Are you stressing out over your upcoming GMAT examination? If so, you’re not alone. The GMAT is an intimidating event for many people. It doesn’t hurt to study up on the format of the GMAT, itself, before you begin studying for the GMAT subject matter. Here are seven things you need to know about the structure of the GMAT exam:
The GMAT is Comprised of Test Sections
There are four of these sections: Quantitative (problem solving and data sorting), Verbal (sentence structuring, reading comprehension, and critical analysis of texts), Integrated Reasoning (interpretation of graphics, dual-mode analysis, and table analysis), and Analytical Writing (developing compelling arguments on paper).
Test Section Format
Each section of the GMAT requires that you use a particular type of knowledge and application. Therefore, each test section is formatted differently. The Writing section is comprised of only one question (or topic); the Verbal section has 41 multiple choice questions; the Quantitative section is made up of 37 multiple choice questions; the Integrated Reasoning section has only 12 questions.
Each GMAT Test section is Timed
Because each section of the GMAT tests on a different comprehension set, GMAT test timing is broken down into the four sections. You will be given thirty minutes each for the Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing sections, and seventy-five minutes each for the Quantitative and Verbal sections.
TheTotal Test is Timed
In addition to allowing for the specific time limitations of each of the four GMAT sections, you should keep in mind that the test’s total timeframe is three and a half hours. However, this time frame can be stretched by an extra half hour (providing a total testing time of around four hours) if you decide to take advantage of the break periods offered to you.
Pacing during the GMAT Exam
Don’t be intimidated by all the timing. You will be provided with data about the amount of time you have left, as well as the number of questions you must complete, throughout the entirety of the test taking experience. This allows you to pace yourself responsibly.
Computer Adaptive Format
The Verbal and Quantitative sections of the GMAT are in what is called a computer adaptive format. This means that, as you take the test on a computer, the computer tracks your progress and delivers questions to you based on your previous answers. For example, if you get a string of questions correct, the computer adaptive testing format will deliver subsequent questions that are more difficult, enabling you the opportunity of scoring even higher on your examination. Unfortunately, the converse is also true.
Be Careful with Guessing
The GMAT is a smart examination – meaning it can detect lucky guesses. Not only will careless guesses significantly lower your GMAT score, but, through the computer adaptive formatting capability, they will also eventually lead you back to the very material you had to guess on in the first place.
The GMAT is no walk in the park. But it IS a trek that you can make, given you take ample time to prepare yourself. Study hard, take a couple of prep courses, and make sure you’re ready. Begin here, with these must-know facts.
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