minutes

Speaking: For you to earn the highest scores in the Speaking Section, your responses must fulfill the demands of the task given with only minor mistakes or lapses. The test graders are looking for a highly intelligible and sustained conversation. There are three main factors that comprise scoring for the this section.

Question type:

a) 2 independent tasks (prep time: 15 sec; response time: 45 sec)

b)2 integrated tasks – Read/Listen/Speak (prep time: 30 sec; response time: 60 sec)

c) 2 integrated tasks – Listen/Speak (prep time: 20 sec; response time: 60 sec)

Total no. of questions: 6

Total time: 20 minutes

Writing: The essay should effectively address a topic. The response should be well-organised and well-developed using relevant explanations and detailed support. Furthermore, it should also display unity, progression, and coherence. If you want to achieve a high writing score, make sure that you demonstrate syntactic variety and appropriate word choice with minor grammatical errors.

Question type:

a) 1 integrated task – Read/Listen/Write (20 minutes) (reading time: 3 min; listening

time: 2 min; writing: 15 min)

b) 1 independent task (30 minutes)

Total no. of questions: 2

Total time: 50 minutes

How to Prepare

There are two ways students prepare for TOEFL: Self study and coaching classes. Both these options have unique benefits and no one method of studying may be considered better than the other. These two methods can’t be compared as they both serve different audiences.

If money is a consideration or one is confident of preparing well without support from a tutor or external supervision, then self-study may be the better option. You could save money on personal tuitions and classes, but you need to keep in mind other factors too. To be able to study on your own effectively, you need a good resource of books and study material, along with motivation and self-discipline.

On the other hand, if time is a constraint and one feels the need for professional guidance to gear up for the test, then coaching classes are the better option. You will have access to a structured resource of study material, and will have a team of experts guiding you. Your time will be better managed as being regular to classes will become part of your routine. Moreover, being around other students will increase your motivation levels. 

To choose the best method of study, you first need to look at your criteria and decide accordingly. 

DO'S AND DON’TS

It is important to score better in the TOEFL, since it opens the doorway for the aspirants to pursue higher education abroad. TOEFL test score is wieldy accepted in many countries. The TOEFL test is designed in such a way to evaluate the test taker’s ability to use English at University level. The questions that the test taker faces in the test are purely based on academic texts. Therefore, it is essential that the test taker gets familiarized with the academic text thoroughly. The aspirants experience exam stress because they are not aware of how the TOEFL is going to be. This can be avoided, if prepared for the test thoroughly.

It is very essential that the aspirants are aware of the TOEFL score required to apply for admission. The TOEFL score required differs from colleges to colleges, or universities to universities, depending on the courses aspirants applying for. The colleges or the universities may look at the TOEFL score from a different point of view like emphasizing more on the writing skills than the speaking skills.

It is always good to have practice sessions of the real test. The practice sessions would help to get to know more about the test. This would in turn help for a better performance in the real test. TOEFL test is four long hours test. So, you are expected to be sitting in front of the computer for four long hours. Most of the students perceive or stay attentive for two hours at a stretch, and then the performance of the students weakens because this is the maximum length of classes. The brain is also trained to do so for two hours. Only prolonged study sessions would help to change this. It is essential to have proper sleep the day before the test.

It is always good to arrive at the test center early and with the all things needed. This would help to revise and calm down. Because when you are nervous, you may forget the things studied for the test. Make sure that you wear a watch. This would help to keep track of time.

The TOEFL test is an online test and it is essential that you have good typing skills because you have to type the answers for the essay questions. So, try to be comfortable typing on QWERTY key board. In order to improve the typing skills, attempt practice tests with time barrier. Sometimes, the test takers get so used to their personal computer that they are not so comfortable using other computers. It’s good to practice on other computers than one’s personal computer.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is administered by the Educational Testing Services (ETS). GRE is a standardized test that is essential to be taken by students looking for admission in graduate schools. The exam has been developed to evaluate the verbal, analytical and mathematical skills of the candidates. Individuals applying to graduate schools in order to pursue a Masters in Arts (MA) or Masters in Science (MS) are required to take the GRE (Graduate Record Examination). GRE is a computer-based test and has a user-friendly design.

