What is the structure and the difficulty of GMAT Examination

The GMAT Exam is a standardized test to measure aptitude for graduate school, business school, or an MBA. It was created by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), and it takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete. The GMAT has four sections - verbal, quantitative, analytical writing assessment, and integrated reasoning - and a 30-minute unscored section that provides the test taker with an "experimental" section to use later.

This is an internationally well recognized examination and the number of questions asked in the GMAT are 80 questions in all. With the increasing participation of students in this exam, the competition is getting high, and as a result, the cut-off is increasing daily. Those who want to score high in their GMAT examination first need to understand this exam's complete pattern and difficulty level.

What is the structure and the difficulty of GMAT Examination

Detailed Guide to GMAT Exam Pattern

The GMAT exam contains questions designed to test logical reasoning and cause-effect analysis and identify the main idea and supporting details of a passage. While the reasoning segment tests the mental ability of students, the writing assessment is designed to analyze their command of English. Here's a complete rundown of the structure of different sections of the GMAT examination:

Section I Verbal Ability

  • This section involves the analysis of sentence structure, usage of vocabulary, and critical thinking skills. Candidates must have well-developed written and spoken English vocabulary to answer the verbal ability questions. The test taker must also have a good command of grammar rules in English.
  • A common misconception among many GMAT aspirants is that the verbal section is just about grammar and vocabulary. Instead, this section tests the test taker's ability to think critically and express himself clearly in written form. The test also analyzes the strategy that one uses when answering questions appropriately.

Section II Quantitative Ability

  • Quantitative Ability is the most challenging section of the GMAT. The questions in quantitative ability require applying mathematical concepts and solving problems. This section demands a high level of skills in math and speed as you are given only 75 minutes for completion. Therefore, you need to move fast, but make sure you are aware of your mistakes.
  • It is essential to develop a habit of taking shortcuts wherever possible so that time is well-spent on mastering various methods one by one. Most of the questions can be answered using simple algebraic formulae, which is probably why many test takers are stuck on these simple yet tricky GMAT Quant questions. Practice makes a man perfect, so take as many practice tests as possible before attempting the official GMAT exam.

Section III Verbal Reasoning

  • Verbal reasoning in GMAT requires the test taker to have a good command over verb-tense understanding and can even be used as a part of the admission criterion for some graduate schools. Questions in this section are based on grammar, vocabulary, and sentence analysis.
  • This section also tests the ability of the candidates to perform logical reasoning tasks such as problem-solving tests, data interpretation, and probability. This section tests one's ability to synthesize various pieces of information into logical conclusions within a limited time frame: this section tests knowledge, application of logic, and judgment.

Section IV Analytical Writing Assessment

  • This section requires you to perform this under time pressure. It will test your ability to think critically, analyze and make an effective conclusion on the given topic. The test can be very intimidating because it tests your ability to analyze the topic and develop the right idea with sufficient information provided. The GMAT English section is adaptive (as compared to TOEFL), but the high burden placed on the test taker at this point could be cause for concern if your English still needs to be up to scratch.

Difficulty Level of Exam

The verbal reasoning questions of GMAT exams are tricky. Since they can be challenging to solve in a limited time frame, it is imperative to practice them. Solving CR questions within the allotted time is recommended so you can spend the maximum possible time on other sections. Suppose you are good at vocabulary and grammar. In that case, Critical reasoning is not difficult for you as it requires less hard work and more strategy to tackle these questions.

