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The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)® is a standardized exam required for admission to most graduate business programs. If you’re considering going back to school for your MBA degree or another business-related master’s degree, it’s likely you will have to take the GMAT.
In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the GMAT, including when to take it, how the test is formatted and tips for success.
There are four sections on the GMAT exam. Test-takers have three hours and seven minutes to complete the whole exam, which comprises 80 questions total. Each test-taker can choose the section order they prefer, of which there are three options:
Below, we’ll break down each section to deliver you a better understanding of what to expect as you move through the test.
You’ll be asked to complete an essay as part of the GMAT exam. Your score on this section gives business schools a general sense of your writing skills. The essay section asks you to critique an argument, and your score depends on your ability to analyze the issue, organize your argument and provide clear and concise logic.
Test-takers have 30 minutes to complete the essay portion, which includes only one question.
The IR section was added in 2012, making it relatively new to the GMAT. This section draws on both verbal and quantitative skills. IR problems require you to use logic to interpret data in charts, graphs and tables.
This section features four types of problems: multi-source reasoning, table analysis, graphics interpretation and two-part analysis.
The IR section comprises 12 questions and is capped at 30 minutes.
The math section measures your understanding of basic math subjects such as number properties, geometry, logic, statistics and algebra. There are only two types of problems in the quantitative section.
Test-takers must finish the math portion within 62 minutes.
There are three types of problems in the GMAT’s 36-question verbal section. These problems seek to determine your ability to understand written English, read critically and effectively analyze an argument. Below we break down the types of problems found in this section.
The time limit for this section is 65 minutes.
Though the GMAT is a standardized exam, it’s also adaptive. This means you’ll start each section of the exam with a question of medium difficulty. If you answer the first question correctly, you’ll get a more difficult question next. If you answer incorrectly, the subsequent question will be easier. Your score is calibrated based on the difficulty level of the questions you’re answering.
GMAT scoring breaks down as follows.
When you take the GMAT, you’ll technically receive four scores—one for each section. However, the quantitative and verbal sections are scored together to make up what’s known as your “total score,” which is the score most business schools use during the admissions process. The total score is reported in 10-point increments from 200 to 800.
A “good score” is subjective and depends on your individual goals. We recommend studying hard, doing your best and applying to schools that are likely to admit you based on your GMAT scores.
That said, GMAC reports that two-thirds of GMAT test-takers score between 400 and 600. The average score is around 575. Test-takers in the 90th percentile score a 710 or higher. Some of the most competitive business programs in the U.S. tend to admit students who scored in the 90th percentile on the GMAT. See below for a few examples.
Starting in April 2020, GMAC began offering the GMAT online. This test format is still available, giving test-takers the choice to test at an in-person center or online.
Learners planning to take the GMAT should first determine whether they want to take the exam at a Test Center or online. If planning to enter an MBA program, students should consider creating an account at mba.com before following the steps involved to register for the GMAT.
The most involved part of the registration process is determining when to take the exam. We recommend first checking the application deadlines of the schools where you plan to apply. You can then register to take the GMAT at least three weeks before the earliest application deadline. This helps ensure that your scores are successfully transmitted to the schools of your choice by their application deadlines.
In most respects, the in-person and online GMAT exams are the same. The exam fee is $25 more for the online GMAT. Otherwise, the exam formats differ as follows.
In the U.S., it costs $275 each time you take the GMAT at a testing center, or $300 if you take the exam online, according to mba.com. Make sure you’re available on the day you register to take the GMAT, as rescheduling the exam incurs additional fees, and cancellation provides only a partial refund.
The initial exam fee includes the cost of sending score reports to up to five programs. Each additional score report costs $35. If you want your essay section rescored, this costs $45.
Many students take the exam several times to make sure they get the best score possible, so make sure to budget for that in case you’d like to try again after your first attempt.
You can take the GMAT up to five times within any rolling one-year period, but you can only take the exam up to eight times total. You must wait 16 calendar days between exam attempts.
What’s the best way to ensure success on the GMAT? Every test-taker is different, but the following test tips work for most individuals. Use mba.com’s free eight-week study planner for more guidance on test prep.
The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a computer adaptive examination, that measures verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills developed over a long period of time.
It is specifically designed to help graduate management programs assess the qualifications of applicants for advanced study in business and management.
✔ You must provide a valid government issued photo ID.
✔ Your name on your registration and your name as it appears on your identification must match exactly.
✔ If you arrive fifteen minutes after your scheduled appointment time, you may not be allowed to test.
