About the GMAT
The four sections on the GMAT are :
- Analytical Writing Assessment
- Integrated Reasoning
- Quantitative Ability
- Verbal Ability
- Analytical Writing Assessment – Assesses your ability to understand, analyze, and evaluate an argument and to clearly convey your critique in writing. A prompt for the essay, similar to the one below, is given and the candidate has to type in an essay on the prompt in a time duration of 30 minutes. The processor in the real test is similar to Microsoft-Word but it does not have any autocorrect / spell-check / grammar-check functions.
Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.
The following appeared in a newspaper story giving advice about investments.
“As overall life expectancy continues to rise, the population of our country is growing increasingly older. For example, over twenty percent of the residents of one of our more populated regions are now at least 65 years old, and occupancy rates at resort hotels in that region declined significantly during the past six months. Because of these two related trends, a prudent investor would be well advised to sell interest in hotels and invest in hospitals and nursing homes instead.”
AWA-Essay is scored out of 6 in 0.5 increments by a human being and a software program (e-rater). The final score is calculated after taking the average of the two grades and rounding off the average score. The score on AWA ranges between a 0 and 6.
- Integrated Reasoning – This section consists of question types, which require you to analyze and synthesize data in different formats and from multiple sources. This consists of 12 questions in four formats :
1. Multi Source Reasoning
2. Graphic Interpretation
3. Two-Part Analysis
4. Table Analysis
- Quantitative Ability – The quantitative section of the GMAT measures the ability to reason quantitatively, solve quantitative problems, interpret graphic data, and analyze and use information given in a problem. The use of calculators is not allowed on the quantitative section of the GMAT. Test takers must do their math work out by hand using a dry erase pen and laminated graph paper which are given to them at the testing center. Questions require knowledge of topics such as arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. Scores range from 0 to 60, although they only report scores between 11 and 51. Questions are presented in two formats: problem solving and data sufficiency.
Problem solving questions are designed to test the ability to reason quantitatively and solve quantitative problems.
Example of an Problem Solving Question :
Data sufficiency is a unique question type that appears on the GMAT and is designed to measure the ability to understand and analyze a quantitative problem, recognize what information is relevant or irrelevant and determine at what point there is enough information to solve a problem or recognize the fact that there is insufficient information given to solve a particular problem.
Example of an Data Sufficiency Question :
The level of difficulty of the Math component is the common level to which all students have studied Math, so in case of Indian students, the level is Class X – CBSE, though questions do not require derivations and proving theorems.
- Verbal Ability - The verbal section of the GMAT Exam measures the test taker’s ability to read and comprehend written material, reason and evaluate arguments and correct written material to express ideas effectively in standard written English. Scores range from 0 to 60, although they only report scores between 11 and 51. The question types are reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction questions.
Sentence Correction – Sentence Correction questions ask the test taker to determine if there is a mistake with a given sentence and if so, to determine the best way in which the sentence should be written according to requirements of standard written English, paying attention to grammar, word choice, and sentence construction. The best answer produces the most effective sentence; which makes the sentence clear, exact, and free of grammatical error. It should also have minimum awkwardness, ambiguity, and redundancy.
Example of a Sentence Correction Question :
Critical Reasoning – Critical reasoning questions are designed to test the reasoning skills involved in making arguments, evaluating arguments, and formulating or evaluating a plan of action. Questions are based on materials from a variety of sources. This section measures the following abilities:
- Argument construction
- Argument evaluation
- Formulating and evaluating a plan of action
Example of a Critical Reasoning Question :
Questions are designed to measure how well you integrate data to solve complex problems, so you must answer all parts of a single question correctly to receive credit. Integrated Reasoning section on the GMAT exam gives users access to a standard basic calculator.
Example of an Integrated Reasoning Question :
Reading Comprehension – Reading passages contain material from subject areas like social sciences, history, physical sciences, and business-related areas (marketing, economics, human resource management, etc.). Reading comprehension passages are accompanied by interpretive, applied, and inference questions. This section measures the following abilities:
- Understanding words and statements in reading passages
- Understanding the logical relationships between significant points and concepts in the reading passages
- Drawing inferences from facts and statements in the reading passages
- Understanding and following the development of quantitative concepts as they are presented in verbal material
- Understanding the author’s point of view and their proposed arguments
Example of a Reading Comprehension Question :