GMAT Exam Syllabus & Pattern – 2021

GMAT is a three and a half hours test with a maximum score of 800 points. The entire GMAT Exam syllabus divided into four sections.

GMAT Exam syllabus divided into four sections:

  • Analytical Writing
  • Integrated Reasoning
  • Quantitative Aptitude Section
  • Verbal Reasoning Section

GMAT Exam Pattern

The GMAT exam pattern is divided into four sections Writing, Reasoning, Verbal and Quantitative skills. Further, the GMAT is a Computer Adaptive Test of 3 hours 30 minutes and comprises of both objective and subjective questions. There are a total of 91 questions.


Number of Questions

Score Range

Analytical Writing Assessment (30 minutes)

1 Topic (Essay)


Integrated Reasoning (30 minutes)

12 questions


Quantitative (62 minutes)

31 questions


Verbal (65 minutes)

36 questions


Total Exam Time (3 hours 7 minutes)


GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment Syllabus

The Analytical Writing section will have topics on which the candidate will have to write, or a passage may be given on which questions will be asked. On the basis of the passage, the candidate will have to answer. The syllabus for this section is vast and varied as the topic of the passage could be any topic of interest. The main idea is to focus on the structure of the answer and not the arguments presented. Remember, it is not a test of your opinion but your writing style, so it is safer to stick to a neutral opinion.

  • Argument essay

    In this section, you have to analyse the reasoning and then present your argument. Remember, you will be judged on how well reasoned you find a given argument.

  • Issue essay

    In this section, you have to write an essay on the issue given to you. The candidate has to give an opinion in around 600 words. The opinion can be supportive of the given statement or candidates can give their own opinion. However, make sure to give your opinion in a properly structured manner as you will be judged on this basis.

    GMAT Integrated Reasoning Syllabus

    The Integrated Reasoning section is the newest addition to the GMAT Exam syllabus. This section tests the candidates’ ability to evaluate the data presented in graph or table format. This section has 12 questions of the following type:

    • Table Analysis:

      This section measures candidates’ ability to sort and analyze a table comprising data, like a spreadsheet, to determine the important information or the one that meets certain conditions.

    • Two-Part Analysis:

      Measures the candidates’ skills to solve complex problems. The problems can be verbal, quantitative, or a combination of both. The format is versatile and covers a wide range of content. The candidates’ ability to solve simultaneous equations, evaluate trade-offs, and discern relationships between two entities is measured.

    • Multi-Source Reasoning:

      It measures candidates’ skills to examine data from multiple sources tables, graphics, text passages, or a combination of all the three and analyze each source of data carefully for answering multiple questions. The candidates will be asked to draw inferences and others may require you to determine whether data is important. In a few questions, candidates will have to recognize discrepancies among different sources of data.

    • Graphics Interpretation:

      It measures candidates’ ability to interpret the information presented in a graph or graphical image (scatter plot, x/y graph, bar chart, pie chart, or statistical curve distribution) to find out relationships, and make inferences.

      GMAT Quantitative Reasoning

      The Quantitative Section comprises of two sections, namely Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving. In the Data Sufficiency section, there will be 18 questions and in the Problem Solving section, there will be 18 questions. The questions will be objective type and will have multiple choice answers. In this section the questions can be expected from the following math syllabus:

      • Problem Solving

        It measures the candidates’ skills to use logic and analytical reasoning for solving quantitative problems.
      • Data Sufficiency

        It measures the candidates’ ability to examine a quantitative problem, identify which data is important, and determine at what point there are enough data to solve the problem.

      The topics are further divided into the following categories:

      • Geometry
      • Elementary Algebra
      • Arithmetic
      • Ratio Proportions
      • Properties of Integers
      • Permutation and combinations
      • Exponents and roots
      • Linear equations etc.

      GMAT Verbal Reasoning Syllabus

      This Verbal Skills section will have 36 multiple-choice questions. This section is divided into Critical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension and Sentence Correction. This section tests the candidates’ ability to comprehend the written material, read and understand the logical relationship between the points mentioned in the passage and concepts.

      • Critical Reasoning

        It measures the candidates’ skills to make arguments, evaluate arguments, and formulate or evaluate a plan of action.

      • Reading Comprehension

        It measures the candidates’ skill to draw inferences, understand logical relationships between significant points, understand words and statements, and follow the development of quantitative concepts. Apart from this, the candidates will be tested on the following reading skills: inference, application, main idea, supporting the idea, logical structure, and style.

