GMAT Exam Pattern: GMAT Exam Format (Section-wise), Questions, Time Limit

GMAT

Aishwarya Bhatnagar

Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert

Updated on Feb 29, 2024 22:40 IST

GMAT Pattern 2024: Before starting any exam preparation, it is vital to know the pattern and the syllabus of that exam. GMAT Exam Pattern consists of 80 questions spread over 4 sections. The GMAT Paper Pattern comprises both objective and subjective questions. In this article, we will discuss everything about the GMAT exam pattern. Overall, the GMAT pattern comprises 80 questions that are divided into four sections namely Analytical Writing Assessment (1 Essay in 30 Minutes), Integrated Reasoning (12 Questions in 30 Minutes), Quantitative Reasoning (31 Questions in 62 Minutes), and Verbal Reasoning (36 Questions in 65 Minutes).gmat exam pattern

GMAT Pattern 2024 Latest Update

GMAC has launched the GMAT Focus Edition. In this article, we look at the GMAT Focus Edition exam pattern as well.

GMAT Focus Edition syllabus and pattern are different from the current version of the GMAT exam. The table given below provides the details of the GMAT Focus Edition pattern 2024:

GMAT Focus Edition Section Number of Questions Time GMAT Focus Edition Score Range
Quantitative Reasoning (QR) 21 Questions 45 Minutes 60-90 (1-point Increment)
Verbal Reasoning (VR) 23 Questions 45 Minutes 60-90 (1-point Increment)
Data Insights (DI) 20 Questions 45 Minutes 60-90 (1-point Increment)
Total 64 Questions 2 Hours + 15 Minutes 205-805 (10-point Increment)
Breaks - 1 Optional Break of 10 Minutes -

It can be noted that the AWA section has been removed and a new section, called Data Insights, has been introduced. In addition to this, Sentence Correction (SC) has been removed and the Data Sufficiency (DS) will now be a part of the Data Insights (DI) section.

Q:   What is GMAT Focus Edition syllabus?

A:

GMAC has introduced the GMAT Focus Edition. The GMAT Focus Edition syllabus and pattern are different from the current GMAT 2023 exam. Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) and Sentence Correction (SC) are not a part of the GMAT Focus Edition syllabus. A new section, called Data Insights (DI), has been introduced. Data Sufficiency (DS), which used to form a part of the GMAT Quants section, will now be a part of the Data Insights (DI) section. Moreover, the GMAT Focus Edition is shorter than the current version of the GMAT 2023 exam by about an hour.

 

Q:   What are the differences between the current GMAT exam and the GMAT Focus Edition patterns?

A:

The table given below provides a comparison between the current version of the GMAT exam and the GMAT Focus Edition:

HeadGMAT Current EditionGMAT Focus Edition
Duration3 hours and 7 minutes2 hours and 15 minutes
Questions
  • Quant = 31 Questions (62 Minutes)
  • Verbal = 36 Questions (65 minutes)
  • IR = 12 Questions (30 Minutes)
  • AWA = 1 Question (30 Minutes)
  • Total = 80 Questions (3 Hours and 7 Minutes)
  • Quant = 21 Questions (45 Minutes)
  • Verbal = 23 Questions (45 Minutes)
  • Data Insights = 20 Questions (45 Minutes)
  • Total = 64 Questions (2 Hours and 15 Minutes)
Breaks2 optional breaks of 8-minutes each1 optional break of 10 minutes
 
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GMAT Exam Pattern 2024

Before beginning your GMAT preparation for the GMAT 2024 exam, the students must understand the GMAT paper pattern. The GMAT exam requires 3 hours and 7 minutes to complete the test. The medium of the GMAT is English and the mode is computer-based. The score range of the GMAT is between 200-800. Each of the GMAT sections has a time limit and it varies according to the sections. Apart from this, candidates can control their test-taking experience and have the option of choosing amongst the three combinations to attempt the exam.

