GMAT Exam Syllabus & Pattern 2020-2021

The GMAT is a computer-adaptive standardized test that is used as one of the entrance criteria for admission to B-schools across the world. MBA aspirants from around the world take the GMAT to showcase their analytical reasoning and data-handling skills.

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GMAT has the following exam pattern:

GMAT Exam Pattern




Analytical Writing Assessment



Integrated Reasoning



Quantitative Reasoning



Verbal Reasoning




The GMAT exam lasts for approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes if you choose to take the two optional 8-minute breaks. Students have the flexibility to choose the order in which they wish to attempt the exam. GMAT score ranges from 200-800. Take a look at the latest GMAT syllabus 2019-20 and make sure that you are headed in the right direction with your GMAT preparation.

Analytical Writing Assessment

This section of the exam requires you to analyse a given argument and write a critique on it. The argument topics are mostly of general interest and may be related to business. AWA will check your ability to organize your thoughts and use of given evidence to support your viewpoint.

Integrated Reasoning

This GMAT section requires you to analyse and evaluate information presented in multiple formats. IR questions will challenge both your quantitative and verbal skills. Question types can largely be grouped into:

  • Multi-source reasoning – questions will ask you to synthesize, compare, interpret or apply the information presented in written passages, tables, graphs, diagrams and other types of visual representation.
  • Table analysis – questions ask you to determine statistics, ratios, proportions or probabilities, etc. from given spreadsheet-like table with drop-down menu.
  • Graphics interpretation – fill-in-the-blanks type questions to be answered on the basis of given bar graphs, line graphs, scatterplots and bubble graphs.
  • Two-part analysis – questions will ask you to calculate proportion, determine trade-offs, etc. and choose answer options that will be given in tabular format.

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative section of the GMAT has questions that can be grouped into two types: Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency. Topics are traditionally grouped under:

  • Arithmetic – numbers and their powers and roots, fractions, decimals, percentages, ratio and proportion, sets, counting methods, discrete probability.
  • Algebra – equations, inequalities, absolute value, functions and exponents.
  • Geometry – lines and angles, polygons, circles, solids, coordinate geometry.
  • Word problems – rate, time and work, mixtures, simple and compound interest, discounts, profit and loss, geometry problems, measurement problems and data interpretation.

Verbal Reasoning

This section measures your ability to read and comprehend written content and to reason and evaluate arguments. Three types of verbal reasoning questions are:

  • Reading comprehension – questions ask you to refer to a passage of up to 350 words and answer questions based on the main idea, supporting ideas, inferences, context, style and tone, etc.
  • Critical reasoning – questions check you on argument construction, argument evaluation and formulating/evaluating a plan of action.
  • Sentence correction - questions are categorised into agreement, diction, grammatical construction, idiom, logical predication, parallelism, rhetorical construction and verb form.

Whether you have just begun your GMAT prep or are nearly done with it, it always helps to streamline your prep with the latest GMAT syllabus. Happy prepping!

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