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Are you a GMAT aspirant planning to attempt the GMAT exam soon? Know all about the GMAT exam in detail, the newest paper pattern and section format applicable in 2019 and 2020, which topics are part of the GMAT syllabus and which are not, and also the section order option that candidates can use on the exam. For more information on the GMAT, you can always visit the official GMAT website www.mba.com, but we have summarized for your ready reference all the key aspects of the exam that you need to know when you start preparing for the test. 

GMAT Sections


The GMAT exam consists of 4 sections. They are:

Section 1: Quantitative Ability (QA)

In the Quant section of the GMAT, you have to answer 31 questions in an allotted time of 62 minutes. All questions are multiple choice questions with 5 options given to choose from. There are 2 question formats used in the Quant section. They are Problem Solving (PS) and Data Sufficiency (DS)

 

Section 2: Verbal Ability (VA)

In the Verbal ability section of the GMAT, you have to answer 36 questions in an allotted time of 65 minutes. All questions are multiple choice questions with 5 options given to choose from. There are 3 question types in the GMAT Verbal Ability section. They are Sentence Correction (approximately 13 questions), Critical Reasoning (approximately 10 questions) , and Reading Comprehension (approximately 13 questions spread across four passages).

 

Section 3: Integrated Reasoning (IR)

In the Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT, you have to answer 12 questions in an allotted time of 30 minutes. All questions are multiple choice questions. The format of the questions varies as per the question type. There are 4 question types in IR. They are Graphics Analysis, Table Analysis, Two-Part Analysis, and Multi-Source Reasoning. Each of the four question types will have about 3 questions asked.  

 

Section 4: Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

The Analytical Writing section of the GMAT consists of one essay topic to which you have to respond in an allotted time of 30 minutes. This is a subjective question type and you have to type the response in an editing tool that has been provided. The essay topic is a short argument and you have to write a critique of the same. 


Let us now analyze in detail what is tested on each of the GMAT sections. For this, we take a look at the GMAT syllabus.


GMAT Syllabus


What does the GMAT syllabus contain and what are the topics tested on the GMAT in 2019 - 2020? Here, we have detailed all the topics and sub-topics that you need to study while preparing for the test.


GMAT Quantitative Ability (QA) detailed syllabus


The Quant (Math) section syllabus of GMAT covers the following areas:

  1. Arithmetic

The topics tested under Arithmetic are as follows:

  • Number classification e.g. Real numbers, Integers, etc.
  • Factors of a Number and Divisibility check
  • Powers and roots of a number (indices)
  • Absolute Value
  • Inequalities
  • Venn Diagrams (Set theory)
  • Permutations & Combinations and Probability
  • Descriptive Statistics (Averages, Median, Range, Standard Deviation)
  • Percents
  1. Algebra

The topics tested under Algebra are as follows:

  • Time, Speed, Distance
  • Rate and Work
  • Equation based questions
  • Questions from other topics such as Inequalities, Averages, Percents that involve equations and use of variables such as x or y

  1. Geometry

The topics tested under Geometry are as follows:

  • Basic Geometry involving Triangles, Quadrilaterals, and Circles
  • Coordinate Geometry involving Equation and Slope of a Line, Equations of Graphs, and Graphs with inequalities 
  • Formulae for surface area and volume of solids such as Cube, Cuboid, Cylinder, Cone, Sphere,and Hemi-sphere 



GMAT Verbal Ability (VA) detailed syllabus


The Verbal Ability section syllabus of GMAT covers the following areas:

  1. Sentence Correction (SC) / Grammar sub-section

The topics tested under the Sentence Correction section of the GMAT are as follows:

  • Agreement between Subject and Verb
  • Pronoun Usage
  • Modifier errors
  • Tense usage errors
  • Comparison errors
  • Parallelism, Identifying faulty Parallelism
  • Idiom usage
  • Diction rules
  • Redundancy


  1. Critical Reasoning (CR) sub-section

The topics tested under the Critical Reasoning section of the GMAT are as follows:

