GMAT Exam Eligibility: Who Can Take GMAT Exam

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Shireen Parhee

Lead, Content Marketing

The number of GMAT test takers in India has increased by 20% in the past year. Now, around 30% of GMAT test-takers are Indians. 

What is the reason behind so many Indians attempting the GMAT? This exam is a crucial gateway for B-school aspirants. It unlocks doors to prestigious MBA programs worldwide. 

Before you embark on your GMAT prep journey, you need to understand the GMAT exam eligibility criteria.

This guide will provide you with all the information you need to determine your GMAT exam eligibility. 

Let’s get started. 

What is the GMAT exam?

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a standardized test. It is designed for applicants for MBA and other related graduate business degrees. It is administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

GMAT assesses your analytical skills, quantitative data analysis skills, and English reading and writing skills. Business schools across the globe accept GMAT scores for evaluating students’ applications. It is used to evaluate an applicant’s readiness for the rigors of a graduate business program. 

Now let’s see who is eligible for the GMAT exam.

Educational qualification required for the GMAT

Wondering what the education-related GMAT eligibility criteria are? Here’s the quick answer:

There is no minimum education required for GMAT exam eligibility. 

So who is eligible for the GMAT exam?

Everyone, regardless of their current educational attainment, is eligible for the GMAT. There are also no specific GMAT eligibility criteria for engineers or students from other fields.  

However, it’s important to remember that the GMAT is designed for applicants to graduate business programs, particularly MBA. 

This means while there are no GMAT exam eligibility criteria, business schools will expect applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in any field. 

Some business schools might also prefer applicants with degrees in certain fields–for example,  business, economics, or quantitative fields like math or engineering. This can vary by program, so research your target schools for specific requirements.

There are also GMAT score criteria for different programs and universities. Check the GMAT score requirements for your preferred university before applying. 

Documents required for the GMAT exam

The documents required for the GMAT exam are fairly minimal. Here’s what you’ll need:

On the day of the exam:

  1. GMAT-approved valid photo ID

This is the most crucial document. It must be a government-issued photo ID. The ID should have your name, date of birth, recent photograph, and signature. These details should exactly match the details you filled in during the registration process. 

The GMAT eligibility for Indian students specifies that a valid Aadhaar card is also accepted as photo ID proof (when you’re taking the test online, at home). 

Note: If you are taking the exam at a test center, you must present your passport. Expired passports or renewal papers are not acceptable. There are no exceptions–if you do not have a valid passport, you will forfeit your exam fee and need to pay the full fee again when you re-apply.

 

  1. Appointment confirmation email (Optional)

It’s not mandatory, but it is helpful to bring a copy of the appointment confirmation email. You would have received the same from Pearson VUE (the testing center provider). It can help verify your test date and time in case of any last-minute confusion.

  1. Proof of disability (if applicable)

If you applied for and received approval for testing accommodations due to a disability, bring relevant documentation as instructed by GMAC.

Important:

  • You don’t need to bring any academic documents to the test center (Like transcripts or diplomas) 
  • No personal items are allowed in the testing room (Like study materials, calculators, phones, or watches)

What is GMAT at-home eligibility?

GMAT also allows you to take the exam online, at home. It is essentially the same exam but with a different delivery format. 

Source

The GMAT eligibility criteria for the at-home test is the same as that of the at-center test. 

Here’s a quick recap of the GMAT exam eligibility:

  • You must be 18 years old or older to take the GMAT Online
  • There’s no upper age limit
  • There is no minimum education qualification requirement

Geography-based GMAT exam eligibility

The GMAT Online is available in most locations. However, there are some exceptions to this availability due to regulatory and data privacy reasons. These restricted areas include: 

  • Mainland China, 
  • Cuba, 
  • Iran, 
  • North Korea, and 
  • Sudan.

Technical requirements for GMAT

To take the GMAT exam online, you’ll need:

  • A computer that meets the minimum system requirements specified by GMAC 
  • Reliable internet connection 
  • Webcam
  • Microphone

You can get more details about the at-home GMAT exam eligibility at the official GMAT website.

What is the GMAT eligibility for disabled candidates?

GMAC recognizes the importance of providing equal opportunity for all test-takers. Students with documented disabilities are eligible to take the GMAT exam.

