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GMAT Computer Adaptive Test comprises of 4 sections:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) – Test takers now have to write only 1 essay – Analysis of an Argument
  • Integrated Reasoning Section –includes the following items – Multi Source Reasoning, Graphics Interpretation, Two Part Analysis and Table analysis. Test takers will see at least questions based on each item.
  • The Quantitative Section – includes problem solving and data sufficiency based on algebra, geometry and arithmetic.
  • The Verbal Section – Includes Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

The AWA consists of one 30-minute writing task—analysis of an argument. It is imperative to be able to analyze the reasoning behind a given argument and come up with a critical evaluation of that argument. The essay will be given two independent ratings and these ratings are averaged together to determine the test taker's AWA score. One rating is given by a computerized reading evaluation and another is given by a person at GMAC who will read and score the essay himself without knowledge of what the computerized score was. The automated essay-scoring engine is an electronic system that evaluates more than 50 structural and linguistic features, including organization of ideas, syntactic variety, and topical analysis. If the two ratings differ by more than one point, another evaluation by an expert reader is required to resolve the discrepancy and determine the final score.

Score(s) 1 2 3 4 5 6
Remark(s) Deficient Flawed Limited Adequate Adequate Outstanding

Quantitative section

The quantitative section of the GMAT measures the ability to reason and solve quantitative problems, interpret graphic data, and analyze the information given in a problem. The use of calculators is not allowed on the quantitative section of the GMAT. Test takers must do their math work out by hand using a dry erase pen and laminated graph paper which are given to them at the testing center. Questions require knowledge of topics such as arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. There are two types of quantitative questions: problem solving and data sufficiency.

Problem solving questions are designed to test the ability to reason and solve quantitative problems. Data sufficiency is a unique question type that appears on the GMAT and is designed to measure the ability to understand and analyze a quantitative problem, recognize what information is relevant or irrelevant and determine at what point there is enough information to solve a problem or recognize the fact that there is insufficient information given to solve a particular problem.

Verbal section

The verbal section of the GMAT Exam evaluates the test taker's ability to read and comprehend written material, reason and evaluate arguments and correct written material to express ideas effectively in standard written English. The question types are reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction questions.

Reading comprehension passages can be anywhere from one paragraph to several paragraphs in length. Reading passages contain material from subject areas like social sciences, history, physical sciences, and business-related areas. Reading comprehension passages are accompanied by interpretive, applied, and inference questions. This section measures the following abilities:

  • Understanding words and statements in reading passages
  • Understanding the logical relationships between significant points and concepts in the reading passages
  • Drawing inferences from facts and statements in the reading passages
  • Understanding the author's point of view and their proposed arguments

Critical reasoning questions are designed to test the reasoning skills involved in making arguments, evaluating arguments, and formulating or evaluating a plan of action. Questions are based on materials from a variety of sources. This section measures the following abilities:

  • Construction of an Argument
  • Evaluation of an Argument
  • Formulating and Evaluating a Plan of Action

Sentence Correction questions ask the test taker to determine if there is any error with a given sentence and if so, to determine the best way in which the sentence should be written.

Integrated reasoning

Integrated Reasoning (IR) is designed to measure a test taker’s ability to evaluate data presented in multiple formats from multiple sources. This section consists of 12 questions in four areas namely, graphical interpretation, two-part analysis, table analysis, and multi-source reasoning.

In the table analysis section, test takers are presented with a table of information, similar to a spreadsheet, which has to be analyzed. Each question will have several statements with opposite-answer options (e.g., true/false, yes/no), and test takers click on the correct option. Graphics interpretation questions ask test takers to interpret a graph or graphical image. Each question has fill-in-the-blank statements with pull-down menus; test takers must choose the options that make the statements accurate. Multi-source reasoning questions are accompanied by two to three sources of information presented on tabbed pages. Two-part analysis questions involve two components for a solution. Possible answers are given in a table format with a column for each component and rows with possible options. Test takers have to choose one response per column.

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