The GMAT is a computer adaptive test (CAT) that assesses an applicant’s potential by testing them on various parameters to determine their expertise in various areas by means of four sections in the new exam pattern:
1) Analytical Writing Assessment - 1 Topic (Analysis of Argument): 30 Minutes
2) Integrated Reasoning - 12 Questions : 30 Minutes
3) Quantitative - 31 Questions : 62 Minutes
4) Verbal - 36 Questions : 65 Minutes
Total Exam Time (not including breaks or tutorials): 3 hours and 7 minutes
The total score out of 800 is only for the verbal and quantitative sections. The remaining two sections receive individual independent scores each.
Section 1: AWA- Analytical Writing Assessment
Student will write a 30-minute essay which includes:
Analysis of an Argument
The scores for this section are on a six point scale. Your essay is given two independent ratings and then an average is considered.
One of these scores is done by an automated essay-scoring engine. If the difference between both the ratings is more than one point, a third rating would be provided by an expert reader which would then be the final score.
Section 2: Integrated Reasoning (IR)
Integrated Reasoning (IR) is a section introduced in June 2012 and is designed to measure a test taker’s ability to analyse and evaluate data presented in multiple formats. Performance on the IR and AWA sections do not contribute to the total GMAT score.
This section tests how well you can make use of your analytical skills to solve a complicated problem when the data may not be in simple numbers but has to be decoded from charts or other forms. This section has four different question types:
Section 3: Quantitative Section
The questions are designed to put your math skills to test. They revolve around basic arithmetic, algebra and geometry. This section has multiple choice questions that fall in the following two categories:
This section tests your ability to reason quantitatively, solve quantitative problems, interpret graphic data, and analyze and use information given in a problem. Questions require knowledge of certain algebra, geometry, and arithmetic.
Data sufficiency questions
This section is intended to test your ability to analyse and assess the given data or set of conditions systematically. You will be given a question followed by two statements and five answer choices. The sequence of answer choices usually remain the same. Here it is more about checking the data sufficiency as the name suggests rather than finding an absolute answer to the question.
Section 4: Verbal Section
This section has questions that fall in one of the following category:
A. Reading Comprehension
In this section you are given passages (250-450 words) on various topics and multiple choice questions based on the same.
• You need not have an in-depth knowledge of the topic. Rather you should be able to understand the purpose, theme, tone and underlying assumptions and concept of the passage
• Notice the difference between inference questions and logical conclusion ones
• Grasp the central idea, central character and the relationship between the various entities and ideas involved
B. Critical Reasoning
There are about 12 critical reasoning questions in the GMAT verbal section. The passage is in the form of an argument or conversation between two people, with five answer choices. You should be able to
• Spot the argument
• Understand the question properly
• Identify the underlying assumptions, facts and other key points that influence, strengthen or weaken the given argument
• Find contradictions to each options provided and see if any can be eliminated
C. Sentence Correction
You are given a sentence having an underlined portion and five answer choices.
• If the underlined part is grammatically correct, option A will be the answer. If not, check the rest.
• Understand that written English and spoken English have a lot of difference. Here the context and references have to be absolutely clear.
• Always look for another option which may closely resemble your chosen option and decrypt the difference to select the better one.
GMAT Quantitative / Maths Syllabus
Following are some of the topics you can expect in the quantitative section:
Order of operations
Ratio and proportion
Profit and loss
Simple and compound interest
Speed, distance and time
Permutation & combination
Statistics: Average, Median, Mode, Range, Standard deviation
Powers and roots
Pipes, cisterns, work, time
Lines and angles
Volume and surface area