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Study Tips for the GMAT

GMAT Format

The first part of the test consists of an analytical writing assessment. You will complete two writing assignments, one of which involves analyzing an issue and the other which involves analyzing an argument.

Next is the quantitative section, which tests your basic math skills and ability to reason mathematically. It contains 37 multiple-choice questions of two types:

  • Data sufficiency -- Analyzing a problem and determining which information is relevant, and if there is enough information to answer the question
  • Problem solving -- Finding the solution to mathematical problems

You'll need to brush up on all of these mathematical concepts for the test:

  • Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division
  • Prime numbers
  • Percentages
  • Square of a number
  • Even and odd numbers
  • Exponents
  • Averages
  • Roots

Finally, in the verbal section, you'll be asked in 41 questions to show that you can read and interpret written material, and write in proper English. The three sections of this part of the test are:

  • Reading comprehension. You'll read a passage and then answer questions about its content to show that you've understood the material.
  • Critical Reasoning. You'll read an argument and then answer questions based on the assumption underlying that argument.
  • Sentence correction. You'll be shown five different ways of presenting the same sentence, and you must choose the clearest and most grammatically correct sentence.

The GMAT is highly individualized. In other words, you'll probably be taking a completely different test from the person sitting next to you. The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test (CAT), which means that it constantly monitors your progress and adapts each question to your ability level. Each section of the test starts with a medium difficulty question. Answer it correctly and your next question will be more difficult. Answer it incorrectly and you'll get an easier question for the next one. You will be scored on the number of questions you answer, how many you answer correctly or incorrectly, and their difficulty level.