✔ Scores are provided immediately
✔ Length of Exam: 3.5 hours
Important Note: Be sure to enter your name and date of birth exactly as they appear on the identification you will present at the Test Center on the day of your exam.
You may schedule your test appointment online at www.mba.com. Fee payments for test appointments made online can only be made by credit card.
To schedule your test appointment by phone, contact GMAT Customer Service at 1-800-717-4628 (toll-free within the US and Canada only), 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. central time. Fee payments for test appointments made by phone can be made only by credit card.
To schedule your appointment by mail or fax, complete the GMAT appointment scheduling form located at www.mba.com and mail or fax it using the GMAT Customer Service information provided on the form. Be sure to include appropriate payment.
Prices/fees are subject to change without notice.
Several programmes require GRE (Graduate Record Examination) or GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) scores. The requirement, if present, will be indicated in the ‘key facts’ box at the start of each programme page, which you can find via our available programmes page. We require a GMAT or GRE which contains all elements of the test - if your online test does not contain all elements, we will be unable to accept it.
If GRE or GMAT scores are required by your chosen programme(s) it is essential that you supply them at the time you apply – your application will not be considered without them. You must include your test scores in the relevant section of the online application form, stating the percentile and marks obtained for all sections of the test. Your test scores should be less than five years old on 1 October 2023. GRE/GMAT scores are often a vital deciding factor, so you will not be able to submit your application without them if they are required by your programme(s).
How to send us your scores
You should share your score report with LSE via Educational Testing Service (ETS) as well as entering your scores in the relevant section of the online application form. The LSE institution code for the GRE is 0972; no department code is required as the scores are processed centrally. The LSE institution code for the GMAT is HMT 86-56. For more information about the tests, please see www.gre.org or www.mba.com, or see www.ets.org
Recommended but not required
Applicants for some programmes may be recommended to take a test, particularly if quantitative skills are not demonstrated by their degree. If you submit scores when you are not required to, poor scores will not damage your application, but good scores may strengthen it.
The details listed below are exceptions to the GRE/GMAT requirements. These are the circumstances in which applicants do not need to submit GRE or GMAT scores when applying to a programme which would usually require them. Please check if the programme you plan to apply to requires GRE/GMAT. If the programme requires GRE/GMAT and does not appear in the list below, this means that there are no exceptions and all applicants must supply the required scores in order to be considered.
In all cases, departments may still request students to take a GRE/GMAT test, even where an exemption applies.
GRE: If your chosen programme requires/accepts GRE scores, you may take the online version of the test.
Further details about the ‘GRE General Test at Home’ can be found here: https://www.ets.org/s/cv/gre/at-home/.
GMAT: If your chosen programme requires/accepts GMAT scores, you may take the online version of the test, however if the test was taken before April 8, 2021 and therefore doesn’t contain the AWA component, your department can ask you to take a new, full test if they wish to do so.
Further details about the ‘GMAT Online Exam’ can be found here: https://www.mba.com/exams/gmat-online.
Please note that if you have graduated with a grade lower than a 2:1 degree (or are not predicted to graduate with a 2:1) then you are recommended to submit a GMAT score with your application.
GRE or GMAT required
Please note that GRE is recommended for applicants who did not achieve - or are unlikely to achieve - a 1st class degree or equivalent, and/or if the degree is non-quantitative.
GRE or GMAT Required
GRE or GMAT required (GMAT preferred)
GRE or GMAT required
GRE or GMAT required (GMAT preferred)
GRE or GMAT required
GRE or GMAT required
GRE or GMAT required
You have been awarded or are currently studying any of the following undergraduate or postgraduate qualifications at the London School of Economics and Political Science: BSc Economics, BSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, BSc Economics with Economics History, BSc Economic History and Economics, BSc Economic History with Economics, BSc Finance, BSc Financial Mathematics and Statistics, BSc Mathematics and Economics, BSc Mathematics with Economics, BSc Mathematics, Statistics and Business, BSc Management, and MSc Management. Applicants who have been awarded or are currently studying the BSc in Economic History (without Economics) and BSc in Accounting and Finance will have to provide GMAT or GRE scores.
GRE or GMAT required
However, please note that submitting a GMAT or GRE score is highly desirable and will strengthen your application.
GRE or GMAT required (GMAT preferred)
You are currently studying on a UK undergraduate degree taught entirely in the UK.
The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, better known as COP 27, is currently underway. Preliminary reports already suggest a deep strain of pessimism among attendees about the world’s efforts to avert a catastrophe and limit the rise in global temperatures to a manageable threshold. The United States itself is doing much less than necessary to avert a climate crisis. Half of Congress—the Republican half—is still not convinced that burning fossil fuels warms the planet. If this political impediment to effective climate action is to be overcome, it must be understood and addressed.
