The Official GMAT

Aug 31, 2009
Tags: Admissions, Official GMAT, Score Reports

The MBA or any graduate management degree is much sought-after the world over. Corporations and organizations in a variety of industries appreciate and seek out the skills that such a degree affords an individual. Even current graduates, despite a slowdown in the world economy, consider their degree a good to outstanding value, especially as a means to enhance their careers or switch to different ones.

With the demand for the MBA or equivalent degree at close to an all-time high, competition for the limited seats at any school is intense. Prospective students put weeks and months into preparing a b-school application that will stand out in a crowd.

The GMAT exam is usually at the forefront of such preparations.

Why? Because, quite simply, the GMAT matters. GMAT scores are a factor in determining the schools and programs that someone will apply to, and the scores figure prominently in a school’s admissions decision. Consequently, numerous preparation courses, websites, and blogs have been dedicated to discussing strategies to maximize performance on the test. Family members, advisors, and well-intentioned peers often dispense advice, and that advice is passed on faster than one can say “jackhammer.” When the information is accurate, test takers may reap the benefits of such advice; however, inaccuracies can cause heartburn and grief, contrary to the best of intentions.

And that is the raison d’être of this Official GMAT Blog. As a prospective MBA applicant, you want as much information as possible, and you want to equip yourself to perform well on the test. As the creators of the test, we can offer valuable and accurate information about the test—not just what you need to know about taking a computer-adaptive test, but also why a computer-adaptive test like the GMAT can reliably predict how you’ll do in graduate business school.

So what will this blog be about? Every other week, one of the experts on our staff will:

  • tell you about the design of the GMAT® exam as it relates to test taking
  • let you know about test preparation materials
  • debunk popular myths about the test (especially test-taking strategies)
  • walk you through our decisions behind certain test-taking policies

It’s equally important to note, however, that this blog will not:

  • recommend which test preparation course you should choose
  • rehash details you can find elsewhere on—this space is for context, not existing content

Finally, this blog is intended to start a dialogue with all prospective GMAT test takers. More than 100 people work at GMAC, and all of them believe in the value that graduate management education holds for your future. My role at GMAC as Vice President, GMAT Program is to oversee the development, the delivery and the administration of the test. You’ll hear from me and from the testing and policy experts, as well as researchers who pay close attention to the design of the test and monitor GMAT data trends day in and day out (their data drive many of the decisions we make).

Whether you’re taking the GMAT tomorrow or just exploring your educational options, this blog will serve you best if we are answering your questions about the test—so please send in your comments!  

 — Ashok Sarathy, Vice President, GMAT Program