How long is the GMAT

If you haven’t taken the GMAT before, one of the many questions that might pop up in your mind is how long is the GMAT? Well, this is an apt question to ask yourself as time management is quite a crucial part of the GMAT exam. Each section is allotted a certain time, and you have to ensure that you answer all of them within that period. Failing to do so, will result in you missing out on many questions and thereby, negative marking. 

Through the course of this article, we will acquaint you with the GMAT exam duration, break time, additional screens, etc. We will also provide you with a few tips to prepare for this lengthy test.

How Long is the GMAT Test Including the Breaks?

The GMAT is a standardized computer-adaptive test comprising four sections  —  Quantitative Aptitude, Integrated Reasoning, Verbal Ability and Analytical Writing Assessment. Each section of the GMAT has its own time limit. And, the total duration of the GMAT exam is about 3 hours and 30 minutes, including the two 8-minute optional breaks. 

Let us take a look at the GMAT sections and the allotted time limit for each section.

Name of the Section Time Limit Number of questions Time per Question (Approx)
Quantitative Aptitude 62 minutes 31 questions 2 minutes
Integrated Reasoning 30 minutes 12 questions 2 ½ minutes
Verbal Ability 65 minutes 36 questions 1 minute, 48 seconds 
Analytical Writing Assessment 30 minutes 1 essay question 30 minutes
Total 3 hours, 7 minutes (excluding breaks) Average time per question: 2 minutes (excluding AWA section)

Additional Screens

While taking the GMAT, you’ll come across a few additional screens. Sometimes, your actual time in the GMAT test center might extend a little longer as you’ll spend some extra time going through a couple of additional screens. These additional screens could be test instructions given to you or screens with your scores after the exam. 

There is a time limit for each of these additional screens just like the different sections of the test. At first, you will have the option to choose any five B-schools to receive your GMAT scores. Once you have selected your GMAT score recipients, you’ll be prompted to read and agree to a non-disclosure agreement. Once you have signed the agreement electronically, you’ll have around two minutes of time to choose the order of the section you wish to attempt first. At the end of the exam, your scores pop up and you have the option to either accept or reject them. 

Tips for GMAT Time Management

As mentioned earlier, you get only 3 hours 7 minutes (excluding breaks)  to answer all the questions in the GMAT exam. Hence, to manage time and answer all the questions, it is imperative that you follow some time management strategies. Here are a few key tips on how to manage your pace during the exam:

Tip #1: Attempt timed practice tests

The best way to keep pace with the duration of the GMAT exam is to keep a close check on the time you spend while solving sample papers. Taking up timed practice tests help you in allocating adequate time to different sections of the exam, discover your strengths and weaker subject areas, and work on those areas which need improvement. Knowing how long a GMAT practice test lasts helps you in understanding how the GMAT exam is conducted in test centres or online. This in turn helps you come up with smart plans to answer the exam within the given time. 

Tip #2: Schedule your test on the right day & time

In order to maintain focus and diligence in the 3 hours and 7 minutes long GMAT exam, you should choose the best time of the day when you’re most alert. It is advisable for you to get some good sleep the night before the test date so that you’re relaxed and can maintain your composure while taking the test.

Tip #3: Explore various test-taking strategies

Knowledge of the GMAT syllabus is definitely good for you. However, it is essential that you learn some test-taking strategies. For instance, you can learn the process of elimination technique to effectively manage time and answer maximum questions during the test. These strategies can definitely help you answer questions quickly. While preparing for the GMAT exam, explore ways to save time, apply them while taking up mock tests or solving practice papers. The more you practice, the better you will do in the exam. 

Now we hope you know how long is the GMAT. So, if you are planning to appear for the GMAT exam, make sure your time management strategies are in place. Good luck!

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