As a psychologist, I think I have identified one important factor that encourages climate change denial. As a therapist, I think I know what to do about it.
Motives for climate science denial are easy to identify. The fossil fuel industry has a lot to lose in this debate, and it has funded disinformation campaigns to convince the public that the science is not settled, so we have no solid knowledge about global warming and therefore no basis for action.
But motives are not enough—how do disinformation campaigns succeed if the science is so clear? If we delve into the psychology underlying climate change denial, part of the answer becomes apparent: the form of cognitive distortion we call black-and-white thinking. Concepts and issues that are complex and contain a spectrum of possibilities are simplified and polarized into stark binaries—pairs of opposites. Shades of gray are missed; everything appears to be either black or white, true or false, right or wrong.
Climate science deniers make this thinking error over and over again in their objections to climate research. If we could correct this error, it would accomplish a lot.
Black-and-white thinking is heavily characterized by asymmetrical ways of making sense of the world. For example, perfectionists categorize their work as either perfect or unsatisfactory; good and very good outcomes are lumped together with poor ones in the unsatisfactory category.
It’s like a pass/fail grading system in which 100 percent earns a passing grade, and everything else gets an F. With this grading system, it’s not surprising that opponents of climate action have found a way to deliver global warming research an F.
Cognitive interventions for dismantling black-and-white thinking have one big thing going for them: Once people realize what they’re doing, they usually stop, because they know most realities exist as spectrums, not binaries. Cognitive therapists help clients see the complexities that exist underneath the simplified dichotomies they have formed. Learning how our thinking goes wrong and learning how to set it right are two aspects of one process.
“Cognitive interventions for dismantling black-and-white thinking have one big thing going for them: Once people realize what they’re doing, they usually stop.”
Something like this needs to happen on a macro, political level for our country to take strong action against global warming. Climate change deniers need to understand how they are misunderstanding the science so they can grasp it accurately and use it as a basis for action.
The familiar idea of a 10-point scale is a handy tool for unpacking binaries into spectrums. In my book Finding Goldilocks, this tool is applied to both mental health problems and political issues.
For example, here is a spectrum for treating perfectionism:
Climate change deniers apply unrealistic, perfectionistic standards to research. They view the spectrum of possible scientific agreement as either 100 percent consensus, or inconclusive controversy. If it’s not one, it’s the other.
A 2021 review of climate change research concluded that 99.9 percent of studies have found that human activities are warming the planet. That’s not good enough for the deniers. If they can find one contrarian scientist somewhere, like the late Freeman Dyson, they quote him or her, categorize the state of the field as inconclusive, shrug their shoulders, and say that no one really knows whether burning fossil fuels warms the planet.
In their evaluations of climate research, climate skeptics divide the spectrum of possibilities into two categories: perfect understanding and no understanding at all. As a result, they misinterpret minor departures from scientists’ predictions as evidence their entire models are invalid. Because former President Trump confused short-term fluctuations in the weather with long-term trends in the climate, he misinterpreted every winter cold snap as a refutation of global warming. Deniers also misunderstand minor differences between analyses to mean that “the scientists disagree with each other” about the fundamental question of whether fossil fuels warm the planet. They do not.
As increases in global temperatures have become obvious, some climate science deniers have given up on refuting them and switched to reframing them. Their oft-repeated line is that the climate has always been changing, typically delivered with an air of patient wisdom, based on a striking lack of knowledge about climate science. Do they imagine researchers have not thought of this?
Once again, their reasoning is based on an invalid binary: Either the climate is changing or it’s not; and since it’s always been changing, there is nothing new here and no reason for concern. That’s in spite of the fact that the data shows us not all climate change is the same or driven by the same factors. The current rate of warming is much faster than almost all past episodes, and the few exceptions were planet-wide disasters that caused massive extinctions. Here is a diagram of the invalid binary on which this thinking error is based:
Another objection to climate science, also typically delivered with a world-weary sigh, is, “They think they can control the climate” or “only God can control the climate.” In this false dichotomy, control is viewed as an all-or-none phenomenon, and since it’s obvious that we cannot command the climate to do what we want, the conclusion is that it’s futile to try to reduce global warming. However, there is a gray area between total control and no control, which is called “influence.” This is what climate scientists actually think people can do: reduce burning of fossil fuels to decrease global warming. No scientist has ever said that people can “control” the climate; this is an exaggerated, satiric caricature and a straw man.
Something analogous to cognitive therapy on a political scale is needed to correct the thinking errors currently impeding strong climate action. If public advocates of climate science denial cannot be persuaded to change their minds, at least the public can learn to see through their tricks.
