Everything you need to know about GMAT exam syllabus

Updated on: May 17, 2023

The Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) is a standard exam for international students pursuing higher education in business courses or MBA. The GMAT exam syllabus tests your ability and knowledge in business and management through various sections and questions.

Over 2,400 educational institutions accept GMAT scores in countries such as the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and others.

The GMAT syllabus 2023 is developed to analyse and evaluate your skills to see if they meet business school requirements. Understanding the GMAT exam syllabus will help you prepare well for the assessment. 

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Before we move on to the syllabus, it is essential to remember that there are two formats to attend the exam: GMAT Test Centre and GMAT Online. While these exams have some key differences, the GMAT exam pattern and syllabus remain the same. Here's everything you need to know about the GMAT exam syllabus.

GMAT syllabus 2023

The GMAT syllabus for MBA and other business studies syllabus comprises four sections - Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude, and Verbal Reasoning. These sections cover around 50 topics determining your ability to analyse, quantify, and reason.

GMAT exam syllabus

SectionTime limitQuestionsQuestion typesScore range
Analytical Writing30 minutes1Analyse an argument0-6 points
Integrated Reasoning30 minutes12Graphics interpretation, analysing a table, multi-source reasoning, two-part analysis1-8 points
Quantitative Reasoning62 minutes31Problem-solving, data sufficiency6-51 points
Verbal Reasoning65 minutes36Reading comprehension, critical reasoning, sentence correction6-51 points

GMAT exam syllabus: Analytical Writing

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • No. of questions: 1

The Analytical Writing section consists of a passage or a statement that requires you to write an essay on it. The topic of the passage or the statement can be related to anything, so prepare to analyse the author's point of view, the evidence provided, and the presented arguments' strengths and weaknesses. You will be asked to write either an argument-based or an issue-based essay.

You are required to discuss how well-reasoned the argument or issue is. This should involve analysing what the person is trying to argue in favour of and what evidence they give to support themselves.

GMAT exam syllabus: Integrated Reasoning

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • No. of questions: 12

The Integrated Reasoning section plays a significant role in the GMAT exam syllabus. You need to prove your ability to assess large amounts of data and make the right decisions based on what you see. There are four types of questions:

Multi-source reasoning - These questions measure your potential to examine different types of data from many sources and use them to answer questions. You should identify discrepancies or decide whether the data is relevant to the question.

Table analysis - You'll be given a table and asked to sort, analyse and determine which information is relevant.

Graphics interpretation - You'll be presented with information in a graph and asked to analyse it, find relationships between data, and perform other tasks related to the graph.

Two-part analysis - This part measures your problem-solving skills for complex tasks. The questions can be quantitative, verbal, or both.

GMAT exam syllabus: Quantitative Reasoning

  • Duration: 62 minutes
  • No. of questions: 31

The Quantitative Reasoning section analyses your mathematical reasoning through quantitative problems. There are two types of questions in this section:

Problem-solving - The questions measure your ability to think logically and solve quantitative problems.

Data sufficiency - Here, you will be measured on how well you analyse a quantitative problem and decide whether you have enough data to solve it.

GMAT exam syllabus: Verbal Reasoning

  • Duration: 65 minutes
  • No. of questions: 36

The Verbal Reasoning section measures your ability to read and understand the written material and express your ideas. There are three types of questions in this section:

Reading comprehension - The question includes a passage to read and tests your ability to identify and understand the main idea, supporting ideas, inferences, application, logical structure and style. 

The subjects include social sciences and humanities, physical and biological sciences or business.

Critical reasoning - This question type determines your ability to form and evaluate arguments and develop or assess a plan of action. They usually are based on reading a short passage and picking out which answer option strengthens or weakens the argument.

Sentence correction - This test identifies your skill in correcting expressions in sentences. You'll be given a sentence to analyse with options to rephrase (or part of it). You need to select the one that has the best grammar, word choice and sentence construction.

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Pro tips to prepare for GMAT syllabus 2023

The GMAT exam syllabus is considered difficult among students, but you can ace the exam with dedication and practice. Here are some useful tips that would help you prepare for the GMAT exam syllabus:

  • Create a schedule - The GMAT exam syllabus requires proper planning and scheduling. It is important to create an effective GMAT study plan for better preparation. Work on your study hours daily, set goals, and work towards them. You can also create a detailed timeline that includes the time required to cover specific topics when you take practice tests and others.
  • Get familiar with the exam format - You must familiarise yourself with the GMAT exam syllabus format so that it can be prepared during your exam. Learn about the sections, the questions and their types, and any other details relevant to the structure of the assessment. This would help you create a structured study plan and understand what types of questions may be asked in each section so that you can plan your answer strategy.
  • Get used to working on a computer - The GMAT is an intensive test for over three hours on a computer. Getting practice working on a computer is a good idea to avoid mental fatigue.
  • Utilise study resources - Many GMAT syllabus pdf materials are available for the exam, including practice tests, study guides, and online courses. Therefore, it is important to identify the resources that best meet your needs and utilise them to prepare for the exam.
  • Know your weaknesses - Understanding your weaknesses is another important tip for preparing for the GMAT exam syllabus. Take some practice tests to identify which topics or types of questions you need more practice with. This will help you focus on your studies and prepare well for the exam.
  • Take practice tests - There are practice GMAT tests available to help you familiarise yourself with the syllabus and exam pattern, so be sure to use these. The more you practise, the less daunting it will feel to face these questions in the actual exam.
  • Use a timer - While practising, make sure you keep a note of the time required to answer each question. This will help you stay on track with time and complete the questions without any delay.

Frequently asked questions

What is the syllabus of GMAT exam?

The GMAT exam syllabus consists of four sections that determine the knowledge and skills of a candidate in business studies. These sections include:

  • Analytical Writing
  • Integrated Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning

Can I crack GMAT without coaching?

Yes, you can ace the GMAT exam syllabus without coaching. You can plan a study schedule, make use of online resources and take practice tests to perform well during the exam.

Is GMAT negative marking?

The GMAT exam does not have negative markings for any wrong answer you choose.

How to prepare for GMAT 2023?

The GMAT exam syllabus can be difficult, but with regular practice and preparation, you can score well during the exam. Here are some tips to prepare for the GMAT syllabus 2023:

  • Create a schedule
  • Get familiar with the exam format
  • Get used to working on a computer
  • Know your weaknesses
  • Take practice tests
  • Use a timer

Does the GMAT syllabus change every year?

The GMAT exam syllabus has remained the same for the past few years. So you can prepare for the exam with references to the questions and sections from the previous year's exams.

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