GMAT Syllabus 2023 – Topics and questions asked on Verbal, Quant, AWA, and IR

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GMAT syllabus refers to the topics that are tested on the GMAT and what types of questions are used to test those topics. The GMAT syllabus comprises of 4 sections and sub-sections in each of these 4 sections. These 4 sections are Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment, and Integrated Reasoning.

GMAT Syllabus

The total duration of the GMAT exam is 3 hours and 7 minutes, excluding breaks, and it consists of 4 sections and each section has a designated number of questions. More information is in this table:

GMAT sectionNumber of QuestionsDuration (minutes)
Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)1 question30
Integrated Reasoning12 questions 30
Quantitative Reasoning31 questions62
Verbal Reasoning36 questions65
Total80 questions 187

The GMAT format and GMAT syllabus are different. GMAT format tells you HOW the questions will be asked on the GMAT and the GMAT syllabus tells you WHAT questions will be asked on the GMAT.

You can score a maximum of 800 on the GMAT which is also the total GMAT score and it is calculated on the performance of only the Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections. 

Also, the GMAT score is calculated in 10-point increments i.e. your score will only be in multiples of 10 like 700, 750, 760, etc. and never like 744, 754, 701, etc.

The GMAT score ranges from 200 to 800 and your score will never go below 200 and above 800.

Now, that you know the scoring of the GMAT, let’s discuss what topics are asked or tested on the GMAT and what the GMAT syllabus looks like. 

GMAT Syllabus 2023

In this section, we’ll explain the topics asked in each of the four sections of the GMAT and what type of questions you can expect. We will explain GMAT verbal syllabus, GMAT quant syllabus, GMAT AWA syllabus, and GMAT IR syllabus. Let’s take a look at the overview of the GMAT syllabus. 

These are the topics asked on the GMAT in 2023 also known as the GMAT syllabus.

GMAT Verbal syllabusGMAT Quantitative syllabusGMAT IR syllabusGMAT AWA syllabus
PronounFractionsArithmeticGraphic Interpretation
AssumptionsDecimalsElementary AlgebraTable Analysis
Subject-Verb AgreementNumber PropertiesGeometryTwo-Part Analysis
ModifiersPercentageStatisticsMulti-Source Reasoning
InferencePower and Roots
EvaluateAverage
Bold FaceProbability
IdiomsSet Theory
ParallelismMultiples and Factors
ComparisonMixtures and allegations
Verb TensesRatio and proportion
ParadoxDescriptive Statistics
Strengthen and weakenPipes, cisterns, and work time
AdjectivesSpeed, time, distance
Phrases and ClausesSimple and Compounded Interest
NounsMonomials, polynomials
Idiomatic expressionsFunctions
Active voiceExponents
Passive voiceTriangle
Lines and angles
Quadrilaterals
Circles
Rectangular solids and cylinders
Quadratic equations
Inequalities and basic statistics
Algebraic expressions and equations
Permutation and combination
Arithmetic and geometric progressions
Coordinate geometry

GMAT Syllabus – Quantitative Reasoning

The GMAT Quantitative Reasoning section tests your ability to understand, interpret, and analyze data, as well as your ability to solve problems using mathematical concepts and techniques. The questions in this section may be based on arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.

The GMAT Quantitative Reasoning section consists of 31 multiple-choice questions, which you will have 62 minutes to complete. The questions are divided into two types: Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency.

In the Problem Solving questions, you will be given a mathematical problem and asked to solve it. These questions test your ability to apply mathematical concepts and techniques to real-world problems.

In the Data Sufficiency questions, you will be given a mathematical problem and two statements that provide information about the problem. You will be asked to determine whether the information provided is sufficient to solve the problem. These questions test your ability to analyze data and to determine what information is necessary to solve a problem.

To succeed on the GMAT Quantitative Reasoning section, you will need to have a strong foundation in math and a good understanding of basic mathematical concepts and techniques. You should also be able to analyze data and to apply mathematical concepts and techniques to real-world problems. It may be helpful to have a good working knowledge of algebra, geometry, and data analysis.

Data Sufficiency

When answering a Data Sufficiency question, you’ll be tested on your ability to assess a quantitative problem, identify the necessary data, and determine when you have collected enough information to proceed with a solution.

These types of questions start with a problem statement and then give two statements. You have to determine if the information provided is adequate to solve the problem posed.

  1. Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient.
  2. Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient.
  3. BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient.
  4. EACH statement ALONE is sufficient.
  5. Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient.

Helpful information

Figure out if the problem can only take one value or if it can take a range of values. Keep in mind that all you’re doing is checking to see if you have adequate information.

Be careful not to jump to conclusions based on geometric figures. Figures are not always drawn to scale.

Problem Solving

Problem-solving questions test your ability to solve math problems using concepts, logic, and analytical thinking. About half of the questions on the GMAT Quantitative section are problem-solving questions. The GMAT problem-solving section is mostly made up of math problems that are based on statements and go into basic math ideas. You will figure out how to solve the problem and choose the best answer from the five options.

Value Order And Factors

Numbers and the Number Line, Factors, Multiples, Divisibility and Remainders, Exponents, Decimals and Place Value, Properties of Operations.

