GMAT Exam Structure

The GMAT Exam Has Four Sections:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment—measures your ability to think critically and to communicate your ideas
  2. Integrated Reasoning—measures your ability to analyze data and evaluate information presented in multiple formats
  3. Quantitative Reasoning—measures your ability to analyze data and draw conclusions using reasoning skills
  4. Verbal Reasoning—measures your ability to read and understand written material, to evaluate arguments and to correct written material to conform to standard written English.

In total the test takes just under 3 1/2  hours to complete, including two optional breaks.

Structure of the GMAT Exam

The GMAT Exam has four separately timed sections. You will have the opportunity to take two optional eight-minute breaks during the exam.

Test SectionTime Limit / Number of QuestionsQuestion TypesScore Range
Analytical Writing Assessment30 minutes
1 question
Analysis of an Argument0-6
(in 0.5-point increments)
Integrated Reasoning30 minutes
12 questions
Graphics Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-source Reasoning, Two-part Analysis1-8
(in 1-point increments)
Quantitative Reasoning62 minutes
31 questions
Data Sufficiency, Problem Solving6-51
(in 1-point increments)
Verbal Reasoning65 minutes
36 questions
Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction6-51
(in 1-point increments)

Control Your Test Taking Experience

When you arrive at your test center, you have the flexibility to choose from three options for your exam’s section order:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal
  2. Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
  3. Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

This choice simply gives you more control and flexibility to take the GMAT Exam based on your strengths and testing preferences. Read more about selecting your exam’s section order.

The GMAT Exam is Computer Adaptive. What Does That Mean?

The Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections of the GMAT are computer-adaptive, meaning the difficulty of the test tailors itself in real-time to your ability level.

This feature allows the exam to assess your potential with a higher degree of precision and deliver scores that business schools trust.

Here’s how it works: The first question you receive in either the Verbal or Quantitative sections will be of medium difficulty. As you answer each question, the computer scores your answer and uses it as well as your responses to any preceding question to select the next question.

If you answer the first question correctly, the computer will usually give you a harder question. If you answer the first question incorrectly, your next question will be easier.

This process continues until you complete the section, using responses to all previously answered questions, at which point the computer will have and accurate assessment of your ability in that subject.

You will not be able to skip, return to, or change your answers to questions. This is because the computer uses your response to each question to select the next one.

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