Graduate Management Admission Test
Graduate Management Admission Test

GMAT Pattern 2023: GMAT Exam Pattern & Format | GMAT Section Order | GMAT Focus Edition

GMAT preparation should be done keeping the GMAT pattern in mind. Knowing the mode, duration, total sections, and types of questions asked can help candidates get the desired GMAT score. Check this article out to know the latest GMAT pattern.
GMAT Pattern 2023

GMAT Pattern 2023

GMAT Pattern 2023: As per the recent update by GMAC, the GMAT exam pattern will undergo substantial changes this year. GMAT Focus Edition, the new version of the exam is expected to be launched by June 2023. This version is said to be more flexible and efficient. It will be an hour shorter, and will not have AWA and IR sections. Further, a new section called data insights will be introduced. The detailed pattern for the new version is yet to be announced- Hence, the exam pattern of GMAT 2022 has been outlined by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) for the reference of interested candidates.

As per the recent GMAT Pattern, the exam will be conducted for 3 hours and & 30 minutes. The GMAT question paper will have a total of 80 questions distributed among Quantitative-Verbal-Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA). The GMAT pattern will have four multiple-choice answer options except for the AWA section. All the questions will be adaptive in nature where the subsequent difficulty increases based on the previous correct answers. Hence, preparing for the exam well with recommended GMAT Books is crucial. 

Also check: GMAT Syllabus 

The majority of questions in GMAT 2023 will be from Reasoning to assess candidates for logical and sensible thinking. While Analytical Writing Assessment assesses candidates' ability to think critically and write persuasively. The overall test duration of the GMAT will be of 3 Hours 30 Minutes with 2 breaks of eight minutes each.   

The test assesses candidates on various parameters to determine their skill set needed to secure admission in management programs like Management of Business Administration, Master in Management, Master in Business Analytics, Master in Finance, etc. The exam is designed to evaluate candidates' knowledge and intelligence required for admission to World's top B-schools. 

GMAT Pattern 2023

The GMAT exam comprises a total of four sections, which are: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment. Each section has a sectional time duration and candidates have to attempt them within a given time limit. Candidates are allowed to take two 8-minute breaks after an hour of testing. Students are advised to dedicate time to each question so that they can attempt the maximum number of correct questions within the stipulated time limit. The table below shows the GMAT 2023 pattern with respect to sectional time limit and questions. 

GMAT Sections

Time Limit


Quantitative Reasoning

62 minutes

31 questions

Verbal Reasoning

65 minutes

36 questions

Integrated Reasoning

30 minutes

12 questions

Analytical Writing Assessment 

30 minutes 

1 question


3 hours 7 minutes

80 questions

GMAT Section Order

GMAT provides candidates with an option to choose the section order in which they can take the test. While opting for the sectional choice candidates can select it as per their learning strength to score good marks. 

Candidates will get three options and they can pick the section order that is most suitable for them. The 8-minute breaks would be taken according to the order that the candidate has picked. Although, instead of deciding the order on the day of the test, candidates should choose an order in advance and prepare accordingly. The three section orders include:

Order 1

Order 2

Order 3

Analytical Writing Assessment

Integrated Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning

Quantitative Reasoning

Optional 8-minute break

Optional 8-minute break

Optional 8-minute break

Quantitative Reasoning

Quantitative Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning

Optional 8-minute break

Optional 8-minute break

Optional 8-minute break

Verbal Reasoning

Analytical Writing Assessment

Integrated Reasoning

Analytical Writing Assessment

Integrated Reasoning

GMAT Pattern 2023: Types of Questions Asked

The questions asked in each section vary. To perform well in the GMAT exam, candidates should know the types of questions they must tackle in every section. The paper will have a total of 79 objective questions and 1 descriptive question. Candidates will get 3 hours and 7 minutes to solve the test. Read on to know the types of questions that will be asked in the paper.

GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment Pattern

In GMAT AWA, candidates will be asked to analyze a given argument. In simpler words, candidates will be evaluated on how well they can provide reason and explanation to the given argument. Before writing the essay, candidates should take a minute to shape the argument with explanations, examples, and data facts to support their view either for or against the given arguments. The answer should be organized and display a critique of the presented argument.  

Applicants must note that they are not asked to present their own views on the subject. However, they need to understand the argument and provide applicable examples and reasons in their specific essays. 