The Analytical Writing Assessment section of the GMAT exam is a 30-minute essay that involves an analysis of a given argument. The Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT contains different types of questions (a total of 12) that are to be answered in 30 minutes. AWA and IR sections do not contribute to the 200-800 GMAT score. The GMAT Quant or Quantitative Reasoning section consists of 31 questions to be answered in 62 minutes. The GMAT Verbal Reasoning section consists of 36 questions to be answered in 65 minutes. Your performance in the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections forms a part of the 200-800 GMAT score. The GMAT format is given below:

GMAT Exam Section

No. of Questions/ Time Limit

GMAT Question Type

GMAT Score Range

Analytical Writing Assessment

1 Topic (30 minutes)

Analysis of an Argument

0-6 (0.5-point increments)

Integrated Reasoning

12 questions (30 minutes)

  • Multi-Source Reasoning,
  • Graphics Interpretation,
  • Two-Part Analysis,
  • Table Analysis

1-8 (1-point increments)

Quantitative Reasoning

31 questions (62 minutes)

  • Data Sufficiency,
  • Problem Solving

6-51 (1-point increments)

Verbal Reasoning

36 questions (65 minutes)

  • Reading Comprehension,
  • Critical Reasoning,
  • Sentence Correction

6-51 (1-point increments)

Total 

80 questions (3 hours 7 minutes) -

200 - 800

A candidate has the option to take two ‘8-minute breaks’ during the exam.

The GMAT format has four sections; we have discussed the GMAT Paper Pattern above. The GMAT exam format is designed to evaluate certain skill sets of aspirants. Read below about each of the GMAT paper pattern 2024.

Q:   Is there any negative marking in GMAT exam?

A:

No, there is no negative marking in the GMAT test. However, students must not take this lightly. Despite that fact that GMAT does not have negative marking, it does not make the test easy. If you go on marking questions without solving, you might end up with a very low score that might not be sufficient for you admission. Moreover, the GMAT is a computer adaptive test. This means that if you answer a question correctly, the next question will be tougher but will have higher points associated with it. If you answer a question incorrectly, your next question will be easier but will have lower points associated with it. Hence, if you keep making wild guesses, there are high chances that you will keep receiving questions that are easier but will fetch you lower scores. Hence, it is advised that the students take their GMAT preparation seriously.

 

Q:   What is the difference between GMAT and GRE?

A:

Here are some pointers that will help you understand the differences between the GMAT exam 2023 pattern and GRE exam pattern:

Head

GMAT

GRE

Acceptance

Accepted by more than 7,700 programmes across 2,400 institutions

All reputed universities for postgraduate degree programs (including management)

Test Format

  • Analytical Writing Assessment (1 Essay in 30 Minutes)
  • Integrated Reasoning (12 Questions in 30 Minutes)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (31 Questions in 62 Minutes)
  • Verbal Reasoning (36 Questions in 65 Minutes)
  • Analytical Writing (1 Section: 2 Essays in 60 minutes)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (2 Sections: 40 Questions in 70 Minutes)
  • Verbal Reasoning (2 Sections: 40 Questions in 60 Minutes
  • Unscored Section
  • Research

Time

3 hours + 7 minutes

3 hours + 45 minutes

Test Mode

Computerized adaptive test

Both paper and computerized adaptive modes

Score Range

200 - 800 in 10-point increment

130 - 170 in 1 point increment

Score Validity

5 years

5 years

Cost

$275 (GMAT taken at a test centre)

$300 (Online GMAT exam at home)

$228

Retakes

After every 16 calendar days to a maximum of 5 attempts in a 12-month period and 8 attempts in one's lifetime

After every 21 days to a maximum of 5 attempts in a year (continuous rolling 12-month period from the beginning of the first test)

 

Q:   Are calculators allowed in the GMAT exam?

A:

Candidates are not allowed to bring their calculators; however, they are provided digital calculators with basic functionality for the Integrated Reasoning section. Rather than depending on a calculator, candidates must increase their speed. The best way to do this is to visit CAT and Indian Banking exams’ websites. Students can find the best possible tricks to increase their calculation speed on these websites. Moreover, it is advised that the students memorize tables till 20, squares till 30, and cubes till 20. Your goal should be to increase your speed without compromising your accuracy.

 

Q:   Is the question type and pattern of CAT and GMAT similar?

A:

The question type and pattern of CAT (Common Admission Test) and GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) are not similar. While both exams are used for admissions to management programs, they have different formats and question types. Here are the key differences between CAT and GMAT.

CAT:

  • CAT is conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).
  • It is a computer-based exam consisting of three sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR), and Quantitative Ability (QA).
  • CAT includes multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and non-MCQs (Type In The Answer) questions.
  • The exam pattern may vary from year to year, but generally, CAT has a time limit for each section and a fixed number of questions in each section.

GMAT:

  • GMAT is an internationally recognised exam used by business schools worldwide and in India for admission to MBA and MIM programs.
  • It is a computer-adaptive test, meaning the difficulty level of questions adjusts based on the test-taker's performance on the GMAT exam.
  • GMAT consists of four sections: Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Integrated Reasoning (IR), Quantitative Reasoning (QR), and Verbal Reasoning (VR).
  • The question types in GMAT include multiple-choice questions, data sufficiency, sentence correction, etc.
  • The GMAT 2023 exam pattern remains consistent, with a fixed number of questions and time limits for each section.

