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The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is required by most business schools. It is a standardized test, similar to the SAT. The test includes a variety of multiple choice questions to test verbal and math problem-solving abilities. It also includes a writing sample.

The GMAT is now administered on computer terminals at test centers throughout North America. The test can be taken by appointment on any one of several days each month. More information on the GMAT is available from the MBA Explorer, the official website of the Graduate Management Admission Council.

Test scores are calculated and reported on a scale of 200-800. For example, Boston College's MBA program reported an average GMAT score of 610 among incoming students, and other MBA programs in the Boston area reported GMATs between 540 and 580. Top business schools usually report average GMATs in the 640-680 range. Conventional wisdom suggests that, to be a competitive applicant at a top program, your GMAT score should be at least 600.

Several test-preparation resources are available. Many different books are published annually with GMAT practice questions and test-taking strategies, and are available at any bookstore. It is recommended that you use one of these books to aid you in your preparation. If you find yourself needing further GMAT preparation, you may elect to enroll in a course offered by one of several test prep companies. These courses can often cost several hundred dollars, so gauge your progress and preparation needs carefully before choosing a prep course.

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