GMAT Syllabus, Format, Eligibility, Fees, Registration and Prep Tips 2022

The Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) is a computer-adaptive test taken by students to get admission into graduate management programs, such as MBA. The test is organized by the Graduate Management Admission Council & can be taken in more than 110 countries worldwide. The score of this test is accepted by over 2300 colleges for 7000 programs. In this article, you’ll familiarize yourself with everything important there is to know about the GMAT exam & some preparation tips at the end. Let’s start with the exam pattern.

GMAT Exam Pattern

The GMAT exam has a total of four sections, each with a different time limit. The 4 subject areas you will be tested on are verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, integrated reasoning, and analytical writing assessment. The AWA section will have a descriptive question & it is an optional section. The rest three will have questions in the form of MCQs. 

  • Verbal reasoning : 36 questions
  • Quantitative reasoning : 31 questions
  • Integrated reasoning : 12 questions 
  • Analytical writing assessment : 1 topic

The timings for the 4 subjects will be 65 minutes, 62 minutes, 30 minutes, and 30 minutes respectively. 

GMAT Exam Pattern and Format 2022

GMAT Syllabus

GMAT Quantitative / Maths Syllabus

Following are some of the topics you can expect in the quantitative section:

  • Maths Formulas List
  • Integers
  • Decimals
  • Fractions
  • Number properties
  • Order of operations
  • Percentage
  • Ratio and proportion
  • Profit and loss
  • Simple and compound interest
  • Speed, distance and time
  • Permutation & combination
  • Linear equations
  • Quadratic equations
  • Sets Theory
  • Statistics: Average, Median, Mode, Range, Standard deviation
  • Powers and roots
  • Probability
  • Pipes, cisterns, work, time
  • Lines and angles
  • Triangles
  • Polygon
  • Quadrilateral
  • Circles
  • Co-ordinate geometry
  • Volume and surface area

GMAT Verbal / Grammar Syllabus

Following are some of the topics you can expect in the GMAT verbal section. They generally revolve around basic grammar rules.

  • Basic Sentence structure: Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives
  • Verb Tense
  • Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
  • Pronoun Agreement
  • Subject Verb Agreement
  • Modifiers
  • Parallelism

GMAT Exam Format

Verbal Section

In the GMAT exam, there are three types of questions, namely reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction in the Verbal section. A candidate needs to attempt 36 questions in 65 minutes.

Reading Comprehension

In reading comprehension, a candidate is tested on their ability to understand logical statements in a passage & write them in their way. The logical structure of sentences, writing style, and supporting ideas are attributes tested by the candidate’s answers. In this section, you will be given short and long passages following multiple-choice questions.

You need not have an in-depth knowledge of the topic. Rather you should be able to

  • Understand the underlying concept of the passage
  • Grasp the key idea and the relationship between the various entities involved

Critical Reasoning

In critical reasoning, an argument will be presented in a short paragraph. The candidate will be tested on skills of making and evaluating an argument, and formulating a plan of action. You should be able to

  • Sort out the useful information from the irrelevant matter
  • Identify the key points that influence, strengthen or weaken the given argument
  • You need to carefully go through the argument to logically analyse it, read through the options carefully to be able to decide which option would be the best possible answer.

Sentence Correction

For sentence correction, a candidate will be presented with a sentence. Part of the sentence will be underlined and the candidate will be asked to identify a grammatical problem if present.

  • If the sentence sounds correct as it is, option 1 is the answer
  • You have to be familiar with the rules of English grammar and choose the answer which seems the best in compliance with standard written English.
  • Once done, read it over again to check if the sentence construction looks correct and if the original meaning of the statement has been retained.

Quantitative Section

In this section, there are a total of 31 questions. The questions in this section are mainly of two types: Data Sufficiency and Problem-Solving. 

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. There are roughly 11-13 questions in this section. 

So it’s a good idea to memorize 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.

Problem solving questions

The problem-solving section consists of 18-20 questions. This part is designed to test your quantitative skills and your ability to solve a problem using various mathematical concepts.

In this section, questions are based on the following topics: Algebra, exponents and roots, percentages, set theory, fractions, simple and compound interest, coordinate geometry, mensuration, permutation and combination, decimals, ratio and proportion, and probability. 

Integrated Reasoning

In this section, data will be presented in the form of graphs, passages, or tables and a candidate will have to integrate the given data to find a solution to the given problem. 