In summary, while both CAT and GMAT are entrance exams for management programs, their question types, formats, and sections differ significantly. However, it is possible to prepare for both the exam simultaneously as both are based on a similar theme. In fact, both exams will complement each other’s preparation.

 

Analytical Writing Assessment for GMAT 2024

This section assesses the candidate's ability to think critically and communicate their ideas. The candidate is required to analyse a given argument and write a critique of it. The topics are usually of general interest. This section checks the candidate's ability to organize his/her thoughts and use of given evidence to support their viewpoint.

Q:   Is the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section present in the online GMAT exam?

A:

The Analytical Writing Assessment section is a part of the GMAT online exam. Here are some tips for GMAT AWA:

  • You are scored on the basis of four parameters which include: analysis of the issue, supporting ideas, coherence, and language control.
  • Make sure to look for flaws in the given argument. Critical Reasoning section of the GMAT exam will help you in doing the same.
  • Let there be a flow in your language so that each idea is connected to the other one via logic and reason.
  • You can follow the following structure: Introduction (flaws and upcoming content) + first para (first critique and supporting example) + second para (continue and another example) + third para (raise questions) + conclusion (mention that the argument is flawed and how it can be strengthened).

For GMAT AWA example, please visit this link.

 

Integrated Reasoning for GMAT 2024

This section requires candidates to analyse and evaluate information presented in different formats. The questions in this section will test your quantitative and verbal skills.

  • Multi-source reasoning: in these questions, you have to compare, interpret or apply the information presented in tables, graphs, diagrams, written passages, and other types of visual representation
  • Table analysis: in these questions, a candidate has to determine statistics, ratios, probabilities or proportions, etc. from a given spreadsheet-like table
  • Graphics interpretation: there will be multiple choice type questions to be answered based on given bar graphs, bubble graphs, and line graphs
  • Two-part analysis: in these questions, a candidate has to determine trade-offs, calculate proportion, etc. and choose answers that will be given in the tabular format

Quantitative Reasoning for GMAT 2024

It measures the candidates' ability to analyse data and give conclusions using reasoning skills.

  • Algebra: inequalities, equations, functions, exponents, and absolute value
  • Geometry: circles, lines and angles, solids, coordinate geometry and polygons
  • Arithmetic: ratio and proportion, fractions, decimals, percentages, discrete probability counting methods, and sets
  • Word problems: time and work, rate, simple and compound interest, discounts, profit and loss, data interpretation, measurement problems, and geometry questions

Q:   What are some of the GMAT Quant topics that can be expected in the GMAT test?

A:

Below are some of the topics that need to be covered to prepare for the GMAT Quants:

  • Arithmetic: Number system (unit digit, powers, roots, fractions, decimals, etc.), average, ratio and proportion, mixtures and allegations, percentages, profit and loss, interest, speed, time and distance, sets, probability, statistics, etc.
  • Algebra: Equations, quadratic equations, polynomials, functions, exponents, inequalities, permutation and combination, etc.
  • Geometry: Triangle, lines and angles, quadrilaterals, circles, coordinate geometry, etc.

Students must note that the GMAT Focus Edition syllabus and pattern for Quantitative Reasoning section is different from the current version of the GMAT 2023 exam. In the GMAT Focus Edition Quants, there will be two topics, viz. Algebra and Arithmetic. Data Sufficiency will form a part of the Data Insights (DI) section.

 

Verbal Reasoning for GMAT 2024

This section measures candidates' ability to understand the written matter, evaluate arguments, and correct written matter to make it to standard English.

  • Reading comprehension: in these questions, you have to refer to a passage of up to 350 words and answer questions based on the main idea, supporting ideas, context, style, tone, etc.
  • Critical reasoning: these questions check a candidate on argument evaluation and formulating/evaluating a plan of action
  • Sentence correction: these questions are characterized into an agreement, grammatical construction, logical predication, parallelism, idiom, verb form, and rhetorical construction

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GMAT Test is Computer Adaptive

After discussing the GMAT pattern, we will explain how the GMAT test is Computer Adaptive. Out of the four sections of the GMAT format, the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative sections of the GMAT are computer-adaptive. It means that the difficulty level of the test modifies according to the test taker's ability. This feature allows the test to assess the candidate's ability with utmost precision. This is the reason that business schools trust the GMAT test scores to give admission to the aspirants.

