GMAT Exam Pattern

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GMAT Paper Pattern

The road to achievement is a lengthy and tedious one, and reward awaits those who have patience and perseverance. There is never one sure shot road to success, but there are certain tried and tested ways that promise success. Experience and education go hand in hand and weigh equally in shaping up your career. How you navigate all the choices and move forward is how you determine your career path. An MBA is a vital degree and although most students have other choices. Due to this reason, a GMAT exam holds a lot of value and is key to a good MBA college. Before moving on to the GMAT Paper Pattern, let’s understand why GMAT is important and how it helps in pursuing management programs.

Exam NameGMAT
Full-FormGraduate Management Admission Test
Official Website 
Popular ForMBA courses abroad 
Conducted byGMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council)
Mode of ExamComputer-based adaptive test
Number of Sections4 (Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Section, and Verbal Reasoning)
GMAT feeUS $250 (INR 18,565 approx.)
Score RangeMin 200, Max 800
Negative MarkingNo 

GMAT Exam Pattern 

The GMAT exam pattern comprises 4 sections that test Writing, Verbal, Reasoning, and Quantitative. The total number of questions in the exam is 91 that is to be done in a duration of 3 hours 7 minutes. Given below is the exam pattern highlights: 

Section TimeQuestions Score Range
Analytical Writing Assessment 30 minutes0-6
Integrated Reasoning30 minutes121-8
Quantitative31 minutes316-51
Verbal65 minutes366-51
GMAT Exam Pattern

Before April 2018

SectionNumber of QuestionsTime
Quantitative3775 minutes
Verbal4175 minutes

After April 2018

Section Number of QuestionsTime 
Quantitative 3162 minutes
Verbal 3665 minutes 

GMAT Syllabus

Each section has a specified time in which that section with its number of questions, is to be attempted. There is a choice for a break in between the three and a half hours. Two breaks are offered which are based on the choice of the candidate. The number of questions and the time limit in which they need to be attempted are as follows:

Integrated Reasoning

This part needs to be answered in 30 mins exactly. There are 12 questions in total. The questions asked in the section revolves around the following topics:

  • Table Analysis
  • Multi-source reasoning
  • Two-part Analysis
  • Graphics Interpretation

Analytical Writing Assessment

This section too needs to be attempted in 30 mins, even though there is only one question that needs to be attempted. This was recently introduced, as opposed to two questions in this section. The essay can be of the following types:

  • Argument Essay
  • Issue Essay

Verbal Reasoning

This part has 36 questions that need to be answered in the time frame of 65 mins, i.e. 1 hour and 5 mins. Topics covered under this section include:

  • Rhetorical construction of the sentences
  • Sentence correction related to finding error or omission
  • Reading unseen passages
  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Critical reasoning
  • Misplace modifiers
  • Countable Vs Uncountable
  • Parallelism
  • Basic Sentence structure: Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives
  • Verb Tense
  • Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
  • Pronoun Agreement
  • Modifiers
  • Parallelism
  • Phrases and Clauses
  • Articles
  • Parts of speech
  • Direct and Indirect
  • Active to Passive

Quantitative Reasoning

This section needs to be completed in 62 mins, by answering 31 questions in total. The major topics for this section are:

  • Monomials, polynomials
  • Algebraic expressions and equations
  • Functions
  • Exponents
  • Arithmetic and geometric progression
  • Quadratic equations
  • Inequalities and basic statistics
  • Lines and angles
  • Triangles
  • Quadrilaterals
  • Circles
  • Rectangular solids and cylinders
  • Number properties
  • Multiples and factors
  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Percentages
  • Averages
  • Powers and roots
  • Coordinate geometry
  • Profit and loss
  • Simple and compound interest
  • Speed, time, and distance
  • Pipes, cisterns, and work time
  • Ratio and proportion
  • Mixtures and alligations
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Set theory
  • Probability
  • Permutation and combination
PatternSectionsTotal QuestionsTimeScore
Analytical WritingThis section is designed to test the candidate’s written communication skills as well as critical thinking through argument analysis. The syllabus for analytical writing can range from business-related topics to general awareness130 minutes0-6 [0.5 mark increments]
Integrated Reasoning1. Graphics Interpretation
2. Two-part analysis
3. Table analysis 
4. Multi-Source Reasoning
1230 minutes1-8 [1 point increments]
Quantitative Reasoning1. Problem Solving 
2. Data Sufficiency
3162 minutes6-51 [1 point increments]
Verbal Reasoning1. Critical Reasoning 
2. Reading Comprehension
3. Sentence Correction 
3665 minutes6-51[1 point increments]

