The Graduate Management Aptitude Test is administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). This exam is conducted in more than 30 test centres in India.  However, due to safety concerns arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students have the option of taking the exam online. The structure of the GMAT is designed to test your knowledge of mathematics and evaluate your skills in critical thinking, data analysis and interpretation, reading comprehension, writing, and problem-solving. It consists of four sections – Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Integrated Reasoning (IR), Verbal Reasoning (VR), and Quantitative Reasoning (QR). 

The table below shows the allocation of time, questions, and scores devoted to individual sections.

SectionsNo. of QuestionsTime LimitScores
Analytical Writing Assessment130 minutes0 to 6, increases by a half-point increment 
Integrated Reasoning1230 minutes1 to 8, increases by a one-point increment 
Verbal Reasoning3665 minutes6 to 51, increases by a one-point increment 
Quantitative Reasoning3162 minutes6 to 51, increases by a one-point increment 
Total803 hours 7 minutes(excluding optional breaks and check-in time)200 to 800, increases by a ten-point increment 

Syllabus of GMAT

The vast syllabus of GMAT covers all the topics necessary for scrutinizing your overall aptitude and relevant skills. It is imperative that you leave no topics untouched and put additional effort into the areas that you find challenging.  The topics covered in each section are mentioned below:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment: The Analytical Writing Assessment or AWA consists of one essay-writing task with a time limit of 30 minutes. In this task, you need to critique an argument on a common issue and articulate your opinion in the form of an essay. 
  • Integrated Reasoning: This section is designed to test your ability to comprehend data given in different formats and evaluate it to draw meaningful conclusions. Within 30 minutes, you have to solve questions presenting data in the form of graphs, passages, pie charts, and tables, among others.
  • Verbal Reasoning: Here, your ability to read, comprehend and find logical connections in the given questions are tested. You will face three types of questions: reading comprehension, sentence correction, and critical thinking. These questions are based on the following concepts:
  • Critical reasoning
  • Misplaced modifiers
  • Sentence correction related to finding error
  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Parallelism

Quantitative Reasoning: This section evaluates your understanding of mathematical concepts and critical reasoning skills. You get 62 minutes to solve 31 questions of two varieties: problem-solving and data sufficiency. The syllabus of quantitative reasoning covers the following topics:

  • Arithmetic
Real NumberPercentages
DecimalFactors and Multiples
Square RootsHarmonic Progression Decimals
  •    Algebra
Linear EquationLinear Programming
Absolute ValueQuadratic Equation
Exponents and FunctionsBinomial Theory
Special EquationsSurds and Indices
  • Geometry 
Coordinate GeometryCircles
  • Mensuration
  • Word Problems
Simple and Compound ExpressDiscounts
Data InterpretationClocks and Calendars
Measurement ProblemPipes and Cisterns
Profit & Loss
  • Statistics

Section Order to Choose From 

Test-takers can choose their preferred section order on test day from these three options:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal (original order)
  • Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
  • Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment,

All in all, the question pattern of this exam can be a bit complex. However, rigorous practice that includes taking mock tests and practicing from sample papers will acquaint you with the GMAT question pattern. 


1. What is a safe score on GMAT?

The safe score depends upon the university you are choosing. However, if you are targeting all the top-tier universities and M7 business schools, then a 700+ is a must.

2. What is the validity of the GMAT score?

The GMAT score is valid for 5 years from the date of acquiring the results.

3. How many hours should I dedicate every day to GMAT preparation?

A minimum of 3 hours should be devoted to your preparation in order to secure a good score.


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