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GMAT Test Format

The AWA (Essays)

  • Bottom line: You've got no choice--you have to write two thirty-minute essays. Worse, it'll tire you out.

GMAT requires you to write two essays at the beginning of the test. You are given thirty minutes for each essay. Most people do NOT enjoy writing the essays and find that writing them drains them of a lot of energy that they could better use on the Verbal and Quantitative Sections of the GMAT.

First of all, you can review a list of the topics that you might see on the real here. GMAT doesn't say it, but all the topics that you might see on the test are on this list (although you never know how or when GMAT is going to change!!).

The Analysis of an Issue is the standard type of essay--you are given a topic and you have to talk about whether you agree or disagree.

The Analysis of an Argument is not a standard type of essay, but it is actually easier to write than the Analysis of an Issue, if you know what to write.

The Verbal Section

  • On this section you'll see 41 questions consisting of approximately equal parts of reading, grammar, and something GMAT calls 'critical reasoning.' You will see three or four reading passages (like those on most standardized tests), some grammar questions (which require you to figure out what is the best way to put a sentence in English), and some critical reasoning questions, which are basically logic questions.


The Quantitative (Math) Section

  • The Quantitative Section has 37 questions. You only need to know algebra and geometry to answer these questions, but some of them are pretty tricky. There is no trigonometry or calculus on the GMAT. Some of the questions that you will have to answer are 'data sufficiency' questions. These questions present you with some information, and you have to decide whether a math problem can be solved with this information.

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