Test Structure

Test structure
Analytical Writing Assessment Section
The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) of the GMAT® is designed as a direct measure of your ability to think critically and to communicate your ideas.
The AWA consists of two 30-minute writing tasks—Analysis of an Issue and Analysis of an Argument. The issues and arguments presented on the test concern topics of general interest related to business or a variety of other subjects. A specific knowledge of the essay topic is not necessary; only your capacity to write analytically is assessed.
Analysis of an Issue
For the Analysis of an Issue section, you will need to analyze the issue presented and explain your point of view on the subject. There is no correct answer. Instead, you should consider various perspectives. Use relevant reasons or examples drawn from your experience, observations, or reading to develop your own position on the issue.
What Is Measured
The Analysis of an Issue tests your ability to explore the complexities of an issue or opinion and, if appropriate, to take a position that is informed by your understanding.
Analysis of an Argument
For the Analysis of an Argument section, you will need to analyze the reasoning behind a given argument and write a critique of that argument. You are not being asked to present your own views on the subject.
Consider the following when developing your essay:
  • What questionable assumptions underlie the thinking behind the argument?
  • What alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion?
  • What sort of evidence could help strengthen or refute the argument?
  • What Is Measured?
The Analysis of an Argument section tests your ability to formulate an appropriate and constructive critique of a specific conclusion based on a specific line of thinking.
Quantitative Section
Two types of multiple-choice questions are used in the Quantitative section of the GMAT® exam—Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency.
The Quantitative section of the GMAT measures the ability to reason quantitatively, solve quantitative problems, and interpret graphic data.
Problem-Solving and Data-Sufficiency questions are intermingled throughout the section. Both types of questions require knowledge of:

  • Arithmetic
  • Elementary algebra
  • Commonly known concepts of geometry
Problem-Solving Questions
Problem-Solving questions are designed to test:

  • Basic mathematical skills
  • Understanding of elementary mathematical concepts
  • The ability to reason quantitatively and solve quantitative problems
Data-Sufficiency Questions
Data-Sufficiency questions are designed to measure your ability to:

  • Analyze a quantitative problem
  • Recognize which information is relevant
  • Determine at what point there is sufficient information to solve a problem
Data-Sufficiency questions are accompanied by some initial information and two statements, labeled (1) and (2). You must decide whether the statements given offer enough data to enable you to answer the question. You must choose one of the following answers:

  • Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) is not sufficient.
  • Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) is not sufficient.
  • BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient.
  • EACH statement ALONE is sufficient.
  • Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient.
Verbal Section

Three types of multiple-choice questions are used in the Verbal section of the GMAT® exam—Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction.

The Verbal section of the GMAT exam measures your ability to:
  • Read and comprehend written material
  • Reason and evaluate arguments
  • Correct written material to conform to standard written English
Reading Comprehension Questions
Reading Comprehension passages are up to 350 words long. Topics contain material from the social sciences, physical or biological sciences, and business-related areas (marketing, economics, human resource management, etc.).
Because the Reading Comprehension section of the GMAT exam includes passages from several different content areas, you may be generally familiar with some of the material; however, no specific knowledge of the material is required. All questions are to be answered on the basis of what is stated or implied in the reading material.
Reading Comprehension passages are accompanied by interpretive, applied, and inferential questions.

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