The Graduate Management Admission Test is a standardized, computerized examination used by graduate business schools as a criterion upon which to base admissions' decisions. The examination includes three sections: analytic writing, verbal ability and quantitative reasoning, which includes questions related to problem solving. To take the GMAT, prospective business school graduate students must pay a registration fee and may incur other costs for additional GMAT services.
The cost to take the GMAT was $250 as of December 2010. In the United States, students do not pay any type of government tax on the registration fee; residents of 28 other countries do paid a tax of 5 to 25 percent, in addition to the registration fee.
If candidates cancel and reschedule the examination, they paid a fee of $50. Those who canceled the exam without rescheduling paid a $70 fee, provided they canceled more than seven days before the exam; within seven days, candidates receive no refund and forfeit the registration fee.
GMAT test scores can be sent to up to five graduate schools for free; for each school above the five, applicants paid $28.
The Graduate Management Admission Council, publisher of the GMAT, accepts four major credit cards for payment of fees: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and JCB. It also takes Visa and MasterCard debit cards. With either type of card, applicants can register for the exam online and by phone.
Candidates who prefer can pay by cashier's or official check, money order or personal check, mailing the check to the council. In the event of a returned personal check for insufficient funds, the applicant's checking account will receive a debit for a returned check fee, the amount of which was $20 as of 2010. The council must receive payment in full prior to the scheduled test day.
In some cases, students can receive financial assistance to help cover the cost of the GMAT. Rather than coming from the Graduate Management Admission Council, this funding is offered through some organizations for students who participate in their programs. For example, the Fulbright Foundation, sponsor of the Fulbright scholarship program for international studies, will provide vouchers for the exam to some eligible students. Individuals interested in receiving financial assistance for the GMAT should contact any scholarship or other program that requires them to take the examination.
Registering for and Taking the Exam
Registration for the GMAT examination is available online at mba.com. Prospective test-takers must set up an online account with a user name and password. Alternately, registration is completable over the telephone.
In the United States, the GMAT is given at Pearson Vue test centers throughout the country. The test is given on multiple days and times rather than on a particular day of the year; go to the GMAT site at mba.com to find a list of times, dates and locations near you.