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GMAT Syllabus & how to prepare for GMAT

Updated: Oct 22

What is the GMAT exam?


GMAT, Graduate Management Admission Test is a test designed to predict and check the reasoning, analytical skills and critical thinking of the students who are going to enroll themselves in Masters in Business Administration program.


How easy or difficult is the GMAT exam?


GMAT is an important part for getting admission in a business school. GMAT exam is the prerequisite for a graduate level student to get admission in top notch business schools for Master’s program in business.


GMAT is a computer adaptive test, acronym CAT, which is intended to certain skills like analytical skills, writing skills, quantitative, verbal, reading, critical thinking and reasoning of an individual. GMAT is a registered trademark of GMAC, Graduate Management Admission Council which monitors GMAT examinations.


How to prepare for GMAT? How do I reach a 680 score on the GMAT until the end of November provided I am starting my preparation now?


Syllabus for GMAT evaluates the following skills in the candidate-

  • Lateral thinking

  • Reasoning

  • Problem Solving

  • Analysing

  • Clear and effective writing

If you have decided and are serious about taking an admission into a top notch Business School then you should definitely take the GMAT exam which is the foundation stone to get yourself admitted into a leading Business School. For giving an exam you should be aware of GMAT syllabus and GMAT exam.


To prepare for the GMAT exam you should start with a mock test to evaluate where you stand. Prepare a strategy on the specific topics that you lack on.


We would suggest the following tips for a good GMAT score:

  1. Don’t underestimate the verbal section.

  2. Take regular mock tests right from the beginning of the prep days.

  3. When you are giving the mock test, replicate the conditions to the maximum possible extent.

  4. Plan - do - check - act

  5. Never assume that you can improve the GMAT score just by doing solved questions - test yourself.

  6. If you plan to improve your score bandwidth try new strategies to solve the problem. You have to change the way you approach the problem, not just keep on doing more questions with the same old tricks.

  7. Retaking the GMAT does not result in a paradigm shift in your score unless you change your strategy.

  8. Test taking strategy is as important as conceptual clarity in GMAT.

  9. Whenever you are taking mock tests discount your score by atleast 30 points as being close to what you will score in the actual test.

  10. Remember to stick to your well practiced strategy in the actual exam also. Don’t try new strategies just when you start the actual test.

  11. Test preparation for the GMAT is more or less individual. Since it is critical problem solving, everyone has a different strategy which works for them. What works for me might not work for you.

  12. Be prepared for the worst type of questions. A GMAT takers nightmare - 3 reading comprehension passages in a sequence.

  13. Steep your prep with daily mock tests and end it with the actual test.

  14. A gap in practice might just require you to start from scratch.

  15. Practice mind games and focus techniques regularly. You have to maintain a 110% attention span for each question in the GMAT, it’s easy to get tired in the middle of the exam.


What is the difference between the GMAT and the CAT syllabus?


There are four sections in GMAT examination there are multiple choice options what are very important to gain scores. The four sections of GMAT are scored as set of two separate sections. They are also combined to generate the composite score.


Four main sections of the syllabus of GMAT examination are-

  • Analytical writing assessment

  • Integrated reasoning

  • Quantitative reasoning

  • Verbal reasoning

The total composition of questions in GMAT examination is 80 which need to be attempted within 3 hours and 7 minutes. There is no such defined syllabus for the questions to be asked but they are based on testing your analytical and reasoning skills. The score range of GMAT is 200 to 800. GMAT exam opens a gateway to MBA course.


The syllabus of GMAT includes the skills which MBA course requires.


Let’s see what the syllabus for GMAT contains-


GMAT Syllabus: Analytical Writing Assessment

The syllabus for GMAT contains one question of essay writing.

The GMAT exam pattern revolves around analyzing the given argument.

In this the focus of the GMAT exam pattern is to check the critical ability and ability to communicate to ideas of a candidate.


The argument analyses include the in-depth analyses, considering various viewpoints with explanation and examples.

The scores calculated in this section are on a six point scale. The essay is given two independent ratings after which the average score is given. The automated essay scoring engine gives an automated raring to the analyses given by the candidate.


GMAT Syllabus: Integrated Reasoning


This GMAT syllabus section contains questions which require more than one response.

The GMAT exam pattern integrated reasoning focuses on how one can handle large data and can integrate it.


The GMAT syllabus has four categories of questions – 

Multi-Source Reasoning: It examines data given in the form of tables, text, graphics or it can be a combination of all three. This is a mix and complex set of questions containing data in the form of charts, graphs or tables. It requires true or false.

Table Analysis: In this loads of information is catered on tables, spreadsheets and you have to answer in true or false.

Graphics Interpretation: This aims at interpreting the given graphs.

Two-Part Analysis: It includes complex set of questions regarding quantitative or verbal questions.


GMAT exam pattern - Quantitative Reasoning

This section is the third section of GMAT exam which contains 31 questions.

The time allotted is 62 minutes.

Two types of questions are asked in quantitative reasoning –

Problem Solving: This part analyses your logical and analytical skills. It aims at checking your quantitative knowledge.

