GMAT Syllabus: All You Need to Know

The GMAT exam consists of four  major sections that you will be evaluated on. It tests your basic knowledge on subjects such as Maths and English. Also, your analytical writing, logical reasoning and critical thinking skills are measured. This test is conducted specifically to analyse if you are capable of handling the strenuous load of your MBA programme. In this article, we will discuss the GMAT syllabus in detail.

The 4 sections of GMAT and the types of questions asked in each section are given below : 

Sections  Types of Questions 
Analytical Writing Analysis of an Argument
Integrated Reasoning Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation, Multi source Reasoning and Two Part Analysis
Quantitative Reasoning Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving
Verbal Reasoning Reading comprehension, Sentence Correction and Critical Reasoning

It is essential that you are well versed with all the above topics so that you perform well in the GMAT and attain your desired score. The scoring range for the exam is 200-800 and a good GMAT score is any score above 700. Therefore, you will need to commit yourself to a dedicated study plan and prepare for the GMAT in a diligent manner. The first step will be to familiarize yourself with the GMAT syllabus. This is crucial since it will give you a basic idea about how much you will need to study, how much time you will require to study and which topics you will need to concentrate more on to score well in the final exam. 

Following is an outline of the syllabus for each section of the GMAT. 

Verbal Reasoning 

The duration of the Verbal section in the GMAT is 65 minutes and you will be presented with a total of 36 questions. This section tests how well you can read and comprehend the given material in English. The topics under this section are as follows:

  • Phrases and Clauses
  • Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
  • Basic Sentence structure: Adjectives,Nouns, Pronouns,, 
  • Parts of speech
  • Direct and Indirect
  • Active to Passive
  • Verb Tense
  • Modifiers
  • Parallelism
  • Pronoun Agreement
  • Subject Verb Agreement
  • Articles

Integrated Reasoning 

The questions asked in this section will be in the form of graphs, passages, tables or a combination of all three. As already discussed in the table above,  there are 4 types of questions which you will encounter in the Integrated Reasoning section. The duration for answering them is 30 minutes.

  • Two-Part Analysis – Here questions are designed to measure how well you can solve complex problems.  The questions asked in this section could be verbal or quantitative or a combination of the two. 
  • Multi-source Reasoning – Here you are expected to interpret data given in the form of charts, graphs or tables. For some questions you might have to determine whether the data provided is relevant to answer your question and for some you might have to check for discrepancies and draw conclusions. 
  • Table Analysis – Here you have to interpret data that’s presented in a table format. From the answer choices given, you have to choose the statement that best explains the data given. Ratio, Statistics and Probability are usually asked in these forms. 
  • Graphics Interpretation – Here you have to analyse information given in the form graphs, statistical curve distribution, confidence level graphs, pie chart, box plot, bar chart, etc. You are to choose the correct answer from the choices given. 

Analytical Writing 

The duration of the Analytical writing section is 30 minutes. It consists of an “Analyse an Argument” question. You have to analyse the argument given and write a critique of it. The objective of this question is to check your critical thinking capabilities and how clearly you are able to communicate your ideas.

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning section tests your basic mathematics knowledge. You get 62 minutes to complete 31 questions in this section. The topics in this section are as follows:

  • Multiples and factors
  • Number systems and number theory
  • Inequalities and basic statistics
  • Probability
  • Profit and loss
  • Percentages
  • Averages
  • Speed, time, and distance
  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Rectangular solids and cylinders
  • Permutations and combinations
  • Powers and roots
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Algebraic expressions and equations
  • Functions
  • Monomials, polynomials
  • Arithmetic and geometric progression
  • Quadratic equations
  • Exponents
  • Mixtures and allegations
  • Coordinate geometry
  • Lines and angles
  • Quadratic equations
  • Circles
  • Sequences and series
  • Simple and compound interest
  • Pipes, cisterns, and work time
  • Ratio and proportion
  • Sets
  • Quadrilaterals
  • Triangles

As you can see, the GMAT and the syllabus is vast, hence, a proper preparation plan should be created so that you cover each section well. 

Some of the most important aspects to keep in mind while preparing for the GMAT are: 

  • Chart out a good study plan according to the time you have left and the syllabus you need to complete.
  • Invest in good study materials and high quality books like the Official guide by the GMAC.
  • Practice with sufficient sample questions that have previously appeared on the GMAT so that you are familiar with the question pattern 
  • Attempt mock exams or sample papers periodically to assess how well you are performing and ascertain which parts require more studying.

As mentioned above, it is vital that you are well aware of the entire syllabus while you map out a study plan. This is because you don’t miss out on any important topics while preparing for the GMAT. Once you are thorough with the syllabus, allot time for solving GMAT exam papers. Doing so has a myriad of benefits and they are as follows:

  • Familiarises with the testing pattern of the GMAT (adaptive testing methods).
  • Helps assess your strengths and weaknesses so that you can work accordingly to improve your performance.
  • Familiarises you with the varying difficulty level of the questions/sections.
  • Improves your time management skills, since the GMAT is a timed exam. 

So all you need to do is familiarise yourself with the exam pattern and the syllabus, and learn the topics that will be asked thoroughly. The exam is a difficult exam but if you are thorough with the topics and have practiced enough, it’s going to be easy.