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GMAT Exam Pattern

Graduate Management Admission Test popularly known as GMAT is conducted for admission into MBA. The conducting authority is GMAC (an association formed by 9 business schools). At present 21,00 B-Schools accept the GMAT score offering around 5900 programs.The GMAT pattern includes 4 sections namely Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal Section. Test takers are given 3 hours 30 minutes to complete the exam.Candidates can check different sections along with some sample questions and important topics in this article.

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Sections of GMAT Exam

There are 5 sections in GMAT – Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal Section. From Analytical Writing Assessment section there will be only 1 question and test takers will have 30 minutes to solve it. In Integrated Reasoning 12 questions will be asked and 30 minutes will be given to solve it. From Quantitative section 37 questions will be asked and 75 minutes will be given to solve this section. Last section is of verbal consisting of 41 questions  to be attempted in 75 minutes. The most important topics from this section is Sentence Correction.

Test SectionNumber of QuestionsType of QuestionsAllocated Time
Analytical Writing Assessment1 topicAnalysis of Argument30 minutes
Integrated Reasoning12 questionsMulti Source Reasoning Graphics Interpretation Two part Analysis Table Analysis30 minutes
Quantitative37 questionsData Sufficiency Problem Solving75 minutes
Verbal41 questionsReading Comprehension Critical Reasoning Sentence Correction75 minutes
Total Time  3 hours 30 minutes

Analytical Writing Assessment Section

This section deals with how efficiently test takers can think , analyses and communicate their ideas. Questions will be given , test takers have  to the reason behind the given argument and write the judgment.

Lets discuss a sample question from this section

The following paragraph is an extract from a monthly business news magazine :-

"Most companies would agree that as the risk of physical injury occurring on the job is increasing day by day, the wages paid to employees should also increase graphically. Hence it makes financial sense for employers to make the workplace safer: they could thus reduce their payroll expenses and save money for such casualities." 

Discuss how well reasoned supported you find this argument. Also In your discussion you have to analyze the line of reasoning and use of evidence in the argument. Assume, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. 

You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion. 

The following answer got the highest rating

This argument states that it makes financial sense for employers to make the workplace safer because by making the workplace safer then lower wages could be paid to employees. This conclusion is based on the premise that as the list of physical injury increases, the wages paid to employees should also increase.

However, there are several assumptions that may not necessarily apply to this argument. For example, the costs associated with making the workplace safe must outweigh the increased payroll expenses due to hazardous conditions. Also, one must look at the plausibility of improving the work environment. And finally, because most companies agree that as the risk of injury increases so will wages doesn't necessarily mean that all companies which have hazardous work environments agree. 

The first issue to be addressed is whether increased labor costs justify large capital expenditures to improve the work environment. Clearly one could argue that if making the workplace safe would cost an exorbitant amount of money in comparison to leaving the workplace as is and paying slightly increased wages than it would not make sense to improve the work environment. For example, if making the workplace safe would cost $100 million versus additional payroll expenses of only $5,000 per year, it would make financial sense to simply pay the increased wages. No business or business owner with any sense would pay all that extra money just to save a couple dollars and improve employee health and relations. To consider this, a cost benefit analysis must be made. I also feel that although a cost benefit analysis should be the determining factor with regard to these decisions making financial sense, it may not be the determining factor with regard to making social, moral and ethical sense. 

This argument also relies on the idea that companies solely use financial sense in analyzing improving the work environment. This is not the case. Companies look at other considerations such as the negative social ramifications of high on-job injuries. For example, Toyota spends large amounts of money improving its environment because while its goal is to be profitable, it also prides itself on high employee morale and an almost perfectly safe work environment. However, Toyota finds that it can do both, as by improving employee health and employee relations they are guaranteed a more motivated staff, and hence a more efficient staff; this guarantees more money for the business as well as more safety for the employees.

Finally one must understand that not all work environments can be made safer. For example, in the case of coal mining, a company only has limited ways of making the work environment safe. While companies may be able to ensure some safety precautions, they may not be able to provide all the safety measures necessary. In other words, a mining company has limited ability to control the air quality within a coal mine and therefore it cannot control the risk of employees getting black lung. In other words, regardless of the intent of the company, some jobs are simply dangerous in nature. 

