GMAT, or the Graduate Management Admission Test, is a 3 hours 7 minutes long computer-adaptive test administered in four distinct sections, namely Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment. However, if the two optional breaks of 8 minutes each are taken into consideration, the total duration of the GMAT test will be 3 hours 23 minutes.
|Test Section||Number of Questions||Type of Questions||Time|
|Analytical Reasoning Assessment (AWA)||1||Analysis of an Argument||30 minutes|
|Integrated Reasoning (IR)||12||Graphic Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-source Reasoning, Two-part Analysis||30 minutes|
|Quantitative Reasoning||31||Data Sufficiency, Problem Solving||62 minutes|
|Verbal Reasoning||36||Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction||65 minutes|
Since April 16th, 2018, GMAT has undergone several changes in format that has ultimately reduced the entire duration of the GMAT test to only 3 hours 7 minutes, almost 30 minutes less from the former format. However, while the overall duration of GMAT has been updated, the number of questions in each section has also been adjusted to ensure consistency in format. Thus, while in the former format the Quant and Verbal sections used to allow 75 minutes each to solve 37 and 41 questions respectively, in the updated format, the Quant and Verbal sections allow 62 minutes and 65 minutes respectively to solve 31 and 36 questions respectively. The time allotted to the AWA and IR sections remains unchanged.
Take the free GMAT mock test to understand the GMAT pattern and determine your learning needs.
On an average, you get only 2 minutes to answer each question on GMAT. Read this segment to obtain a fair understanding of the total time allotted to complete each question and each section of GMAT.
The duration of the GMAT Quant section is 62 minutes and you need to answer 31 questions in that time. Thus, you cannot spend over 2 minutes to answer 1 question in the GMAT Quant section. As attempting every question is necessary, even if you are required to take an educated guess, ensure that you keep to the time limit. That is, if you are unable to work out an answer and have already spent 2 minutes on the question, take a guess and mark the answer and move on to the next question. Alternately, it may so happen that you save time on answering certain questions; in such cases use this time judiciously to solve the more complex questions. Remember, GMAT Quant does not allow you to use a calculator. Hence, you need to be able to actively concentrate on solving the section. Do not panic but answer the questions calmly and keep a close eye on the timer.
The duration of the GMAT Verbal section is 65 minutes and you need to answer 36 questions in that time. However, the GMAT Verbal section provides you three distinct types of questions and each type of questions need an individual time-management strategy. Thus, for the Reading Comprehension passages, you will need almost 4 minutes to read the passage, collect the necessary information, and determine the right answer choices. For Sentence Correction questions, do not spend more than 90 seconds per question. An easy trick to solving Sentence Correction questions is to read horizontally and compare vertically; that is, read the phrase to be corrected and simultaneously, compare the same with the options listed to efficiently find the correct answer. For the Critical Reasoning questions, do not spend more than 1 minute per question; some difficult questions may require you to spend 2 minutes per such question.
Nonetheless, as attempting every question is necessary, even if you are required to take an educated guess, ensure that you keep to the time limit. Alternately, it may so happen that you save time on answering certain questions; in such cases use this time judiciously to solve the more complex questions. Remember, GMAT Verbal requires you to read long and complex passages, sift through the information to gather the relevant points, and answer the questions. Hence, you need to be able to actively concentrate on solving the section. Do not panic but answer the questions calmly and keep a close eye on the timer.
Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
In the GMAT AWA section, you are required to provide a detailed analysis of a given argument and you are allotted 30 minutes to read the argument, analyse the discussion points, frame your response, and represent the same in clear and coherent English, keeping to the standard norms of the written English language. A typically well-composed argument will mandate that all arguments have been thoroughly analyzed and discussed and complimented with adequate examples. Thus, you need to be able to read, think, organize your thoughts, and reproduce the answer in 30 minutes.
Integrated Reasoning (IR)
In the GMAT IR section, you are required to answer 12 IR questions, comprising of 4 distinct types of questions, in 30 minutes. Thus, you may be able to invest a little over 2 minutes per question to be able to answer all questions in this section. Ideally, you should spend 2 minutes 30 seconds per question on GMAT IR. Nonetheless, as attempting every question is necessary, even if you are required to take an educated guess, ensure that you keep to the time limit. Alternately, it may so happen that you save time on answering certain questions; in such cases use this time judiciously to solve the more complex questions. GMAT IR allows you to use an on-screen calculator, however you must familiarize yourself to using an on-screen calculator to make the best use of this resource.
Opt for a trusted GMAT online prep program to learn, practice, and familiarise yourself with the GMAT test screen and navigations.
