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GMAT Syllabus & Test Structure

The GMAT exam is a three and a half hours test with four sections – Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal. At the test center, just before your exam begins, you can select the order (from among the following) in which you want to complete the sections.
  • Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal (original order)
  • Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
  • Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
Format of the GMAT Exam (effective from 16th April 2018)
GMAT Test Section # of Question Question Types Timing
Analytical Writing Assessment 1 Topic Analysis Of Argument 30 Minutes
Integrated Reasoning 12 Questions Multi-Source Reasoning Graphics Interpretation two-part Analysis Table Analysis 30 Minutes
Quantitative 31 Questions Data Sufficiency Problem Solving 62 Minutes
Verbal 36 Questions Reading Comprehension Critical Reasoning Sentence Correction 65 Minutes
Total Time 3hrs, 30 minutes
(Including Breaks & Test Instructions)
Analytical Writing Assessment Section
The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) consists of one 30-minute writing task: Analysis of an Argument. The AWA measures your ability to think critically, articulate your ideas, and formulate an appropriate and constructive critique of a specific conclusion based on a specific line of thinking. You will type your essay on a computer keyboard.
Consider the following when developing your essay:
  • What questionable/unjustified/unsubstantiated/dubious assumptions underlie the thinking behind the argument?
  • What alternative explanations or counterexamples or courses of action might weaken the conclusion?
  • What sort of evidence could help strengthen or refute the argument?
Integrated Reasoning Section
The GMAT has evolved and has incorporated this new section in the test. The Integrated Reasoning section measures your ability to understand and evaluate multiple sources and types of information-graphic, numeric and verbal-as they relate to one another; use both quantitative and verbal reasoning to solve complex problems; and solve multiple problems in relation to one another.

Four types of questions are used in the Integrated Reasoning section:
  • Multi-Source Reasoning
  • Table Analysis
  • Graphics Interpretation
  • Two-Part Analysis
Integrated Reasoning questions may be quantitative, verbal, or a combination of both. You will have to interpret graphics and sort tables to extract meaning from data, but advanced statistical knowledge is not necessary. You can use an onscreen calculator with basic functions for the Integrated Reasoning section, but note that the calculator is not available on the Quantitative section.
Some General Tips
  • You must answer all parts of a question correctly to receive credit.
  • You cannot navigate through the section. You must submit responses to all parts of the question before moving on to the next section. Once you have submitted your response to a question, you cannot go back and change your answer.
  • The data presented would be of 300 words or fewer.
  • Though several problems use the same data, each question is independent of the other - you won't have to answer one question correctly to be able to solve another.
Quantitative Section
The GMAT Quantitative section measures your ability to reason quantitatively, solve quantitative problems, and interpret graphic data.

Two types of multiple-choice questions are used in the Quantitative section:
  • Problem Solving
✔ Requires quantitative reasoning skills, quantitative problem solving skills and data interpretation skills
✔ Requires basic understanding of arithmetic, algebra and geometry
  • Data Sufficiency
✔ Requires Analysis of a quantitative problem
✔ Requires the relevance of a piece of information presented or omitted
✔ Requires deciding at which stage the information is sufficient enough to solve a problem
Both are intermingled throughout the Quantitative section, and both require basic knowledge of arithmetic, elementary algebra, and commonly known concepts of geometry.
Verbal Section
The GMAT Verbal section measures your ability to read and comprehend written material, and to reason and evaluate arguments. The Verbal section includes reading sections from several different content areas. Although you may be generally familiar with some of the material, neither the reading passage nor the questions assume detailed knowledge of the topics discussed.
Three types of multiple - choice questions are intermingled throughout the Verbal Section:
  • Reading Comprehension
✔ Tests your ability to read and comprehend written material
✔ Tests your ability to critically reason and evaluate arguments
✔ Tests your ability to evaluate sentences based on standard written English and to improve them if required
✔ The passages are generally from diverse areas like marketing, economics, human resource management, physical    and biological sciences, etc.
✔ The passages are up to 350 words long
  • Critical Reasoning
✔ Measures your ability to construct arguments
✔ Measures your ability to evaluate arguments
✔ Measures your ability to formulate and evaluate a plan of action
  • Sentence Correction
✔ It checks your language proficiency and your ability to evaluate a sentence on the basis of all the rules of standard     written English
✔ The effectiveness of expression is also tested. An idea has to be expressed clearly, concisely and correctly