Free GMAT Course > GMAT Introduction > What is the GMAT?

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) consists of two multiple-choice sections (Quantitative and Verbal) and an essay section called the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA).

Video Courtesy of Kaplan GMAT prep.

Quantitative Section:

31 questions
62 minutes
Problem Solving Questions (approx. 21 Questions)
Data Sufficiency Questions (approx. 10 Questions)

Verbal Section:

36 questions
65 minutes
Reading Comprehension (approx. 12 Questions)
Sentence Correction (approx. 11 Questions)
Critical Reasoning (approx. 13 Questions)

High-scorers typically spend over 40 hours preparing.

Essay Question (Analytical Writing Assessment):

The GMAT has an essay question (“Analysis of Argument”): You have 30 minutes to type an essay into the computer using a simple word-processing program. If you want to practice these essays, we have 5 timed practice GMAT essay questions that you can send in for grading. Note that this essay question doesn’t count towards your total 200-800 score and is graded from 1 to 6.

Integrated Reasoning:

This section consists of 12 questions that measure the ability to analyze graphs and data sets. This section doesn’t count to the 200-800 score but is from 1 to 8.

Changes to the GMAT in 2018

The GMAT primarily tests four skills:

  1. Endurance and ability to focus

    You’ll have to stare at a screen intensely and focus for nearly four hours. Keep this in mind when taking practice tests. Get used to working for many hours on end. Learn how to relax. The physical and mental exhaustion is part of the test’s challenge. That’s why we offer GMAT CAT practice tests. You should take as many practice CATs as possible to learn the test and to get used to the grueling experience.

  1. Basic knowledge of grammar, math, reasoning, and argument formation

    The second skill,–a basic knowledge of grammar, math, reasoning, and argument formation– is covered in the later chapters of this online prep guide. No calculators are allowed on test day, so you need to practice doing basic math calculations.

  2. Test-taking skills: ability to guess, work at an appropriate pace, and make decisions under pressure

    These skills are covered in this chapter and throughout the online guide. Timing is a major part of test-taking skill, particularly for the GMAT CAT. Our Test Pacer system will teach you the pacing interactively.

  3. Problem-solving abilities

    To improve your problem-solving abilities, the fourth skill, we have extensive information on reasoning techniques and math concepts throughout this online guide. When you get a question wrong, make sure to review our explanations so that you understand the conceptual error that you made in the question. You do not want to repeat the error.

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