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GMAT is organized by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) throughout a year.GMAT is required for getting admission to MBA programs globally for Masters in Finance & related courses. GMAT is held in 112 countries all over the world. The GMAT exam pattern comprises 4 sections:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment
  2. Integrated Reasoning
  3. Quantitative Reasoning
  4. Verbal Reasoning
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: The 4 Sections to test your Skills
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: The 4 Sections to test your Skills

GMAT Pattern 2020– In Brief

GMAT is a computer – adaptive exam, which means that upcoming questions get tougherif you keep getting answers right. There is no negative marking in the GMAT exam pattern. Your GMAT score shall be valid for a period of 5 years. 

The GMAT exam pattern consists of 4 sections, as already mentioned, spanning approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes including 2 optional breaks of 8 minutes each. Recently, GMAC announced the Select Section Orderprovision which will enable you to select the order of the sections in which you want to write your exam. Selecting your preferred order is one of the tasks that you will have to do before starting with your exam. More details in the following paragraphs.

GMAT Paper Pattern 2020: Short Summary of 4 GMAT Sections
GMAT Paper Pattern 2020: Short Summary of 4 GMAT Sections

GMAT Test Pattern: What do each of the Sections Measure?

As mentioned, the GMAT test pattern consists of 4 sections:

GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: What Do Each of the Sections Measure?
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: What Do Each of the Sections Measure?

GMAT Paper Pattern 2020 “Select Section Order”: In Which Order Will You Take the Sections?

After you arrive at the test center, you will enjoy the flexibility to choose from 3 options regarding the order in which you will write the 4 sections. The options are:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment ->Integrated Reasoning ->Quantitative ->Verbal
  • Verbal ->Quantitative ->Integrated Reasoning ->Analytical Writing Assessment
  • Quantitative ->Verbal ->Integrated Reasoning ->Analytical Writing Assessment

Such a choice simply gives you more control & flexibility. You can take the GMAT exam based on your strengths and testing preferences.

GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Three Orders in Which You Can Take the Sections
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Three Orders in Which You Can Take the Sections

The GMAT Test Pattern 2020: Is the Exam Computer Adaptive?

The Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections are computer-adaptive.

This means that, the difficulty level of upcoming questions alters itself in real-time according to preceding answers.

This feature helps to assess your potential with a higher degree of precision. This ensures delivery of scores that business schools trust.

Here’s how it works:

GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: How the Computer Adapt to Difficulty Levels?
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: How the Computer Adapt to Difficulty Levels?

We will now discuss the entire GMAT exam pattern at length, explaining the types of questions involved as well as the skills tested.

Subjects in GMAT: Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

This section measures if you can think critically and communicate your ideas.

GMAT Exam Pattern 2020:  Main Aspects of Analytical Writing Assessment Section
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020:  Main Aspects of Analytical Writing Assessment Section

About Analysis of an Argument

  • In this section, you will have to discuss how justified you find a given argument.
  • While doing so, you will analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument.
  • Before you start writing, you would need a few minutes to evaluate the argument and plan your response.
  • Your ideas have to be organized and fully developed.
  • You would also need time to reread your response for making revisions, but you will only have 30 minutes.

How Will Your Analysis be evaluated?

Your answer/analysis is evaluated using 2 independent verticals. It is then is combined to compute a single AWA score.

  • An electronic system will be put to use in order to evaluate various structural and linguistic features of your essay. This includes assessing the way you’ve organized your ideas, syntactic variety and topical analysis.
  • Trained evaluators having backgrounds in varying subject matter areas, like management education, will assess the overall quality of your thinking & writing. This includes how well you:
    • Identify and analyze important features of the argument
    • Organize, develop, and express your ideas
    • Provide relevant supporting reasons and examples
    • Use standard written English

AWA Re-scoring Service

  • You may place a request of rescoring your AWA score by an independent reader for a fee of USD 45.
  • Requests for rescoring are to be placed within 6 months of your test date.

List of 5 Things to Know About Rescoring

  • Rescoring results are final. You are not permitted to submit more than one rescore request.
  • Rescoring may cause an increase or decrease in your original AWA score.
  • Revised results are sent both to you and your selected programs approximately 20 days after your request is received.
  • The fee will not be refunded once your rescoring request is processed.
  • You cannot request for rescoring the Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal sections of the GMAT exam.