GMAT Eligibility Criteria

NationalityAll Nationalities Accepted
Age Limit18 Years
Candidates belonging to the 13-17 age group require written proof of their guardian’s consent before taking the GMAT exam.
No upper age limit has been prescribed
Academic QualificationBachelor’s Degree
Number of Attempts5 times in a calendar year and up to 8 times in a lifetime
Retaking the GMAT exam16 Days (Minimum)

Best Books for GMAT

Here are the top 6 books for GMAT:

Name of the bookAuthored Buy here 
Complete GMAT Strategy Guide SetManhattanBuy here
The Official Guide to the GMAT ReviewGMACBuy here 
GMAT Math Prep CourseNovaBuy here 
The PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning BiblePowerScoreBuy here 
Cracking the GMAT Premium – 2019 EditionThe Princeton ReviewBuy here 
GMAT Prep Plus 2019KaplanBuy here 
Prep Complete GMAT Course SetVeritas Buy here 

Tips to Solve GMAT Exam

There are a total of 91 questions in the paper. The paper can be attempted in the English language only and there is no negative marking for any question in the test.

There is also an option for choosing the sequence of the paper in which you want to attempt. There are only three sequence options in which the paper can be attempted:

  1. Verbal Reasoning, quantitative reasoning, integrated reasoning, and analytical writing assessment.
  2. Quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, integrated reasoning, and analytical writing assessment.
  3. Analytical writing assessment, integrated reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning.

GMAT Preparation Tips

For those of you starting their GMAT study journey, here are some GMAT preparation tips  that will help you put the right foot in getting a high-GMAT-score: 

  • Select the correct time slot: To fetch a high GMAT score, you must plan the entire preparation process well, and the first thing to do the same is, selecting the right examination date.
  • Study material: To fetch a GMAT score of 700 or more, you will definitely need expert guidance. We at Leverage Edu, provide the best supervision to the students aiming for high GMAT scores.
  • Time management: It is important that you are familiar with the examination structure and format. It will at the end save a lot of time if you are already knowing the directions.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice: As the common saying suggests, “Practice makes the man perfect”, one must continuously work on the questions, previous year papers, sample papers and mock tests to increase their question-solving speed. 
  • Identify your weakness: If you are following the correct way for GMAT preparation, then you should definitely identify the areas that are holding you back from attaining a high GMAT score. 
  • Online learning: Opt for online learning platforms over traditional coaching classes as they would help you in saving some extra time for yourself.
  • Time yourself: It is important to complete the exam on time. Thus, while solving questions or sample papers, time yourself to check if you have gained the correct speed or not.

Why is GMAT Important?

The GMAT exam is an essential test for admission to management programs across the globe. It tests whether the student has the observational and analytical skills required to enroll in the world’s top management programs. This exam’s results are reliable and accepted in most universities. With the usage of the latest technology, the marks are awarded fairly and the paper is checked in a thorough manner. The GMAT paper pattern is accurately set to match students with their correct corresponding programs. The integrated reasoning section was introduced in 2012, to make sure that the would-be management students have the skills necessary to survive the technologically advanced work scenario.  

How Does GMAT Help in Management Programs?

GMAT is equally important for the university offering management programs as well as the students.  This is the entrance examination one writes to get admission for MBA in India or colleges abroad. This assessment is a good way to acquire a scholarship to one’s dream college. The better the scores, the better the scholarship offered to you. This exam is a way for the universities to scrutinize students by comparing them and making a decision based on the scores. Universities are also graded based on the GMAT score of the students joining, the more students in the university with a good GMAT score, the better rank the university gets.

GMAT Exam Pattern – FAQs

Is GMAT tougher than CAT?

No, GMAT is much easier in comparison to CAT. While CAT is majorly accepted by Indian Universities, GMAT opens the doors to top business schools across the world as well as in India. The Quantitative section of CAT is much more complex than GMA.

What is the GMAT exam pattern?

The GMAT exam pattern comprises of 4 sections Quantitative, Verbal, Reasoning and Writing. The exam is conducted online and the duration of the paper is 3 hours 7 minutes. 

Is it hard to get a 700 on GMAT?

With self study and moderate level of preparation, it can be difficult to score a 700+ in the GMAT exam. One needs expert guidance and mentorship to fetch an above average score.

How many questions are on the GMAT exam?

The section-wise question distribution in the GMAT Exam pattern is as follows: 
Integrated Reasoning (12 questions)
Quantitative (31 questions)
Verbal (36 questions)
Analytical Writing (1 essay topic)

Is GMAT a must for MBA?

Yes. Many MBA schools need the GMAT to some extent. The exam is required by the majority of business schools and plays an essential part in the admissions process. However, there are a few B-schools that offer MBA programs without the GMAT.

GMAT examination is sure to decide the next course of your life. How well you understand the GMAT Paper Pattern and how you write the examination on D-day, is what will take you closer to your dreams. Let Leverage Edu help you get an inch closer to that dream. 

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