Data Sufficiency: This section focuses the candidate’s ability to solve the problems using the mathematical concepts.

Gmat Syllabus Verbal Reasoning

This is the last section of GMAT exam. Time allotted to the candidate for this 65 minutes where the candidate has to answer 36 multiple choice questions.


The GMAT syllabus has three types of questions –


Reading Comprehension: In this part, you should be aware about what the paragraph is talking about. You should understand the concept and grasp the idea, and then you are able to crack comprehension section.

Critical Reasoning: This section includes in-depth analyses of the 14 given questions. You need to read them carefully so as to have the answers.

Sentence Correction: This consists of sentence corrections. For this one should know to the basic grammar and rules.


What the GMAT syllabus Quantitative section includes-


Maths formulas list, integer, decimals, fractions, number properties, order of operations, percentage, ratio and proportion, profit and loss, simple and compound interest, speed, distance and time, permutation & combination, linear equations, quadratic equations, statistics: average, median, mode, range, standard deviation etc.


The Grammar Syllabus of GMAT includes-


GMAT syllabus - Basic Sentence structure: Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives, Verb Tense, Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions, Subject Verb Agreement.


In a nutshell GMAT is an important step in your admission in masters programs. If you are an MBA aspirant than you should take GMAT exam and should have good GMAT score.


For MBA aspirants getting a good GMAT score or a high GRE percentile creates worries and troubles for them. Achieving high scores becomes a strenuous task for the students who wish to enrol themselves for Master’s Program in Business.


Now that we have see how to prepare for GMAT, we will now check what is a good GMAT score?


A high GMAT score or a GRE percentile is a prerequisite to get into a top-notch business school. The high score manifests that you are ready for a rigorous program in business.


Over the past few years, GMAT has become an important criterion for selecting students to MBA courses. Across the globe there are numerous universities that have made GMAT and/ or the GRE test mandatory to admit the student into MBA. The admission depends on the scores you grab.


GMAT is the acronym for (Graduate Management Admission Test and GRE is the acronym for Graduate Record Examinations . These tests are basically designed to test how well you can do in your MBA. The GMAT syllabus tests your critical, analytical and reasoning skills. The GMAT exam has four sections comprises analytical writing, verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and integrated reasoning. GMAT exam helps you stand out as it measures your critical thinking and reasoning ability. It also ensures you as a capable and potentate student for business program. GMAT is more than an ordinary exam as it gives you a platform to showcase yourself and to reach your aspirations.



Once we have seen how to prepare for GMAT let's check the courses that accept the GMAT in India


It is a well known fact that ISB accepts the GMAT score in India. While we are busy reviewing ISB essays for our prospective applicants. Let's evaluate the programs by other schools in India which accept the GMAT score for their admissions process. These programs also have a similar groundwork of profile building and application essays which need to be submitted to the respective schools.


1. SPJIMR : PGDM - S. P. Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR) accepts the GMAT score for admission to the Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) programme. The selection process considers the candidate's profile, scores in either GMAT, CAT or XAT and the interview process. The applicant pool has 0-5 years of work experience.


GMP programme: The application process accepts the GMAT/GRE/CAT/XAT score.

Freshers can apply for the Masters Programme with all partner schools.

A minimum of 2 to 3 years of experience is required for admission in Brandeis, Stevens, EBS, IESEG, and NBU for the MBA programme.


2. IISC Bangalore - Masters of Management

The application process involves group discussion and interview based on GATE / CAT / GMAT. There are 15 seats for Business Analytics; Technology Management and this year the last date for submission of applications is March 25, 2019.


3. Great Lakes -

PGPM ADMISSIONS - This is a one year program for candidates with 2+ years of experience. The application submission deadline for PGPM 2019-20 is 10th March, 2019. Following are the essays which form a part of the application this year:

Essay 1: Why should you be part of PGPM Class of 2020 and how do you think you can enrich the experience of the Great Lakes Community?

Essay 2: Is there anything else about you that is not covered in the application that you would like to share with us?

POST GRADUATE DIPLOMA IN MANAGEMENT (PGDM)


This two year program is suitable for candidates with 0-2 years of experience.

Applications are evaluated on the basis of GMAT/CAT/XAT/CMAT scores, past academic performance, essays, work experience and personal interview.

The selection process builds in a criterion that facilitates evaluating each applicant on:

a) Academic performance

b) Standardized Test Scores like GMAT or CAT or XAT or CMAT scores

c) Diversity


4. MDI Gurgaon - Executive MBA


MDI Gurgaon selects on the basis of the GMAT score for it's National Management Programme (NMP)/ PGP-EM (Energy Management) Programme.


5. IIM - Executive MBA

PGPEX program at IIMs also accept the GMAT Score (taken within last 36 months of application date). The applicants must have at least 5 years of full time post qualification managerial/professional experience to apply for the PGPEX program.


6. XLRI - GMP

15-months full time MBA Program - The PGDM (GM) accepts the GMAT score. The eligibility for this course requires 5 years of managerial/supervisory experience for the applicants.

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