Example of an AWA Question

Directions

Directions for AWA Question
Directions for AWA Question

Question

Example of an AWA Question
Example of an AWA Question

Model Answer (this one, written by some candidate, actually received the highest rating):

Best Answer to This Question (Part I)
Best Answer to This Question (Part I)
Best Answer to This Question (Part II)
Best Answer to This Question (Part II)

Subjects in GMAT: Quantitative Reasoning

  • This section seeks to measure your ability to reason quantitatively, solve quantitative problems, interpret graphic data, and analyze and use information given in a problem.
  • This section consists of 31 multiple-choice questions.
  • The difficulty of the questions will attack your logic & analytical skills required, not your underlying math skills.
  • You will have 62 minutes to complete it.

The questions will require certain levels of knowledge of arithmetic, elementary algebra and commonly known concepts of geometry.

There are 2 types of quantitative questions:

  • Problem solving
  • Data sufficiency

The use of calculators is not allowed.

You must do your math work out by hand using pen and graph paper given to you at the testing center.

GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Quantitative Reasoning - The Two Types of Questions Explained
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Quantitative Reasoning – The Two Types of Questions Explained

Problem Solving

  • You solve a problem and indicate the best of 5 answer choices.
  • This will measure your ability to use logic and analytical reasoning to solve problems.

An Example of Problem Solving Question

Question

Example Question 1 (Quantitative)
Example Question 1 (Quantitative)

Your 5 options are:

A. I onlyQuestion

B. II only

C. III only

D. I and II

E. II and III

Your answer should be“E”

Data Sufficiency

  • You will confront a problem consisting of a question and 2 statements.
  • Using the data in the statements, plus your knowledge of math combined with everyday facts, you will have to decide whether you have enough data in the statement to answer the question asked.
  • This will measure your ability to analyze a quantitative problem, recognize which data is relevant, and determine at what point there are enough data to solve the problem.

An Example of Data Sufficiency Question

Directions

GMAT Exam Pattern 2020:  Directions for Example Question 2 (Quantitative)
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020:  Directions for Example Question 2 (Quantitative)

Question

GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Example Question 2 (Quantitative)
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Example Question 2 (Quantitative)

Your 5 options are:

GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Your 5 Answer Options for This Question
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Your 5 Answer Options for This Question

Your answer should be“D”

Subjects in GMAT: Verbal Reasoning

  • This section deals with reading, understanding, evaluating and correcting written material.
  • This section will measure your ability to read & understand written test, explain & evaluate arguments, as well as correct material so as to express ideas effectively in standard written English.
  • This section consists of 36 multiple-choice questions.
  • You will get 65 minutes to complete it.

There are 3 types of questions in this section.

  1. Reading Comprehension
  2. Critical Reasoning
  3. Sentence Correction.

Reading Comprehension & Critical Reasoning questions also have sub-types, though you will not need specialized knowledge of the subject matter.

Reading Comprehension

  • This is a measure of your ability to understand words and statements.
  • It also measures if you can understand logical relationships between significant points, draw inferences, and follow the development of quantitative concepts.
  • Specifically, these reading skills will be tested:
    • Main idea
    • Supporting idea
    • Inference
    • Application
    • Logical structure
    • Style
  • Each Reading Comprehension passage is accompanied with questions which ask you to interpret material, draw inferences or apply to a further context.
  • A passage may discuss topics including social sciences & humanities, physical and biological sciences, or a business-related field.
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Aspects of Reading Comprehension
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Aspects of Reading Comprehension

Example of Reading Comprehension Question

Directions

GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Directions for Reading Comprehension Question
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Directions for Reading Comprehension Question

Question

GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Example Question (Reading Comprehension)
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Example Question (Reading Comprehension)

Your 5 options are:

GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Your 5 Answer Options for This Question (Reading Comprehension)
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Your 5 Answer Options for This Question (Reading Comprehension)

Your answer should be“A”

Critical Reasoning

  • This will measure your ability to make arguments, evaluate arguments, and formulate or evaluate a plan of action.
  • Such questions are based on a short reading passage, usually fewer than 100 words.
  • Typically, the short text is accompanied with a question which asks you which of the 5 answer options strengthens or weakens an argument, tells why the argument is flawed, or strongly supports or damages the argument.

