The Computer Adaptive GMAT (GMAT CAT) is more widely in use world over. Unlike the tests in schools and collages, this test is completely computer based. The questions appear on a computer screen one at a time and the student has to answer the question to go on to the next. All the questions are entailed to be answered with in a fixed period of time. Hence the student cannot skip or go back to the previous question at any point of time.
The test is meant to appraise analytical skills of the student. The test comprises of verbal and math multiple-choice sections, and two 30-minute essay topics. Each multiple choice question has five options and the student is required to select the one he thinks is the right answer, by clicking on the option with the help of the mouse. The test score is out of 800 (in multiples of 10), and most scores fall in the range of 500-600. Sometimes, scoring the entire 800 is not an unheard of thing.
The questions are formatted in such a way that the first question on the screen is always the least difficult one. Depending on the option that the student chooses for his answer, That is, pertaining to whether the answer chosen is right or wrong, the CAT adjusts itself to suit the student's ability. Therefore, the CAT resets the level of difficulty according to the student's ability.
Though a high score in the GMAT does not guarantee admission into a business school, it is one of the factors that determine the selection of an applicant. A high score may help the student get admission into an institute of his choice. Since more than 250,000 people (roughly 90,000 international test takers and 150,000 U.S. test takers) appear for the GMAT each year, it is crucial to excel in this test. This is the students' first of the many major hurdles to be cleared to get admission into a B-school of his choice.
GMAT CAT Version
Understanding the computer adaptive structure is crucial point in preparing for the GMAT. The CAT has been designed as such that the test adapts itself according to the test takers' ability to answer the questions. This is made possible with the help of a programmed test, where the initial questions that are put forth to the student are those that are least difficult. Depending on the answer that the student chooses, that is whether it is the correct or the wrong answer that is chosen the level of difficulty of the next question is determine. If the student chooses the correct answer the next question that is put forth would be of higher intensity but if the wrong answer is chosen the opposite happens. Since the question types are chosen at random it is hard to predict a pattern among the questions. The chief points that have to be remembered about this version are that there is no option of skipping a question or returning to the previous question.