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What Is GMAT? Key Points about Exam Structure


The GMAT exam is one of the tests that you may have to take as a part of the graduate program application process. Passing it with great results makes you stand out from the crowd.If you have a plan to be administered in a graduate program such as masters of business administration, then you should be ready for this test. As a matter of fact, almost all the business schools that you apply for make it a major requirement. It is a crucialexam that needs proper preparation for you to excel in it. The group responsible for the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is Graduate Management Admission Council and it provides thestudents with a variety of preparation options as discussed in this article.

GMAT Structure

The test is divided into 4 different sections. They include:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment
  • Integrated Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning

The students are given about 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete all these sections. You are required to make good use of the allocated time in order to answer all the designated areas. Time management skills will come in handy.

Now, let’s see what is included in each section and how to cope with them in the best way.

  • Analytical Writing Assessment

This section tests whether or not you can think in a critical manner and communicate your ideas. To answer the questions asked here, you should be able to analyze reasoning behind each argument and write an argumentative comment. Thus, the students are gauged on how well they think critically.

The individuals are allocated 30 minutes to complete this section. In this part, you are assigned a certain argument, which you are supposed to analyze. The section has arguments on general topics revolving in the business world. You do not necessarily have to be well-versed with the essay topic. All that is needed is the ability to present a thorough argument. Make sure that all the arguments have some evidence that backs them up. Do not just jump into writing. Rather, set aside a few minutes to evaluate the given text. You are required to have well-organized ideas that are developed to utmost conclusion. Even as you finish writing the response within 30 minutes, it is better to allocate some time for re-reading your answer.

  • Integrated Reasoning

In a nutshell, this section is all about evaluating certain information that is presented in numerous formats from various sources.There are four types of questions that you should expect from this part. They are: Table Analysis, Multi-Source Reasoning, Graphics Interpretation and Two-Part Analysis. This section has two special features that you ought to be aware of: (1) most of the questions will require that you respond more than once and (2) all answers to a single question must be correctly provided.

  • Table Analysis is all about a candidate being able to perform data sorting and analysis in a similar manner that it happens in a spreadsheet.
  • Graphics Interpretation entails an individual being exposed to graphical image or graph information out of which he/she discerns relationships and make concrete inferences.
  • Multi-Source Reasoning requires that the students examine data from a variety of resources: graphics, tables, text passages, or the three combined. Proper analysis enables them to answer multiple questions correctly.
  • Two-Part Analysis is all about how effective you are at solving complex problems. The problems could take any version, including verbal, quantitative, or the combination of the two.
  • Quantitative Reasoning

The main goal of this section is to measure one’s ability regarding the analysis of data and the use of reasoning skills to draw conclusions. It has two types of questions, namely: Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving. To respond correctly to these questions, you must be well-versed in elementary algebra, arithmetic and basic geometry concepts. The questions are not easy. Rather, they need you to be able to exploit your analytical and logic skills, as well as math abilities. Another important aspect to note is that the candidates are not allowed to use a calculator while solving Quantitative Reasoning questions.

Under data sufficiency, the students are tested on how good they are at analyzing a quantitative problem and obtaining patterns out of the data provided. The candidates see a question that has 2 statements. They have data to which you should apply your math skills to answer the question asked.On the other hand, problem solving is aimed at gauging whether you are able to use logic to tackle quantitative problems or not.

  • Verbal Reasoning

This section is focused on the ability of a candidate to read written material, understand it, evaluate an argument, as well as correct the text so that it abides by certain written English standards. This part of the GMAT test has three different types of questions, namely: Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning and Correcting Sentence. The first two types are further split to sub-types with the goal of testing given verbal skills.

Reading Comprehension requires you to be able to understand words and statements, develop a clear vision of the logical relationship that exists between certain points and make inferences. The specific reading skills that are tested include main idea, inference, logical structure, application, supporting idea and style.Critical Reasoning is all about making an argument, which you are supposed to evaluate. The individuals are presented with a short reading passage, which is not more than 100 words. The short text is accompanied by a question and five choices where only one is correct.

Having understood the GMAT exam structure, you should create an effective study plan to increase your chances to succeed.