The GMAT exam is conducted entirely in English and is administered on a computer at a GMAT approved test center. You will only see one question at a time and you cannot skip or go back. The questions are divided into four compulsory, separately timed sections, with two optional timed breaks.
To ensure fairness, all test takers around the world:
The GMAT exam begins with the Analytical Writing Assessment. This 30-minute writing task measures your ability to analyze the complexities of an argument and formulate a well-reasoned critique.
You will be asked to write an essay in response to one Analysis of an Argument question. The question will concern a topic of general interest and may relate to a business topic or some other subject. However, it presupposes no specific knowledge of business or any other content areas. Only your capacity to write analytically is assessed.
In the Analytical Writing Assessment, you should demonstrate your ability to:
The Analytical Writing Assessment does not test for perfect English, only your ability to use English to analyze the argument presented and to write a well-articulated response. Additionally, you are not asked to present your own views on the topic.
2. Integrated Reasoning
The Analytical Writing Assessment is followed by the 30-minute Integrated Reasoning section. This part of the GMAT exam is designed to mimic today’s business world that demands managers synthesize data from multiple sources to identify patterns, make decisions and solve business problems.
There are 12 multiple response questions in the Integrated Reasoning section using four different question formats:
In the Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT, you should demonstrate your ability to:
Advanced statistical and spreadsheet manipulation skills are not necessary. A basic on-screen calculator is provided for this section, but is not available on the Quantitative section.
The Integrated Reasoning section is not computer adaptive and does not count towards your Total GMAT score.
3. Quantitative Reasoning
After a short break, you move on to the Quantitative Reasoning section. This section of the exam tests your ability to reason, solve problems and interpret data. It measures the skills you will use in quantitative-based subjects such as finance, accounting and managerial statistics.
The Quantitative Reasoning section lasts for 75 minutes and includes 37 multiple choice questions. You have approximately two minutes to answer each question. It is also the first computer adaptive section of the GMAT exam. The questions in this section are a mix of problem solving and data sufficiency questions, and require common knowledge of concepts related to arithmetic, elementary algebra, geometry and word problems.
4. Verbal Reasoning
After the Quantitative Reasoning section, you can have another short break before moving on to the final section of the GMAT exam, Verbal Reasoning. The Verbal Reasoning section assesses your ability to comprehend and draw inferences from written material, to evaluate arguments, and to make corrections to conform to standard written English.
You have 75 minutes to complete the Verbal Reasoning section, which includes 41 multiple-choice questions. You have roughly one and three quarters of a minute to answer each question. Like the Quantitative Reasoning section, this part of the GMAT exam is computer adaptive. This section features a mixture of three types of multiple choice questions:
While the GMAT is not designed to test your English language skills, you will require a good understanding of standard written English to be able to understand and answer the questions in this section.