  • Looking for assumptions in arguments
  • Weakening or Strengthening an argument
  • Resolving a conflict in the argument
  • Completing the argument
  • Providing a conclusion for the argument
  • Evaluating an argument
  • Identifying the role of certain parts of the argument given in boldface
  •  Evaluating a plan of action
  • Identifying the structure of a response given in the argument


  1. Reading Comprehension (CR) sub-section

The topics tested under the Reading Comprehension section of the GMAT are as follows:

  • Explicit Idea questions
  • Inferential questions
  • Identifying the primary purpose of a passage
  • Critically examining a conclusion in a passage
  • Identifying the role of a word, phrase, sentence, or paragraph in a passage


The passages in Reading Comprehension can belong to the following categories:

  • Sociology, Anthropology
  • History, Philosophy, Literature, Religion, Music
  • Economics or management
  •  Life sciences such as Biology or Medicine
  • Non-life sciences such as Physics, Galaxies, Chemistry



GMAT Integrated Reasoning (IR) section detailed syllabus


The Integrated Reasoning section syllabus of GMAT covers the following areas:

  1. Graphics Analysis Questions
  • Line Graphs
  • Bar Graphs
  • Scatter Plots
  • Curved Graphs
  • Pie Charts
  1. Table Analysis Questions
  • Tabular Data
  • Sort tool functionality
  • Arranging columns in ascending or descending order in order to answer questions
  1. Two-part Analysis Questions
  • Numeric data with answer in 2 parts
  • Logical Reasoning with answer in 2 parts
  1. Multi-source Reasoning Questions
  • Data given in three tabs
  • Only one tab viewable at a time
  • Tabs can contain data in Text, Table, or Graphics form


GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section detailed syllabus


The Analytical Writing Assessment section syllabus of GMAT covers the following areas:

  1. Quality of Ideas presented
  • Looking for questionable assumptions
  • Providing alternative explanations
  • Examining the use of evidence
  1. Organizing, developing, and effectively presenting the ideas
  • Avoiding bullet points
  • Grouping ideas
  • Expanding on ideas
  1. Making effective use of reasoning and examples where appropriate
  • Applying the process of reasoning while presenting ideas
  • Making use of appropriate examples where possible
  1. Adhering to the rules of standard written English.
  • Spellings
  • Punctuation
  • Grammar

New GMAT pattern & format

The latest exam pattern for the GMAT for 2019 - 2020 is as follows
GMAT SECTION
WHAT IT TESTS
QUESTIONS
TIME ALLOTTED
Verbal Ability (VA)

Verbal skills such as Grammar, Reasoning, and Comprehension

36
65 minutes
Quantitative Ability (QA)

Math skills and their application to solving problems. Checking whether given information is sufficient or not

31
62 minutes
Integrated Reasoning (IR)

Ability to apply reasoning to information presented in various formats, as you might need in a business environment

8
30 minutes
Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

Ability to write a critique for the argument given

1
30 minutes



GMAT Section Order options available to candidates

You can choose the order in which you want to attempt the various sections of the GMAT. There are 3 options provided and you can choose the one you find most convenient based on your comfort level with various sections. The options available are as follows:
Option 1 for GMAT section order while attempting the exam
Position in test
Section name
Time available
1.

Quantitative Ability

62 minutes
2.

Optional break

8 minutes
3.

Verbal Ability

65 minutes
4.

Optional break

8 minutes
5.

Integrated Reasoning

30 minutes
6.

Analytical Writing Assessment

30 minutes

TOTAL TIME

3 hours 23 minutes
Option 2 for GMAT section order while attempting the exam
Position in test
Section name
Time available
1.

Verbal Ability

65 minutes
2.

Optional break

8 minutes
3.

Quantitative Ability

62 minutes
4.

Optional break

8 minutes
5.

Integrated Reasoning

30 minutes
6.

Analytical Writing Assessment

30 minutes

TOTAL TIME

3 hours 23 minutes
Option 3 for GMAT section order while attempting the exam
Position in test
Section name
Time available
1.

Analytical Writing Assessment

30 minutes
2.

Integrated Reasoning

30 minutes
3.

Optional break

8 minutes
4.

Quantitative Ability

62 minutes
5.

Optional break

8 minutes
6.

Verbal Ability

65 minutes

TOTAL TIME

3 hours 23 minutes

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