The first question that comes either in the Quantitative or in Verbal Sections is of medium difficulty level. As the test taker proceeds with the test, the computer scores the answers and uses them and your responses for the next question. If your first answer is incorrect then the next question will be less hard. If you answer the second question correctly then the next question will be harder. This process continues until the end and it accurately assesses the candidate's ability in that particular subject.

Hence, if you keep answering the GMAT questions correctly, you will keep receiving tougher questions and will score higher. Whereas, if you keep answering the questions incorrectly, you will keep getting easier questions but your score will be towards the lower side.

At the start of the GMAT exam, you will be given questions of average difficulty; hence, it is extremely important to get them correct. If you answer the starting 10-15 questions correctly, you will reach the higher spectrum of the GMAT score.

The test-takers are not allowed to return to change their answers because the computer uses their answers to select the next question. So, it is important to give answers carefully, as you will not be able to change them later.

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GMAT Section Order 2024

In July 2017, GMAC introduced Select Section Order that allows students to customize their GMAT exam experience by giving them the freedom to choose the section order they want to adopt during the exam. So, you can control your test taking experience.

Now candidates have the opportunity to choose from three options for the exam’s section order:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal
  2. Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
  3. Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

This choice gives candidates the freedom to take the GMAT Exam as per their own preference. So test-takers can select the section order from the GMAT exam strcuture as per their convenience.

GMAT Section Order

Order 1

Order 2

Order 3

Analytical Writing Assessment

Verbal Reasoning

Quantitative Reasoning

Integrated Reasoning

 

 

8-min break (optional)

Quantitative Reasoning

Quantitative Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning

8-min break (optional)

Verbal Reasoning

Integrated Reasoning

Integrated Reasoning

 

Analytical Writing Assessment

Analytical Writing Assessment

Candidates are advised to appear for the GMAT adaptive mocks to know which GMAT section they should follow during the exam. Such strategies can only be developed if a student appears for multiple GMAT practice tests.

GMAT Pattern 2024: Test Centre and Online GMAT

The table given below provides a comparison of GMAT pattern 2024 for the GMAT exam at a test centre and for the GMAT exam taken in online mode:

Head

GMAT Pattern for Test Centre

GMAT Pattern for Online Exam

Pattern & Sections

  • Quantitative Reasoning: 31 questions in 62 minutes
  • Verbal Reasoning: 36 questions in 65 minutes
  • Integrated Reasoning: 12 questions in 30 minutes
  • Analytical Writing Assessment: 1 question in 30 minutes
  • Quantitative Reasoning: 31 questions in 62 minutes
  • Verbal Reasoning: 36 questions in 65 minutes
  • Integrated Reasoning: 12 questions in 30 minutes
  • Analytical Writing Assessment: 1 question in 30 minutes

Scoring

  • Quantitative Reasoning: 6-51
  • Verbal Reasoning: 6-51
  • Integrated Reasoning: 1-8
  • Analytical Writing Assessment: 0-6
  • Quantitative Reasoning: 6-51
  • Verbal Reasoning: 6-51
  • Integrated Reasoning: 1-8
  • Analytical Writing Assessment: 0-6

Total Duration

3 hours + 7 minutes

3 hours + 7 minutes

Breaks

2 breaks of 8 minutes each (optional)

2 breaks of 8 minutes each (optional)

GMAT Exam Fees in India

$275

$300

Attempts

  • 5 attempts in 12 months
  • 8 attempts in one’s lifetime
  • A gap of 16 calendar days between 2 subsequent events
  • 5 attempts in 12 months
  • 8 attempts in one’s lifetime
  • A gap of 16 calendar days between 2 subsequent events

Validity

5 years

5 years

Score Report Availability

  • Unofficial: Immediately after the GMAT exam (quant, verbal, IR, and total)
  • Official: 7-20 days (quant, verbal, IR, AWA, and total)
  • Unofficial: Immediately after the GMAT exam (quant, verbal, IR, and total)
  • Official: 7-20 days (quant, verbal, IR, AWA, and total)

Appointments

  • 7 days a week
  • Can be booked up to 6 months in advance
  • Around the clock
  • Can be booked up to 6 months in advance and up to 24 hours before the availability of an exam slot

Scratch Work

5-page laminated booklet and two dry-erase markers

Physical whiteboard, online whiteboard, or both

Score Sending

The first 5 complimentary GMAT score reports will be sent to institutions that you choose on the day of your GMAT exam

The first 5 complimentary GMAT score reports can be sent within 48 hours of receiving the official score

Additional Score Report (Beyond the First Five)

$35 each

$35 each

Now that students are aware of the GMAT exam 2024 pattern, they must utilise this article to gain clarity during their GMAT prep.