They can also apply for a variety of accommodations to ensure a fair testing experience.

Types of accommodations offered:

  • Extended time: 50% or 100% additional time to complete the exam
  • Breaks: Increased frequency of breaks during the exam
  • Alternative testing format: Braille, large print, use of a scribe or reader, or computer software for test presentation
  • Assistive technology: Use of a calculator, spell-checker, or other approved assistive devices
  • Testing environment modifications: A quiet, distraction-free testing space or adjusted lighting

How to apply for accommodations?

To request accommodations, you’ll need to submit an application through the GMAC website. It is best to submit the application at least 30 days in advance of your desired test date. The application requires the following:

  • Documentation of disability

This can be a letter from a qualified professional (doctor, psychologist, etc.). It should describe your disability, its impact on test-taking abilities, and recommended accommodations. 

  • Accommodation rationale

Explanation of how requested accommodations will help you perform to your full potential. 

GMAC’s assessment process

The GMAC team will review your application and supporting documents. They will then determine if the accommodations are appropriate and meet their guidelines. 

They will then notify you of their decision. Further instructions will also be provided if your accommodations are approved.

Learn more about applying for GMAT accommodations here

How to prepare for the GMAT exam?

Now that you understand the GMAT exam eligibility, let’s see how you can prepare for the exam.

  • Familiarize yourself with the test format 
  • Learn about the sections (Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing), and scoring system
  • Aim for a score that aligns with your target business schools’ average GMAT scores
  • Allocate dedicated study time based on your strengths, weaknesses, and desired timeline 
  • Leverage GMAC’s Official Guide, practice questions, and mock exams
  • Consider prep courses, books, or online resources from reputable providers 
  • Take timed practice tests under realistic conditions to build endurance and manage test anxiety
  • Identify areas needing improvement and dedicate focused study time to strengthen those skills
  • Learn time management strategies and effective approaches for different question types
  • Take full-length practice exams under timed conditions in a quiet, distraction-free environment
  • Analyze your performance on practice tests, identify mistakes, and learn from them
  • Stay consistent with your study plan, celebrate progress, and manage stress effectively

If you have confirmed your eligibility for the GMAT exam, start your preparation well in time. 

Additionally, shortlist a few universities where you wish to apply, and check your chances of getting your admission application approved. You can compare and shortlist universities with ease using SelectRight. 

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FAQs

Can I retake the GMAT?

Yes, you can retake the GMAT to improve your score. However, there are limitations: you can take the exam up to five times within any 12-month period and a maximum of eight times in your lifetime.

Pro Tip: Before retaking the GMAT, analyze your past performance, then adjust your study plan accordingly. 

Important: Business schools typically consider your highest GMAT score. However, some schools might look at your entire history.

What if I don’t meet the GMAT eligibility age requirement?

GMAT entrance exam eligibility has a minimum age requirement of 18 years. But if you’re 13-17, you can still attempt the exam with written parental permission and approval from GMAC. Visit the official website for more information about the GMAT entrance exam eligibility.

Is there a citizenship requirement to take the GMAT?

No, there’s no citizenship requirement for the GMAT. Anyone can register regardless of nationality. Additionally, there are no specific requirements for GMAT eligibility for Indian students

Do I need a specific English language proficiency test score to take the GMAT?

The GMAT itself doesn’t require a separate English test. 

However, business schools might have their own English language requirements for admission. Commonly accepted tests include TOEFL and IELTS. Research your target schools to understand their specific expectations.

What is the GMAT scholarship eligibility? Does my GMAT score impact my education loan eligibility?

Your GMAT score is a crucial factor in the admissions process. But it typically doesn’t directly impact your eligibility for education loans. 

GMAT scholarship eligibility varies from scholarship to scholarship. It is also based on other factors including academic merit, financial need, and sometimes your work experience or specific program focus.

 

Picture of Shireen Parhee

Shireen Parhee

A creative producer turned content marketeer, Shireen has a flair for weaving words into compelling stories and bringing them to life through captivating videos. A vivacious leader, she naturally inspires her team, driving them to surpass expectations with her positive energy and insightful feedback. Boasting over a decade of experience across different forms of media, she is on a mission to create memorable content that will leave a lasting impact for years to come.

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