GMAT Format

Although the GMAT was originally a paper-and-pencil test, it is now a computer-adaptive test (CAT). Examinees sit at a computer in a private booth in a testing center. The computer-adaptive test format means that the difficulty of the questions you face adapt based upon your test-performance. For example, if you successfully solve two questions on basic linear equations, you will face a more difficult question--perhaps one involving simultaneous linear equations.

GMAT Format Chart

Analysis of an Argument
30 min
Integrated Reasoning
Multi-Source Reasoning
30 min
Graphics Interpretation
Two-Part Analysis
Table Analysis
Optional Break - 8 minutes
Quantitative 1
75 min
Optional Break - 8 minutes
Total Time
3.5 hours


The GMAT consists of four major sections with two optional breaks. The first section is analytical writing, where examinees write an essay analyzing an argument. After this writing section, which lasts a total of 30 minutes, there is an integrated reasoning section, which lasts 30 minutes. Integrated Reasoning (IR) was introduced to the GMAT in 2012. An optional 10 minute break ensues. The quantitative section, which consists of Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency questions, follows the optional break and is made up of 37 questions and lasts 75 minutes. Another optional 10 minute break follows the quantitative section. The exam concludes with a 41 question 75 minute verbal section. The verbal section consists of Sentence Correction, Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension question types. In your GMAT prep, it is important to memorize the format of the GMAT.


  1. The quantitative section typically consists of approximately 22 problem solving questions and 15 data sufficiency problems. [Back]