The Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) is a computer adaptive test (CAT) that’s used by business schools for admission to their MBA/ management programs. Therefore, GMAT questions are intended to determine if the test taker will be able to pursue a management degree successfully. That is why it is a must to understand the GMAT paper pattern.
When we say that GMAT is a “computer-adaptive test“ it does not just mean that a simple pen and paper test has been transferred to a computer screen. No, what it means is that you will initially be served with questions whose difficulty level would be average and depending on how you answer those questions, GMAT will “adapt” to your performance. In short, if you answer correctly, the computer throws up more and more difficult questions and if you answer incorrectly, you’ll be served with easier questions. This is the basic GMAT paper pattern. However, please note that only the 3rd and 4th sections of the GMAT i.e. the Quantitative and Verbal sections are adaptive. The Analytical Writing Assessment and the Integrated Reasoning sections of GMAT are non-adaptive.
The 3.5 hour long exam has a variety of questions that will be used to assess your suitability to pursue an MBA program.
|Test Section||No. of questions||Timing|
|Analytical Writing Assessment||1 Topic||30 minutes|
|Integrated Reasoning||12 questions||30 minutes|
|Quantitative Reasoning||37 questions||75 minutes|
|Verbal Reasoning||41 questions||75 minutes|
|Total Exam Time||3 hours, 30 minutes|
Let’s understand each of these 4 GMAT sections in detail-
In an increasingly data-driven business environment, you will be faced with the need to make decisions based on information from multiple resources. So this particular section of the GMAT, “Integrated Reasoning” (which was introduced quite recently in the year 2012), tests your problem-solving and data analysis skills through the following 4 types of questions:
A single question in the IR section may have multiple parts; every part will have to be answered correctly in order to get the full marks. You have to answer all the sub-parts of a question in order to move on to the next IR question.
This GMAT section will test your ability to solve numerical & data-related problems. The GMAT Mathematics syllabus is not very tough to crack. If you’re familiar with the maths topics taught up until secondary school (class 10) such as basic arithmetic, geometry, algebra & word problems; you can easily tackle the Quantitative section.
There are two types of questions given in mixed order throughout this section:
The Verbal section of GMAT will test your fluency in the English language through three question types:
The verbal/ English syllabus for GMAT will require you to be well-versed in the following areas: Pronouns, Parallelism, Subject-Verb Agreement, Diction, Grammatical Construction, Idioms, Logical Predication, Verb Tense, Misplaced Modifiers etc.