      • Sentence Correction

        This section measures two broad aspects of the candidates’ language proficiency. The first aspect is to correct expression while referring to sentences that are grammatically and structurally sound. The second aspect is an effective expression while referring to sentences that effectively express an idea or relationship clearly, concisely, and grammatically.

      Following areas will be covered in this Verbal Reasoning section:

      • Critical reasoning
      • Rhetorical construction of the sentences
      • Sentence correction related to finding error or omission
      • Reading unseen passages
      • Subject-verb agreement
      • Misplace modifiers
      • Countable Vs Uncountable
      • Parallelism

      Preparation Tips for GMAT Syllabus

      To be able to study on your own effectively, you need a few good GMAT books and resources, along with study material, motivation, and self-discipline. On the other hand, if time is a constraint and you feel the need for professional guidance to ensure the competitive edge in GMAT exam preparation, then joining a coaching center for GMAT in your location is the better option. Checkout Preparation Tips for GMAT Syllabus in detail.

      GMAT Syllabus FAQs

      Still, have more questions about the GMAT? Read the frequently most frequently asked questions on GMAT and GMAT Syllabus.

      Q. What is GMAT Math Syllabus?

      A. GMAT Quant or Quantitative Aptitude Section comprises of Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving. This section is designed to test the aspirants’ proficiency in solving problems with a mathematical approach.

      Q. What is the difference between the CAT and GMAT syllabus?

      A. CAT syllabus comprises of topics like Quantitative, Logical and Verbal Reasoning, under the sections – Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC).

      GMAT syllabus comprises of topics like Quantitative, Logical and Verbal Reasoning under sections – Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Integrated Reasoning.

      GMAT exam also includes the Analytical Writing Assessment section which is not presented in CAT Exam. Also, there is no descriptive question in the CAT exam.

      Q. Is the GMAT exam tough?

      A. GMAT exam tests different skill sets like the ability to think critically, ability to analyse data and draw conclusions using reasoning skills. According to an estimate, only 5-6% of candidates are able to score more than 720+. So, one needs to develop these skills to get a decent score in order to get admission to their dream B-school.

      Q. Is 650 a good GMAT score?

      A. According to experts 650 – 690 is a good score, however, if you score above 700 then it is great and it also enhances your chances of securing an admit to a top B-school.

      Q. How GMAT score is calculated?

      A. Total GMAT scores are derived by taking into account the overall performance before scores are given for the Quantitative and Verbal sections. Then the raw calculation is converted to a number in the total score range. GMAT scores are reported in intervals of 10. There can be a standard error of 30-40 points.

      Q. How to get a perfect GMAT score?

      A. One needs to have a strategy to prepare for the GMAT to get a perfect score on the GMAT.

      Step 1: Candidates need to study regularly

      Step 2: Practice study material consistently

      Step 3: Learn the fundamentals

      Step 4: Focus on increasing your speed

      Step 5: Practice mock tests and learn where you are being stuck

      Q. Is it hard to score 700 on the GMAT?

      A. Usually, anything above 700 is considered a good GMAT score. With consistency, one can score 700+ in the GMAT. With a proper study plan, one should also practice mock tests and have a grip on the fundamentals.

      Q. When to start preparing for the GMAT test?

      A. Ideally, one should start preparing for the GMAT exam at least six months before submitting the test results. Candidates should have a minimum of six to eight weeks to prepare for the GMAT test if they are already familiar with the GMAT test. 

      Q. What are some of the GMAT Quant topics that can be expected in the GMAT test?

      A. Below are some of the topics that need to be covered to prepare for the GMAT Quants:

      Multiples and factors




      Number properties

      Permutation and combination

      Profit and loss

      Simple and compound interest

      Speed, time, and distance


      Lines and angles


      Rectangular solids and cylinders



      Q. How to apply for GMAT 2021?

      A. GMAT Registration process step by step:

      Step 1: Candidates need to visit the official GMAT site (

      Step 2: They need to submit their details like name, email, etc. for registration

      Step 3: Then they need to give their academic and work details

      Step 4: Schedule the exam as per their convenience and book the slot

      Step 5: Pay the GMAT Registration fee online via debit or credit card


      Q. What is GMAT Syllabus?

      A. GMAT exam includes four sections namely Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude Section, and Verbal Reasoning Section. Each section is designed to test different skillsets. Read the above article in detail and learn more about the GMAT Syllabus.

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