GMAT Syllabus 2024

What's the GMAT Focus Exam Syllabus and exam pattern?

The first question that anyone who is writing the GMAT wants to know - What's the GMAT Syllabus? What is the GMAT exam pattern? Get all your questions about the updated GMAT syllabus 2024 and curriculum answered here.

Sections covered in this WebPage

  1. GMAT Sections | Number of Questions and Duration for each section
  2. GMAT Quantitative Reasoning Syllabus
    1. Arithmetic
    2. Algebra
    3. Question Types
  3. GMAT Verbal Reasoning Syllabus
    1. Reading Comprehension
    2. Critical Reasoning
  4. GMAT Data Insights Syllabus
    1. Table Analysis
    2. Graphical Interpretation
    3. Multi-Source Reasoning
    4. Two-Part Analysis
    5. Data Sufficiency

What are the sections in the GMAT Focus Edition?

Before delving deep into the GMAT syllabus, let us get a snapshot of the GMAT exam structure clear in our minds. The details about the sections of the GMAT, number of questions tested in each section, the duration for the sections of the GMAT, and the optional break in the test are given below.

GMAT Exam Sections GMAT Exam Pattern
Number of Questions Total Time
Quantitative Reasoning (Math) 21 Questions 45 Minutes
Verbal Reasoning 23 Questions 45 Minutes
Data Insights (DI) 20 Questions 45 Minutes
Total 64 Questions 2 hours 15 minutes without breaks

The test also allows you to take one optional break of 10 minutes that you can take either between the first and second sections or between the second and the third sections. The time for the break and the time to read the instructions at the beginning of the test have not been included in the above table.

How many questions are there in the GMAT? What is the total duration of the GMAT exam?

The GMAT exam comprises 3 sections, each of 45 minutes duration. A total of 64 questions have to be answered in 135 minutes. All questions are objective type multiple choice questions.

What is the GMAT Exam Syllabus 2024 for the different sections?

The GMAT exam has three sections - the Quantitative Reasoning, the Verbal Reasoning, and the Data Insights (DI) section.

Let us look at each of these sections and understand what the syllabus and the question types are for each of these GMAT sections.

GMAT Quantitative Reasoning Section Syllabus

What is tested in GMAT Quant? What is the Quantitative Aptitude syllabus?

The GMAT syllabus for Quant is, at its simplest, high school math. What maths did you learn in the first two years of high school? Arithmetic and Algebra right? Those are the very same topics that constitute the syllabus of the GMAT Quant section.

Here is a partial list of the topics that you will have GMAT Quant questions from

What are the Arithmetic Topics tested in the GMAT?

What Algebra Topics are tested in the GMAT?

What is the GMAT question pattern for the Quant section? What type of questions are tested in the Quant section of the GMAT?

For Problem-Solving questions - the question type tested in the GMAT quant section, candidates face traditional arithmetic and algebra problems and must select the correct answer from five options. These questions assess a range of basic mathematical skills and concepts commonly taught in high school.

Here is a sample GMAT problem solving question

Question : 'x' is a positive number such that the result of tripling nine more than seven times x is the same as forty three more than five times x. What is the value of x?

  1. 3
  2. 1
  3. 1.5
  4. 12
  5. 16

If you want to solve more problem solving questions, you can check out our free GMAT quant practice questionbank by clicking here.

How is the Quant section in the GMAT scored? What is a good GMAT Score in the Quant Section?

There are two scores that you will get based on your performance in the GMAT Quant section. One is the sectional score and the other is the overall 805 score. The overall GMAT score range of 205 to 805 is calculated by assigning equal weightage to your scores in all three sections of the GMAT viz., the Quant, the Verbal, and the DI sections.

The sectional score for the Quant section is on a scale of 60 to 90 with one point increments. It is possible and quite a few of Wizako students have scored Q90 in the GMAT math section. This score is then scaled up to the 805 scale (equal weightage given to the Quant, the DI, and the Verbal sections). For an Indian Student aspiring to get into the world top 30 business schools, a good score in the GMAT quant section would be anything upward of 85.

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GMAT Verbal Section Syllabus

What is tested in GMAT Verbal? What is the Verbal Ability section syllabus?

