The GMAT is a computer-based test made up of four distinct sections. Each section is timed separately with time allotted for two short breaks. The total testing time, not including breaks, is 210 minutes. With the exception of the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section in which an essay is written, the test is multiple choice. You will only be presented with one question at a time. Once you have answered a question and confirmed your answer, you cannot go back to change your answer or review your choices. The Verbal and Quantitative (math) sections are considered the core of the GMAT. These core sections are delivered in the Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) format, meaning that as the test progresses the questions asked automatically adjust to the ability level of the test-taker.
Tests are administered in proctored testing centers where you will be assigned an individual workstation with relative privacy. You are not allowed to use a calculator on the GMAT. For the Integrated Reasoning section a very basic onscreen calculator is embedded as part of the computer testing environment. You are also not allowed to bring in notes or note paper. A note board and marker will be provided.
For the Analytical Writing Assessment you will be presented with a single essay prompt and will have 30 minutes to complete a writing task called the Analysis of an Argument. The computer environment provides a very simple word processor. This word processor allows you to copy, paste, cut and delete. It does not have spell check or any formatting features.
In the Integrated Reasoning Section you will be presented with information that mixes text, tables and graphs. You will have 30 minutes to answer 12 questions. There are four question formats: multi-source reasoning; table analysis; graphics interpretation; and two-part analysis. This section has several attributes that you won't see elsewhere on the exam. As mentioned previously, Integrated Reasoning is the only section for which an onscreen calculator is provided. Some information will be presented across several tabbed screens and you will navigate through the sections when answering questions. Also, when the question format presents information in table form, you will be able to sort the table as you attempt to answer the question.
The Quantitative Section consists of 37 multiple choice questions to be completed in 75 minutes. There are two types of questions in the Quantitative Section: problem solving and data sufficiency. In problem solving questions the question will either be in the form of an unsolved equation or a word problem which you will solve and then choose the correct answer from multiple choice selection. Data sufficiency questions are somewhat unique to the GMAT. You will be presented a problem and two related statements and determine whether either or both of the statements provide enough information to solve the problem.
The Verbal Section consists of 41 multiple choice questions to be completed in 75 minutes. There are three types of questions in the Verbal Section: sentence correction; critical reasoning; and reading comprehension.