GMAT

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GMAT

WHAT IS THE GMAT®?

ABOUT THE GMAT

WHAT IS ON THE GMAT?

The GMAT exam measures your command of basic arithmetic, algebra, geometry, multi-source data analysis, and grammar. More importantly, it measures your ability to analyze and evaluate written material, think critically, and solve problems. The GMAT is first and foremost a test of your critical thinking skills. Knowing how to reason through and analyze information is the key to a great GMAT score.

WHAT ARE THE GMAT SECTIONS?

The GMAT contains four distinct section types, although you’ll use the same critical thinking and analysis skills throughout the test, just like you will during your MBA coursework.

The content on the GMAT is broken down into four scored test sections, two of which are scored separately, and two of which are scored separately but are also combined to generate your composite score:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment <<
  • Integrated Reasoning <<
  • Quantitative <<
  • Verbal <<

GMAT test takers are able to choose the order in which they take GMAT test sections. You will choose your section order at the test center following the computer tutorial and just before you begin your test. There are three orders you will be able to choose from:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Integrated Reasoning (IR), Quantitative, Verbal
  2. Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
  3. Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

The Analytical Writing Assessment section of the GMAT is scored separately from 0 to 6 in half-point increments. The Integrated Reasoning section is also scored separately on 1–8 scale, in one-point increments. The Quantitative and Verbal sections each have a scaled score of 0–60. They are then combined to generate a score on the 200–800 scale, with 10-point increments, you’re probably most familiar with. Your score on the 200–800 scale, in 10-point increments, reflects the level of difficulty of the questions you answered correctly using a proprietary GMAC algorithm.

The mean score for Verbal is 27, while the mean score for Quantitative is 39. The mean is 4.4 for Analytical Writing and 4.2 for Integrated Reasoning. The score that MBA programs weigh most heavily for admission is your combined Verbal and Quantitative scores. Here, the GMAT applies its algorithm to your Verbal and Quantitative scores, converting them to the familiar 200–800 scale, where the mean score is 552. See more on how the GMAT is scored below.

ANALYTICAL WRITING ASSESSMENT (AWA)

Number of questions

Number of minutes to complete AWA

Score range

One timed task: “Analysis of an Argument”

30 minutes

0 to 6

The Analytical Writing Assessment, or “essay” section, helps business schools analyze your writing skills. It is scored separately, and your AWA score is not used to generate your 200–800 point score. Essays are scored by a human grader and a computer grading system, and the two scores are averaged for your final score. If the ratings differ significantly, then another human reads and scores your essay.

For your writing task, you’ll be presented with a brief argument similar to a paragraph you would find in a Critical Reasoning question on the Verbal section. You are not asked to present your own point of view on the topic; instead you’re tasked with critiquing the author’s argument, analyzing the soundness of the author’s evidence and reasoning.

When scoring this section, essay graders are looking for whether you can clearly identify and insightfully analyze parts of the argument, develop and organize your ideas thoughtfully and logically, and connect your statements with clear transitions.

INTEGRATED REASONING (IR)

Number of questions

Number of minutes to complete IR

Score range

Multi-Source Reasoning questions
Graphics Interpretation questions
Two-Part Analysis questions
Table Analysis questions
12 total questions (many with multiple parts)

30 minutes

1 to 8

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