The integrated reasoning section is spread across the following topics:

  1. Table Analysis: As the name suggests, a candidate will have to study a table and infer the data mentioned. 
  2. Two-Part Analysis: You have a question and multiple choices provided. The answers in a table form have the two components occupying the first two columns and the answer options in the third column. Of all the options provided, you have to choose only one option under each component to complete one answer.
  3. Multi-source reasoning: This type of questions require analyzing data from multiple sources such as tables, graphs or passages. The answers may be in the yes/no, true/false format or as multiple choice options.
  4. Graphics Interpretation: A candidate will have to interpret data through a graph and fill in statements to draw inferences. You need to answer by by choosing one of the options from the pull-down menu.

Analytical Writing Assessment

In this section, a candidate will be presented with topics on which they are supposed to write an essay. In addition, there can also be questions based on passages that the candidate will have to answer.  

Two types of essays can be asked in the exam:

  1. Argument essay: Under this essay you will have to analyze the reasoning and assumptions in a given argument. A candidate has to conclude whether or not the argument is logically coherent. 
  2. Issue essay: In this section you will have to present an argument in the form of an essay. The agreement should have a strong stance, either in support or in disagreement of the presented statement. The world limit is about 600 words. Be sure to be unique with the content section. 

GMAT Eligibility

To appear for the GMAT, a candidate must meet some eligibility requirements. Firstly, a candidate must be 18 or above to appear for the exam. With written proof from parents or guardians, a candidate under 18 can appear as well. There is no upper limit. A candidate must be in the final year of graduation, a graduate, or a working professional to appear for the exam. A candidate can appear for the exam a total of 5 times in a year, with a distance of at least 16 days and a maximum of 8 attempts are allowed in one’s lifetime.


For a single attempt, the GMAT exam fee is $275 (~INR 20,500). If you wish to reschedule your exam, you will have to pay an additional $50. To cancel the exam you’ll have to pay $80 extra. The fees can be paid via both online and offline modes. To register via phone you will be charged an additional $10 as a service fee.

The GMAT Exam is Computer Adaptive. What Does That Mean?

The Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections of the GMAT are computer-adaptive, meaning the difficulty of the test tailors itself in real-time to your ability level. This feature allows the exam to assess your potential with a higher degree of precision and deliver scores that business schools trust.

Here’s how it works: The first question you receive in either the Verbal or Quantitative sections will be of medium difficulty. As you answer each question, the computer scores your answer and uses it as well as your responses to any preceding question to select the next question.

If you answer the first question correctly, the computer will usually give you a harder question. If you answer the first question incorrectly, your next question will be easier.  

This process continues until you complete the section, using responses to all previously answered questions, at which point the computer will have an accurate assessment of your ability in that subject.

You will not be able to skip, return to, or change your answers to questions. This is because the computer uses your response to each question to select the next one.

Taking the GMAT Exam (GMAT Registration and Dates)

There are no specific dates for the GMAT exam. Candidates can take the GMAT exam any time during the year.

You can take the GMAT once every 16 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period (365 days), and up to eight total times.

You need to create your GMAC account to register and schedule your GMAT exam.

Prep Tips

  • If you are planning to appear for GMAT, be sure to make a study plan as soon as possible. It’s crucial to have a structure for your preparation. This not only helps you keep consistency but also track progress. To do that, you must first familiarize yourself with the syllabus, so you can decide on how to plan your study. 
  • It’s of utmost importance to choose the right GMAT material you will be referring to for your study. There are plenty of resources available in the market, it’s your job to scan through and decide what resources are the best. 
  • As we know, the exam is time-bound. During your preparation, you must time yourself with every section and track your progress. Maybe you’ll infer that you are spending a lot of time on a certain question and it’s costing you overall, if so, you can try doing it later if time permits. Also, you must constantly work on matching the pace needed for the actual exam. 
  • With your preparation, there will be topics or skills you will be inherently good at and others where you might come short. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is paramount to obtaining a good score. 
  • A simple strategy that works in most situations, for most candidates is the strategy of elimination. Very often you are not sure of the right answer, even if you do you might start getting second doubts. It’s always wise to eliminate the answer choices you know for sure are wrong to arrive at the right one. 
  • One final tip that will help you incredibly is: to get good at mental math. Being able to quickly do calculations will help you to a great extent & might as well be the contributor to you securing the seat at a business school. 

Sources: 1, 2.

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