With applications receiving from students from almost all parts of the world, graduate schools look for something, which can ease up their process of selection and save their time. They rely on a system which actually help them shift through the applications which they receive from students across the world and select only those candidates who are the most deserving. This is where GRE comes into play a vital role in selection of students by the graduate schools in the US or schools present in many other English-speaking countries for “graduate study programs.” Many students ask what GRE is and which courses need it. Hence, understanding its relevance here is important too. Yes, GRE scores are what they rely on in order to assess the abilities or the skills of the candidates, apart from their educational qualifications.

Exam types

GRE is of two types:

1. General Test – The General Test takes into account verbal reasoning, quantitative ability, and analytical writing skills. Most universities accept the General test score and usually majority of students go for for this test. It takes place round the year and you can choose your date according to your ease.
2. Subject Test – The Subject Test measures the candidate’s accomplishment in a particular subject area. These tests are in the following areas: Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Literature (English), Physics and Psychology. It is conducted on a fixed date for everyone like an entrance exam. This test is required for particular courses.
Institutes Accepting

More than 600 business schools around the world in US, UK, Europe, Singapore and Australia accept GRE score. GRE is not only for B-schools, as a lot of MS courses require students to take this test. Various organizations consider GRE scores while granting fellowships.

Eligibility Criteria

A Bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for looking for admission in any master’s program. Therefore, it is an essential requirement for taking GRE. Also, the candidate must be over 18 years of age.

How to Register

Registering for GRE is just very simple. Exam centers are located in virtually all parts of the world. No matter where you are in the world, you may find a GRE registration or a test center to your place.

GRE Test is administered throughout the year. There is no specific GRE test date. A test taker can choose his GRE test date and time in a nearby centre. Test is conducted in almost all major cities around the globe from Monday to Friday two times a day.

The problem associated with GRE test date is that during September to December most of the test takers tend to give their GRE test and most of the test takers will choose a day between September and December as their GRE test date. The GRE test dates between September and December will fill up very quickly.

Therefore, if you desire your GRE exam date to be between September and December you have to register very early. Mostly students will fail to get a GRE exam date in this period in their desired testing center. Many test takers will be forced to choose a test centre far away from their location to get a desired GRE exam date.

Test Pattern

The test is specifically designed to assess the abilities or the skills of the students who are dreaming to study in one of the best graduate schools in any English country. This exam is divided into four sections, all of which pose some of difficulty even for who have good analytical skills or understanding of the subject. New, revised GRE comprises three sections which are (i) Verbal reasoning (ii) Quantitative reasoning and (iii) Analytical writing skills. Each of these sections focuses much more on assessment of the analytical or qualitative qualities or skills of the candidates who have a dream to study in graduate school. The assessment is, of course, fully on perspectives of graduate study level.

Verbal Reasoning

Verbal reasoning in GRE is much more focused on assessment or evaluation of the written material or on the process of synthesis of information derived from it. It is necessary for the applicants to have broader level of verbal reasoning or capabilities of analysis of different components within in the sentences and the relationship, which the words display.

Quantitative Reasoning

Applicants will have to have good, problem-solving skills. There is a need to be much more skilled in deriving the solutions from the given concepts of arithmetic, geometry, algebra etc. There is a need to reason out quantitatively to answer as per the data given.

Analytical Writing

Applicants will have to have good writing skills. It would be not possible to get through this section if the applicants lack skills related to the same. There is a need to be au fait in writing, focusing more on the theme from higher level of analytical part of it. There is a need to move on, applying critical thinking, which may eventually help in articulating ideas distinctly and effectively.

GRE Syllabus

Analytical Writing – The analytical writing section aims to measure the test taker's ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively, support ideas with relevant reasons and examples, examine claims and accompanying evidence, sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion and control the elements of standard written English.

