GMAT Exam Pattern 2021

Updated by: Nidhi bahl on June 10, 2021, 2:13 p.m.

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GMAT 2021 Exam Pattern

The GMAC prescribes the GMAT Exam Pattern. The Graduate Management Admission Test or GMAT is a Computer Adaptive Test conducted by GMAC for candidates seeking admission in top-notch B-Schools abroad including the UCLAHarvard UniversityUniversity of California, BerkeleyUniversity of Manchester; Cleveland State University; Middlesex University Dubai; Hofstra University, etc.

This year, the exam can now also be taken in a new online format introduced due to the Coronavirus pandemic, which candidates can take twice in a 12-month rolling period.  GMAT is a gateway for candidates to study different management courses like MBA, PGP and PGDM in various disciplines, from the best of business schools around the world. This is an examination that allows candidates to select a date and time to give the test as per their convenience and choice.

The GMAT exam pattern is the format in which the question paper will be set for the candidates to answer. It defines the type of questions, number of questions, marks per question, total marks and marking scheme of the paper. As per the GMAT exam pattern, the questions in the exam will be both objective and subjective in nature. A total of 79 questions are asked in the exam and they are divided into four sections, including Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning.

Candidates must know about the detailed syllabus of GMAT once they are aware of the exam pattern. An important thing for students to note is that while attempting a section, they must complete all the questions in that section first and later move to another section. Every section has to be completed in the allotted time.

GMAT COVID-19 Update

In the new updated GMAT 2021 online format, the Analytical Writing Assessment section has been added, which will start from April 8, 2021. Applicants will also be allowed to attempt the exam sections in the GMAT online exam in any order they deem comfortable.

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Highlights of GMAT 2021 Exam Pattern

The GMAT 2021 exam pattern highlights will ensure that the candidates understand the detailed GMAT 2021 exam pattern which follows after this:

GMAT Exam Duration

3 hours and 7 minutes, plus two optional 8-minute breaks (GMAT Online)

3.5 hours (GMAT Exam)

Total Number of Sections

04 (for both GMAT Online and GMAT Exam)

Total Number of Questions


Mode of GMAT Exam

Online and at Test Centre

Medium of Instruction


Negative Marking


Subject-Wise Distribution of Questions in GMAT 2021

The subject-wise distribution of questions in GMAT Online and GMAT Exam 2021, according to the latest exam pattern, are given in the table below:

Subject Name

Number of Questions

Maximum Time Limit

Integrated Reasoning


30 Minutes

Analytical Writing Assessment


30 Minutes

Verbal Reasoning


65 Minutes

Quantitative Reasoning


62 Minutes

Also Read: All About EMBA: Top B-Schools, FT Rankings & Benefits

GMAT Marking System

  • The total number of objective type questions is 79.

  • Each section has a particular duration.

Here are the minimum and maximum score range of each section, along with a mean average:


Score Range Mean Scores*

Analytical Writing Assessment

0-6 4.48

Integrated Reasoning

1-8 4.29


6-51 27.04


6-51 39.93


200-800 561.27

Using Whiteboard During GMAT 2021

For the current year, candidates will have the option of using a physical whiteboard, online whiteboard, or both according to their preferences on the exam day. Appointments will include the option to use a physical whiteboard for the GMAT Online exam and the registrants will review and ensure their whiteboard preference meets the required specifications and that they have a functional eraser, dry erase marker, eraser. Candidates who tested without access to the physical whiteboard will be permitted to test again, should they choose to do so.

During the GMAT Online Exam, the whiteboard will also give you the provision to do the following:

  • Enter text via the text box (copy/paste from the exam questions into the board).

  • Draw lines and shapes.

  • Pan across the whiteboard, zoom in and out in order to use different areas for your work on the same whiteboard screen.

  • Erase or clear to start something new.

  • Resize or move the whiteboard around your screen.

Note: Candidates who have a touchscreen laptop may not use their finger, a stylus or other writing apparatus to use the whiteboard. The online whiteboard cannot be used with a connection pad or writing tablet or dual monitors.

Also Read: COVID-19 Impact: What Lies Ahead for Study Abroad Aspirants?

GMAT Online Test at Home

The GMAT Online Test can now be taken at home safely and conveniently. The decision to allow students to take the test at home was encouraged post-COVID  when the number of test centres has been reduced. 

The remote version of the GMAT test is designed to help students to help maximum students take the test and apply for admissions in B-Schools across the world. 

The GMAT Online Test at Home is comparable to the GMAT test taken at test centres. The pattern and syllabus remains the same in both GMAT Online Test and Home and GMAT at Test Centres. 

The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) Section has been recently added to GMAT Syllabus and it will be included in the test from April 2021. Also, there is no difference in the GMAT test scoring.

Who Can Take GMAT Online Test at Home? 

GMAT Online Test at Home option is available in most of the locations except in China, Iran, Cuba, North Korea, and Sudan. The medium of instruction of the test is English only. Test takers can take the GRE test at home on both Windows and Mac Personal Computers or Laptops. 

How to Register for the GMAT Online Test? 

Candidates can register for GMAT online test any time by following the procedure given below:

Step 1: Create or log in to Account

New users must create a new account on or those who already have an account must log in for registration.

Step 2: Register 

Visit “Register for the GMAT Online Exam” section, select the GMAT online exam, choose test date and time and confirm registration.

Step 3: Pay for Registration

The fees of GMAT Online Test is US $250. Payment can be made using a debit card, credit card

Identification Requirements to Apply for GMAT Online Test

Candidates from India need to present the Aadhaar Card as the identification proof at the time of  GMAT Online Test Registration beginning April 2021. 

The ID presented must be original and the photo must be recognizable. The ID must have the same name as mentioned in the online application form of GMAT. The first and last name must be included. Also, a recent photo must be attached to the Identity Card.

GMAT test-takers may also check out our Test Prep program to prepare for the exam and obtain a good GMAT score.

FAQs about GMAT Exam Pattern 2021

1. Are there any changes in GMAT 2021 exam pattern?    

The exam structure for GMAT 2020 has not been changed.

2. How many questions are asked in GMAT?    

A total of 80 questions are asked in GMAT but GMAT online exam would consist of 79 questions as the online exam would not include Analytical Writing Assessment.

3. Is there negative marking in GMAT?  

 There is no negative marking in GMAT.

4. What is the medium of instruction in GMAT?  

 The medium of instruction in GMAT is English only.

5. Can I track time during the GMAT exam? 

 Yes, you will be able to track time and the number of questions to be answered during the GMAT exam.

6. How many sections are there under GMAT?  

There a total of four sections under GMAT- Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning. The online GMAT exam will not have the Analytical Writing Assessment section.

7. How many questions are asked in GMAT's Analytical Writing Assessment? 

Only one question is asked under the Analytical Writing Assessment section of GMAT. The same shall be answered within 30 minutes.

8. How many questions are asked in GMAT's Integrated Reasoning?  

A total of 12 questions will be based on Integrated Reasoning under GMAT. The same shall be answered within 30 minutes.

9. How many questions are asked in GMAT's Verbal Reasoning?  

 A total of 36 questions will be based on Verbal Reasoning under GMAT. The same shall be answered within 65 minutes.

10. How many questions are asked in GMAT's Quantitative Reasoning? 

 A total of 31 questions will be based on Quantitative Reasoning under GMAT. The same shall be answered within 62 minutes.

11. What is the pattern of the GMAT Online Exam? 

The GMAT Online exam was introduced with three sections in which the AWS section was excluded. However, GMAC recently added the AWS section in the online test.

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