In conclusion, while at first it may seem to make financial sense to improve the safety of the work environment sometimes it truly does not make financial sense. Furthermore, financial sense may not be the only issue a company faces. Other types of analyses must be made such as the social ramifications of an unsafe work environment and the overall ability of a company to improve that environment (i.e., coal mine). Before any decision is made, all these things must be considered, not simply   reduction of payroll expenses.

Now the question arises how to attempt such type of questions :-

How to attempt such questions in which candidates have to analyze their mind skills and creative skills   

Sample Questions


Integrated Reasoning Section

This section is created to check of the test taker evaluate information presented in multiple formats from multiple sources. This section judges how efficiently the candidate after becoming manager understands multiple streams of data in this data driven world. The skills required are :-

  • Make Judgments- How someone interprets the given information and make the judgment  from multiple sources.
  • Organise- How to organize hierarchy of relationships combined for multiple sources
  • Combine- How to combine information from different sources for an output.
  • Synthesize- How to present information in graphics, texts and number

Here are the six points you should keep in while attempting Integrated Reasoning questions :-

  • If you want to score full point then attempt all the parts of the question , there is no option of getting partial point.
  • All the options related to the question will be represented on the same screen,
  • To move to another question , you would have to first attempt all the parts of previous question before moving ahead to next part
  • If you have marked an answer for a question you cannot change it. There is no option of going back to the question and reattempt it.
  • All the questions are independent of each other. Answering one question will not help you in solving the next one and so on.
  • For One set of data there may be several questions. In case you have answered one question incorrect, it will not affect your answer to another question from the same data.

Provided below are different types of questions that are asked in IR Section :-

Interpret the given graph and chose the answer from the drop down list to make the answers correct

GMAT 2016 Exam Pattern

Two Part Analysis

Choose one option from each part to solve the two part solution question.

GMAT 2016 Exam Pattern Graph


GMAT Quantitative Section

37 questions are asked from Quantitative section. It includes mathematics question  up to class 12th . In data sufficiency part  there will be  2 statements. Candidates have to identify  if they are informative enough to answer the question or not. You have to mark that

  • Statement 1 is sufficient alone and statement 2 is not required.
  • Statement 2 is sufficient alone and Statement 1 is not required.
  • Both statements are required to solve the  question.
  • None of the statements is informative enough to answer the question
  • Both statements alone can answer the question.

Some sample questions from Data Sufficiency part :-

If a real estate agent received a commission of 6 percent of the selling price of a certain house, what was the selling price of the house? 

(1) The selling price minus the real estate agent's commission was $84,600. 
(2) The selling price was 250 percent of the original purchase price of $36,000. 

(A) Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient. 

(B) Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient. 

(C) BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient, but neither statement Alone is sufficient. 

(D) EACH statement ALONE is sufficient. 

(E) Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient.

Answer- (D)

Candidates will be given 75 minutes to solve this section. They can use preparation books for entrance exams like CAT. There will be 37 questions which will be further divided into 3 parts :- Data Sufficiency, Mathematics, Quantitative aptitude, For every correct answer candidate will be  framed                                                                          


GMAT Verbal Section

For this section 41 questions will be asked. This section is divided into 3 parts- Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning and Sentence Formation. Applicants are mostly worried about the sentence correction part. This is created to check candidate’s skills on following parameters :-

  • How test taker read and comprehend written material.
  • How well he/she give reasons and evaluate arguments.
  • How accurately he/she understands English Language Fundamentals

GMAT Sentence Correction

This part is created to check your hold on English language. For attempting this section candidates can prepare sentence correction for various aptitude tests such as CAT, MAT. Lets first discuss a sample question on sentence correction.

This question presents a sentence, part of which or all of which is underlined. Beneath the sentence you will find five ways of phrasing the underlined part. The first of these repeats the original; the other four are different. If you think the original is best, choose the first answer; otherwise choose one of the others.

In his speech last night, the Mayor asked Citizens for Communities, a grassroots organization that has been active in drawing residents of impoverished neighborhoods together.

(A) been active in drawing residents of impoverished neighborhoods together.

(B) been active as a drawing together of residents of impoverished neighborhoods. 

(C) been active to draw together residents of neighborhoods that are impoverished.

(D) become active to drawing together residents of impoverished neighborhoods.

(E) become active to draw together neighborhoods that are impoverished.

This question tests correctness and effectiveness of expression. In choosing your answer, follow the requirements of standard written English; that is, pay attention to grammar, choice of words, and sentence construction.


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