There are two types of questions tested in the GMAT Verbal section. These two GMAT Verbal question types are

  1. Reading Comprehension
  2. Critical Reasoning

GMAT Reading Comprehension (RC)

In RC, GMAT gives you a passage and asks questions based on the passage. The GMAT RC section tests a student's ability to understand and process the information that is presented in the passage. How many Reading Comprehension questions appear in the GMAT Verbal section? About half of the questions, 11 to 12 of the 23 questions, in the GMAT verbal reasoning section are Reading Comprehension questions. When solving GMAT RC questions, the screen will be split into two, with the passage on the left half of the screen and the questions appearing on the right half of the screen. The questions of this type are based on a passage of around 250 to 350 words. The multiple-choice questions are based on the passage with 5 answer choices each.

Check out this passage to get an idea of the test pattern in GMAT RC. Note: Some of the actual passages in GMAT RC will be longer than this passage.

GMAT RC Sample Question

In everyday usage, it is very common to hear people say “I just had a thought”. This leaves us with the impression that thoughts are conscious. However, not everyone would agree. Some psychologists believe that while some kinds of thoughts can be conscious, most of our thoughts are actually not part of our conscious being.
When we have a train of thought that we are consciously following, when our 'mind voice' is having a conversation with ourselves or when we are creating a visual imagery for a sensory experience, we are having conscious thoughts. However, more abstract concepts such as attitudes, goals, decisions, intentions, and judgements are not tied to any sensory experience and are not a part of our working memory. Such thoughts cannot be called 'conscious thoughts'
It can be inferred from the passage that they author considers a thought 'conscious' only when
A. It leads to the creation of visual imagery
B. It is not tied to a sensory experience
C. It is a part of our working memory
D. It is pronounced 'I had a thought'
E. It is not a goal or decision

Having a regular reading habit is clearly important to answer GMAT RC questions well. In order to read more passages, you can check out our GMAT RC Recommended Reading List.

GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)

In the GMAT Focus Edition, Critical Reasoning questions will account for about half the questions. About 11 to 12 questions in the GMAT Verbal section will be CR questions. The critical reasoning questions test your ability to critically evaluate a paragraph that is presented to you. This type of question includes a passage and five possible answers. The aspirant has to read through the passage and identify the relevant information provided. After this, it will be used to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the argument. The question types that you need to prepare for in GMAT CR include

  • Identify the Assumption
  • Weaken the Argument
  • Strengthen the Argument
  • Resolve the Paradox
  • Bold-Face Reasoning

GMAT CR Sample Question

Let us present a sample bold-face reasoning CR question here.

Rural areas in the world that are still not connected to the Internet have been identified in a recently published report. Following the publication of the report, many leading companies have recognised the untapped potential and are investing billions of dollars in bringing infrastructure to all corners of the world. However, their strategy need not necessarily be effective in contributing to their long-term revenues. Most of the investment is being made to bring infrastructure to inaccessible regions and the cost of a smartphone or services is unaffordable to a large portion of the population living in the regions. Moreover, having no clue what the word 'Internet' means, the people in these areas would have to first be educated on the same.

The two sentences in bold-face perform which of these roles in the argument?

  1. The first presents a fact that the author is disputing and the second presents an opinion drawn based on that fact
  2. The first is a fact that the author implicitly agrees and the second is a statement that the author disagrees with
  3. The first is an opinion directly contrary to the author's opinion and the second is the author's opinion
  4. The first is a fact that has contributed to a decision and the second expresses the author's disagreement with the decision
  5. The first is a fact supporting one point of view and the second is a fact supporting the contrary point of view.
Here's the first step to Cracking CR Questions
Download the Free CR Starter Guide eBook ➧

To get free practice of all the GMAT CR question types, you can check out our CR question bank here.

How is the Verbal section in the GMAT scored? What is a good GMAT Score in the Verbal Section?

The sectional score for the Verbal section is on a scale of 60 to 90 with one point increments. The score in the verbal section has an equal weightage in the computation of the GMAT Total Score. For an Indian Student aspiring to get into one of the 30 top business schools, a good score in the GMAT Verbal section would be anything upward of 80.

GMAT Data Insights Syllabus

What kind of questions are tested in GMAT DI? What is the exam pattern of the Data Insights section in the GMAT?

In the new GMAT Pattern 2024, GMAT introduced a new section called the Data Insights section. This section combines the questions types tested in the erstwhile GMAT Integrated Reasoning (IR) section and the Data Sufficiency questions.

