The GMAT is a three and a half hours test carrying a maximum score of 800 points. The entire GMAT syllabus is divided into four broad sections:
- Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
- Integrated Reasoning (IR)
Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
This is the first section of the GMAT and test takers need to finish this section in 30 minutes. You need to write essays just as you would in your school days. Through AWA, B-schools assess your writing skills.
In the AWA section, GMAT looks for:
- Your writing skills and abilities
- Clarity and logic in your argument
- Overall relevance of your essay with respect to the given topic
AWA is not counted towards the overall 200-800 score. Instead, the score range for AWA ranges from 0-6, with increments of 0.5.
Test takers will be given 30 minutes to finish with the IR section on the GMAT. This section was recently added to the GMAT (in June 2012). It is a combination of both verbal and quant and similar to the Data Interpretation (DI) section on the CAT.
The IR section consists of 12 questions of 4 types:
- Multi source reasoning
- Graphics interpretation
- Table analysis
- Two-part analysis
In the IR section, GMAT looks for:
- Developing relevant information presented in text, numbers and graphics
- Assessing appropriate information from different sources
- Combining and arranging information to observe relationships among them and solving complex problems to arrive at correct interpretation.
Just like AWA, even IR is not counted towards the overall 200-800 score and is evaluated on the range of 1-8.
*Infact, neither AWA nor IR will make a big impact in your overall application and our advice is not to worry on both these sections.
In this section, the test takers will be provided with 37 quant questions which need to be solved in 75 minutes.
Question types will be based on:
- Problem solving (PS) – questions given, answers to be calculated
- Data Sufficiency (DS) – interpret whether the given data is
enough to solve the given question
The Quantitative section of the GMAT evaluates the fundamental mathematical skills of the test takers such as those learnt in school and the caliber to reason quantitatively.
The various topics under Quant are as follow:
- Number Systems & Number Theory
- Multiples and factors
- Powers and roots
- Profit & Loss; Simple & Compound Interest
- Speed, Time & Distance
- Pipes, Cisterns & Work Time
- Ratio and Proportion
- Mixtures & Alligation
- Descriptive statistics
- Permutation & Combination
- Monomials, polynomials
- Algebraic expressions and equations
- Quadratic Equations
- Inequalities and Basic statistics
- Lines and angles
- Rectangular solids and Cylinders
- Coordinate geometry
This is the third section on the GMAT. The test takers will be provided with 41 verbal questions which need to be solved in 75 minutes.
In the Verbal section of the GMAT, the test takers are assessed for:
- reading and understanding the written material,
- reasoning out and appraising the arguments,
- rectifying the written material in accordance with the standard written English
Question types will be based on:
- Reading Comprehension (RC) – You will be given a passage and you need to answer questions related to it.
- Critical Reasoning (CR) – A short passage would be given. You need find the premise, conclusion, assumption etc.
- Sentence Correction (SC) – A part of the sentence would be underlined and five options would be provided. You need to spot the error and mark the right option.
To know more about the GMAT syllabus, structure and scoring algorithms, read the simple and quick ebook 15 Minute Guide to GMAT!