A computer-based GMAT test is tailored to your
performance level and provides precise information about
your abilities. At the start of the test, you are
presented with a test question of average difficulty. If
you answer this right, the next question will be more
difficult. But if you answer this wrong, you get an
easier question and so on. It is very important to
understand that the questions right at the beginning
affect your score more than those towards the end. These
are the questions that are used to measure your general
ability and you are accordingly presented with a
question set. Once you have progressed into a test, it
is very tough to raise your level and get a better
score. So take your time and answer the first few
questions to the best of your ability.
In the computer-adaptive
test (CAT), the computer scores each question before
going on to the next question. So you have to answer the
questions in the order they are shown on the screen. For
this reason, you cannot go back to a particular question
once you have answered it.
You will need only minimal
computer skills to take the Computer-Adaptive Test (CAT)
of GMAT. You don't need to be computer literate to take
the CAT. At the test center, you will have plenty of
time to walk through a tutorial that will allow you to
practise activities like answering the questions and
using the mouse.
Practice before you
All the skills you require are
covered in a hands-on demo tutorial that you must
complete before starting the actual timed test. Make
yourself comfortable with all the sections of the
tutorial before starting the test.
ETS has conducted
some research which shows that the computer-based
General Test Scores are comparable to scores earned on
paper-based General Tests.
Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
For the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) Section, you are required to type out two essays (Analysis of an argument and Analysis of an issue) in the textbox provided. Prior to 1999, human beings graded the essays. However, under the new system, a human and a computer program called the 'E-Rater' grade essays. If the human and the program arrive at the same score for an essay, then that is the final score. If the scores differ significantly, a second human takes a look at the essay and finalizes the score. You have no automatic spell check options available, so avoid spelling mistakes. Obviously, the E-Rater has very strict standards of evaluation. So, it is critical that you understand how the E-Rater works and make sure that your essay includes all the important parameters/structures that the E-Rater looks for in an essay. The E-Rater uses a database of hundreds of essays for each of the 270 essay questions that could
appear on the GMAT. The essays in this database are graded on a scale of 0-6 and the E-Rater evaluates your essay relative to these essays. The E-Rater places a large emphasis on structure - Your essay should be organized into paragraphs (An introductory paragraph followed by two or three content paragraphs and a conclusion) and should include the careful use of transitional words or phrases such as "I believe", "furthermore", "therefore", "for example", etc. Note that the E-Rater is not programmed to appreciate individuality. So a unique or creative essay structure is almost sure to backfire. Also, make sure you practise typing out essays on a computer terminal under timed conditions.