What Does the GMAT Test?
The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) consists of four timed sections. The first two sections are the Analytical Writing Assessments (AWAs), the third is composed of 37 multiple choice math questions, and the final section features 41 multiple choice verbal questions.
You are allotted 3.5 hours to complete the four sections. Although the GMAT represents a big part of your business school application, it does not measure any knowledge of business skills, specific undergraduate coursework, or subjective qualities such as motivation, creativity, and interpersonal skills—the idea is to equalize the playing field for applicants from varying industries and disciplines.
While GMAC reserves the right to change the test, as it stands now you’ll start with the AWAs (in either order) and then move onto the multiple choice sections (also in either order).
The essays test your ability to construct and articulate an argument. You’ll need to brainstorm, organize your thoughts, and draft each essay within 30 minutes. Then after an hour of writing, you’ll move on to the quantitative and verbal sections. The quantitative section measures mathematical skills and quantitative reasoning and interpretation, while verbal focuses on comprehension, evaluation, and correction of written material.
Remember that the GMAT is an adaptive test—it changes based on how you’re doing. That also means you have to answer every question that comes your way and you can’t go backward. You’ll begin each multiple choice section with a question of middling difficulty, and the questions will become either more difficult or more manageable based on how you’re doing.