In debates around the dinner table and in the media, political campaigns, and the halls of Congress, the fallacious dichotomies underlying climate change denial can be exposed and refuted by comparing them to an accurate picture of the science. These efforts are most effective when they are guided by the psychology of persuasion, and research in this area demonstrates that interpersonal skills are at least as important as knowledge of the facts. Research shows people resist persuasion when they feel their opinions are being trashed. In fact, the most effective way to get people to agree with us is to start out by agreeing with them—at least partially. This establishes common ground and helps people open up to influence.
“If public advocates of climate science denial cannot be persuaded to change their minds, at least the public can learn to see through their tricks.”
This isn’t a difficult tactic at all. There are plenty of scripts you can use to get started and work to dismantle black-and-white thinking in those who are buying into climate change denial:
Many of the top MBA programs in the United States had great admissions cycles leading to the enrollment of the Class of 2024, especially in the area of test score averages. None had a better year than USC Marshall School of Business.
The Marshall School enrolled an MBA class with a 732 average Graduate Management Admission Test score, up 16 points from the score reported for the Class of 2021. In fact, Marshall had a great 2021, too — in the two classes that have enrolled since 2020, the Southern California B-school has seen its GMAT average jump an incredible 25 points.
The massive jump in a stat that still commands a great deal of attention from admissions teams and prospective B-school students alike put the Marshall School in the company of many of the biggest names in graduate business education — and ahead of several others. Its 732 average was the third-largest reported in 2022, behind only Stanford Graduate School of Business, which dropped a point from last year but still led all B-schools in the 2022 Poets&Quants ranking with a 737 average, and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and NYU Stern School of Business, which tied at 733.
After its one-year, 16-point jump, USC Marshall's GMAT average was better than four B-schools that tied at 729 this year, including three of the M7 schools: Chicago Booth School of Business, Northwestern Kellogg School of Management, Columbia Business School, and UC-Berkeley Haas School of Business. It was even better than the median score of 730 reported by two other M7 programs: Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan School of Management. (See the next page for data across six years for all the top U.S. B-schools.)
How did Marshall do it? Evan Bouffides, assistant dean and director of graduate admissions, credits a combination of factors.
“First and foremost, Marshall has experienced significant upward momentum over the past six years on many fronts," Bouffides tells Poets&Quants, "including the quality and quantity of the applicant pools, curriculum innovation, the strength of our career outcomes, and a subsequent rise in rankings. This year’s applicant pool is an extension of that trend.
"As we have continued to attract more high-quality applicants, improvement in admissions metrics has naturally occurred. Therefore, the rise, if not the degree of the rise, was not entirely unexpected.”
2021 was the best year for GMAT average growth in many years, and 2022 did not quite match it. Twelve of 27 MBA programs examined by P&Q saw increases this year, compared to an incredible 23 of 26 programs in 2021. But 2022 was, nonetheless, overall a very good year for takers of the primary entrance exam for MBA programs, with 11 B-schools reporting school records (down from 15 last year). Average score growth across the dozen schools with gains was 5.3 points; last year, at nearly two dozen, it was 8.7 points.
Three schools — Marshall, Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business, and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School — saw double-digit year-over-year increases in their class score average; last year a remarkable 11 schools could claim that distinction. Three schools were even in 2022, and six schools saw declines; the biggest was at Georgetown McDonough School of Business, which dropped 8 points to fall out of the 700 club and land at 697. For perspective, in 2021 only one school out of 26 reported a year-to-year GMAT average decline — and that was by only a single point.
2022 did, however, have one statistical edge over its predecessor: The overall average GMAT score at 22 schools this year (excluding those that report only median scores) is 714.7 — higher than the 712.3 at 23 schools in 2021. And interestingly, the number of schools with a 700+ GMAT average is the same in both years: 18 — again, not counting schools that report medians. In 2021, three schools reported a median over 700; this year five did so.
Take the big GMAT jumps of 2021 and the midsized jumps of 2022 together with the scores from the first year of the pandemic and you find some interesting wrinkles. In the three-year window since 2020, the number of schools with GMAT increases was 24; 13 B-schools had double-digit increases. The average increase among those 24 schools was a whopping 10.2 points. Not one school went backward by losing points.
The school with the biggest GMAT score increase from 2020 to today: Indiana Kelley School of Business, where the class average jumped 33 points to 685 — which is still the lowest average among the 27 schools examined this year. USC Marshall's 25-point jump is second-largest, and CMU Tepper's 22 points, up to a 702 average, is third.
