GMAT syllabus

What does the GMAT test? The Graduate Management Admission Test is a computer adaptive test conducted at authorized test centers across the world. The test writers do not give a ‘syllabus’ that a student can work through to prepare for the test. The GMAT is neither a test of academic excellence, nor a test of intelligence, nor a test of aptitude; it is, however, possible, to analyze each section and its question types to understand the content and skills required for the GMAT.
The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) essay:
AWA tests a candidate’s ability to analyze a given argument by identifying the inherent flaws in the argument,  and provide logical and reasonable solutions in the form of an essay. Clarity in reasoning and coherence about the given topic  are major areas  focus of the AWA. The essay also needs to conform to elements of standard English.
Integrated Reasoning :
The Integrated Reasoning section measures ability to evaluate information presented in multiple formats from multiple sources – such as text, charts, graphs, tables  etc. An on-screen calculator is available in only this section of the test
The section consists of 12 questions that fall into the following categories:

  • Multi source reasoning
  • Graphics interpretation
  • Table analysis
  • Two-part analysis

Quantitative Section:

Two question types are found in the quantitative section

  1. Data Sufficiency– a unique question type as  test takers need to interpret whether the given data is sufficient or not, there is no requirement to solve these question

  2. Problem Solving– as the name suggests test takers need to ‘solve’  these questions

In terms of content questions can be categorized accordingly:


  • Number Systems & Number Theory
  • Multiples and factors
  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Percentages
  • Averages
  • Powers and roots
  • Profit & Loss; Simple & Compound Interest
  • Speed, Time & Distance
  • Pipes, Cisterns & Work Time
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Mixtures & Alligation
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Sets
  • Probability


  • Permutation & Combination
  • Monomials, polynomials
  • Algebraic expressions and equations
  • Functions
  • Exponents
  • Arithmetic & Geometric Progression
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Inequalities and Basic statistics


  • Lines and angles
  • Triangles
  • Quadrilaterals
  • Circles
  • Rectangular solids and Cylinders
  • Coordinate geometry

Verbal Section

The verbal section has 41 question under the following types:
Sentence Correction: Identification of error in a given sentence and selection of the correct answer out of five given options. The errors are based on regular grammar, meaning and conciseness. Common grammar topics tested are

    • Subject – verb agreement
    • Verb tense
    • Pronouns
    • Parallelism
    • Idioms
    • Misplaced Modifiers

Critical Reasoning: Critical reasoning questions measure reasoning skills to craft and/or evaluate arguments, and formulate or evaluate a plan of action. The major question types deal with:

  • Finding Assumptions
  • Strengthen/weaken/evaluate arguments
  • Identify flaws/reasoning in arguments
  • Derive inferences
  • Resolve paradoxes

Reading Comprehension: Long and short passages followed by questions. Correct answers are supported by information given in the passage. Questions can be based on the entire passage, or from specific part/s of the passage.