The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a 3½-hour standardized exam designed to predict how test takers will perform academically in MBA(Masters in Business Administration) programs. GMAT scores are used by graduate business schools to make admission decisions.
You might sometimes see the GMAT referred to as the GMAT CAT. The acronym CAT stands for Computer Adaptive Test. Actually, only two of the exam's four sections (Quantitative and Verbal) are computer-adaptive, meaning that during those sections only the test adapts to your ability level as you go.
The GMAT is administered only by computer now, except that in certain remote locations outside North America a paper-based version of the exam is available instead. (Since you're reading this on the Web, in all likelihood the computer-based GMAT is available where you are.)
The GMAT is developed by GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council), which determines what kinds of skills the GMAT should measure — and how it should measure them. Another organization actually develops the test questions, administers the test, and reports test scores to the schools — all at the behest of GMAC.
Each graduate business school develops and implements its own policy concerning the use of GMAT scores in making admissions decisions. Many schools screen applicants by combining GMAT scores and undergraduate GPA (each school determining for itself their relative weight), then ranking all applicants in their initial pool accordingly.
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