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GMAT Exam Paper Pattern: A Guide to Help You Crack the Exam!


The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is administered as an entrance exam for students who want to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Management (MIM), and other business or finance-related graduate programs. Passing the GMAT exam validates students’ skills and ability to manage management programs taught in business schools. Therefore, a complete and detailed understanding of the GMAT exam pattern and a breakdown of the exam pattern can increase your chances of getting a high score.

Before we move further, let’s first have a look at how GMAC defines the GMAT exam – “The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a computer-assisted adaptive test (CAT) designed to assess specific analytical, written, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English for use in program admissions postgraduate management, for example, MBA”.

Do you know?

According to the Graduate Admissions Council (GMAC), which owns the test, the GMAT is a trusted and preferred part of the admissions process for more than 7,000 business and management programs worldwide.

Let’s get started…

What all is covered in this post?

To make it easier for you, we have created a quick guide to everything you need to know about the GMAT exam pattern.

GMAT Exam Pattern Post Cover

Highlight of GMAT exam

Exam organizerGraduate Management Admission Council
Total number of questions80
Score range200-800
Average score556
Exam Duration3 hours 7 minutes
Language of InstructionEnglish
Mode of ExaminationComputer-based
Negative MarkingNone
Official GMAT

Apart from above few more exam highlights is:

  • The GMAT exam has no standard syllabus; thus, questions are set to test students’ analytical and reasoning skills.
  • Students can choose from three given orders to complete the exam.
  • The analytical writing assessment consists of an essay question.
  • Integrated Reasoning consists of non-MCQs such as the TITA question type (enter answer).
  • There is no such thing as a negative mark on the GMAT.
  • Two optional eight-minute breaks are given during the exam.

GMAT Section-wise Exam Pattern

GMAT is held in 112 countries all over the world. The GMAT exam pattern comprises 4 sections:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
  2. Integrated Reasoning (IR)
  3. Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
  4. Verbal Reasoning (VR)

Here is a brief overview of each of these sections in GMAT format:

GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment Pattern & Score

The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section of the GMAT measures your ability to analyze an argument and express your thoughts or ideas. What you simply need to do is critically analyze the reasoning behind the argument.

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Pattern: Analysis of argumentation on 1 topic & Analysis of an Issue
  • Score: The GMAT AWA percentile score is the percentage of candidates in which you performed best. For example, if you scored an AWA of 4.5, you performed better than 43% of test takers. The GMAT percentile score is not static and constantly changes based on the number of test takers each year.

GMAT Integrated Reasoning Pattern & Score

The Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT measures your ability to evaluate information presented in a variety of formats from a variety of sources—skills necessary to succeed in our technologically advanced, data-driven world.

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Pattern: 12 questions of the following question types: Reasoning from multiple sources, Interpretation of graphics, Two-part analysis, and Table Analysis.
  • Score: Most consider an Integrated Reasoning score of 6 or higher to be good. If you score a 6, you’ll be in the 64th percentile, which means you’re ahead of about two-thirds of the test takers. A 7 would put you in the top 20% of test takers, and a perfect 8 would put you in the top 10%.

GMAT Quantitative Reasoning Pattern & score

The quantitative section measures your ability to analyze data and draw conclusions using reasoning skills. The mathematics required to understand and solve the questions in this section of the GMAT exam is no greater than that typically taught in high school classrooms.

  • Duration: 62 minutes
  • Pattern: 31 Questions of the following types: Problem Solving (PS), and Data Sufficiency (DS)
  • Score: Quantitative scores range from 0 to 60. Scores above 50 and below 7 are rare, and the average GMAT Quantitative Score of all test takers is 38.91. However, to get into most MBA programs, you will need to achieve higher grades.

GMAT Verbal Reasoning Pattern & Score

The speaking part measures your ability to read and understand written material, evaluate arguments and correct written material according to standard written English.

  • Duration: 65 minutes
  • Pattern: 36 questions from the following topics: Reading Comprehension (RC); Critical Thinking (CR); and Sentence Correction (SC)
  • Score: Verbal Reasoning scores range from 0 to 60. Scores below nine and above 44 on Verbal Reasoning are rare. The Verbal Reasoning assessment is a component of the overall assessment.

Note: For details on the exam syllabus refer to our GMAT syllabus post.

Bonus: GMAT preparation tips

GMAT preparation tips include tips not only for GMAT subject preparation but also for understanding the overall structure of the test. In order to pass the GMAT, you must not only know the concepts and the application of the concepts but also know how to structure your preparation. In this section, we talk about top GMAT preparation tips that will help you improve your GMAT score!

  1. Be Courageous! You need to push the envelope!
  2. Build an Error Log
  3. Build Core Skills – Don’t blindly practice questions
  4. Know the difference: Full-Length Mocks are to measure Test Readiness; Sectional Tests are for Improvement
  5. Master one sub-section at a time
  6. Understand your Strengths and Weaknesses
  7. Street Smarts – a smart combination of not only hard work but also smart work!
  8. Be Resourceful
  9. Become your own Teacher
  10. Identify what’s tested and what’s not
  11. Be Consistent and Improve your GMAT Score

It’s a wrap!

Good to have you, finally, on this other side! Looking forward to getting admission to an esteemed business school of global repute? Hope we’ve been able to help you with most of the knowledge that you were asking for. We’ve just finished presenting to you all the details of the GMAT exam pattern for MBA & other Master’s courses, every question type of the GMAT subjects, and specific details about every topic covered in the GMAT exam pattern. Nevertheless, do you need some handholding to get you through this? How about a discussion with our expert career counsellors to study abroad with decades of experience concerning education in this field?

Talk to our study abroad experts with 20+ years of experience to know yourself in and out! We have helped several brilliant but confused minds with the aim to select their most-suited career choices. Hear the success story of Aayush who got an offer from the top 3 universities and is now studying at a University in Ottawa in Canada after getting career guidance from our industry experts!

Also Read:

  1. Refer for detailed patterns:
  2. GMAT Exam Pattern 2022
  3. Crack MBA Entrance Exams
  4. Looking For an MBA (Finance)
  5. IELTS Syllabus 2022
  6. Graduate Management Admission Test
  7. GMAT Accepting Colleges in India


Are the GMAT and GMAT online exams in the same format?

Yes, the format of the online GMAT and GMAT is the same.

Is the GMAT difficult to pass?

More than 200,000 people take the GMAT each year and only 6% of the total score is 720 or higher. From this data, we can understand that GMAT is a tough exam and efforts should be made to score 700+

How much does it cost to reschedule the online GMAT exam?

The fee for rescheduling the online GMAT exam is $25.

Is GMAT easy for Indian students?

The exam is certainly not an easy task. On the contrary, all exams are easy if you prepare for them.

Is the GMAT just math?

The GMAT is the most commonly required aptitude test for admission to MBAs and some master’s programs in business and management. The exam is conducted in English but is not a language test. Test takers solve math problems, but the GMAT does not test your level of math knowledge.

2 thoughts on “GMAT Exam Paper Pattern: A Guide to Help You Crack the Exam!”

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