Example of Critical Reasoning Question

Question

GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Example of Critical Reasoning Question
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Example of Critical Reasoning Question

Your 5 options are:

GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Your 5 Answer Options (Critical Reasoning)
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Your 5 Answer Options (Critical Reasoning)

Your answer should be “C”

Sentence Correction

  • Measures 2 broad skills of English language proficiency.
  • Number 1 is correct expression. This refers to whether your sentences are grammatically and structurally sound.
  • Number 2 is effective expression. This refers to whether your sentences effectively express an idea or relationship clearly, concisely, and grammatically.
  • Each question in this section presents a sentence, part or all of which is underlined.
  • Beneath the sentence are 5 ways of phrasing the underlined part.
  • You must choose an answer, paying attention to grammar, word choice & sentence construction, so as to produce the most effective sentence.

Example of Sentence Correction Question

Directions

GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Directions for Sentence Correction Question
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Directions for Sentence Correction Question

Question

Your 5 answer Options for This Question
Your 5 answer Options for This Question

Your answer should be “B”

Subjects in GMAT: Integrated Reasoning

There are 4 types of questions in the Integrated Reasoning Section:

  • Multi-Source Reasoning
  • Table Analysis
  • Graphics Interpretation
  • 2-Part Analysis

There are 2 special features of this section:

  1. Many questions will require more than one response. You are specifically permitted to use an online calculator with basic functions to answer the questions.
  2. You must answer all responses to a question correctly because the questions are designed to test your ability to integrate data to solve complex problems. No partial credit (part-marking) will be given.

The questions in this section involve both quantitative and verbal reasoning, either separately or in combination.

There are 4 types of questions in this section.

Multi-Source Reasoning

  • This type of question will measure your ability to examine data from multiple sources text passages, tables, graphics, or some combination of the three
  • It also measures your ability to analyze each source of data carefully to answer multiple questions.
  • Some questions may require you to recognize discrepancies among different sources of data.
  • Others may ask you to draw inferences, and still others may require you to determine whether data is relevant.

Table Analysis

This type of question will measure your ability to sort and analyze a table of data, similar to a spreadsheet, in order to determine what information is relevant or meets certain conditions.

Graphics Interpretation

This type of question will measure your ability to interpret some information presented in a graph or other graphical image (scatter plot, x/y graph, bar chart, pie chart, or statistical curve distribution) to discern relationships, and make inferences.

2-Part Analysis

  • This type of question will measure your ability to solve complex problems.
  • Questions may be quantitative, verbal, or some combination of both.
  • The format is intentionally made versatile to cover a wide range of content.
  • Your ability to evaluate trade-offs, solve simultaneous equations, and discern relationships between 2 entities will be assessed.

What is the GMAT Pattern of Scoring?

Testing is Computer-Adaptive in GMAT Exam Pattern

  • Your Official Score Report typically includes several ways to interpret your exam results.
  • Each of your 5 GMAT exam scores (AWA, Integrated, Quantitative, Verbal and Total) is reported on a fixed scale.
  • Each appears on the Official GMAT Score Report that you and the elected score recipients (graduate business programs) receive.
  • There is a penalty if you do not complete each section of the exam.
  • Also, if you fail to finish in the allotted time, your scores will be calculated based upon the number of questions answered.
  • Your score may decrease substantially with each unanswered question.

How to Interpret Your Results?

The GMAT total score is composed of only the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the exam.

Total, Verbal, and Quantitative Scores of the GMAT Exam Pattern

  • The total GMAT scores range between 200 and 800.
  • 2/3rds of test takers score anywhere between 400 and 600.
  • Verbal and Quantitative scores usually range from 0 to 60; scores below 6 and above 51 are typically rare.
  • Verbal and Quantitative scores are mapped to a fixed scale. They can be compared across all GMAT test administrations, but they cannot be compared to each other.
Are you wondering how the sectional score-points of these 2 sections mapped to the hundreds?

We know it’s hard trying to get a handle on your score report. Relax. You need to know we’ve broken down everything for you here!

GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Scoring Mechanism Explained
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Scoring Mechanism Explained
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Example of Quantitative Sectional Scores and Percentile Ranks
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Example of Quantitative Sectional Scores and Percentile Ranks
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Example of Verbal Sectional Scores and Percentile Ranks
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Example of Verbal Sectional Scores and Percentile Ranks
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Example of Total Scores and Percentile Ranks
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Example of Total Scores and Percentile Ranks

Analytical Writing Assessment Score

This is not included in the Total GMAT score.

GMAT Exam Pattern of Scoring: What are the AWA Scoring Rules?
GMAT Exam Pattern of Scoring: What are the AWA Scoring Rules?

Integrated Reasoning Score

This is not included in the Total GMAT score.

  • Scores of this section range between 1 and 8, that too in single-digit intervals.
  • Most of the questions in this section require more than one response.
  • You must answer all questions correctly to receive credit because the questions are designed to measure how well you integrate data and solve complex problems No partial credit is given.

GMAT Test Pattern 2020 – Details of Your Score Report

You may feel tempted to pay attention seeing your Total score.

However, the other scores are also meaningful. Other scores offer inducting schools insight into your strengths and areas for development.

GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Details of your Official Score Report
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Details of your Official Score Report
GMAT Test Pattern 2020: A Sample Official Score Report
GMAT Test Pattern 2020: A Sample Official Score Report

GMAT Pattern 2020: All about Score Reports and Your Test Day Tasks

Score Reports

  • Your unofficial score report is available in your test centre immediately following the exam. 
  • This unofficial score report includes your Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning and Total (score based on the Quantitative and Verbal sections).
  • Your official score report (OSR)includes the Analytical Writing Assessment in addition to the Quantitative, Verbal, and Integrated Reasoning, and Total. OSR is available within 20 days of the exam.

Tasks for Your Test Day

Task #1– Select Your Score Receiving Schools

  • Upon arriving at your test centre, before starting your GMAT Exam, you will select up to 5 schools/programs that are to receive your Official Score Report.
  • Your OSR will be sent to the selected 5 programs electronically or via post. This service is covered within your GMAT registration fee. Once selections are made, they cannot be changed.
  • However, if you wish to send your OSR to additional schools, you can do so with a stipulated fee and as long as your scores are not more than 5 years old.

Task #2 – Choose Your Section Order

You will have 3 section order options and 2 minutes to make a selection.

If you do not make a selection within two minutes, the first order will be selected as a default.

  • Analytical Writing Assessment ->Integrated Reasoning ->Quantitative ->Verbal
  • Verbal ->Quantitative ->Integrated Reasoning ->Analytical Writing Assessment
  • Quantitative ->Verbal ->Integrated Reasoning ->Analytical Writing Assessment

Think through your strengths & strategies that work best for you prior to your exam.

GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: What are the 3 different Orders that you can choose from?
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: What are the 3 different Orders that you can choose from?

Time will be deducted from the next section of your exam if you exceed the time limit for your break.

Task #3 -Accept or Cancel Your Scores after Your GMAT exam

  • When you complete your exam, your unofficial GMAT score reports will be displayed containing Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, and Total scores.
  • Analytical Writing Assessment scores are not available immediately.
  • You will be given 2 minutes to decide whether to cancel or accept your score.
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: The Ultimate Guide to Help You Succeed 1
GMAT Exam Pattern 2020: Other Important Things to Know about accepting & canceling scores

Useful Links

  1. GMAC’s (not a typo–it’s the GMAT test-maker!) Handbook for GMAT Exam.
  2. Entire code list for accredited programs
  3. GMAC’s scores and percentile rankings.
  4. GMAT Write™ – GMAC’s essay writing practice tool
  5. Check GMAC’s Integrated Reasoning Prep Tool®
  6. Check multi-source reasoning sample questions.
  7. Check table-analysis sample questions.
  8. Check graphics sample questions
  9. Check 2-part sample questions.

Conclusions

Good to have you, finally, on this other side! Looking forward to getting admission in an esteemed business schoolof global repute? Hope we’ve been able to help you with most of the knowledge that you were asking for. Your mind must be brimming with all the details of the GMAT exam pattern, every question type of the GMAT paper patterns and all about the subjects in GMAT. Nevertheless, want some handholding to get you through this? How about a discussion with our expert career counselors with decades of experience concerning education in this field? Thanks!