Since 2017, 15 B-schools have seen overall GMAT average increases, six by double digits. The average gain has been just shy of 10 points (9.8). USC Marshall leads all schools in that six-year span with 29 points gained, followed by NYU Stern (19 points to 733) and Emory Goizueta Business School (18 points to 700). Five schools today are below where they started six years ago; the biggest deficit is at Rice Jones Graduate School of Business, which lost 9 points to land at 702 in 2022.
See the next page for six years of GMAT data for 27 of the top U.S. B-schools.
AND DON’T MISS LAST YEAR'S P&Q STORY ON THE EXPLOSIVE SCORES OF THE MBA CLASS OF 2021 and WOW! USC MARSHALL'S NEW MBA CLASS REPORTS A 732 GMAT
The post Average GMAT Scores At The Top U.S. MBA Programs appeared first on Poets&Quants.
We’re always ready to talk about how much we like Sonos speakers. From their excellent audio quality and multiroom playback to their support for multiple voice assistants, Sonos is one of the best speaker brands you can buy for your home theater — or anywhere else, for that matter.
One of our favorite things about Sonos speakers is just how many features are packed into them. That means new users don’t always know what they’re capable of. We’re helping out by sharing some of our favorite tricks for Sonos speakers. Take a look and see what you can do!
Whether you’re bringing multiple Sonos speakers into your home or adding an additional Sonos device, you should know that they are very easy to link together. The Sonos app natively supports linking Sonos brand speakers together, and most are compatible with one another. Head into the Sonos app and add your new speaker to enable linking capabilities. This is useful for multiroom sound, stereo sound with two speakers, and other arrangements where your speakers can play simultaneously.
Trueplay tuning is Sonos’ proprietary system that allows you to use your smartphone and the Sonos app to tune your Sonos speaker setup by listening to the sound in the room and adjusting the audio for the best effect in the space. It’s available on newer Sonos speakers, like the latest Sonos Plays. Sonos may suggest doing this during setup, but you can tune it at any time with the Sonos app. Go to Settings > Select Room > Trueplay, and Trueplay tuning to start the process. This may be useful if you move your Sonos speaker to a different position or to a new room.
Do you want to keep your speaker from going above a certain volume to avoid annoying the neighbors or preventing little ones from accidentally cranking things up? Sonos speakers allow you to set a volume limit for each room that you have set up. Just go to Settings, select System, choose Select Room, and go to Volume limit. This will allow you to set an upper threshold for the volume so things don’t get too crazy for that particular room.
If you have two of the same kind of Sonos speaker, like two, you can set them as rear wireless speakers in a Sonos-based surround sound setup. For example, if you have a Sonos soundbar, like an Arc, Beam, or Ray, plus a Sonos Sub or Sub Mini, you can add a pair of Sonos Ones or even Fives as rear surround speakers that sound awesome.
Sonos offers some of the best compatibility with other services that we’ve seen, so a vital part of setting up is connecting your preferred music services. However, we suggest connecting all your music services if possible. Sonos works with Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, and much more. Once you have all your services on the Sonos app, you can build playlists by pulling songs from any of them into one list managed by Sonos, combining music from different sources as you want. If you have a subscription that supports high-res music on a service like Tidal or Amazon Music, then your Sonos speaker may be compatible with high-res audio too.
Many Sonos speakers come with an LED indicator light to let you know that it’s on and working. If this light becomes annoying at night (or is attracting too much attention from pets or toddlers), then you can easily turn it off. Head into the Settings on your Sonos app, and look for the section that says Status Indicator. There should be an option here to disable it.
If you open the Sonos app and head to Services & voice, you will see a number of ideas on how to do more with your Sonos device. Here’s a good example: Head to Music & content in Settings, and choose Add a service. Here, you can add a ton of popular apps like Pocket Casts, radio stations from around the world, and the meditation app Calm, so you can start a meditation routine whenever you want on your Sonos speaker.
If your Sonos speaker is pulling multiple shifts as a digital assistant, music speaker, and alarm clock, help it out a little by setting up a sleep mode. Settings in the Sonos app also have the option to create a Sleep timer that will shut off after a certain amount of playing.
If you like to drift off to some tunes before bed, activate this and set your time. At the same time, visit the Alarm section and set an alarm to help you wake up in the morning. Now your sleep schedule is all managed in one spot!
Yes, you can always use the Sonos app to control your speaker and manage settings. But the latest versions of the Sonos app make this even easier. They have enhanced compatibility with the operating system on your phone, with widget controls that show up on the home or lock screen once you are finished setting up. This works for both iOS and Android and is an easy way to save some time.