GMAT Syllabus And Exam Pattern 2020-21

To prepare thoroughly for the GMAT, you should know the GMAT exam subjects, GMAT Syllabus and GMAT Exam Pattern. Read on to know all about the syllabus of GMAT and GMAT paper pattern.

By Arun Sharma  • 11 min read

GMAT Syllabus And Exam Pattern 2020-21

Does your child wish to enrol in MBA? Is he planning to take admission in one of the top business schools?

Then, he should take the GMAT. But, just cracking the GMAT isn’t enough. He should also get a high GMAT score. And, for that, he needs to know the GMAT syllabus and the GMAT exam pattern.

Accepted by more than 1,900+ business schools around the world, a good GMAT score would tell the college/university that your child has the aptitude for MBA and is the right candidate.

To help your child prepare effectively for the GMAT and achieve a high GMAT score, here is all he needs to know about the GMAT syllabus 2020 and the GMAT exam pattern.

GMAT syllabus and GMAT exam pattern

The GMAT exam is divided into four sections:

  1. Analytical Writing
  2. Integrated Reasoning
  3. Quantitative
  4. Verbal

1. GMAT Analytical Writing syllabus and exam pattern

  • The objective of this section is to test the candidate's critical thinking ability, analytical ability, communication skills and knowledge of the English language.
  • In this section, an argument or a topic is given. It must be critically analysed and an insightful essay written based on it.
  • The essay should not reflect the candidate's opinion or bias, but should be based on reason and facts. It should be free of errors of language, grammar and spelling.
  • This is a computer-based test, and it must be completed within 30 minutes.
  • This essay is assessed by both an expert and an automated essay scoring program on a 6-point scale. The final score is an average of both the scores.
  • If the scores vary by more than 1 point, then the essay is assessed by a third expert.

2. GMAT Integrated Reasoning syllabus and exam pattern

This section was introduced in the GMAT exam in 2012. In this test, information is presented in tables, graphs and charts. The objective is to assess higher-order reasoning skills, that is, how well the candidate analyses and interprets the data to find answers to the given problems. The GMAT Integrated Reasoning test has four parts:

  • Table analysis: In this, a table in a spreadsheet is presented. The table is in a sortable format, that is it can be sorted based on any field. A set of 3 to 4 statements is given below the table. After analysing the data, the candidate should answer whether the statements are True/False. Sometimes, the statements can also be answered with Yes/No.
  • Graphics interpretation: Here, the data is presented in the form of graphs like a pie chart, bar graph or scatter plot. These are accompanied by incomplete statements. The candidate must analyse the data and complete the statement by selecting the correct option from a drop-down list.
  • Multisource reasoning: In these questions, the data is presented in multiple formats like text, tables and charts. Also, the information is spread across multiple tabbed sheets. The candidate is expected to analyse the data as a whole by clicking across the tabs and finding answers to the statements or questions. The questions/statements could be answered with Yes/No or True/False.
  • Two-part analysis: In this, data is provided in textual or graphic form or a combination of both. This is followed by a question which should be answered in two parts. The candidate must choose the right answer for each part.
  • The GMAT Integrated Reasoning test consists of 12 questions which must be answered within 30 minutes.
  • The marks are given on a scale of 1 to 8, with 1-mark increments.

3. GMAT quant syllabus and exam pattern

  • The objective of GMAT quant questions is to test how proficient the candidate is in mathematical reasoning, interpreting graphic data and solving quantitative problems.
  • Questions are from Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry topics.
  • The topics covered are Numbers, Fractions, Multiples and factors, Decimals, Percentage, Ratio and proportion, Roots and powers, Simple and compound interest, Speed, time and distance, Probability, Set theory, Venn diagrams, Permutation and combination, Standard deviation, Algebraic expressions and equations, Functions, Exponents, Quadratic equations, Lines and angles, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Circles, Polygons, Coordinate geometry.
  • The GMAT quant questions from the above-mentioned topics are of two types: (1) Data Sufficiency and (2) Problem Solving.
  • In Data sufficiency, for every question, there are two statements. After reading the statements, the candidate must answer whether one of the statements or both the statements together are/are not sufficient to answer the question. There is no need to work out the answer to the problem.
  • In Problem solving, for every question, there are five choices, from which the right answer must be chosen.
  • There are 31 multiple choice questions in this section which must be answered within 62 minutes.
  • Scores are given in the range of 0–60, in 1-point increments.

4. GMAT verbal syllabus and exam pattern

Some consider the GMAT verbal test to be the toughest of all four sections. The objective of this section is to test the ability to read and understand the written material, analyse the given arguments, and correct the written material.

  • This section consists of three parts: (1) Reading comprehension (2) Critical reasoning and (3) Sentence correction.
  • Reading comprehension assesses the ability to understand the written material, the concept and the relationship between the different entities. There are questions at the end of every passage. How well the candidate answers them would depend on how well he has understood the passage.
  • Critical reasoning determines the ability to critically examine the arguments in a passage. The question at the end of the passage asks which of the five given arguments influence, strengthen or weaken the argument.
  • Sentence correction evaluates the candidate's knowledge of English grammar and vocabulary. In the given passage, a sentence or a part of it is underlined. The underlined part is either grammatically incorrect or does not express the idea correctly. From a list of five options, the candidate must choose the correct one to replace the underlined part.
  • The topics covered in the above-mentioned three parts are Subject-verb agreement, Parts of speech, Rhetorical construction of sentences, Parallelism, Modifiers, Synonyms and antonyms, Idioms and Pronouns agreement.
  • There are 36 questions in GMAT verbal section which must be answered within 65 minutes.
  • Scores are given in the range of 0–60, with 1-point increments

GMAT 2020 exam dates and schedule

A candidate can choose to appear in the GMAT exam at any time of the year. There is no fixed date, unlike for other exams.

GMAT Exam centres

GMAT exams are held across 39 test centres in 34 cities of India. Other than a few states, every state of India has either one or more GMAT exam centres.

The candidate has the option to schedule the exam at any centre of her choice. However, she should try to register as early as possible.

GMAT Registration

  1. Create an account on
  2. Begin the registration process
  3. Enter personal and optional details
  4. Review the profile
  5. Schedule the exam and make the payment

Apart from online registration, candidates can also register via phone and through mail.

GMAT Eligibility criteria

  • Age: 18 years and above; if aged between 13 and 17 years, it is necessary to submit a letter of approval from parents
  • Qualification: Graduate in any discipline from a recognised university
  • Minimum marks in graduation: None specified
  • Language requirement: Must be proficient in the English language

In case, the candidate's GMAT score is not up to the mark, she can take the GMAT exam again after 16 days. However, a candidate is allowed to sit for the exam only five times in a year, and eight times in her lifetime.

Although it appears that the GMAT syllabus is quite vast and the GMAT exam pattern difficult, your child can prepare well with practice. But, for that, she should know how to prepare for GMAT.

About the author:

Written by Arun Sharma on 9 April 2020.

The author was associated with the healthcare industry before becoming a full-time writer and editor. A doting father to two preteens, he believes in experiential learning for his children. Also, he loves mountain trekking and nature trips.

Looking for expert tips and interesting articles on parenting? Subscribe now to our magazine. Connect with us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Join our Circles to share, discuss and learn from fellow parents and experts!