The applicants will be expected to:

  • Analyse the given argument and understand it well
  • Find out the reasoning behind the argument and draft a critique accordingly
  • Consider different viewpoints to support their derivation 
  • Support the analysis with relevant examples, case studies, and data facts
  • Make sure to use correct grammar and language 

The GMAT AWA answer will be assessed on independent ratings in a combination of a machine algorithm and trained human raters. Then finally an average of the combined score will be considered for evaluating candidates' performance. If the candidates wish to opt for a GMAT rescoring service for this section, they will have to pay a fee of US$45 (INR 3683). Rescoring requests received after six months will not be approved.

GMAT Verbal Reasoning Pattern

This section measures a candidate’s ability to comprehend texts and spot given errors. There are three types of questions in the verbal section, which are: Reading Comprehension, Sentence Correction, and Critical Reasoning. Candidates will be evaluated based on how they answer these questions.

Reading Comprehension: Measures the candidate’s ability to comprehend words and statements. Applicants will be required to analyze the information given in the passage and interpret data. The passage can be from the field of humanities, social sciences, physical & biological sciences, or business. 

Critical Reasoning: The questions here are based on shot-form passages, usually less than 100 words. Candidates will have to carefully read the passage and identify its error. They will be asked to spot the passage's flawed part, which will evaluate how candidates formulate a plan of action.

Sentence Correction: Measures the candidate’s ability to spot grammatical errors and evaluate their English proficiency. Sentences will be given and they will have to find alternative phrases for the underlined part. These alternative phrases should be grammatically and structurally correct. 

GMAT Quantitative Reasoning Pattern

In this section, candidates will have to draw conclusions using arithmetic and reasoning skills. Analytical skills will be essential to draw correct answers. This section includes two types of questions, which are: Problem-Solving and Data Sufficiency. 

Problem-Solving: Candidates will be tested on their ability to solve numerical problems and apply fundamental logic and reasoning to work out quantitative questions. 

Data Sufficiency: Candidates will be required to recognize data relevancy and clarity. Problems will be given and students will have to identify if there is enough relevant data to solve those questions. 

GMAT Integrated Reasoning Pattern

Questions in this section involve both quantitative and verbal reasoning, either in combination or in independent form. This section is designed to examine the candidate’s ability to solve complex problems and integrate data. The usage of calculators will be allowed only for this section. It includes four types of questions, which are: 

Multi-Source Reasoning: Applicants will need to examine data through multiple sources in the form of passages, graphics, tables, or even a combination of the three. Through this, candidates will be tested on how they determine data relevance,  spot errors, and interpret data.

Table Analysis: Candidates will be asked to determine and analyze data which would be given in a tabular format. 

Graphics Interpretation: Interpretation of information given in various graph forms like- (graphical image scatter plot, x/y graph, bar chart, pie chart, or statistical curve distribution)

Two-Part Analysis: Here, applicants will need to solve complex and versatile problems, which cover a wide range of content. The questions will be presented as two problems based on similar information.

What Is a Computer Adaptive Test?

The GMAT is a computer adaptive test. In a computer adaptive test, every next question presented is based on the candidate’s response to the previous question answered. 

What that means is after every answered question, the score will be automatically updated. If the updated score is higher in number, the next question will be more complex and difficult in nature. Similarly, if the score is not getting better, the next question will be comparatively easier. This pattern helps in accurately examining the abilities of candidates.

Put simply, a computer adaptive test determines the level of the applicants’ abilities in real-time by measuring the manner in which they are answering the given questions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is GMAT MCQ based?

As of now, except for the GMAT AWA section, all other sections are MCQ based. However, once the GMAT Focus Edition is launched, the entire exam will be MCQ based. 

How many questions are there in GMAT?

The GMAT exam includes a total of 80 questions. 31 questions in Quant, 36 in Verbal, 12 in Integrated Reasoning, and a single descriptive question in AWA.


Which section is the most difficult in GMAT?

Many students consider Quantitative Reasoning to be a challenging section. However, the difficulty of any section depends on the strengths and weaknesses of specific candidates. A student with strong mathematical knowledge would not find the quant section to be as difficult as he may find the verbal section.

What is a strong GMAT score?

To get into highly competitive B-schools, a GMAT score above 700 is essential. A score above 740 is considered to be a strong GMAT score, whereas a score below 700 is considered to be average.


How many breaks will students get in GMAT?

Applicants attempting the exam will get two 8-minute breaks. They have the liberty to select the sectional order of the exam and the breaks would take place accordingly. 

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