The GMAT is a computer adaptive test that assesses an applicant’s potential by testing various parameters to determine their expertise in various areas by means of four sections in the new exam pattern:
Candidates are given three and a half hours to complete these four sections. The total score out of 800 is only for the verbal and quantitative sections. The remaining two sections receive their independent scores.
Section 1: Analytical Writing Assessment
This section has a 30-minute essay which includes:
Analysis of an Argument
Here you’re expected to-
The scores for this section are on a six point scale. Your essay is given two independent ratings and then an average is considered.
One of these scores is done by an automated essay-scoring engine. If the difference between both the ratings is more than one point, a third rating would be provided by an expert reader which would then be the final score.
Section 2: Integrated Reasoning (IR)
This new section of the GMAT was introduced in June 2012. It has 12 questions with thirty minutes to answer this section. This section has replaced one of the AWA essays. The score is on a scale of 1 to 8.
This section tests how well you can make use of your analytical skills to solve a complicated problem. You are provided with data in various forms.
Your skill depends on being able to handle the data, pick out the information that is relevant and then choose the right answer. In each question, you are expected to provide multiple answers from the choice provided. This section has four different question types:
Section 3: Quantitative Section
This is the third section of the GMAT. You have to attempt 37 questions with 75 minutes to complete this section. The questions are designed to put your math skills to test. They revolve around basic arithmetic, algebra and geometry. This section has multiple choice questions that fall in the following two categories:
Data sufficiency questions
This section is intended to test your ability to assess the given data systematically. You’d be given a question followed by two statements and five answer choices. These answer choices always remain the same.
So it’s a good idea to memorise them all including their order. Then use your logical and analytical skills combined with quantitative knowledge to check what data is required or sufficient to find the answer. Here it’s more about checking the data sufficiency as the name suggests rather than finding the answer.
Problem solving questions
This part is designed to test your quantitative skills and your ability to solve a problem using the various mathematical concepts.
The number of problem solving questions would be greater in number. Each of the above two category of questions would appear in random order throughout the entire section.
Section 4: GMAT Verbal Section
In this last section of the GMAT, you’ll have 75 minutes to answer 41 multiple choice questions that fall in one of the following category:
Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction.
A. Reading Comprehension
In this section you are given a passage (approx. 350 words) on a topic and multiple choice questions based on the same.
You need not have an in-depth knowledge of the topic. Rather you should be able to
B. Critical Reasoning
There are around 14 critical reasoning questions in the GMAT verbal section. The passage is in the form of an argument with five answer choices. You should be able to
C. Sentence Correction
You are given a sentence having an underlined portion and five answer choices.