In the GMAT CAT, only the Quantitative and Verbal sections of the test are computer-adaptive; the Analytical Writing Assessment requires you to type your responses into the computer. In the computer-adaptive sections, the screen displays one multiple-choice question at a time. The first question in each section is of medium difficulty. Each subsequent question varies in difficulty based on your responses to the previous questions.

The questions displayed are chosen from a large pool of questions that have been categorized by level of difficulty and content. As the level of questions adjusts to your ability level, you will get more questions that are within your range. This "adaptive" system ultimately determines your level of ability. You must answer each question displayed. After you have answered a question and moved on to the next screen, you cannot go back to the previous question.

Arrive at least 30 minutes before the test starts, to register and acclimate yourself. The GMAT CAT (Graduate Management Admission Test Computer-Adaptive Test) lasts about three and a half hours and is composed of two 30-minute analytical writing responses, a 75-minute quantitative section, and a 75-minute verbal section:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment: You will type two essay responses on topics provided. One response will be an analysis of an issue, and the other will be an analysis of an argument.

  • Quantitative: This section contains 37 multiple-choice questions. Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving questions are intermingled:

    • Data Sufficiency: Each question requires you to decide how much of the mathematical data provided is sufficient for answering a question.

    • Problem Solving: You will solve general math and word-type problems.

  • Verbal: This section contains 41 multiple-choice questions. Sentence Correction, Reading Comprehension, and Critical Reasoning questions are intermingled.

    • Sentence Correction: You will demonstrate your knowledge of correct and effective English expression.

    • Reading Comprehension: You will answer questions after reading passages about a variety of subjects.

    • Critical Reasoning: You will derive logical conclusions and relationships from a variety of situations and passages.

These sections measure your general knowledge background, not specific knowledge from any particular course or courses. No formal background in business or management is required.

The analytical writing responses are scored from 0 to 6, and the multiple-choice questions are scored from 200 to 800. The average score on multiple-choice questions is about 480. Two subscores are also generated: a quantitative score ranging from 0 to 60 (with an average score of approximately 28), and a verbal score ranging from 0 to 60 (with an average score of approximately 27).

Format of the GMAT CAT

Test Section


Number of Questions

Analytical Writing Assessment (not computer-adaptive, responses are typed)

Analysis of an Issue



Analysis of an Argument



     Optional five-minute break

Quantitative Section (computer-adaptive)



Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency (intermingled)



     Optional five-minute break

Verbal Section (computer-adaptive)



Sentence Correction, Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning (intermingled)



Note: The format of the test and the way results are scored are subject to change.

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