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The GMAT exam consists of 3 sections

Analytical Writing Assessment

The analytical writing section requires you to write – or rather type – two short essays in thirty minutes each. The first is the Analysis of an Issue, in which you need to analyze the issue presented and explain your views on it. The second essay is Analysis of an Argument, in which a given argument has to be critically analyzed and evaluated.

For both the essays, the emphasis is on the “Analytical” part, and not on the “Writing” part. This implies that a concise essay with well-reasoned points written in simple English will be looked upon more favorably than an essay which falls short on the analytical aspects even though it is high on writing skills.

A five-minute break follows the two essays. The computer gives you the option to take this break, or to move directly to the subsequent section. Even if you finish the essays before the stipulated sixty minutes, the break will still be of five minutes. It is advisable to utilize this break by gearing yourself up for the tougher sections that follow.

Quantitative Section

The 37 questions in this section comprise two kinds of questions : Problem Solving (PS) and Data Sufficiency (DS). The two kinds do not have a definite break-up, usually there are around 20 PS and 17 DS questions. The section tests you on a level of Maths that is comparable to the level of Class 10 exams, with questions on Number Systems, Percentages, Fractions & Decimals, Algebra (including Quadratic Equations), Geometry (including Basic Coordinate Geometry), Ratio & Proportion, Area & Volume of 2-D and 3-D figures, and Probability. This list is not exhaustive; questions from beyond these topics may also be asked.

While the Problem Solving questions require you to solve a mathematical problem directly and choose the right answer, the Data Sufficiency is of a trickier variety. Each problem comprises a question followed by two statements, which may or may not lead to the answer to the given question. This is what you need to ascertain – whether the given statements can be used to answer the question or not, and if so, whether the statements can be used independently or in conjunction. Each of the five answer options present the five possibilities that arise in this case, and you have to apply the basic principles of mathematics with a strong dose of logic to get these right.

Verbal Section

The verbal section in GMAT test requires the basic skills of correct English coupled with reasoning and analysis. The 41 questions, to be attempted in 75 minutes, consist of three types : Sentence Correction (SC), Critical Reasoning (CR), and Reading Comprehension (RC). The three types are intermingled, with no fixed number for each type. The break-up of questions among SC, CR, and RC could be 14-14-13 or 15-13-13, or any such combination.

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