GMAT Exam 2024 Pattern FAQs

Please visit the FAQs section to know more about the GMAT pattern.

Q:   What are some points that must be kept in mind before starting the GMAT exam prep?

A:

The most important point for any examination prep is familiarity with the exam pattern and the exam syllabus. Without these, you will not be able to start the preparation. Hence, the starting point for the GMAT exam 2023 is its pattern and syllabus. Once you are clear with the GMAT pattern 2023 and its syllabus, you can start with the official GMAT study material. Make sure that you complete the GMAT official study material at least twice. Once you are done with that, you can move on to other GMAT books and online resources. The most important aspect of your GMAT 2023 preparation is your GMAT mock tests. Candidates must appear for as many mocks as possible to gauge their level of preparation from time to time.

 

Q:   What are the changes in the GMAT pattern in 2023?

A:

GMAC has launched the GMAT Focus Edition in the year 2023. The GMAT Focus Edition is significantly different for the current version of the GMAT exam. The GMAT Focus Edition is shorter (by about an hour), efficient (no AWA and no SC), more flexible, and more details (with respect to the performance report). The current version of the GMAT exam will be available until at least early 2024. Hence, students will have an option to register for both the exams. There have been no changes in the pattern of the current version of the GMAT (test centre) and the online GMAT exam at home.

 

Q:   Are the formats for the 2023 GMAT and the GMAT online exam the same?

A:

Yes, the formats for the GMAT 2023 exam and GMAT online exam are the same. GMAT consists of four sections; Quantitative, Verbal Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), and Integrated Reasoning (IR). AWA and IR are not a part of your GMAT score that ranges from 200-800 and are scored separately. AWA consists of 1 topic (30 minutes), IR consists of 12 questions (30 minutes), quantitative aptitude consists of 31 questions (62 minutes), and verbal reasoning consists of 36 questions (65 minutes). Overall, GMAT consists of 80 questions that are to be answered in 3 hours and 7 minutes.

 
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Comments

(292)

S

Shashank Desai

9 months ago

How many days prior to the application deadline date can I answer the test? Considering round 1 window closes on 4th September, can I take the GMAT on 28th August?

Reply to Shashank Desai

A

Aprant Agarwal

9 months ago

You will receive your official GMAT scores within 7-20 days of your GMAT exam. Considering this, you might not be able to provide your official score to B-schools. Moreover, an MBA application requires SOP, LOR, Admission Essays, etc. You'll need time to prepare these vital documents as well. Make s

...more

v

vaibhav pandey

9 months ago

Classic edition GMAT exam will be conducted till March,2024 or not. After m com a Candidate could prepare for MBA abroad

Reply to vaibhav pandey

A

Aprant Agarwal

9 months ago

The current version of the GMAT exam "will continue to be available until early next year". There is no specific date for the same. After MCom, you may opt for an MBA as it will enhance your profile. You might as well venture into a new field (e.g. supply chain management) if you find it interestin

...more

s

saikiran soma

10 months ago

I am CA dropoutIwant to pursue my career My MBA abroad Education. I completed my graduation in 2022. I didn't complete my GMAT. Can I apply now.

Reply to saikiran soma

A

Aprant Agarwal

10 months ago

Hello. Now that you have completed your graduation, you can very well appear for the GMAT exam. Please make sure to check the eligibility criteria for MBA abroad as certain B-schools demand prior work experience. You may also apply for MIM programmes as they are also rewarding. You may check the to

...more

H

Hrishikesh

12 months ago

I am a Chartered Accountant and working in one of the Big4s. I have not done graduation since completing CA itself is considered as post graduate. Can I apply for GMAT.

Reply to Hrishikesh

A

Aprant Agarwal

12 months ago

There are no specific degree requirements when it comes to taking the GMAT. However, GMAT is not the only deciding factor when it comes to B-School admissions. You must meet the eligibility conditions specified by the B-Schools.

Is work ex compulsory when applying for mba ?

Reply to Sudhanshu Nikalje

A

Aprant Agarwal

a year ago

Most B-Schools (especially the top ones) need 2-3 work years of work experience as eligibility criteria. However, there are many MBA colleges that do not ask for work experience. You may refer to this article: https://studyabroad.shiksha.com/top-countries-to-study-mba-without-work-experience-articl

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