Algebra, Equalities, And Inequalities

Algebraic Expressions and Equations, Linear Equations, Factoring and Quadratic Equations, Inequalities, Functions, Formulas, and Measurement Conversion.

Rates, Ratios, And Percentages

Ratio and Proportion, Fractions, Percentages, Converting/working with Decimals, Rate, Work, and Mixture Problems.

Statistics, Sets, Counting, Probability, Estimation, And Series

Statistics, Sets, Counting Methods, Probability, Estimation, Sequences and Series.

Geometry

Lines and Angles, Polygons, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Circles, Rectangular Solids and Cylinders, Coordinate Geometry.

GMAT Syllabus – Verbal Reasoning

The Verbal section of the GMAT tests your ability to understand, analyze, and evaluate written material in the English language. It consists of 36 questions, and you get 65 minutes to answer them.

The Verbal section questions are divided into three types:

  1. Reading Comprehension
  2. Critical Reasoning
  3. Sentence Correction

Sentence Correction

The GMAT Sentence Correction section tests your ability to identify errors in written English and to revise sentences to make them correct and effective.

Every SC question consists of two components: A sentence, part or all of which is underlined, and five answer choices, each a way of phrasing the underlined portion. The underlined portion of the sentence may contain grammatical and logical errors, which we will discuss in section 3. Answer choice A repeats the original underlined portion. The other four answer choices are each a different phrasing of the original underlined portion.

Your job is pretty simple: pick the alternative that best expresses the author’s intent and that is clear, exact, and free of errors. It must also minimize awkwardness, ambiguity, and redundancy. Select answer choice A if the original sentence is correct as is. If not, select the most pertinent answer choice among B, C, D, and E. Remember, there is only one correct choice for each question.

Critical Reasoning

The GMAT Critical Reasoning section tests your ability to analyze and evaluate arguments. This includes your ability to identify the conclusion of an argument, the evidence and reasoning used to support the conclusion, and any underlying assumptions or gaps in the argument.

The questions in this section may present you with a short passage or a long passage, followed by a question that asks you to analyze the argument in some way. For example, you may be asked to identify the conclusion of the argument, to evaluate the strength of the evidence provided, or to identify any assumptions or gaps in the argument.

In addition to analyzing arguments, the GMAT Critical Reasoning section also tests your ability to recognize common patterns of reasoning and to use logic to draw conclusions from given information. This may involve applying principles of logic, such as syllogisms or conditional statements, to solve problems.

Overall, the GMAT Critical Reasoning section is designed to measure your ability to think critically and to evaluate arguments in a clear and logical way. It is an important part of the GMAT because it tests skills that are important in business and management, such as the ability to analyze and evaluate information and to make decisions based on that analysis.

In general, there are three different kinds of Critical Reasoning questions on the GMAT Verbal section:

  1. The types of questions where you’ll need to identify an argument’s or plan’s flaws (the stimulus) and then choose the best response to those flaws.
  2. Those where you have to figure out and explain the reasoning behind the stimulus.
  3. Types of questions where you have to draw a logical conclusion from the stimulus provided.

Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension questions are designed to assess your ability to understand and interpret written material. These questions may include a passage of text followed by one or more questions about the content of the passage. You may be asked to identify the main idea, understand the author’s purpose, or draw inferences based on the information provided in the passage. 

Here, you’ll be asked to read texts that range in length from about 350 words to 400 words and then answer multiple-choice questions depending on what you read.  You can get by without learning anything particularly advanced about the subject. Instead, you should only be able to get your ideas straight and understand how the different things involved fit together.

Here are some of the most common kinds of Reading Comprehension questions on the GMAT:

  • Style and tone questions: These questions evaluate your abilities to determine the passage’s tone. In some cases, you’ll be required to analyze a piece and pick out its main concepts as well as the underlying tone in which those ideas are expressed. Most questions require you to define the passage’s style and tone in one word or phrase. For example, you might be asked to choose between critical, cheerful, hopeful, factual, etc.
  • Main Idea: One of the most common types of questions on the GMAT reading comprehension section is about the main idea. All of the passages have at least one question about the main idea. When answering these questions, select the option that most closely reflects the context of the entire passage. The important thing is to think about the whole and not let the parts distract you. Try to put all the pieces together and figure out what the passage is really about.
  • Supporting detail/substantial idea question: These are harder than main idea questions. Supporting detail/substantial idea questions, on the other hand, requires you to read carefully. In this type of question, the focus is on the passage itself, and the reader may be asked to answer questions regarding details or arguments directly from it. Even so, most of these facts back up the main point that the passage is making.
  • Assumption/inference: Assumption/inference questions are more difficult than the first two types and require you to think more critically. Inference-based problems discuss arguments and ideas that are indicated by the author but not expressed clearly in the passage, as opposed to supporting idea questions that ask about obvious facts. Using reasoning and some educated guesswork about the author’s aim, you can get the answers to these questions.
  • Out of context: Questions that are “out of context” or “out of framework” don’t have anything to do with the passage. In order to answer these questions, you’ll need to take in all of the information from the passage and apply it to a new, largely hypothetical setting. Some of these questions may ask you what the author thinks about something that has nothing to do with the passage. In this case, you need to approach it the same way you would with an inference question. Please keep in mind, though, that you may have to make a much bigger leap of logic than before. These questions mostly test how well you understand the passage’s main idea and how well you can use it elsewhere.
  • Coherent logical structure: These questions discuss the passage’s overall structure. You will be asked to explain why the author has crafted the section in the way they have. For instance, “Does the paragraph disprove a claim?” could be posed as a question. “Is the author comparing two ideas?” A question may also need you to come up with an appropriate title for the passage. Coherent logical structure questions test how well you understand how the passage is put together.

