How is the GMAT Exam Structured?

Home/Best Master’s Degrees FAQ/How is the GMAT Exam Structured?

If you are applying to graduate schools in the United States, or many other parts of the world, it is essential that you are aware of potential entrance exams. The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized exam taken by graduate students pursuing business management courses to identify their likelihood of success in advanced studies. Admissions counselors use GMAT scores along with work experience, undergraduate transcripts, recommendations, and other relevant criteria to evaluate new applicants for gaining entry into MBA and other business-related degree programs. Read on to learn about the four main divisions in the GMAT exam structure to ensure you are prepared for passing this test with flying colors.

Analytical Writing

In the Analytical Writing section of the GMAT, students are given 30 minutes to compose a well-written, argumentative essay that clearly presents a statement of a position on a business-related issue. Within the essay, candidates are required to use their analytical thinking skills to analyze the logic of a given position, suggest how the reasoning may be flawed, and provide practical solutions for improvement. This assessment seeks to measure whether or not you have the effective ability of ordering and expressing your thoughts logically. Although this section is scored independently, it can be worth up to six extra points to your overall score.

Integrated Reasoning

Next, the Integrated Reasoning section is designed to measure your capability to assess information presented in multiple formats to ensure you have the skills needed to succeed in today's data-driven world of expanding technologies. Here you will be given 12 questions that must be solved in at least 30 minutes to receive a score on a scale of 1-8 points. Using an on-screen calculator, you should expect questions measuring how well you integrate data to solve complex problems in the form of graphs, graphical images, tables, columns, and written information from a variety of sources.

Quantitative Reasoning

Over the next 75 minutes, the Quantitative Reasoning section provides 37 multiple-choice questions that are designed to assess your ability to solve numerical problems, interpret graphical data, evaluate information, and draw conclusions with reasoning skills. In general, the level of math knowledge needed to solve the questions is no greater than what is taught in high school classes, but the level of reasoning skills is quite high. Calculators are not allowed for this section of the exam.

Verbal Reasoning

Finally, the Verbal Reasoning section asks 41 multiple-choice questions focused on critical reasoning, sentence correction, and reading comprehension to guarantee you have the ability to understand written material in English. In this 75-minute section, you will be intensely tested on your abilities to analyze concepts presented in written form, evaluate arguments, formulate plans of action, express ideas clearly with English language proficiency, and correct written material to be grammatically accurate. It is important that you read information carefully, analyze the information in each question, and choose the most appropriate of the five answer choices.

Overall, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is currently offered as a computer-based exam at centers across the United States and in many other nations to identify which candidates are the most suited for obtaining admissions into graduate business schools. Although the test may seem overwhelming at first, understanding the GMAT exam structure, practicing GMAT sample questions and reviewing each section will help you fully prepare for success on your exam day!