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GMAT Sections- Things to Remember

Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

sections of the gmat

There are four GMAT sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA). As per the new pattern, the GMAT exam sections have some changes incorporated. 

The Quantitative Research section now has 31 questions that must be completed within 62 minutes. There are 36 questions in the verbal reasoning section that needs to be completed within 65 minutes. GMAC (the governing authority) has also reduced the examination time to 3.5 hours from 4 hours earlier.

You should understand the GMAT sections and scoring criteria in order to prepare better for the examination. You will be giving the test only on a computer at your nearest test center. You will have to enter answers to multiple-choice questions on the screen while typing your essay for the AWA section. 


Here are the sections in GMAT with their basic pattern:

Name of the Section

Key Pattern & Details

Quantitative Reasoning

31 questions (multiple-choice)

Time duration- 62 minutes

General knowledge of algebra, arithmetic, and geometry

Calculators are not allowed

Verbal Reasoning

36 questions (multiple-choice)

Time duration- 65 minutes

Logic, grammar, and capabilities of answering questions on any passage

Integrated Reasoning

12 questions (multiple-choice, and sometimes requiring multiple responses)

Time duration-30 minutes

Making inferences on the basis of given data (graphs, tables, charts, etc.)

The calculator is given

Analytical Writing Assessment

One topic for the essay

Time duration- 30 minutes

Analyzing any argument on any general/business-related topic


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GMAT Sections in Detail

The four sections of the GMAT are discussed in detail here- 

Analytical Writing Assessment

This section will track your ability in terms of critical thinking and also in expressing/communicating your opinions and ideas in a succinct manner while maintaining grammatical, logical, and linguistic correctness and accuracy at the same time. The topic requires you to analyze an argument in the business domain or a more general topic. The section will require you to analyze the line of thought or reasoning in the argument and also the usage of supporting points/evidence. You will have to plan your answer/response accordingly. You will only get half an hour to complete the essay. Scoring is done by a machine-based algorithm and human evaluators. 

Quantitative Reasoning

This section will test your data analysis capabilities and come to conclusions with the help of your reasoning abilities. This is one of the toughest GMAT online sections to crack. You will have to mathematically reason out solutions to problems and also interpret the information given graphically. You will get 62 minutes to complete this section. There are Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency question types in the section. Both require knowledge of basic algebra, geometry, and arithmetic. The questions mainly focus on analytical and logical abilities. You cannot use a calculator in this section. 

Verbal Reasoning

This section tests the abilities of candidates with regard to reading, understanding, and absorbing written content, before analyzing/evaluating the core arguments. It also tests how well they can correct this material to adhere to standard, logical, and correct English. You will have 65 minutes in this section. There are three question types: Critical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and Sentence Correction. There are sub-types and divisions for the first two types mentioned above. 

Integrated Reasoning

This section measures the capabilities of data analysis and information evaluation across several formats. It checks the usage of data- sets and their integration towards solving various problems. This section tests the ability to synthesize or absorb data in text, graphics, numbers, etc. It also tests the abilities of candidates to analyze data across sources, organize data for solving problems, and tap data from various sources for the same purpose.

The twelve questions asked in this section are of four types. These are Table Analysis, Multi-Source Reasoning, Two-Part Analysis, and Graphics Interpretation. The questions cover both verbal and quantitative reasoning aspects, either together or separately. Many questions will need multiple responses, while an online calculator is available as well. Partial credits are not given to candidates.

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Question Types- GMAT

Here's looking at the types of questions for all the GMAT sections

Quantitative Reasoning

  1. Problem Solving Questions- You will have to demonstrate analytical and logical reasoning abilities for solving mathematical problems. You have to choose the answer from five choices. 
  2. Data Sufficiency- You will have to analyze the problem, identify the relevant information, and work on the solution. The data sufficiency question will have two accompanying statements. You have to integrate this data along with your mathematical knowledge and logic to arrive at the correct solution.

Verbal Reasoning

  1. Reading Comprehension- This will test your reading skills like supporting the idea, main idea, application, inference, style, and logical structure. Every passage will have questions for interpreting the text, coming to conclusions, creating inferences, or applying the content to any other context. The passages will have topics in the humanities, physical sciences, social sciences, biological sciences, or business domains. 
  2. Critical Reasoning- This section tracks your abilities for argument creation, formulation, evaluation, and so on. In most cases, these questions come with smaller passages that are less than 100 words. The short passage will have a question with five answer options. 
  3. Sentence Correction- Your proficiency in language will be analyzed. Every question will have a sentence (a portion of the entire sentence will be underlined), with five methods of phrasing the underlined area below. You will have to choose the option which is grammatically and otherwise correct. 

Integrated Reasoning

  1. Multi-Source Reasoning- This tracks candidates' abilities to analyze data from multiple sources. Some questions will ask you to highlight any discrepancies or gaps among various information sources. Others may seek inferences, while some may ask to determine data relevancy. 
  2. Table Analysis- This will track your abilities in analyzing any table to understand which data is relevant and whether it adheres to specific conditions. 
  3. Graphical Interpretation- This tracks candidates' abilities in data interpretation (graph, image, bar chart, and so on). You will be asked to create inferences and identify relationships amongst key data points/variables. 
  4. Two-Part Analysis- This will have simultaneous equations, relationships between two parts, and so on. 

Analytical Writing Assessment

There will be one essay or Analysis of an Argument. You will have to write this within 30 minutes. The topic could be general, business-related, or anything else. Your analytical writing abilities are assessed, and you will not require specific or deep knowledge of the topic.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How many sections are in GMAT?

There are four sections in the GMAT examination. These are the following- Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment.

Which is the most difficult section of the GMAT?

Many candidates feel that the Quantitative Reasoning section is the toughest, while some think that this section is easier in comparison to the Verbal Reasoning section. Both these sections require careful preparation and intensive study before the examination.

How many GMAT scores are required for studying abroad?

The GMAT score criteria vary across educational institutions. The score band is 200-800. A score of 700 and above is usually seen as sufficient to get admission into universities abroad. 650-700 is a decent and competitive score in the GMAT.

Important Resources For PTE/SAT/ACT Exam

PTE Examination Eligibility Criteria

There are no specific PTE exam eligibility criteria set by Pearson VUE – the organizers of the test.

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PTE Academic Syllabus

PTE syllabus includes various sections such as Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening.

PTE Syllabus

PTE Exam Pattern

The PTE exam pattern is designed to test whether candidates can study at international institutions that have English as the main language for instructions.

PTE Exam Pattern

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

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