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[Updated 2021] GMAT Syllabus – Top 50 topics to study

GMAT syllabus comprises more than 50 topics from Quant, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment sections. The GMAT syllabus is further classified in various sub-sections of the GMAT i.e., Sentence Correction, Critical Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension in the Verbal Section, and Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency in the Quant Section.

In this article, we look into the topics (syllabus) that you can expect on the GMAT Exam. The article also answers five frequently asked questions (FAQs) on GMAT sections and question types.

GMAT syllabus

GMAT Syllabus 2021

GMAT syllabus includes topics from Quant, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment.

The overall GMAT Syllabus is divided into four sections:

  1. Quantitative: It includes 31 multiple choice questions on data sufficiency and problem-solving. The duration to complete this section is 62 minutes
  2. Verbal: It includes 36 multiple choice questions on reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction. The duration to complete the Verbal section is 65 minutes
  3. Analytical Writing Assessment: It includes one essay question with a 30 minutes time limit. Argument analysis and communication in the form of critique are two types of questions under this section
  4. Integrated Reasoning (IR): It includes 12 multiple choice questions that can be two-part analysis, Multi-source reasoning, graphic interpretation, and Table analysis type of questions. The duration to complete this section is 30 mins

Do you know what a GMAT score or a percentile means? Read this article to understand and learn more. Know more about GMAT exam pattern, eligibility, format, and fees in 2021. Watch this video below:

Now that you have an idea about the GMAT sections let’s take a look at each section.

gmat-syllabus-quant-verbal-2021

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GMAT syllabus: Quant section

According to the GMAT Syllabus, the Quant section has two types of questions – Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving. It consists of 31 questions in total, and you get 62 minutes to complete it.

Data Sufficiency questions consist of a problem statement followed by two factual statements. You must decide whether the statement given is sufficient to answer the question in the problem statement. Approximately 11 -13 questions are there.

Problem-solving questions consist of topics such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and more. Approximately 18 – 20 questions are there.

Here is the syllabus for the GMAT Quant section:

ArithmeticAlgebraGeometry
Multiples and FactorsMonomials, polynomialsTriangle
Number PropertiesFunctionsLines and angles
FractionsExponentsQuadrilaterals
DecimalsQuadratic equationsCircles
PercentageInequalities and basic statisticsRectangular solids and cylinders
Power and RootsAlgebraic expressions and equationsCoordinate geometry
AveragePermutation and combination 
ProbabilityArithmetic and geometric progressions 
Set Theory  
Mixtures and allegations  
Ratio and proportion  
Descriptive Statistics  
Pipes, cisterns, and work time  
Speed, time, distance  
Simple and Compounded Interest  

Although the GMAT Quant section is considered tough by many students, the concepts included in this section are not beyond your high-school math.

The GMAT Quant section aims to measure your ability to reason mathematically, interpret graphic data, and solve quantitative problems.

There is a misconception that the only way to score high on GMAT Quant is to spend your time practicing problems and tests, which is true. Practice makes you perfect.

But what many students ignore is to get conceptual clarity. Achieving a Q50+ score requires a solid grasp of concepts and their application to solving questions.

You need to get your basics, right! Here are some tips for scoring Q50+ in the GMAT Quant Section.

Check out a few more articles on the GMAT

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Are you struggling to score high on GMAT Quant? Here are few articles that can help you: Six Quant questions to improve your score, Six Process Skills to master Quant, How to quickly solve quant questions, and why “infer” a critical skill to master in Quant.

Did you know e-GMATers have reported more 700+ scores than ever before in GMAT Club’s history? Watch this video to understand how e-GMAT has achieved this record-shattering result by investing and innovating with a single goal in mind – To create a platform that empowers students to achieve and deliver their very best.

GMAT syllabus: Verbal section

According to the GMAT Syllabus, the verbal section has three types of questions – Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and sentence correction. It consists of 36 multiple choice questions to be completed in 65 minutes. Here are the topics that you can expect on the GMAT verbal section:

Sentence CorrectionCritical Reasoning
PronounAssumptions
Subject-Verb AgreementEvaluate
ModifiersInference
IdiomsBold Face
ParallelismParadox
ComparisonStrengthen and weaken
Verb Tenses 

GMAT Verbal aims to test the ability to comprehend the written material and understand the logical relationship.

Critical reasoning questions give you an argument that you need to analyze, evaluate, and then formulate or evaluate a plan of action. They are all multiple-choice questions.

Sentence Correction includes questions that present a problem with a sentence. You need to decide if there is any grammatical problem and if so, you need to choose from the four alternatives given in the question.

Reading Comprehension questions include short or long passages (200-400 words), where you need to infer it and answer three or four multi-choice questions.

Are you struggling in GMAT Verbal section? Here are some tips on scoring V40+.

Save 60+ hours of GMAT preparation by following these 5 steps:

GMAT syllabus: Integrated reasoning section (IR)

gmat syllabus for IR and AWA 2021

The first thing you need to know about the IR section of the GMAT is that this section does not get factored into your score. The same is the case with the AWA section.

Read more about If GMAT Integrated Reasoning and AWA section matters for MBA Admissions?

