How is GMAT Structured? What is the GMAT Pattern & GMAT Syllabus?
If these are questions that have been niggling at you, you have come to the right place.
If you reached this post looking for answers to the “2 truths and 1 lie” quiz that you took about the GMAT, click here to check the answers. But, I would recommend that you read the post in detail as it covers answers to more questions.
1a. How is the GMAT structured?
The GMAT comprises 4 sections and lasts 3 hours and 7 minutes, without counting the optional breaks.
|Section||Number of Questions||Duration in Minutes|
|GMAT AWA | Analytical Writing Assessment||1 essay. Analysis of an argument||30 minutes|
|Integrated Reasoning||12 Multiple choice questions||30 minutes|
|Quantitative Reasoning||31 Multiple choice questions||62 minutes|
|Verbal Reasoning||36 Multiple choice questions||65 minutes|
Scroll down to read on. If would you rather watch a video about the structure of the GMAT, play the embedded video (17 minutes).
Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) Section
Duration: 30 minutes.
Task: Write an essay critiquing an argument.
Score: Range of 0 to 6 in increments of 0.5.
Any score upward of 5 is considered good. A typical student will require 15 hours of preparation to get a score of 5 or more in this section.
Integrated Reasoning (IR) Section
Four types of questions appear in this section: Graphic Interpretation, Table analysis, Two-part analysis, Multi-source reasoning
Duration: 30 minutes.
Number of questions: 12 multiple-choice questions
Score: Range of 1 to 8 in increments of 1.
Any score upward of 6 is considered good. A typical student will require 25 hours of preparation to get a score of 6 or more in this section.
Quantitative Reasoning Section
High school maths including arithmetic, algebra and geometry are tested.
Duration: 62 minutes.
Number of questions: 31 multiple-choice questions in two variants: Problem Solving (approx 55 to 60%) and Data Sufficiency (approx 40 to 45%)
Score: Range of 0 to 60 in increments of 1. Maximum possible score: 51
Any score upward of 49 is considered good. A score of 50 or 51 is what you should strive for. A typical student will require 100 to 125 hours of dedicated preparation to get a score of 49 or more in this section.
Verbal Reasoning Section
Duration: 65 minutes.
Number of questions: 36 multiple-choice questions comprising sentence correction, reading comprehension and critical reasoning
Score: Range of 0 to 60 in intervals of 1. Scores above 44 are rare.
Any score upward of 38 is considered good. A score of 40 and above is what you should strive for. A typical student will require 150 to 175 hours of dedicated preparation to get a score of 40 or more in this section. Familiarity with American usage will be a plus.
1b. What is GMAT Select Section Order?
You can select the order in which you want to complete the different sections of the GMAT. There are three options available.
Option 1: AWA – IR – 8 minute optional break – Quant – 8 minute optional break – Verbal (Default option)
Option 2: Verbal – 8 minute optional break – Quant – 8 minute optional break – IR – AWA
Option 3: Quant – 8 minute optional break – Verbal – 8 minute optional break – IR – AWA
You will have to make this choice on the computer in which you will be taking the GMAT at the test center just before your exam starts. You will have 2 minutes to make your choice. If you fail to respond in the 2 minutes, by default, option 1 will be selected.
2. Check Points Before Registering for the GMAT
The registration for the GMAT is done online through the official website mba.com. The following points are VERY VERY important.
Do I need a driving license to take the GMAT?
The only proof of identity that is accepted while taking the GMAT exam is a valid passport for Indian nationals (even if you take the test outside India). So, if you do not have a valid passport, apply for one before registering for the GMAT.
No Name Shorteners, please
The name as it appears in the passport should match letter for letter the name in your GMAT test registration form. For e.g., if your name is Ram Mohan Rajan in your passport – but you register for the GMAT as Ram Mohan R, you will not be allowed to take the test. You will lose the entire fee that you paid. That is a loss of USD 250.
Ugggh, I hate my score
If you are unhappy with your GMAT performance, please cancel the score either after the test at the center for free or online within 72 hours for a fee of USD 25. No one will know about that attempt if you cancel the score. However, if you accept the score, it stays on record for 5 years.
If you cancelled your score erroneously, you can reinstate your score within 4 years and 11 months from the test date for a fee of USD 50.
Answers to the “2 Truths and 1 Lie” Quiz
One of the three statements in each set is a lie and you need to identify which one it is. The broad theme for all these statements is the “GMAT Test structure”. So, let’s see how many you got right. Here we go! The ones marked in red are lies. The other two are truths.
The number of questions in the test that count toward your evaluation has been reduced in the new pattern introduced in 2018.
- The average time per Integrated Reasoning question is 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
- The AWA section does not give any options in the essay topic for you to choose from.
- Questions in the Quant section are of two types – problem solving and data sufficiency.
- The total time for the AWA and for the IR section is the same.
The number of questions for the verbal section is fewer than the number for the quant section.
- There will be at least 8 to 10 questions of each verbal question type.
- The ‘syllabus’ for the quant section includes Arithmetic, Algebra, and Geometry.
‘Reading Comprehension’ questions will always appear first in the verbal section.
- The passport is the only accepted proof of identity for Indian test takers.
In the default section order option, the quant section appears first.
- The break allowed between sections is for a duration of 8 minutes.
The total time for the quant and the verbal sections is the same.
- Scores in the AWA section are awarded in 0.5 intervals.
- A score of 52 is not possible in the quant section.
So what next?
Isn’t it time you started your GMAT prep? What type are you? The offline chalk and board type student or the click and swipe online type?
If you are the former, schedule a demo GMAT class in Chennai. Click to schedule.
If you are the latter or you reside outside Chennai, sign up as a trial user at https://gmat.wizako.com