Verbal Reasoning – The verbal reasoning section aims to measure the test taker's ability to analyze and draw conclusions from discourse, reason from incomplete data, identify author's assumptions and/or perspective, select important points, distinguish major from minor or relevant points, summarize text, understand the structure of a text, understand the meanings of words, sentences and entire texts and understand relationships among words and concepts.

Quantitative Reasoning – The quantitative reasoning section aims to measure the test taker's ability to understand quantitative information, interpret and analyze quantitative information, solve problems using mathematical models, and apply basic mathematical skills and elementary mathematical concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics.

How to Prepare

There are two ways students prepare for GRE: Self-study and Coaching classes. Both these options have unique benefits and no one method of studying can be considered better than the other does. These two methods cannot be compared as they both serve different audiences.

If money is a consideration and its practice that you need to be better prepared for the exam then self-study is the better option. You could save money on tuitions and classes, but you need to keep in mind other factors too. To be able to study on your own affectively, you need a good resource of books and study material, along with motivation and self-discipline.

If time is a constraint and you need professional guidance for focused preparation, then coaching classes are the better option. You will have access to a better resource of study material, and will have a team of experts guiding you. Your time will be better managed, as attending regular classes will become part of your routine. Moreover, being around other students will increase your motivation levels.

The Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) is a computer adaptive test, which assesses a person’s logical, writing, quantitative, verbal and reading skills in standard written English. This test is taken for preparing and getting admitted into a graduate management program, such as MBA and Masters in Finance associated courses. Over 1,500 universities and institutes in 83 countries for as many as 5,400 programs accept GMAT score. The GMAT exam is a computer adaptive test, not a computer based test, which means that the candidate will get one question at a time, and depending on the precision of the previous answer, the complexity level of the next question will be ascertain.

GMAT is a management entrance exam conducted round the year where the candidates have the flexibility to take the exam on any day depending on the availability and time slot. GMAT is an entrance exam, which is conducted over a time of 3 hours 30 minutes. In the year 2012-13, 348,423 GMAT exams administered, with 689,691 score reports sent to nearly 5,600 graduate-level administration programs around the world.

Institutes Accepting

More than 1,700 universities accept GMAT scores for admission to management courses. This includes all the top B-schools like Harvard, Yale, Cambridge University, Stanford etc. Five of world’s top education destinations – US, UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand – accept GMAT scores. A few Indian B-schools have now started accepting GMAT scores.

Eligibility Criteria

There are no exact GMAT eligibility criteria. The only minimum condition is that an applicant must have a bachelor’s degree in any discipline with a minimum of 50% marks in total. The candidates should be at least at the age of 18 years. The particular institute may have a different eligibility criteria but GMAT has no specific selection criterion.

How to Register

The candidates have the liberty of giving the exam anytime in the year as per their ease. The main thing to note is that the candidates can reschedule their next attempt only after 31 days of taking the first try. A candidate is only permissible five attempts in one year.

  • The first step towards online registration is to visit the certified GMAT official website’s Register page.
  • Once the candidate has logged on to the GMAT official website, s/he will have to fill in the required basic information such as name, address etc.
  • The candidate will have to create an ID and password.
  • The next step will be making online payment of the application fee, which is $250. The candidate can make online payment through credit card, debit card, net banking; whichever is appropriate for the candidate.
  • After the completion of these steps, the candidate can log in, select the date, and place to take the exam.

Fees

As already mentioned, the application fee for GMAT is $250.

Test Pattern

The GMAT paper will consist of mainly four sections, which will test the candidates’ abilities on different parameters. These are – Writing, Reasoning, Verbal and Quantitative skills. The GMAT exam will be conducted in a time span of 3 hours and 30 minutes. GMAT scores are given with an increment of 10 point for example: 550, 560, and 570 etc.