The integrated reasoning questions in the GMAT Syllabus consist of data presented in passages, graphs, tables, or a combination of the three. There are four different types of questions:

  1. Two-Part analysis – These questions are in the form of 2 questions that relate to the same information. Five or six answer choices follow the questions, and the answers to each of the two questions may be the same or different.
  2. Multi-Source Reasoning – These questions have multiple tabs that have inputs in them. These questions are more like Critical Reasoning questions.
  3. Graphic Interpretation – You must analyze the information given on a graph or a chart and use it to solve the given questions.
  4. Table Analysis – You are presented with a sortable table with three questions. You must be able to differentiate between useful and non-useful data

The GMAT IR section measures your ability to assess information presented in multiple formats from different sources. We live in a data-driven world, and therefore, it’s essential to have analytical skills to interpret data.

Know more about how the GMAT IR section is scored.

GMAT syllabus: Analytical writing assessment (AWA)

Like the IR section, the analytical writing assessment section does not get factored into your score.

This GMAT section asks you to analyze issues, comprehend information, and communicate your ideas through an essay. It measures your ability to think critically and how well you can communicate your ideas.

The score for this section is on a six-point scale, and the essay has two independent ratings from which an average is derived. The topics asked can range from general to business news. Here is a list of 50 AWA practice questions.

Learn how to score a perfect six on GMAT AWA.

GMAT Syllabus Summary

Below is a quick summary of all the topics under GMAT syllabus 2021:

GMAT Verbal GMAT Quantitative GMAT IR GMAT AWA
(A wide range of topics)
Pronoun Fractions Arithmetic Annual report
Assumptions Decimals Elementary Algebra Article from a trade magazine
Subject-Verb Agreement Number Properties Geometry Memorandum from the business department like marketing, operations, finance, etc
Modifiers Percentage Statistics Announcements issued by a newspaper or a company
Inference Power and Roots A paragraph from a research paper
Evaluate Average A paragraph from a business plan
Bold Face Probability and more…
Idioms Set Theory
Parallelism Multiples and Factors
Comparison Mixtures and allegations
Verb Tenses Ratio and proportion
Paradox Descriptive Statistics
Strengthen and weaken Pipes, cisterns, and work time
Adjectives Speed, time, distance
Phrases and Clauses Simple and Compounded Interest
Nouns Monomials, polynomials
Idiomatic expressions Functions
Active voice Exponents
Passive voice Triangle
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

Now that you are aware of the GMAT Syllabus for individual sections let us look at five common FAQs on GMAT Syllabus.

GMAT syllabus: five FAQs on GMAT section and question types

FAQs

What abilities does GMAT Syllabus in the Quant section measures?

The Quant section of the GMAT measures how you analyze data and conclude or solve using reasoning skills. There are two types of questions:

  1. Problem Solving – They measure your ability to interpret and evaluate data to solve numerical problems
  2. Data Sufficiency – These questions measure your analytical ability to interpret the question as well as to decide if you have sufficient information to solve the problem.

Does GMAT Syllabus for Verbal Section only measure my understanding of grammar?

The Verbal section is a test of understanding and logic presented in the question rather than just grammar.

The GMAT syllabus in this section measures your reading ability, comprehension skills, understanding of arguments, and your ability to correct written material as per the rules of the English language.

What is the section order of GMAT and the total duration of the test?

Since 11th July 2017, students have the option to select the order of the test from the three options mentioned below. There is a break of 8 minutes duration, which is optional:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Break, Quantitative, Break, Verbal
  2. Verbal, Break, Quantitative, Break, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
  3. Quantitative, Break, Verbal, Break, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

The total duration of the test is 3 hours, 7 minutes.

Here is an article for you to understand the GMAT sections in detail.

Can I skip any GMAT section?

You CANNOT skip any of the GMAT sections. A section is complete only if you answer every question, or you run out of time for that section.

Do I get a break between all the GMAT Sections?

Firstly, breaks are optional. If you don’t want a break, you can skip it and move on to the next section. In case you want a break, you get two 8-minute breaks according to the GMAT section order you have chosen.

Related articles on GMAT Preparation:

Are you planning to enroll in a US business school? Let us help you conquer the first step of the process i.e., taking the GMAT. Take a free GMAT mock to understand your baseline score and start your GMAT prep with our free trial. We are the most reviewed online GMAT Prep company with 2200+ reviews on GMATClub, as of 21st September 2021.

FAQs – GMAT Syllabus

What is the difference between CAT and GMAT Syllabus?

The primary difference between CAT and GMAT Syllabus is that the GMAT exam includes the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section which is not presented in CAT Exam. In addition, there are no descriptive questions in CAT Exam.

What is the difference between GRE and GMAT Syllabus?

One of the primary differences between the GRE and GMAT syllabus is that there is no integrated reasoning section in the GRE test.
Read this article to know in detail about the difference between GRE and GMAT Syllabus. 

How much does the GMAT cost?

The GMAT registration fee is $250 in most countries. But, GMAT costs will be more than just the GMAT fee of $250 in 2021. There are many other costs associated with taking the GMAT successfully.
Read this article to know about other costs involved in taking the GMAT.

Can I choose the order in which I want to take the GMAT Exam? 

Yes, you can choose the order in which you want to take the GMAT sections before you begin your exam.

What is the duration of the GMAT Exam? 

The time duration of the GMAT exam is 3.5 hours which includes your breaks and test instructions.

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3 thoughts on “[Updated 2021] GMAT Syllabus – Top 50 topics to study”

  1. This really helps , do we know if there is any change in the syllabus of format in 2020.

    1. Hi Prashast,
      There is no change in the syllabus or format of the GMAT for 2020. We wish you the best of luck for your attempt!

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