GMAT Syllabus – Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

The GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) is a written essay test that measures your ability to think critically and to communicate your ideas effectively in written form. The GMAT AWA consists of a single writing task: the analysis of an argument.

In the GMAT AWA, you will be presented with a written argument that may contain flaws or assumptions. Your task is to analyze the argument and to discuss how well the argument is supported by the evidence. You will need to identify the assumptions underlying the argument and to evaluate the strength of the evidence provided.

To succeed on the GMAT AWA, you will need to be able to write clear and concise essays that are well-organized and well-supported. You should also be able to think critically and to analyze arguments logically and effectively. It may be helpful to have a good understanding of logical reasoning and the principles of effective argumentation.

The GMAT AWA is scored on a scale of 0 to 6, in half-point increments. The essay is evaluated by a human grader and an automated scoring system, and the scores from both are combined to produce the final score. The GMAT AWA is a separate section of the GMAT exam and is not used in the calculation of your overall GMAT score.

In the AWA section, there are two kinds of essay questions.

  • Argument essay: In this area of the exam, candidates are asked to write an essay in which they analyze the logic of a given argument and take into account any and all assumptions made within it. After this, you have to decide if the argument makes sense or not. Another thing to remember is that the candidate shouldn’t make any assumptions that aren’t true. The candidate needs to take a step back from the statement or argument and examine it objectively, without bringing any preconceived notions or opinions to the table. Based on the argument, a candidate must also answer in a way that is consistent with the evidence. To support or argue against the criticism in the question, it’s important to use the right words, sentence structure, and grammar.
  • Issue essay: The issue essay requires you to write an extended analysis of the prompt provided. About 600 words is the most. You can support the given issue with your ideas, or you can write the article from your own point of view. You must take a stance, pro or con, on the matter at hand, though, and stick to it. You can also come up with ideas for examples based on different prompts or things in the main issue itself. When answering this kind of question in the AWA section, you should write in a way that is unique both in terms of what you say and how you say it.

GMAT Syllabus – Integrated Reasoning

The GMAT Integrated Reasoning section tests your ability to analyze and interpret data from multiple sources and to solve problems using that data. The questions in this section may involve data interpretation, graphics interpretation, two-part analysis, and table analysis.

The GMAT Integrated Reasoning section consists of 12 multiple-choice questions, which you will have 30 minutes to complete. The questions are divided into four types:

  1. Graphic Interpretation: These questions involve interpreting information presented in charts, graphs, or other visual formats.
  2. Table Analysis: These questions involve analyzing data presented in tables or spreadsheets.
  3. Two-Part Analysis: These questions involve solving two related problems based on the same data.
  4. Multi-Source Reasoning: These questions involve analyzing data from multiple sources and using that data to solve a problem.

To succeed on the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section, you will need to have strong analytical and problem-solving skills and be able to interpret and analyze data from multiple sources. You should also be able to think critically and to apply logical reasoning to solve problems. It may be helpful to have a good understanding of basic mathematical concepts and techniques, as well as experience working with data in spreadsheet or database software.

GMAT Syllabus FAQs

What is the GMAT exam?

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a standardized test used by business schools as part of the admissions process for MBA and other business-related graduate programs. The GMAT measures your analytical writing, verbal, and quantitative skills, as well as your ability to think critically and solve problems.

What is the GMAT syllabus?

The GMAT syllabus covers the content and skills that are tested on the GMAT exam. The GMAT consists of four sections: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning. Each section tests different skills and knowledge areas.

What is tested on the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section?

The GMAT Verbal Reasoning section tests your ability to understand and analyze written material, as well as your ability to communicate effectively in written English. The questions in this section may be based on reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction.

What is tested on the GMAT Quantitative Reasoning section?

The GMAT Quantitative Reasoning section tests your ability to understand, interpret, and analyze data, as well as your ability to solve problems using mathematical concepts and techniques. The questions in this section may be based on arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.

What is tested on the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section?

The GMAT Integrated Reasoning section tests your ability to analyze and interpret data from multiple sources and to solve problems using that data. The questions in this section may involve data interpretation, graphics interpretation, two-part analysis, and table analysis.

What is tested on the GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment?

The GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) is a written essay test that measures your ability to think critically and to communicate your ideas effectively in written form. The GMAT AWA consists of a single writing task: the analysis of an argument. You will be presented with a written argument that may contain flaws or assumptions, and your task is to analyze the argument and discuss how well it is supported by the evidence.

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