Table of Contents
A Breakdown of the GMAT Exam Structure: Online & Offline
1. The GMAT Exam Structure
1.1 Analytical Writing
1.2 Integrated Reasoning
1.3 Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning
1.4 Total Score
2. GMAT Online Structure
3. Preparation Guidelines

A Breakdown of the GMAT Exam Structure: Online & Offline

Depending on whether you choose to sit in person or online, the structure is fairly the same. You’ll have the same time limits and the ability to choose in which order you take your sections.

The GMAT Exam Structure

The GMAT is defined as the “Graduate Management Admissions Test” and is composed of four analytical sections that show MBA programs your proficiency in important business aspects. In total, you can expect to sit for the exam for up to 3.5 hours (including optional breaks).

Time Limit Number of Questions Scoring
Analytical Writing 30 minutes 1 question 0-6
Integrated Reasoning 30 minutes 12 questions 1-8
Quantitative Reasoning 62 minutes 31 questions 6-51
Verbal Reasoning 65 minutes 36 questions 6-51

Analytical Writing

This section is graded using professional essay reviewers as well as a machine algorithm. Two graders will rate your essay, and the average of the two scores will be your final score. 

Integrated Reasoning

IR is graded based on the number of questions you answer correctly, and since there are multi-part, you must answer all parts of the question accurately to receive the point. 

Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning

Both QR and VR are CAT item-level adaptive, meaning that the questions change based on your answers to the previous questions. The more questions you answer correctly, the harder they get, and the more difficult questions you answer correctly, the better your score. If you miss a difficult-level question, you will begin to see lower-difficulty questions once more.

Total Score

The sections are scored separately, but the total overall score is between 200 and 800. A majority of test-takers will score between 400-600, which is around the 90th percentile of testers. A “good” GMAT score is considered to be 720 or higher.

According to GMAC, the test averages are as follows:

  • The average GMAT score is 568.21
  • The average GMAT Verbal score is 27.26
  • The average GMAT Quant score is 40.7
  • The average GMAT AWA score is 4.43
  • The average GMAT IR score is 4.6

For more information on what this shows schools and how they analyze your scores, click here.

GMAT Online Structure

The in-person GMAT offers a more personalized experience by allowing you to orchestrate what order you take on the four sections. The preset order is Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal. Your other two choices include:

  1. Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
  2. Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

The most noticeable difference is that the writing assignment is first or last, so depending on your strengths, think about which obstacle to tackle first.

Preparation Guidelines

There are many ways to prep for the GMAT exam, all unique to learning and study styles. We have the right prep for everyone! Check out also our GMAT Preparation Courses.

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