Section

Number of questions

Question Type

Duration

Analytical Writing Assessment 1 Topic Analysis of an Argument 30 minutes
Integrated Reasoning 12 questions Multi Source Reasoning, Graphics Interpretation, Two Part Analysis, Table Analysis 30 minutes
Quantitative 37 questions Data Sufficiency, Problem Solving 75 minutes
Verbal 41 questions Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction 75 minutes
Total Exam Duration     3 hours 30 minutes
GMAT Scoring

Here is how section-wise scoring is done:

Verbal scaled score – out of 60
Quantitative scaled score – out of 60
AWA scaled score – out of 6.0  
Integrated Reasoning score – out of 8.0
Overall GMAT score – out of 800

After you take the GMAT exam, you will be given five scores:  Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal, and Total. Your Total GMAT score is based on your Verbal and Quantitative scores. Your Analytical Writing Assessment and Integrated Reasoning scores do not affect the Total score. 
Here is a comparative table of your scaled score to percentile:

Scaled Score

Percentile

Scaled Score

Percentile

760-800 99 520 37
750 98 510 35
740 97 500 32
730 96 490 30
720 94 480 27
710 92 470 25
700 89 460 22
690 87 450 20
680 85 440 18
670 83 430 17
660 80 420 15
650 77 410 14
640 73 400 12
630 71 390 11
620 68 380 10
610 65 370 9
600 62 360 8
590 58 340-350 6
580 55 330 5
570 52 310-320 4
560 49 280-300 3
550 46 250-270 2
540.4 43 220-240 1
530 39 200-210 0
 

GMAT Result

The candidates can gain their GMAT result as soon as the exam is over. The candidate will have an option of accepting it or rejecting it. In case of accepting the result, the candidate and the institutes of choice can view the result; but if the candidate declines the result, none of the parties will be able to view the result of GMAT.


Once the exam is over, candidates can download the non-official GMAT result. It shows the scores in total and respective sections. The main GMAT result can be downloaded only after 20 working days from one’s individual account on the GMAT website.
 
When the candidate downloads the non-official GMAT result, an authentic code is provided which has to be filled while downloading the original GMAT result.

GMAT Statistics


Twenty-Two years back the standard GMAT score for top B-school was around 600. In the current time, however, the demand of the MBA course has increased significantly. As a result, many more applicants are applying to these schools, which means, the average GMAT acceptance scores are increasing every year. It is essential to note that the top colleges do not take into consideration only the GMAT scores, but also the overall favorable qualities like diversity, unusual accomplishment or success, etc. These factors allow many students to gain acceptance with a lower GMAT score. If you have none of these types of qualities, then you probably need to break 730 (i.e. the 99th percentile) to have a good chance at a B-school ranked in the top-ten. It puts India at number 14 on the list of countries that have the maximum score average, nation wise. 28,238 exams were taken in India and the average GMAT score for the country is 577.

To get an idea about the relative percentile and marks of each section, here is a table showing the marks you need to score:

GMAT Section

Score range

25%

50%

75%

 90%

Analytical Writing 0-6 4 4.5 5.5 6
Quantitative 0-60 31 40 48 50
Verbal 0-60 21 28 35 40
Integrated Reasoning 0-8 3 5 6.5 7.5
Total Scaled Score 200-800 470 570 650 710
GMAT Syllabus

Analytical Writing Section: This section will have topics on which the applicant will have to write, or a passage may be given on which questions will be asked. Based on the passage, the applicant will have to answer. The syllabus for this section is vast and different as the topic of the passage could be any topic of interest. The main idea is to focus on the structure of the answer and not the arguments existing. Consider, it is not a test of your judgment but your writing style, so it is safer to fix to unbiased attitude.


Quantitative Section: This division includes two sections, namely Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving. In the Data Sufficiency, sector there will be 15 questions and in Problem Solving, sector there will be 22 questions. The questions will be objective form and will have multiple-choice answers. In this section, the questions can be likely from the following areas:

  • Geometry
  • Elementary Algebra
  • Arithmetic
  • Ratio Proportions
  • Properties of Integers
  • Permutation and combinations
  • Exponents and roots
  • Linear equations, etc

Verbal Skills: This sector will have 41 multiple-choice questions. This section is divided into Critical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension and Sentence Correction. This sector tests the candidates’ aptitude to understand the written material, read and identify with the logical relationship between the points mentioned in the passage and concepts. Following areas will be covered in this division:

  •  Critical reasoning
  •  Rhetorical construction of the sentences
  •  Sentence correction related to finding error or omission
  •  Reading unseen passages
  •  Subject verb agreement
  •  Misplace modifiers
  •  Countable Vs Uncountable
  •  Parallelism

Integrated Reasoning Section: This division is the newest addition in the GMAT syllabus. This sector tests the candidates’ capability of calculating the data presented in graph or table format. This section has 12 questions of the following type:
 

  • Table analysis
  • Graphic interpretation
  • Multi source reasoning
  • Two part analysis
How to Prepare

There are two ways students plan for GMAT: Self-study and coaching classes. Both these options have exclusive benefits and no one method of learning can be considered better than the other does. These two methods can’t be compared as they serve different spectators.

If capital is a consideration and one is quite positive of being able to prepare well without supervision, then self-study may be the better option. You could save money on personal tuitions and classes, but you need to keep in mind other factors too. To be able to study on your own efficiently, you need a good source of books and study material, along with inspiration and willpower.

On the other hand, if time is a constraint and one needs specialized assistance to ensure the competitive frame in exam preparation, then coaching classes are the better alternative. You will have access to a better source of study materials, and will have a team of experts leading you. Your time will be managed as being regular to classes and will become a part of your schedule. Moreover, being around other students will increase your inspiration levels.
 

GMAT Dos and Dont's:
1. Do not even try to calculate a value for data sufficiency questions.
Data sufficiency questions take some getting used to. You are asked not to calculate a value but to verify whether you are able to do so with the sequence provided. So abandon your calculations the moment you realize whether you would (or would not) be able to complete them.

2. Do not shy away from C or E in data sufficiency problems because of the way they look.
Students show certain predictable behavioral weaknesses that the GMAT exploits. In data sufficiency, test takers may be reluctant to choose answer "C," which usually states that both statements together are adequate, but neither statement alone is—it seems too easy. In the same way, answer "E," stating that the question cannot be answered, feels like failure (it is not), and so applicant shy away from it. Be aware of these subconscious influences.

3. Do not over calculate.
On quantitative questions that require a numerical answer, do not waste time on detailed calculations. If your scratch paper is covered with numbers, you are doing it wrong. Your capability to emulate a calculator is not what GMAT is interested in.

4. Determine the total of calculation needed based on the answer choices.
If the question contains the word "approximately" or the answer options are widely reached in value, GMAT is telling you that you should save some time by making approximations. On the other hand, if the values of the answer options are close together, this is sign that GMAT expects you to work out the answer accurately.

5. Stay away from the longhand approach. Take shortcuts: Plug in the answers and or get rid of them.
When it comes to problem solving, because the GMAT supplies five possible answer choices to each question, the task is not to compute or gain an answer, but to choose one, a cleverly different assignment. Therefore, in addition to the conventional analytical approach, there may be times when it is quicker and more efficient to accept the mathematical approach or the logical approach.

TIME MANAGEMENT:
• Use the allotted testing time wisely.
Become known in advance with the test, the kinds of questions asked, and instructions for each section. Become familiar with the layouts and requirements of each section. Once you start the test, an onscreen clock display will count down the remaining time. You can hide this display, but it is a good idea to check the clock once in a while to monitor your progress.  The clock will repeatedly alert you by turning yellow and, if hidden, reappearing when five minutes remain for the section you are working on.

• Pace yourself so that you have enough time to answer every question.
Pay attention to the number of questions and the amount of time remaining during your testing session. On average, you have about 1¾ minutes for each verbal question and about 2 minutes for each quantitative question.

• Speed is critical, as there is a severe punishment for not completing. Both the time and number of questions that remain in the section are displayed on the screen during the exam. There are 37 Quantitative questions and 41 Verbal questions. If a question is too time-consuming or if you do not know the answer, make a well-informed guess by first eradicating the answers you know to be wrong.

• If you are running out of time at the end of a section, make every attempt to complete the test. Data indicate that most test takers get higher scores if they finish the test.

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