GMAT Test Format

GMAT Test Format Explained

The GMAT is considered to be the most important exam in the business industry. It opens new doors and opportunities to professionals as well as students. It is an internationally recognized and accepted test which is mandatory for admissions into any good MBA program. To crack the test, you should be well aware of the GMAT test format and the timing restrictions. To help you through these aspects of GMAT, they are discussed in detail here.

As you know, the test consists of mainly 3 sections namely, analytical writing assessment, verbal and quantitative analysis. The basic structure of the GMAT test format is presented in the table below-

Questions Points /Percentile time
Analytical writing assessment 2 0-6/0-99 30 minutes each
Optional break 10 minutes
Quantitative 37 0-60/0-99 75 minutes
Optional break 10 minutes
Verbal 41 0-60/0-99 75 minutes
Total 80 200-800/0-99 220-230 minutes

The GMAT test format always starts with the analytical writing assessment section. Now each of these sections is discussed individually:

Analytical writing assessment (AWA):

It basically consists of two parts, analysis of an issue and analysis of an argument. The topics are always very general in nature and you don’t need the knowledge from any specific field to write these essays. All you need is the ability to write analytically. You will get 30 minutes for each and you can score a maximum of 6 marks here on each.

  • Analysis of an issue:

    Here an issue is given which you have to analyze from all points of view that you see fit. You can use examples and experiences relevant to the issue from your own life but be sure not to make it too complicated.

  • Analysis of an argument:

    A brief argument is given here and you have to write a critique on it. Analyze the argument as it is given and don’t include your personal views on it. You can include examples and counterarguments that tend to strengthen or weaken the given argument.

    In both of these essays you must follow a clear line of thought and you must present them like narratives. The essay should be concise and logical. In this section you can easily score 12 with a little practice.


This section is most scoring in the GMAT test format. It tests your ability to think quantitatively and logically and it also checks your data interpretation skills. There are basically two kinds of problems that you will encounter here- problem solving and data sufficiency. The problems solving section will test you on topics like algebra, arithmetic, geometry and word problems (these may include work problems, ratios, mixtures, interest, profit/loss etc.).

The problem solving section tests your mathematical ability and the level of problems is no more than high school mathematics. In data sufficiency however, it has more to do with your analysis skills than your mathematical skills. Here you don’t have to solve the problem, all you have to do is analyze whether the problem can be solved. If it can be solved then you have to see how much data you need to solve the problem. It has five fixed answer choices-

  • Statement (1) alone is sufficient to answer the question but statement (2) alone is not sufficient.
  • Statement (2) alone is sufficient to answer the question but statement (1) alone is not sufficient.
  • The two statements taken together are sufficient to answer the question but neither of the two alone is sufficient.
  • Each statement alone is sufficient to answer the question.
  • The two statements taken together are still not sufficient to answer the question.

It is essential to know by heart these choices because it will save you a lot of time in test. This section consists of 60 marks but if you can score about 49-52, your final score will definitely go high.


If you are good at English, This is definitely your scoring area in the GMAT test format. This section consists of three types of questions- reading comprehension, critical reasoning and sentence correction. It also consists of 60 marks where you can hope to score 49-52 to achieve a good overall score.

The reading comprehension tests your ability to read, understand and draw logical conclusions from written material. You should spend some amount of time on reading the passage thoroughly because understanding it is very important.
The critical reasoning will test your abilities in the areas of argument construction, argument evaluation and formulating and evaluating a plan of action.

Sentence correction is probably the easiest of the three areas because anyone with a fairly sound knowledge of high school English grammar should be able to do it without much difficulty. Here a part of the sentence is highlighted and you have to identify the error, or in some cases, the idea behind the phrase. The mistakes can be in idioms, verbs, diction etc. This is the general GMAT test format followed by the GMAC. To stay updated with the latest changes and news visit the official site All the best!!

Terms and Conditions

Information published in is provided for informational and educational purpose alone for deserving students, researchers and academicians. Though our volunteers take great amount of pain and spend significant time in validating the veracity of the information or study material presented here, we cannot be held liable for any incidental mistakes. All rights reserved. No information or study material in this web site can be reproduced or transmitted in any form, without our prior consent. However the study materials and web pages can be linked from your web site or web page for

  • Research

  • Education

  • Academic purposes

No permission is required to link any of the web page with educational information available in this web site from your web site or web page