GMAT Exam Pattern – All The Details You Need to Know!

GMAT Exam Pattern – All The Details You Need to Know!

What is the GMAT?

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a computer-based test (CBT) intended to assess certain analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English for use in admission to a graduate management program, such as an MBA program. Here, we shall discuss the latest GMAT exam pattern.

It requires knowledge of grammar and experience of algebra, geometry, and arithmetic.

  • How to score the best GMAT score

According to the test-owning company, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the GMAT assesses analytical writing and problem-solving abilities. It also addresses data sufficiency, logic, and critical reasoning skills that it believes to be vital to real-world business and management success.

One can take it up to five times a year but no more than eight times total. Attempts must be at least 16 days apart.

GMAT Accepting Colleges in India [2021 List]

What is the scoring process of the GMAT?

The GMAT exam pattern total score ranges from 200 to 800 and measures performance on the quantitative and verbal sections together (performance on the AWA and IR sections do not count toward the total score, those sections are scored separately).

Scores are given in increments of 10 (e.g. 540, 550, 560, 570, etc.).

At the end of the exam, an unofficial preview of the GMAT score earned is shown to the test taker, who then has two minutes to decide whether to keep or cancel the test centre score. A test taker can also cancel a score online within 72 hours after the scheduled exam start time. One can further reinstate a cancelled score for four years and 11 months after the test’s date for a fee of $50.

What is the GMAT exam structure?

The GMAT exam pattern has four sections:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment: Measures your ability to think critically and to communicate your ideas
  2. Integrated Reasoning: Measures your ability to analyse data and evaluate information presented in multiple formats
  3. Quantitative Reasoning: Measures your ability to analyse data and draw conclusions using reasoning skills
  4. Verbal Reasoning: Measures your ability to read and understand written material, to evaluate arguments and to correct written material to conform to standard written English

In total, the test takes just under three and a half hours to complete, including two optional breaks.

Structure of the GMAT

The GMAT exam pattern has four separately timed sections. You will have the opportunity to take two optional eight-minute breaks during the exam.

Test SectionTime Limit / Number of QuestionsQuestion TypesScore Range
Analytical Writing Assessment30 minutes
1 question
Analysis of an Argument0-6 (in 0.5-point increments)
Integrated Reasoning30 minutes
12 questions
Graphics Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-source Reasoning, Two-part Analysis1-8 (in 1-point increments)
Quantitative Reasoning62 minutes
31 questions
Data Sufficiency, Problem Solving6-51 (in 1-point increments)
Verbal Reasoning65 minutes
36 questions
Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction6-51 (in 1-point increments)

How to control your test-taking experience?

When you arrive at the test centre, you have the flexibility to choose from three options for your exam’s section order:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal
  2. Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
  3. Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

This choice simply gives you more control and flexibility to take the GMAT based on your strengths and testing preferences. 

Tips for GRE and GMAT Preparation

The GMAT is Computer Adaptive. What Does That Mean?

The Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections of the GMAT are computer-adaptive, which means the test’s difficulty tailors itself in real-time to your ability level. This feature allows the exam to assess your potential with a higher degree of precision and deliver scores that business schools trust.

Here is how it works: The first question you receive in either the Verbal or Quantitative sections will be of medium difficulty. As you answer each question, the computer also scores your answer and uses it and your responses to any preceding question to select the next question. Hence, if you answer the first question correctly, the computer will usually give you a more challenging problem. Further, if you answer the first question incorrectly, your next question will be more straightforward.  This process continues until you complete the section, using responses to all previously answered questions. At this point, the computer will have an accurate assessment of your ability in that subject.

You will not be able to skip, return to, or change your answers to questions. This is because the computer uses your response to each question to select the next one.


Here we have answered some questions related to GMAT that you might need:

Q1. How Do I Register for the GMAT?

You can register for the GMAT at (the official GMAT website). After you create an account, you can select your testing date, time, and location by clicking on “Register for the GMAT” under “The GMAT” on the main page.

Q2. How Much Does the GMAT Cost?

Scheduling a GMAT appointment costs $250. You can pay for your GMAT registration with a credit or debit card, money order, cashier’s check, or personal check.

GMAT vouchers (which allow students to demonstrate financial need to take a test for free) are not available through the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC). Still, you can find them through external organisations like the Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program and the Fulbright Foundation. 

Q3. Can I Use a Calculator on the GMAT?

You will have access to an on-screen calculator with essential functions during the integrated reasoning section. You will not have access to a calculator in the quantitative section, but don’t worry: You will not be asked to complete detailed or exact calculations for quant questions.

  • How to score the best GMAT score

Q4. Will I Get Scratch Paper on the GMAT?

Yes, you will get a double-sided, laminated scratchpad the size of a standard legal pad to use during the GMAT. You can write on the scratchpad with non-permanent markers that will be provided to you on the test day. You can ask the proctor for a new scratchpad at any time during the exam.

Thus, this was our complete guide on the structure of the GMAT. We genuinely hope we resolved any queries you might have had.

Good luck!