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Tata Capital > Blog > Loan for Education > The Insider’s Guide to the GMAT Exam Pattern

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The Insider’s Guide to the GMAT Exam Pattern

The Insider’s Guide to the GMAT Exam Pattern

The Graduate Management Admission Test, commonly known as the GMAT, is a crucial stepping stone for aspiring business professionals seeking admission into top MBA programs globally. The preparation for this test starts with a thorough understanding of the GMAT exam pattern which can help achieve high scores. 

At its core, the GMAT exam pattern is designed to assess analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in a standardised format. However, what sets the GMAT test apart is its adaptive nature and the unique challenge it poses in each of its sections. 

In this article, we will explore each segment of the GMAT exam pattern in detail, offering insights and strategies that go beyond the basic understanding of the test. 

What is the GMAT Exam Pattern?

The GMAT exam syllabus is meticulously structured into four distinct sections: 

1. Analytical Writing Assessment

This section tests your ability to think critically and communicate your ideas. It consists of one essay-writing task where you are required to analyse an argument. The allotted time is 30 minutes, which challenges your ability to organise your thoughts quickly and efficiently.

2. Integrated Reasoning

Introduced to reflect the modern complexities of the business world, this section comprises 12 questions to be solved in 30 minutes. It assesses your ability to evaluate information presented in multiple formats and from multiple sources.

3. Quantitative Section

Here, the GMAT test encompasses a range of high-school-level maths, including arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. This section is split into two types of questions: problem-solving and data sufficiency, challenging your analytical skills and mathematical prowess. 

With 31 questions and a 62-minute time limit, this section tests your quantitative abilities under time pressure.

4. Verbal Section

This final section of the GMAT exam pattern evaluates your command of standard written English, your ability to analyse arguments, and your reading skills. It includes 36 questions, to be answered in 65 minutes, covering reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction.

Let’s now look at the GMAT test structure in detail. 

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

The AWA section involves writing an essay where you analyse the reasoning behind a given argument. The key here is not to present your own views on the topic but to critically evaluate the argument's strengths and weaknesses. This task tests your ability to think critically and communicate your thoughts coherently and effectively.

Key Tips for AWA Success

1. Focus on analysing the given argument's logical structure. 

2. Clear and concise writing is valued over verbosity.

3. A good command of English grammar and sentence construction will aid in conveying your ideas more effectively.

4. Utilise GMAT study resources that provide sample arguments and practice prompts.

Integrated Reasoning (IR)

Integrated Reasoning consists of 12 questions to be completed in 30 minutes. These questions are grouped into four types. Each type requires a different approach, which should be a focal point in your GMAT study strategy.

Multi-Source Reasoning: Tests your ability to sift through data from various sources, such as emails, graphs, and tables, to answer questions.

Graphics Interpretation: Focuses on interpreting data presented in graphical form. During your GMAT study, familiarise yourself with different types of graphs and the best ways to extract data from them.

Two-Part Analysis: Involves solving complex problems that have two parts, which may be related or independent. 

Table Analysis: Requires analysing a table of data to determine whether certain statements are true. 

Strategies for Tackling IR Questions

1. Include a variety of data sources in your GMAT study materials to become adept at quickly interpreting and analysing different types of information.

2. Develop a strategy to manage the limited time effectively. 

3. Pay close attention to the data presented. 

Quantitative Section

This section comprises 31 questions, split into two main types: problem-solving and data sufficiency, to be completed within 62 minutes. 

Problem-solving questions test your ability to use logic and analytical reasoning to solve quantitative problems. Data sufficiency questions, unique to the GMAT test, assess your ability to determine if you have enough data to solve a problem.

Topics to Review

The quantitative section covers a range of topics from high school mathematics, including:

1. Arithmetic: Number properties, fractions, percentages, and ratios.

2. Algebra: Equations, inequalities, and functions.

3. Geometry: Lines, angles, triangles, and circles.

4. Word Problems: Translating real-life scenarios into mathematical problems.

Tips to Enhance Accuracy and Speed

1. Ensure that your study plan includes a thorough revision of fundamental mathematical concepts.

2. Practise a variety of problems to enhance your ability to apply concepts in different scenarios.

3. Focus on understanding what is being asked and carefully analyse each statement in data sufficiency questions.

4. Simulate test conditions in your GMAT study sessions to improve your speed and accuracy under time pressure.

Verbal Section

This final section contains 36 multiple-choice questions, which you need to complete in 65 minutes. It comprises three types of questions. These include, 

Reading Comprehension: Passages cover a range of topics, and questions ask about main ideas, supporting details, inferences, and logical structure.

Critical Reasoning: Evaluates your ability to make and analyse arguments as well as formulate or study a plan of action. Your GMAT study should focus on strengthening your ability to understand argument structure and evaluate it.

Sentence Correction: Involves correcting grammatical errors and improving the quality and effectiveness of a sentence. Mastery of sentence correction requires both an understanding of standard written English rules and the ability to read efficiently and critically.

Strategies for the Verbal Section 

1. Develop reading skills by reading diverse and complex texts regularly. 

2. Engage in activities that require critical analysis and argument evaluation. 

3. A comprehensive review of grammar rules is essential. 

In Conclusion

Mastering the GMAT exam pattern is a journey that requires dedication, strategic planning, and consistent effort. Each section of the GMAT test presents unique challenges and opportunities to showcase your skills and preparedness for advanced management studies.

While focusing on your preparation, it's also crucial to consider the financial aspects of your business education. Tata Capital educational loans offer flexible and tailored financial solutions to help you fund your MBA dreams. 

With the right mindset, thorough preparation, and the support of Tata Capital's educational loans, you can navigate the complexities of the GMAT test. 

Visit the Tata Capital website to apply now for an education loan

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