GMAT Exam Pattern 2021

Update by: on Jan. 25, 2021, 5:31 p.m.

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GMAT 2021 Exam Pattern

The Graduate Management Admission Council (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 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)Harvard UniversityUniversity of California, BerkeleyUniversity of Manchester, UK; etc.

This year, the exam has been shifted to a new online format 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 GMAT online format, the Analytical Writing Assessment section has been omitted. The new GMAT exam pattern will be applicable until the Covid-19 situation prevails. Once under control, the pattern and exam conducting mode will be back to the usual. 

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- 2 Hours 45 minutes for the exam and 15 minutes to check into the online proctored system

Total Number of Sections

04 (only 3 for online GMAT)

Total Number of Questions


Mode of GMAT Exam


(to be conducted online this year in wake of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic)

Medium of Instruction


Negative Marking


Subject-Wise Distribution of Questions in GMAT 2021

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

Subject Name

Number of Questions

Maximum Time Limit

Integrated Reasoning


30 Minutes

Analytical Writing Assessment (Omitted in new GMAT online format)


30 Minutes

Verbal Reasoning


65 Minutes

Quantitative Reasoning


62 Minutes

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 (Omitted for Current Year)

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.

Admission 2021

Admissions open for 2020

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