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What is the GMAT and how is it scored?

The GMAT is the test used to assess most applicants of MBA programs. Some schools waive the GMAT requirement or allow the GRE. However, it is likely that at least one of a student’s desired MBA programs will require the GMAT, so most students will have to take it.

What is the GMAT? It is a four-hour, computer-adaptive test. The GMAT scoring is broken up into four parts, corresponding to each of the four sections: AWA, IR, Quantitative and Verbal.


The GMAT starts with the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), or essay section. Students will be presented with an argument and then asked to write an article analyzing the validity of that argument. This section is scored on a scale of 0-6 in half-point increments and will take 30 minutes.


The integrated reasoning section also takes 30 minutes. Students will be tested on their ability to analyze information from multiple sources. They will be presented with information in a variety of forms, including written, graphs, charts and tables.  They will have to answer 12 multi-part questions. The GMAT scoring for this section is on a scale of 1-8 in whole-point increments.

Quantitative Section

The quantitative section is 75 minutes long and consists of 37 questions. Those questions come in two forms. Problem-solving questions ask students to select the answer to a math problem from five answer choices. Data sufficiency questions ask students whether they can solve a problem with given information. This section is scored on a scale of 0-60. This section is also computer adaptive, which means that the GMAT scoring isn’t based solely on whether you answered the questions correctly, but also the difficulty level of the questions.

Verbal Section

The final section on the GMAT is the verbal section, which is also 75 minutes and computer adaptive. This section has 41 questions of three types: critical reasoning, sentence correction and reading comprehension. This is also scored on a scale of 0-60. The verbal and quantitative scores together make up the overall score, which is on a scale of 200-800 in 10-point increments.

Learn more about UWF’s online MBA programs.

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