The GMAT DI` question types include

  1. Table Analysis (TA): Read and understand the tabular information that is presented and then answer the questions that follow. The table acts like an excel sheet in the sense that you can reorder the information according to whichever column you want. So questions that ask you to classify the information or count the number of elements greater than or less than a value can be answered easily by a simple sort of the table on the corresponding column head.

    A Classification Question follows the data given the in the table. In a classification question, 3 or 4 statements are given. You have to classify the statements into one of the two categories mentioned based on the information given in the table. You get credit only and only if you get the classification for all the statements right. There is NO partial credit awarded for Table Analysis questions.

    About 2 to 3 questions out of the 20 Data Insights questions are table analysis questions.

  2. Graphical Interpretation (GI): Understand the graph or chart that is given and then answer the questions. Graphs that have been tested in the GMAT include line diagrams, bar diagrams, scatter diagrams, pie chart, flow charts. Questions test both understanding & interpretation of the graph and calculations based on the information given in the graph.

    The questions tested are fill in the blank questions with a drop down comprising options to select answer for each blank. Each graph is followed by one to three blanks that have to be filled. As with the Table Analysis questions, you get credit only if you get the answer to all the blanks correct. There is NO partial credit.

    About 3 to 4 questions out of the 20 Data Insights questions are graphical interpretation questions.

  3. Multi-source Reasoning (MSR): A combination of multiple sources of information - could be tables, graphs, or passages - would be presented and you have to process all sources of information together in order to answer the questions that are given. 2 to 4 questions across 1 to 2 MSR sets will be presented to you. Most test takers see 3 questions from one MSR set. Two types of questions appear - one of these is the classifiction questions akin to those in Table Analysis and other is the typical multiple choice question with five answer options.

  4. Two-part Analysis (TPA): Complex problems with two subdivisions within each question. A prompt will be given and the prompt will be followed by two questions. For the two questions, a common set of answer options will be given. One of the options from the set has to be picked for the first question and one for the second question. Concepts tested can not only be based on data interpretation from tables and graphs but also be ones learnt as part of GMAT Quant syllabus and from the GMAT Verbal syllabus. About 2 to 3 questions in the Data Insights section will be Two Part Analysis questions.

GMAT Data Insights Sample Question

Here is a sample question that is representative of the GMAT DI test pattern. This is a graphical interpretation practice question.

Directions: Understand the graphical information to answer the question that follows

The percentage change in the exports of the country was the highest in the year when it changed by approximately over the previous year.

Correct Answer to the DI Sample Question ▼

The percentage change in the exports of the country was the highest in the year 2015 when it changed by approximately 15% over the previous year.


5. Data Sufficiency (DS) questions

GMAT DS questions are unlike maths question you would have done before as part of the Quantitative Reasoning section. These questions test your understanding of fundamental maths concepts and your ability to determine how much information is needed to find the answer for any given mathematical construct. Data Sufficiency was a part of the quantitative reasoning section in the earlier versions of the GMAT. In the GMAT Focus Edition, DS has moved from the quant section to the Data Insights section. Data Sufficiency question type constitutes to about 30 to 35% of the GMAT DI section. So, about 6 to7 of the 20 questions in the DI section would be DS questions.

After this shift from the quant section to the DI section, non-quant DS questions are a part of the GMAT exam. Questions that have verbal reasoning, logical reasoning, syllogism concepts tested appear in the DS question type. The quant DS questions, however, account for the lion's share of the DS questions.

What exactly is a GMAT DS question? Let us see an example

GMAT Data Sufficiency | Directions ▼

This data sufficiency problem consists of a question and two statements, labeled (1) and (2), in which certain data are given. You have to decide whether the data given in the statements are sufficient for answering the question. Using the data given in the statements, plus your knowledge of mathematics and everyday facts (such as the number of days in a leap year or the meaning of the word counterclockwise), you must indicate whether -

  1. Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
  2. Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
  3. BOTH statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question asked, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question asked.
  4. EACH statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question asked.
  5. Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient to answer the question asked, and additional data specific to the problem are needed.


All numbers used are real numbers.


A figure accompanying a data sufficiency question will conform to the information given in the question but will not necessarily conform to the additional information given in statements (1) and (2)

Lines shown as straight can be assumed to be straight and lines that appear jagged can also be assumed to be straight

You may assume that the positions of points, angles, regions, etc. exist in the order shown and that angle measures are greater than zero.

All figures lie in a plane unless otherwise indicated.


In data sufficiency problems that ask for the value of a quantity, the data given in the statement are sufficient only when it is possible to determine exactly one numerical value for the quantity.