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
  • This section is for students interested in getting their MBA or who want to crack their GMAT exam in the easiest way possible. However, if you admit that there is some point at which the test would become a waste of time for you, then you should opt for this option to get rid of the AWA.
  1. Integrated Reasoning
  • The Integrated Reasoning section tests your ability to analyze data, apply analytical reasoning and draw logical conclusions. It is also a psychometric test as it evaluates your ability to take an accurate decision. The time limit for the Integrated Reasoning section is 80 minutes.
  1. Verbal Reasoning
  • This section comprises two parts. Part A consists of 20 questions, and part B consists of 40 questions. These questions test your knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, syntax and critical reasoning. The time limit for Verbal Reasoning is 80 minutes. In addition, this section scans for your mastery over grammar rules by asking about the wrong usage of tenses and subject-verb agreement issues.
  1. Quantitative Reasoning
  • The Quantitative Reasoning section consists of 25 questions to be answered in 75 minutes. This section tests your mathematical abilities and the ability to reason through problem-solving situations. If you are good at math and want to crack the GMAT exam quickly, then you should concentrate on the Quantitative section instead of solving the verbal questions within the given time frame.

How to Prepare for the GMAT Exam?

If you still need to prepare with knowledge about the structure and difficulty levels of the GMAT exam, then don't worry. A few study tips can help you prepare with the best possible strategies. Here are some essential tips that will help you to master this exam:

Start with Practice Test

  • You need not waste time by spending hours and days preparing verbal and quantitative sections which have very little or no relevance in today's competitive world. However, most executive MBA programs accept the GMAT test as a part of their admission criteria, and some schools like Stanford and Wharton use it to judge the analytical ability of applicants. So, start with a practice test and download free printable study materials from different prep centers.

Prepare Your Strategy

  • After completing practice tests 1 or 2, you will learn about your preparation level. You need to develop a strategy for further preparation at this stage. Look for something other than shortcuts because this will only consume more time that otherwise could have been spent studying the relevant topics.

Practice Question Banks

  • There are many online question banks offering the best study material. These question banks have many questions that have been asked in the GMAT over the last few years, and hence they provide a good reference point for preparation.
  • Many people like to rely on these materials to prepare themselves. Still, it is not always the best option out there, as the questions given in these materials might or might not be similar to the ones asked in the exam.

Get Free Studying Materials

  • Several GMAT free study materials are available online. The most significant benefit of these resources is that they are free and contain much useful information. The study material and test series available online are designed by experts after analyzing the original pattern of the examination.
  • This means you will have the same experience as appearing in the official GMAT exam while attempting one such online mock test. Consider the time you have, and structure your preparation, keeping in mind that you must cover all study areas.

Understand Your Weaknesses and Work on Them

  • GMAT is no longer the basic aptitude test that it used to be decades ago. Instead, it is a very competitive exam with several tricks to crack it. A few areas commonly need evaluation: sentence correction, verbal analogies, and essay writing. Getting these points right will give you an extra boost of confidence, which you can also take into the actual exam.

Attend GMAT Courses

  • There are many GMAT Courses available in MIssion-Ville, Wisconsin, where world-class professors come together to share their knowledge and experience with you in a relaxed environment. These courses come at various levels of cost, and there is a lot of diversity among them, which makes it even better than what you will get through the online material alone.


The GMAT exam is one of a student's most important tests. Of course, it is important to score high on the GMAT, but knowing what you can do to prepare for the exam and ensure that your efforts are well spent is essential. Preparing for the exam isn't about cramming for four hours before your test date. Instead, it is about learning and understanding key concepts, strategies for approaching questions, and knowing how to use a calculator.

We hope the above information will help you clear your doubts about the GMAT exam. If you are facing difficulties in your GMAT exam preparation, you can join Physics Wallah courses. These courses are cost-effective and provide the best study materials.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is the difficulty level of GMAT?

Ans. It’s a tricky question, but it depends on the candidates. Yes, the GMAT exam is not so arduous, but it’s challenging. With a good GMAT preparation strategy and a lot of practice, one can easily crack the GMAT exam. Only 6% of aspirants can score 720 or above, which is necessary to get into Top B Schools.

Q2. What is the most difficult section in GMAT Exam?

Ans. It’s depends on the aspirants but most students face difficulty in in Quantitative Reasoning Section.

Q3. How many times one can attempt GMAT exam?

Ans. One can attempt the GMAT exam eight times in a lifetime. Candidates are allowed to take the GMAT Online exam up to two times. A GMAT score is valid for five years.

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