Earlier, GMAT only followed 1 strict pattern of conducting the test. However, following the update in format since 2018, GMAT has introduced the flexibility of opting for a particular pattern from a list of 3 GMAT test-taking patterns:
The best way to select the right GMAT test-taking pattern is determining your weak and strong areas. If your strength lay in the Verbal section, you will want to attempt Verbal at the end and solve the Quant section at first as you will need to be able to focus with fresh mind and utmost concentration to solve a segment that you are relatively weak in. Thus, if you are confident of your Quant skills, select GMAT test-taking pattern 2 and the like.
However, if you do not select any pattern, you will be administered the GMAT test in the original format.
Further, you must answer all questions on GMAT. Although there are no negative markings for wrong answers, there is a penalty for unanswered questions. You must attempt all questions as the GMAT scoring algorithm depends on the total number of questions correctly answered and the difficulty level of the questions answered. GMAT is a computer-adaptive test and hence, the difficulty level of the next question keeps increasing with each question correctly answered. If you happen to incorrectly mark a question, the difficulty level will adjust itself to that of the last correctly answered question. A trick is to answer the first 10 questions, on both Quant and Verbal sections, properly. More often than not, the first 10 questions tend to set the pace of the exam. At any given point, if you realize that you are taking up more time than desired on a particular question, take an educated guess and move on to the next question. You must complete your exam.
In such a scenario that you are unsure about the answer to a given question, do not bother about the question. Mark your answer and concentrate on the next question. Once you have submitted your answer on GMAT, you cannot go back to change it. Remember, you only get 2 minutes to read, understand, analyze, and mark your answers. Thus, you must be able to concentrate to the best of your ability. Keep calm and do not panic.
Yes, it is important to take both the breaks on GMAT. Taking the GMAT is not easy. For a continuous stretch of 3 hours and 7 minutes, you are required to concentrate to solve critical reasoning and analytical questions. You need to give your best and for the same reason, you need your mental faculties to be functioning at their best. Each of the 2 breaks is of only 8 minutes duration but you must take the break and refresh. Carry chocolates, water, and light snacks to the test-taking centre and keep it in the assigned locker. Take the breaks to visit the washroom and to replenish yourself. Chocolates and snacks will give you the energy that you require to complete the test. However, during the breaks do not attempt to discuss questions or think about your exam. Preferably, try to maintain your calm and prepare for the next segment of the exam. Ensure that you complete the verification process and go back to the test-taking room in time.
The entire GMAT experience, right from entering the test-taking centre to exiting the centre, will last you for almost 4 hours. On your GMAT exam day, reach within time to be able to comfortably complete the verification process and enter the test-taking room. Earlier, the GMAT exam would be preceded by a tutorial video. However, following the recent update of 2018, the GMAT Interactive Tutorial screen can be accessed from home. This screen educates the students on the nature and format of the exam, provides a preview of the test-taking screen, and provides all necessary information about the test-taking day.
Once you are at your assigned screen, you will have to fill in certain information. First, you will be asked to provide the name of 5 schools that you want GMAC to forward your scores to. It is recommended that you conduct thorough research on the schools you wish to apply with and prepare your list of desired 5 schools. Next, you will have to accept an electronic non-disclosure agreement, following which you will be asked to select your GMAT test-taking pattern. You will be given only 2 minutes to select your GMAT test-taking pattern.
Once you have selected your desired GMAT test-taking pattern, your GMAT exam will commence. However, you will be presented with brief tutorials at the start of each of the GMAT sections. While the tutorials for the other sections are mostly a minute long, the tutorial for AWA is the most extensive – almost 10 minutes long. Nonetheless, you can click on the screen at any point to start with the exam. Ideally, the GMAT practice tests that you will refer to should provide you with the necessary instructions so that you do not have to browse through the tutorial screens on exam day.
The total time allotted to the test is 3 hours 7 minutes. Thus, you get almost 2 minutes to answer each question. Further, you are allowed to take 2 optional breaks of 8 minutes each.
Once you have completed the test, you will be provided with your Unofficial Score Report that will comprise of your total GMAT scaled score, computed basis your Quant and Verbal scores, your Quant score, your Verbal score, and your IR score. You will be allowed only 2 minutes to decide if you want to accept or cancel the scores. If you do not select any option, your scores will be automatically canceled. Hence, it is recommended that you set a target GMAT score before you opt for the GMAT exam to be able to make an easy decision as regards to accepting or canceling the scores. However, if you change your mind later and want to cancel your GMAT score, you will have to pay USD 25 to cancel your scores. You may also decide to reinstate your canceled scores at a later time, against the payment of a fee of USD 50.
To ensure your best performance on GMAT, you need to prepare well. Save time and prepare on the go with our free GMAT mobile app – for both Android and iOS platforms.
You may also refer to our GMAT Prep and Admission Consulting bundle to get all the help you need in successfully completing your journey to B-school admissions.
All the best!