Question: If y > 0, is y an integer?

  1. 2y is an integer
  2. y2 is an integer

To practice more GMAT data sufficiency questions, click here.

How is the Data Insights section in the GMAT scored?

Unlike the classic edition of the GMAT, in which, the IR score was not a part of the GMAT total score of 800, the GMAT DI score is an integral part of the main 805 score. At the section level, the DI score is on a scale of 60 to 90, in 1 point intervals. A good score on the DI section is anything north of 80. Since the syllabus for the Data Insights section in the GMAT is a combination of the GMAT Quant syllabus and the GMAT verbal question types, students tend to aver that preparing for the DI section in the GMAT should begin after preparing for the other two sections. Sensible right? Not really! The concepts tested in the Data Insights section include basic percentage, fractions, growth rates, ordering, averages and the likes for the quant focused questions and decoding what is stated in the passage for the verbal focused questions. Preparing for the DI hand in hand with the other two sections is likely to help you feed off the gains made in the DI to the other two sections and vice versa. This way, you are likely to have done a big part of the preparation for the DI section alongside the prep for the other two sections.

What does it mean to say 'The GMAT is a Computer Adaptive Test'?

All 3 sections of the GMAT exam - GMAT Quant, GMAT Verbal, and GMAT Data Insights - are Computer Adaptive. A computer adaptive test (CAT) means that the test is evaluated by the computer. Not just is the computer determining whether you are marking the correct answer, it is also deciding what questions to give you based on how well you are answering the questions.

Imagine you are on the hot seat of some game similar to 'Who wants to be a millionaire?” (Or “Kaun Banega Crorepati” if you insist on a desi example). You know how in such games, the first few questions are very straightforward. But then the rest of the questions do not stay simple! As the amount of money at stake increases, so does the level of difficulty of the questions that are asked. Well, that is a layperson analogy to help you understand what happens during the GMAT test.

Everyone begins the GMAT exam by answering questions of the same level of difficulty. If you keep answering questions correctly, then the computer starts generating questions of higher difficulty. These questions are worth more points to your score if you answer them correctly. On the other hand. if you make a mistake and answer questions incorrectly, the computer does not hand you a cheque and end the game; it simply starts generating easier questions that are worth fewer points. So your performance determines your chances of scoring more in the test. The computer adapts to your performance in the GMAT exam.

What does this mean for a test-taker?

  1. You cannot skip a question - you have to necessarily mark an answer to move forward. However, note in the Focus Edition, GMAT lets you review and change your answers thrice in each section.
  2. It is reasonable to therefore infer that the initial questions are likely to be easier and they tend to get harder if you answer the earlier ones correctly.

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Frequently Asked Questions about GMAT Syllabus

1. What is the primary difference between the GMAT and GRE syllabus?

The main difference is that the GMAT includes a Data Insights section that is missing in the GRE General Test. A lighter version of the Data Insights question type appears as Data Interpretation in the GRE Quant section. The other big difference is in what is tested in the verbal section of both the tests. The GMAT focuses on Critical Reasoning and does not have much of an emphasis on testing vocabulary. The GRE tests Critical Reasoning as part of the Reading Comprehension questions and has about half the questions dedicated to testing the use of vocabulary - the GRE Sentence Equivalence questions and the GRE Text Completion questions.

2. Is CAT preparation sufficient for the GMAT or is separate preparation required?

There is reasonable overlap in the GMAT syllabus and CAT syllabus. So, the hardwork you have put during your CAT preparation will come in handy when you kick start or switch over to the GMAT and vice versa. Having said that, there are distinct elements such as data sufficiency, integrated reasoning questions (part of the GMAT Data Insights), and a tougher verbal section that will require a 1 to 2 month top up preparation to do justice to the GMAT.

3. Is GMAT Quant easier than CAT and what kind of preparation is required for it?

Preparing for the GMAT Quant section is generally considered easier than the CAT quant section. If you have done serious preparation for the CAT quant section, you will find GMAT quantitative questions to be more straightforward. However, despite the lesser overall prep needed, candidates should devote a dedicated 1-3 months solely to GMAT preparation due to its computer adaptive testing engine, unique scoring system, exam structure, and types of questions, which differ markedly from those in the CAT. The icing on the cake - the GMAT score is valid for 5 years. A few tens of hours invested to bank a great score will pay rich dividend over an extended period.

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