GMAT Exam Pattern


GMAT Exam Pattern

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is conducted as an entrance test for students who want to pursue Master in Business Administration (MBA), Master in Management (MIM) and other business or finance-related Masters programs. The test is purely a computer-based test that tests the analytical thinking and data handling skills of the students. The test can be taken at a structured test centre or online from the comfort of the home. Taking the GMAT exam validates students’ skills and proficiency to handle the management programs taught at the Business schools. So attending the exam and scoring a top mark would make students stand out from the crowd as potential applicants for the management programs.

GMAT Exam Pattern: Highlights

Official GMAT Website
Exam organiser
Graduate Management Admission Council

Total number of questions


Score range


Average score


Language of Instruction


Mode of Examination


Negative Marking


Exam Duration

3 hours 7 minutes

Other Important Highlights

  • The GMAT exam has no standard syllabus; thus, questions are set to test the students' analytical and reasoning skills.
  • Students can choose from the three given orders to complete their exam.
  • Both quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning consist of multiple-choice questions.
  • Analytical Writing Assessment consists of an essay question.
  • Integrated Reasoning consists of non-MCQs. i.e. TITA (Type in the Answer) type of questions.
  • No negative marking exists in GMAT.
  • There are two optional eight-minute breaks given during the exam. 

GMAT Exam Pattern 2023

The GMAT exam has four sections and each is timed. Students are given the chances to take two optional eight-minute breaks during the exam.

  1. First-section - Analytical Writing Assessment - The section is given to assess students’ critical thinking and the ability to put forth their ideas neat and precise.
  2. Second Section - Integrated Reasoning - The section is included to analyse the skill of processing data and given information in a systemised manner.
  3. Third Section - Quantitative Reasoning - Quant section measures students’ ability to evaluate data and to arrive at meaningful conclusions.
  4. Verbal Reasoning - This section tests students’ English skills in understanding the given sentences and the ability to correct wrong ones to standard English.
Students need not necessarily take the exam as per the given order. They have the freedom to choose from the three assigned orders to complete their exam, which are

  • Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning.
  • Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment.
  • Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment.
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 increments)
Integrated Reasoning

30 minutes/

12 questions

Graphic 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

Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction
6-51 (in 1 point increments)

GMAT Exam Pattern: Section Wise Explanation

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment
As the name suggests, the section is about making students analyse the given topic and make them write their understanding of it. The subject is mostly of general interest and related to business. This section mainly tests the ability to organise their thoughts and express their viewpoints in a precise way.

  1. Integrated Reasoning
The Integrated Reasoning section demands students to study and decode the information presented in multiple formats. Questions are primarily categorised into

  • Multi-Source Reasoning -  In this category, students will be asked to evaluate the information presented in different formats such as passages, tables, graphs, diagrams and other types of visual presentations.
  • Table Analysis - Here, students should solve statistics, ratios, proportions or probabilities from a spreadsheet-like table with a drop-down menu.
  • Graphics Interpretation -  This is the Fill in the blanks section. Interpret the given bar graphs, line graphs, scatterplots and bubble graphs.
  • Two-Part Analysis - In this section, students will be asked to determine proportion, find out trade-offs, etc., and choose the best answer from the given tabular format.
  1. Quantitative Reasoning
There are two sections in quantitative reasoning. One is Problem Solving and the other is Data Sufficiency. Topics are from,

  • Arithmetic - Numbers and their Powers and roots, fractions, decimals,  percentages, ratio and proportion, sets, counting methods, and discrete probability.
  • Algebra -Equation, Inequalities, Absolute Value, Functions and Exponents.
  • Geometry - Lines and Angles, Polygons, Circles, Solids and Coordinate Geometry.
  • Word Problems - Rate, Time and Work, Mixtures, Simple and Compound Interest, Discounts, Profit and Loss, Geometry Problems, Measurement Problems and Data Interpretation.
  1. Verbal Reasoning
Verbal Reasoning measures students’ English skills of reading and understanding the given content and the ability to reason and evaluate arguments. There are three sections in Verbal Reasoning and they are,

  • Reading Comprehension - Students will be given a passage of 350 words and ask them to answer the questions based on the main idea, supporting ideas, inferences, context style and tone, etc.
  • Critical Reasoning - Questions evaluate students on Argument Construction, Argument Evaluation and Formulating and Evaluating a Plan of Action.
  • Sentence Correction - Questions are Classified into Agreement, Diction, Grammatical Construction, Idiom, Logical Predication, Parallelism, Rheortorical Construction and verb form.

How does Computer Adaptive Test GMAT Work?

GMAT is a Computer Adaptive Test meaning the test is purely computer-based. Here, the computer assesses the skill and ability of the students in solving the given questions. The computer-based GMAT score is highly considered to select students for the management programs because of the computer's precision and accuracy in assessing the students' skill and abilities.

Now let’s see how this Computer Adaptive Test GMAT works?

The last two sections, Quantitative and Verbal reasoning of the GMAT, are computer-adaptive. The computer assesses students’ answers and responses to the questions, analyses their way of solving them and then comes up with the next question. For example, the first question given to the students will be of medium difficulty. If a student answers it correctly, the next question will be more complex than the first one. If the same student answers the question incorrectly, the next question will be easier. The exact process continues till the student finishes the exam. In this way, the computer understands students’ knowledge of the subject and accurately analyses their skills in solving the questions.