The Graduate Management Admission Test, more commonly known as the GMAT, is a computer-based examination that is conducted in English, to enable the business schools in assessing the skills of undergraduate students in the field of business and management. Any college/university considers GMAT scores to compare the level of competence among applicants for graduate courses. It is a standardized test, much like TOEFL/IELTS, i.e it is accepted internationally. The standard cost to take the GMAT is US 250$.

The GMAT™ Exam Has Four Sections:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment— It is a 30-minute long section that requires students to write an essay critiquing the topic. It judges the ability of a student in analyzing a situation/reason behind the situation and then supporting one’s position with credible arguments

It is the only section that has no multiple-choice questions( measured on a scale of 0-6)


  1. Integrated Reasoning— Analysing data is a part of every student’s career in a business school. It is again a 30-minute drill in which students have to answer 12 questions covering 4 broad categories- Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation, Multi-Source Reasoning, and Two-Part Analysis. No writing part is computer adaptive. (measured on the scale from 1-8)


  1. Quantitative Reasoning—It is 62 minutes section with 31 multiple-choice questions. It covers Problem-solving and Data sufficiency skill-based questions( measured on a scale from 6-51)


  1. Verbal Reasoning—This gives the student 65 minutes to attempt 36 questions covering Sentence Correction, Critical Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension. These are again multiple choice questions. (measured on a scale from 6-51)


Once you come to the test centre, you can choose between three orders of appearing for the test. The benefit of this is you can choose to play to your strengths, attempt your stronger areas first so as to put yourself in the best frame of mind. If you start strong, you are more likely to end strong. The choices are listed below:

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

GMAT is computer adaptive. What it means:

The GMAT has four separately timed sections and lasts a total of three and a half hours to complete, including two optional breaks. It is computer adaptive- the levels of the question proposed to a student depends on your skills and answer in the previous question. That is to say, the harder the question, the higher the level. The test adjusts itself in real time to appropriately gauge your skills and strengths, to give the best result. At the beginning of each section the computer will present a question in the middle range of difficulty. If the question is answered correctly, the next question will be harder and the score will adjust upwards. This difference will show in the assessment as well. You won’t be able to skip ahead to answer questions that come to you easily because you’ll only be given one question at a time and the next one doesn’t appear until you’ve capped in an answer. So the trick to this test is the old adage- practice makes a man perfect.

Structure of the GMAT Exam

Test Section Time Limit / Number of Questions Question Types Score Range
Analytical Writing Assessment 30 minutes

1 question

Analysis of an Argument 0-6

(in 0.5-point increments)

Integrated Reasoning 30 minutes

12 questions

Graphics Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-source Reasoning, Two-part Analysis 1-8

(in 1-point increments)

Quantitative Reasoning 62 minutes

31 questions

Data Sufficiency, Problem Solving 6-51

(in 1-point increments)

Verbal Reasoning 65 minutes

36 questions

Sentence Correction,

Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning,


(in 1-point increments)


Scores of GMAT

There are four scores on the GMAT — one for each section and then a total. The total score ranges from 200 to 800. There are no minimum passing marks for GMAT. However individual universities have their own levels which need to be checked for. A lot of practice is must to gear yourself up for the exam. Cramming for the test is not an option. Therefore one has to start early and develop pacing skills to cover all the portions of the test. The point is- Thousands of business schools accept this exam. Hence a good deal of preparation can work in your favour.


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