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GMAT Exam Pattern

Updated On - November 13th 2018

GMAT is a computer adaptive test. It adjusts to the level of examinee’s abiltity and the difficulty level of next question depends upon the response to the previous question. GMAT is focused on assessing a candidate on skills required to succeed in a business school. It consists of four components – Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning.

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GMAT is comprised of 80 questions to be attempted within 3 hours 7 minutes. The exam has no defined syllabus and consists of questions focused on testing analytical and reasoning skills. GMAT is overall scored on a range of 200 – 800.

  • GMAT exam has a sectional time limit which varies with each section.
  • Test takers are given three options to choose the order in which they can attempt the four sections of the exam.
  • Integrated Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections are computer adaptive and have multiple-choice questions.
  • In the above two sections, one cannot skip, return to or change the response to the previous questions.
  • Two-third of the GMAT test takers score between 400-600.
  • GMAT score of 760+ ranks a candidate at above 99 percentile.

GMAT Exam Pattern Highlights

Number of sections4
Duration of exam3 hours 7 minutes
Number of questions91
Score Range400-800
Language of paperEnglish
Mode of examinationComputer based
Negative markingNone

GMAT Exam Pattern 

  • GMAT consists of a total of 80 questions to be attempted in 3 hours and 7 minutes.
  • There are two 8-minutes break during the exam. These breaks are, however, optional.
  • Test takers can attempt the exam in one of the following three orders –
    1. Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal
    2. Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
    3. Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
  • Quantative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning 
  • Analytical Writing Assessment consists of an essay question and Integrated Reasoning consists of non-MCQs
  • The break of GMAT exam pattern is given in the table below –
Test SectionTime LimitNumber of QuestionsQuestion TypesScore Range
Analytical Writing Assessment30 minutes1 questionAnalysis of an Argument0-6 (in 0.5-point increments)
Integrated Reasoning30 minutes12 questionsGraphics Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-source Reasoning, Two-part Analysis1-8 (in 1-point increments)
Quantitative Reasoning62 minutes31 questionsData Sufficiency, Problem Solving6-51 (in 1-point increments)
Verbal Reasoning65 minutes36 questionsReading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction6-51 (in 1-point increments)
Total187 minutes80-200-800

GMAT Syllabus

GMAC does not release any defined syllabus for GMAT. The questions for GMAT are designed to test analytical and reasoning skills. 

Analytical Writing Assessment

  • This section has one question on essay writing.
  • The question requires candidate to analyze the given argument.
  • It tests a candidate’s critical thinking and ability to communicate ideas through writing.
  • Candidates are required to analyze the line of reasoning and use the same as an evidence in their argument in the essay.
  • The topics can be of general interest related to business, and other other subjects.

Integrated Reasoning

  • This section has 12 questions which usually require more than one response.
  • The section aims at assessing how one integrates large data to solve complex problems.
  • It has four types of questions – 
    • Multi-Source Reasoning: examine data given in the form of texts, tables, graphics or a combination of all three
    • Table Analysis: analyze and sort tabular data similar to spreadsheets to solve the questions
    • Graphics Interpretation: interpret data represented as graphs – bar graphs, pie charts, statistical curves, etc.
    • Two-Part Analysis: complex questions on quantitative or verbal or a combination of both
  • The questions involve quantitative and verbal reasoning or a combination both.
  • An online calculator can be used while attempting this section.

Quantitative Reasoning

  • This section consists of 31 questions from mathematics.
  • Two types of questions are asked –
    • Problem Solving: solve general mathematics questions and pick the answer from the given 5 options
    • Data Sufficiency: analyze the quantitative problem and use the data given in the form of two statements to deduce the best answer

Verbal Reasoning

  • This section has 36 questions on standard English
  • The sections aims to test a candidate’s ability to comprehend English Language.
  • It has three types of questions –
    • Reading Comprehension: Answer the questions on a given passage. Questions include identifying the main idea, supporting idea, inference, application, structure and style of the passage.
    • Critical Reasoning: Small passages of 100 words followed by 5 options that strengthen or weaken the passage.
    • Sentence Correction: Identifying and correcting grammatical and structural mistakes in the given sentences.


*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College


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