December 2, 2022

Structure of the GMAT Question Paper

The GMAT is a standardised test conducted globally all around the year by GMAC. This exam is essentially taken by working professionals or students to get into MBA programs. The exam is divided into four sections — analytical writing assessment, verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and integrated reasoning. The questions in these sections are designed to test your analytical writing, logical reasoning and critical thinking skills. 

In this article, we discuss the structure of the GMAT question paper, will tell you what each section tests you on and more. So keep reading!

Structure of the GMAT Question Paper

The GMAT question paper is 3 hours and 30 minutes long and divided into four sections as mentioned above. Each section has its purpose and gauges different skills. While the AWA section gauges your ability to critique and write cohesively, the IR section evaluates your ability to interpret data. The quant section tests your ability to solve complex mathematical problems, the verbal section, on the other hand, evaluates your command over the English language. Below we have mentioned the structure of the GMAT question paper in detail. 

  • Analytical Writing Assessment

The analytical writing assessment tests your ability to think critically and cohesively present your thoughts. In the AWA section of the GMAT, you will be presented with an argument which you will have to critique. Since you will be provided with an argument based on general topics, you’re not required to learn or memorize any particular topic. You will be provided one hour for this section and will be scored on a scale of 0-6 with a half-point increment.  

  • Integrated Reasoning

The integrated reasoning section succeeds the GMAT AWA section and like the analytical writing section, is scored differently. While the AWA section provides you with an argument to critique, the IR section, on the other hand, provides you with visual data, using graphical and statistical diagrams for you to interpret and analyse. You will be provided 30 minutes to answer a total of 12 questions. The question types can fall into any of these categories: two-part analysis, graphics interpretation, table analysis and multi-source reasoning.  

  • Quantitative Reasoning

The quantitative reasoning section of the GMAT tests your ability to think critically and solve complex problems. As the name suggests, this section expects you to know mathematical concepts such as algebra, geometry and arithmetic. You will have to answer a total of 31 questions, which can be of two types: data sufficiency and word problems, within 62 minutes.  

  • Verbal Reasoning

The last section of the GMAT is the verbal reasoning section and is designed to test your reading comprehension and command over the English language. This section comprises three questions types: critical reasoning, sentence correction and reading comprehension. You will get 36 questions to answer in 65 minutes.

Once you are aware of the structure of the GMAT question paper, it’s important that you take up some GMAT sample papers and practice. The advantage of solving GMAT sample papers is that it helps familiarises you with the actual GMAT exam and also helps you to gauge your level of preparedness. You get to know your areas of strengths and weaknesses. You also get to know how much more you need to prepare to achieve your desired score. You can find several GMAT sample papers on the internet, however, it is best to check out reliable sites for these practice questions.

Now that you know what the structure of the GMAT question paper is and what are the advantages of solving sample papers, you’re better positioned to plan your GMAT preparations. 

Note: 4-5% is only for the GMAT sections, and cannot be avoided.