GMAT Frequently Asked Questions
What is the GMAT?
The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized assessment test comprised of three sections: analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning. The GMAT tests abilities that you have developed over a long period of time; it is not intended to test specific subject areas, nor does it presuppose any prior business coursework. The test takes four and one-half hours, and is computer-adaptive, which means that the difficulty of later questions is based on whether you correctly answered the earlier questions on the exam.
Why does the EMBA require the GMAT?
Applicants for the EMBA come from diverse educational and employment backgrounds, and we have found that the GMAT provides a means to assess every applicant against a common standard. The GMAT is only one aspect of a well-rounded application portfolio, along with undergraduate GPA, your statement of purpose, and employment experience. Requiring the GMAT is just one way to ensure that the EMBA cohort is comprised of well-qualified students capable of succeeding in our program.
Can the GMAT requirement be waived?
Generally, the GMAT exam will be waived for applicants who meet the following criteria:
- Hold an undergraduate degree in business, engineering or science from an appropriately accredited institution; and
- Have earned an upper division (last 60 credits) undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or better; and
- Have at least 5 years of managerial experience.
It is also possible to receive a GMAT waiver based on other applicant-supplied information. Each applicant is evaluated individually based on his or her record. The GMAT waiver will be discussed at the interview stage of the application process.
Can I use a book to help prepare to take the GMAT?
Numerous books are available to help test-takers prepare for the GMAT. Test-preparation books can be a valuable resource because they can help a test-taker determine whether he or she needs further preparation, while requiring a small initial investment. Many GMAT preparation books contain full or partial sample exams (sometimes on CD-ROM) along with tips and techniques for succeeding on each type of question. There are also entire books devoted to each of the main test sections - verbal, quantitative, and essay - if you find that you primarily need preparation in one area. GMAT preparation books are available at most retail bookstores including the USF Bookstore.
What are some online resources to help me prepare to take the GMAT?
- Graduate Management Admission Council
This is the official home of the GMAT, with answers to all of your questions about the logistics of taking the exam. The GMAC website also has practice questions, free downloadable test preparation software called POWERPREP, and a study guide that you can purchase. You can also register here to take the test.
- USF Continuing Education
USF Continuing Education offers courses designed specifically to assist you in preparation for the GMAT exam. You may register for courses online through their website.
Should I take a classroom test-preparation course for the GMAT?
You are the best judge of your own learning style and what strategies have worked for you when preparing for previous standardized exams. Some students prefer an interactive environment, whether in a classroom or online, while others can confidently prepare alone. In order to assess your individual needs, consider starting with a preparation book and/or working through one of the many low- or no-cost practice exams that are available.
USF Educational Outreach and other test-preparation companies, such as the Sylvan Learning Centers and Kaplan, are well known for their classroom courses. Both Sylvan and Kaplan offer private tutoring and online preparation courses of varying lengths and levels of interactivity.
When can I take the GMAT?
Because the GMAT is in a computerized format, you may make an appointment to take the exam at the testing center nearest you at almost any time.
How do I report my GMAT score to the EMBA program?
On the day of the exam you will have the opportunity to specify institution codes to have your scores reported. The institution code for the Executive MBA Program at USF is VP9-M4-04.