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GMAT Syllabus

GMAT Syllabus – GMAT Exam Syllabus and Pattern

by Anup chowdhury

GMAT syllabus is the main element of the GMAT exam which requires proper preparation on part of students wishing to undertake admission into various B-schools around the world for management studies. To increase the chances of getting admitted into these B-schools, the students need to prepare GMAT syllabus thoroughly and quite early before the exam takes place. The syllabus consists of four sections: quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, analytical writing assessment and verbal reasoning. The quantitative and verbal reasoning sections of the GMAT are computer-adaptive, which means the difficulty of the test tailors itself in real-time to evaluate the level of a candidate’s ability.

In this article, we have covered all the necessary details about GMAT syllabus to prepare for GMAT. We have created a GMAT syllabus guide to help you prepare for the exam, excel it and start a great MBA career.

GMAT Syllabus – GMAT Exam Pattern

The GMAT 2019 Exam Pattern is divided into quantitative, verbal & integrated reasoning and analytical writing.  The exam takes just under 3 1/2  hours to complete, including two optional breaks. Brief details on the question types, number of questions and score range in each section of the GMAT exam are mentioned in the table provided below. Until the beginning of 2018, the GMAT syllabus pattern was different as shown in the image below.

GMAT Syllabus Exam-Pattern 2017

GMAT Syllabus Exam-Pattern 2017

Read here – Which one is tougher GMAT or GRE?

UPDATED GMAT Exam Structure

Test Section Time & Number of Questions Question Types Score Range
Analytical Writing 30 minutes
1 question
Analysis of an Argument 0-6
(in 0.5-point increments)
Integrated Reasoning 30 minutes
12 questions
Graphics Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-source Reasoning, Two-part Analysis 1-8
(in 1-point increments)
Quantitative Reasoning 62 minutes
31 questions
Data Sufficiency, Problem Solving 6-51
(in 1-point increments)
Verbal Reasoning 65 minutes
36 questions
Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction 6-51
(in 1-point increments)

But in the middle of last year, GMAT Verbal and Quantitative had lesser questions compared to 2017. Prior to the latest changes, Verbal had 41 questions and quantitative had 37 questions.  The GMAT exam is now 30 minutes shorter since the last update one in April 2018.

 Current GMAT Format Quantitative Verbal
Old  New  Old  New 
Number of Questions 37 31 41 36
Section Time 75 62 75 65
Time per Question 121.6 s 120 s 109.7 s 108.3 s

To get more details on types of question asked in each section, click here

Read – How to Send GRE Scores?

Verbal reasoning

This section measures the applicant’s ability to read and comprehend the written material, reason and evaluate arguments, and correct material to express ideas effectively in standard written English. Also, this section consists of three types of questions: Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction. This section consists of 36 multiple-choice questions. The candidates will be given 65 minutes to complete it. Given below is the brief detail of this section.

Reading comprehensions

It tests an applicant’s ability to understand words and statements, perceive logical relationships between significant points, draw inferences and follow the development of quantitative concepts. Each reading comprehension passage comes with questions that require the applicant to interpret material, draw inferences or apply to a further context.

Critical reasoning

It tests the ability to make arguments, evaluate arguments, and formulate or evaluate a plan of action. Critical reasoning questions are based on a short reading passage, usually fewer than 100 words.

Sentence correction

The sentence correction question presents a sentence, part or all of which is underlined. Under the sentence, there are five ways of phrasing the underlined part. The applicants should pay attention to grammar, word choice and sentence construction, and also must choose the answer that produces the most effective sentence. It measures two broad aspects of language proficiency. First, a correct expression which is grammatically and structurally sound and second, an effective expression which refers to sentences that effectively express an idea or relationship clearly, concisely, and grammatically.

Analytical writing 

The analytical writing assessment section consists of one 30-minute writing task which is referred to as ‘Analysis of an argument’. The arguments on the test include topics of general interest related to business or other subjects. In this section, the applicant has to discuss how well reasoned they find a given argument. They will have to analyse the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. Before writing, they should take a few minutes to evaluate the argument and plan a response.

Quantitative Reasoning

It measures the ability to reason mathematically, solve quantitative problems, and interpret graphic data. It consists of 31 multiple-choice questions. The applicant will have 62 minutes to complete the section. There are two types of questions asked in this section which are: problem-solving and data sufficiency. Problem-solving measures the ability to use logic and analytical reasoning to solve quantitative problems. Data sufficiency checks the student’s ability to analyse a quantitative problem, recognize which data is relevant and be able to determine if the data available is enough to solve the problem.

Integrated Reasoning

This section of the exam measures how well an applicant can integrate data to solve complex problems. Since most of the B-schools are interested in the development of future business leaders, one of the most important skills an applicant should demonstrate is his/her ability to take in large amounts of data and make sound decisions. The integrated reasoning section contains four question types (total of 12 questions) – most requiring multiple responses.

Integrated reasoning section tests the ability to:

  • Synthesise information presented in graphics, text and numbers.
  • Evaluate relevant information from different sources.
  • Organise information to see relationships and to solve multiple, interrelated problems.

GMAT Math Syllabus

Some of the topics applicants can expect in the quantitative section:

  • Math Formulas List, Integers, Decimals
  • Fractions, Number properties, Order of operations
  • Percentage, Ratio and proportion
  • Profit and loss, Simple and compound interest
  • Speed, distance and time
  • Permutation & combination
  • Linear equations, Quadratic equations
  • Sets Theory
  • Statistics: Average, Median, Mode, Range, Standard deviation
  • Powers and roots, Probability
  • Pipes, cisterns, work, time
  • Lines and angles, Triangles
  • Polygon, Quadrilateral, Circles
  • Co-ordinate geometry, Volume and Surface area

GMAT Grammar Syllabus

Some of the topics applicants can expect in the GMAT verbal/grammar section. They revolve around basic grammar rules.

  • Basic sentence structure: Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives
  • Verbs, Tenses, Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
  • Pronoun Agreement, Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Modifiers, Parallelism
Read – How GMAT is Scored?

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GMAT Syllabus – FAQ

Q. How much time does a candidate need to prepare for the GMAT exam?

A. It depends on the preparation but top scorers on an average prepare for 120+ hours during the course of time.

Q. If you score a 700 in GMAT, what percentile does it make?

A. The percentile is about 89% for a score of 700. Percentiles indicate the proportion of test-takers that an applicant performs better than. For example, if you score the 75th percentile, then you scored higher than 75% of other candidates.

Q. Which exam is tougher between GRE and GMAT?

A. GMAT exam’s quantitative section is harder than the GRE quantitative section for most test-takers. It may be easier for those candidates who like logic problems over geometry questions since there are more geometry questions on the GRE.

Q. What is the average GMAT score accepted in the world’s top MBA schools?

A. 1. University of Chicago – Booth School of Business  Score- 730
2. Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management Score- 732
3. Harvard Business School Score- 730
4. University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School Score- 732
5. Stanford University – Graduate School of Business Score- 737

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