GMAT Exam Pattern

What are the sections, scores, select section order and more

Question : What is the structure of the GMAT Exam? How has the GMAT exam pattern changed since April 2018? What is the duration of each section? What is the total duration of the GMAT exam? How is each section scored? What is the total score for GMAT?

Watch this 17-minute video. Answers all relevant GMAT Questions.


What is the exam pattern of GMAT?

What are the sections in the GMAT exam? How many questions are there in the GMAT exam? What is the duration of the GMAT exam? What percentile is a 700 or 740 on the GMAT? What is GMAT syllabus? How long to prepare for the GMAT? Answers to all these GMAT questions and more are given below

The Different Sections in the GMAT Exam

Section Number of Questions Duration Score Range
GMAT AWA - Essay 1 essay. Analysis of an argument 30 minutes 0 to 6 in increments of 0.5
GMAT Integrated Reasoning (IR) 12 Multiple choice questions 30 minutes 1 to 8 in increments of 1
GMAT Quantitative Reasoning (Maths) 31 Multiple choice questions 62 minutes 0 to 60 in increments of 1
GMAT Verbal Reasoning (English) 36 Multiple choice questions 65 minutes 0 to 60 in increments of 1

GMAT AWA | What is GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)?

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) in the GMAT exam is also called the essay section of the GMAT exam. The test taker will have to write an essay, usually 300 to 350 words long, that critiques an argument.

You will be presented with an argument, usually 40 to 50 words in length. Your task is to identify the fallacy(ies) in the argument and type your response in an editor akin to notepad.

1. What is the duration of the GMAT AWA section?

The duration of the GMAT AWA section is 30 minutes. This includes the time to read the argument, prepare your response, and type in your response. At the end of the 30th minute, you will be automatically taken to the next section of the GMAT. If you complete the AWA section before the allotted 30 minutes, you could navigate to the next section without having to wait for the 30 minutes to get over.

2. What is the score for GMAT AWA section?

The GMAT AWA section is scored on a range of 0 to 6 points in increments of 0.5 points. A GMAT AWA score of 5.5 or 4.5 is a valid score.

3. What is a good score in GMAT AWA?

A GMAT AWA score of 5 or more is considered good.

4. How long to prepare for the GMAT AWA section to score 5 or more?

A typical student will require 15 hours of preparation to get a score of 5 or more in the GMAT AWA section.

5. Where can I find sample GMAT AWA arguments?

The official GMAT website has a document that contains all Analysis of Argument Questions used in the GMAT exam. You can download the document containing GMAT sample questions in AWA by clicking here.


GMAT IR | What is tested in GMAT Integrated Reasoning (IR) section?

Four types of questions appear in the GMAT IR section.

  1. Graphic Interpretation
  2. Table Analysis
  3. Two Part Analysis
  4. Multi-Source Reasoning
1. What is the duration of the GMAT Integrated Reasoning (GMAT IR) section?

The duration of the GMAT IR section is 30 minutes. At the end of the 30th minute, you will be automatically taken to the next section of the GMAT exam. If you complete the GMAT IR section before the allotted 30- minute duration, you can choose to relax and wait to be automatically navigated to the next section or you could navigate yourself to the next section immediately.

2. What is the total number of questions in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section?

The GMAT IR section comprises a total of 12 multiple choice questions. In a few questions, you may have to answer more than one subsection of a question. You will be awarded points only if you get all those subsections correct.

3. What is the GMAT IR Score range?

The GMAT Integrated Reasoning section is scored on a scale of 1 to 8 in increments of 1.

4. What is a good score in GMAT IR?

A score of 6 or more in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section is considered good. If you plan to apply to top business schools and if your career goals include working for investment banks or business consulting or analytics industry after your MBA, you will be better off scoring 8 on 8 in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section.

5. How long to prepare for the GMAT IR section to get a good score in GMAT IR?

A typical student will require 25 hours of preparation to get a score of 6 or more in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section.


GMAT Maths | What is tested in the GMAT Quantitative Reasoning Section?

The GMAT Syllabus in Maths comprises what is taught in math at high school level. The GMAT maths syllabus includes arithmetic (about 40% of the questions), algebra (about 40% of the questions) and geometry (about 20% of the questions). Word problems in arithmetic and algebra are a part of the GMAT quant section. The GMAT quant section does not include maths topics that are taught beyond high school level - topics such as calculus, vectors and the like are NOT tested in the GMAT exam.

1. What is the duration of the GMAT Quant section?

The duration of the GMAT Maths section is 62 minutes. As with the other sections of the GMAT, you will be automatically navigated to the next section of the GMAT exam at the end of the 62nd minute even if you have not answered all the questions in the GMAT quant section in 62 minutes. Conversely, if you complete the GMAT quant section ahead of the allotted 62 minutes you have the choice of relaxing till the 62-minute duration runs out or navigate to the next section.

2. How many questions does the GMAT Quantitative Reasoning section comprise?

The GMAT quant section comprises 31 multiple choice questions. It translates to an average of 2 minutes per question. With adequate practice and when you are exam ready, you will be able to complete all the questions in the GMAT quant section with a few minutes to spare.

