GMAT 2021 may be considered as your very first step to getting into your dream business school. As a result, this requires significant effort and determination. Starting from the very primary time management skills to deriving solutions to complex problems, GMAT 2021 will inspect every aspect of the test-taker. While studying for GMAT, you will learn a lot about the business world, which may help you on your test day. Since GMAT is an adaptive computer test, one needs to practice in such a manner. In this article, we will discuss all that you need to know before you sit for GMAT 2021. The guides are here to make your preparation simpler.

How To Take The GMAT Exam?

Anybody above the age of 18 can appear for GMAT 2021. The registration process for GMAT 2021 is straightforward and easy. One can register for the GMAT through four different ways, namely, online, phone, postal mail, and fax. GMAT exams are held all around the year via PearsonVue online test centers. But it is advisable to take the test early. It costs about $250-$275. 

The GMAT 2021 Syllabus 

The GMAT or Graduate Management Admission Test paper is mainly divided into four sections, namely Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Analytical, Reasoning Writing Assessment (AWA), and Integrated Reasoning. Each of these sections has a defined time limit which adds up to a 3.5-hour-long exam. Now let’s dive into the depths of the sections of the GMAT syllabus individually.  

  • Quantitative Reasoning – In this section, the ability of the student to derive suitable conclusions upon proper analysis is tested by GMAT. It consists of 31 questions. This major section can be further divided into two parts based on the type of questions, namely, Data proficiency and Problem-solving. The command of the test-taker on basic arithmetic, algebra, and geometry is verified in the Quant section. The time limit for solving this potion is 62 minutes.
  • Verbal Reasoning – GMAT tests a student’s ability to read, analyze and comprehend carefully and critically. This section focuses on the standard written English skills. This portion contains 36 questions based on Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction, and Reading Comprehension. The time limit is 65 minutes. 
  • Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) – The portion consists of only one essay-type question based on the analysis of a certain given argument. The time limit is 30 minutes. The critical thinking ability of a student is put to the test in this section. 
  • Integrated Reasoning – This section is composed of questions based on two-part and table analysis, graphical representation, and multi-source reasoning questions. This section consists of 12 questions. The time limit is the same as that of the AWA section.

The Quantitative and Verbal reasoning sections are computer-adaptive as per the GMAC algorithm, which means that the questions become tougher with every correct answer. This is all about the GMAT syllabus.

How To Prepare For GMAT 2021?

It is a well-known fact that everybody has their way to prepare for an exam. It usually takes 4-6 months of proper preparation for a person to get a decent GMAT score. Since the GMAC uses an algorithm to grade the students, it is very important to understand the scoring mechanics. This should count as the first step. 

The second step is all about formulating the study plans. It is better to create a one-month and one three-month study plan apart from the daily plan. With a good study plan and proper question-solving strategy, it is comparatively easier to obtain a 700+ score.

Lots of books and online suggestions are nowadays easily available on the internet. One must also take mock tests from time to time to get a clear understanding of their benchmark score and then practice accordingly. This constitutes the third step for GMAT preparation.   

Some Of The Books To Be Followed For GMAT 2021

  • GMAT Official Guide 2021 – The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) offers a guidebook for GMAT aspirants known as the GMAT Official Guide. This was first published in April 2020. The latest edition of the Official Guide bundle contains about 1895 practice questions along with explanations. The questions are of various difficulty levels starting from the easiest to the hardest. The flashcard feature has been introduced in this 2021 official guide. It contains about 163 flashcards in addition to 92 new questions. Most of the questions from the online question bank belong to the IR section. This bundle not only strengthens the concept but also provides access to real-time online mock tests.
  • The GMAT Bundle by Manhattan Prep’s – This GMAT preparation bundle is known to be one of the best. This bundle is formed by the consolidation of about ten guide books. The content and coverage have been significantly increased, keeping in mind the all-round development of the test-taker. This book comes with access to the All the GMAT online study Atlas by Manhattan Preps. This study atlas contains lots of comparatively harder problems on Quant and Verbal reasoning. Along with this, it comes with six practice Computer Adaptive tests. Apart from all of these, it also consists of interactive video lessons and various time management strategies. 
  • GMAT for Dummies,2021- This book focuses more on test-taking and time management strategies. With seven online practice tests and 500 flashcards, this book aims to improve your GMAT score by increasing your analytical and reasoning skills. Whether it is grammar or maths, this book can be considered as a one-stop solution for all the basic problems
  • Jeff Sackmann’s Total GMAT Math – This book is a one-stop solution for math in the Quant section. It not only covers the harder areas but also focuses on the basic level problems. It is filled with elaborate and easy tutorials of all the problem types that may appear in the GMAT exam. With over 500 exercises and 300 brand new questions, this book guarantees a good score in the Quant section. 

Along with these, many other books such as Mometrix’s GMAT Prep Book 2021, Veritas Prep Complete GMAT Source, and The Princeton Review’s GMAT Premium Prep are also recommended by expert teachers. Books coalesced with regular practice, and online tests are the best way to ensure a good score in GMAT 2021.

How Is The GMAT Score Generated? 

The GMAT 200-800 score is calculated by the GMAC’s algorithm since it is a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT). Upon every correct answer, the difficulty level of the question increases and vice-versa. The computer then presents the questions to the test-taker accordingly. The best way to tackle the algorithm is to answer the difficult questions correctly by maintaining a proper time balance. However, the Analytical Writing Assessment is graded by a human reader and a computer program based on a scale of 0-6 with a 0.5 point increment. 

As stated earlier, the Quantitative and Verbal reasoning sections are computer-adaptive and are graded based on a scale of 6-51 with an increment of 1 point. The Integrated Reasoning section, however, is not computer-adaptive, so one may skip questions. The score of the IR section is calculated on a scale of 1-8 with 1 point increment. It is to be noted that there is a penalty for leaving the questions unattended. A 700+ score is considered to be the best.


This is basically what one needs to know before taking the GMAT 2021 exam. There is no substitute for hard work. With an effective study plan and diligent hard work coupled with all the knowledge harnessed from the books and the tests, GMAT 2021 should not be much of a problem. Timed tests and skillful practice will play an important role on the exam day. For more details regarding GMAT 2021, the GMAT app could be pretty useful.

Even though many myths exist regarding GMAC’s algorithm, the best way to tackle that is by gearing up with complete preparation. This will surely help you to get into your dream business school.

So, now you know what it takes to get a good GMAT score. However, there's so much more that will go into an MBA application to your dream B-school! Talk to a CareerLabs MBA expert today and get a 1-on-1 counselling session to know all of this and more.

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