A Complete Guide to the GMAT Syllabus


The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a standardised test that is essential for applying and securing admission to Business Schools worldwide. It is a computer-adaptive multiple-choice test that serves as an essential criteria for the students who wish to get into their dream graduate business programs. You can discover a rundown of all the top business colleges in this article.

The GMAT syllabus is made up of four sections. Out of the four sections two are scored separately. On the other hand, a composite score is derived from the other two sections combined.

You will be able to learn about all the necessary details about the GMAT syllabus in the following section. 

The prescribed GMAT Syllabus for 2021

The syllabus for the GMAT exam is divided into the following four sections:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
  • Integrated Reasoning (IR)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
  • Verbal Reasoning (VR)

These are the four sections that make up the GMAT examination. The examination is three and a half hours long. The scores are divided into two parts. The Verbal and Quantitative sections account for the cumulative score of 800. The remaining two sections are scored independently. Candidates are allowed to choose the order for attempting the four sections in the examination. 

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

The AWA section is designed to be for 30 minutes.  This section is scored between 0 to 6. The Analytical section requires the candidates to analyse and think critically about an argument. The candidates are expected to identify and contemplate about the cons of an argument and then develop reasonable, sound solutions to the problem. 

The answer has to be presented in a clear and succinct essay format that is written in adherence to the standard grammatical rules of written English. The ability to present the facts and thoughts in the most coherent way should be showcased by the candidate. The ability to discuss your point of view with clarity is a crucial factor in  this section.

Integrated Reasoning (IR)

The Integrated Reasoning section of GMAT is allotted a duration of 30 minutes, ranging between 1 to 8. This section is also scored independently. This section tests the candidate’s analytical skills to solve challenging questions that rely on comprehending the data from various sources such as texts, graphs, and tables.  This section comprises of four different question types:

  • Table Analysis — Table analysis questions require the candidate to skim through and decipher the data presented in a table and answer objective-type questions in the form of yes/no or true/false. 
  • Multi-Source Reasoning —The multi-source reasoning questions tests the student’s ability to collate and analyze data or information by going through various tabs that are presented to them. 
  • Graphical Interpretation —The Graphical Interpretation questions tests the candidates ability to break-down graphical data. The data must, then be, utilized for the purpose of completing statements by choosing the drop-down menu’s appropriate answer option to fill in the blank.
  • Two-Part Analysis — Candidates are provided with questions and multiple choice answers in four columns. The candidate has to identify the permutations and combinations from the options in the four columns to figure out the answer. 

Quantitative Reasoning (QR)

In the quantitative section of GMAT, the candidate is given 62 minutes to answer 31 questions. The scoring range of the QR section is from 0 to 60. This section probes the candidate on arithmetic problems from various topics such as basic arithmetic, geometry, and algebra. The questions follow the multiple-choice format. There are two types of questions:

  • Data Sufficiency — These questions are focused on the candidate’s ability to analyze data systemically and extrapolate information. The question is presented along with two statements along with five multiple-choice answers. 
  • Problem-solving Questions — In this section, the candidates will encounter mathematical problems with five answer choices. It is important to familiarize yourself with the various arithmetic concepts in order to ace this section.

Verbal Reasoning (VR)

The GMAT test’s verbal section is timed at 65 minutes, with scores ranging from 0 to 60. There are a total of 36 questions that need to be answered in this section. This section aims to gauge the candidate’s proficiency in standard written English. There are three  question types:

  • Sentence CorrectionSentence Correction questions aim to measure two broad categories of your language proficiency – Correct Expression and Effective Expression. 
  • Reading ComprehensionThe Reading Comprehension questions assess your ability to read a passage and comprehend the words and statements. 
  • Critical Reasoning Questions Critical Reasoning questions measure your ability to make and evaluate arguments, and formulate a plan of action. 

Now that you know the GMAT Syllabus, start your preparation by making smart study plans.