3. What is the score range for the GMAT quant section?

The GMAT quantitative reasoning section is scored on a scale of 0 to 60 points in increments of 1 point. Though the GMAT score range for the maths section is 0 to 60, scores below 7 and above 51 are not possible. What truly matters is to know that the maximum score for GMAT quant section is 51 points.

4. What types of questions appear in the GMAT Quantitative Reasoning Section?

The GMAT Maths section comprises two types of questions. 1. Problem Solving and 2. Data Sufficiency.

About 55% to 60% of the questions in the GMAT Maths section are problem solving questions and the remaining are GMAT data sufficiency questions.

5. What is a Computer Adaptive Test? Is GMAT a computer adaptive test?

Computer Adaptive Test is one in which your response to a question determines the level of difficulty of the next question. For illustrative purpose, here is a simplified version of the computer adaptive algorithm: if you get question 1 correct, the next question shown to you will be more difficult. Conversely, if your response to question 1 is incorrect, the next question will be an easier one. The catch: getting tougher questions right fetches more points.

The quantitative reasoning section of the GMAT exam is a computer adaptive section.

6. What is a good score in the GMAT Quant Section?

A GMAT score upward of 49 points in the GMAT Maths section is considered good. A score of 50 or 51 is what you should strive for.

7. How long to prepare for the GMAT Quant Section to get a good score?

A typical student needs to invest 100 to 125 hours of dedicated preparation to get a score of 49 or more in this section.

8. How can I Prepare for GMAT Quant?

GMAT Sample Questions in Maths: Wizako's Maths question bank of free practice questions for all topics tested in the GMAT Quant is a great starting point. The GMAT Quant question bank comprises 150 plus questions. Access GMAT Sample Questions in Maths - complete with explanatory answers and video solutions here.

Free GMAT Preparation Online Videos for GMAT Maths: A collection of around 250 videos that start from the basics and walk you through GMAT sample questions that mimic GMAT questions that you will get when you score upward of 49 points in the GMAT Maths section. Subscribe to Wizako's GMAT Channel on YouTube

Wizako's Online GMAT Course: Most comprehensive and affordable GMAT Online Course with videos, slide decks, check point quizzes, chapter tests and hard math questions in 20 topics. Includes data sufficiency and full length quant section tests. Sign up as a trial user and try Statistics and Averages free.


GMAT Verbal | What is tested in the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section?

The GMAT Verbal Reasoning Section comprises 3 types of questions: Sentence Correction (about 12 to 14 questions), Reading Comprehension (about 12 to 14 questions), and Critical Reasoning (about 9 or 10 questions).

1. What is the duration of the GMAT verbal section?

The duration of the GMAT verbal section is 65 minutes. At the end of the 65th minute you will be navigated to the next section. Alternatively, if you took the verbal section as the last of the 4 sections, the test will end after the verbal section.

2. How many questions are there in the GMAT verbal section?

The GMAT verbal section comprises 36 multiple choice questions. There is only one correct answer for each question. While sentence correction and critical reasoning questions appear as standalone questions, reading comprehension questions appears in sets of 2 to 4 questions.

3. What is the maximum GMAT score in the GMAT Verbal Section?

The GMAT Score for the verbal section is on a scale of 0 to 60 in increments of 1. The maximum GMAT score possible for the verbal section is 51.

4. Is the GMAT Verbal section a computer adaptive test?

The GMAT verbal section is also a computer adaptive section.

5. What is a good GMAT score in the Verbal Section?

Any score upward of 38 is considered good. A score of 40 and above is what you should strive for.

6. How long should I prepare to get a good GMAT score in the Verbal Section?

A typical student (non native speaker) 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.

7. How can I Prepare for GMAT Verbal?

Free GMAT Verbal Preparation Resources

GMAT Sentence Correction: Wizako's Free Practice Questions for Sentence Correction. 15 questions with detailed explanation. Access GMAT SC sample questions here.

GMAT Critical Reasoning: Wizako's Free Practice Questions for Critical Reasoning. 15 questions with detailed explanation.. Access GMAT CR sample questions here.


GMAT Total Score | What is the Total Score in the GMAT? What sections contribute to the GMAT Total Score?

To compute the GMAT total score, the GMAT score calculator includes only what you have scored in the GMAT Quant section and the GMAT Verbal section.

Are GMAT IR and GMAT AWA part of the GMAT Total Score?

No. The GMAT IR and GMAT AWA scores are not included when the GMAT score calculator computes the GMAT total score. Scores in GMAT IR and GMAT AWA are standalone scores on a scale of 1 to 8 and 0 to 6 respectively. Though they are not a part of GMAT Total Score, the scores in these section will also get reported to business schools along with your overall GMAT score.

What is the range of the Total Score in GMAT?

The GMAT total score is computed on a scale of 200 to 800 points in increments of 10 points.

What is a Competitive GMAT score and what is a Great GMAT score?

For most Indian / Asian GMAT test takers, a score of 680 or more is competitive.

A GMAT total score upward of 740 is a GREAT SCORE. If the rest of your resume meets the hygiene criteria, you are likely to get some form of tuition fee waivers / scholarship with a 740 GMAT score from quite a few top US business schools.

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