How Long is the GMAT?

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
The GMAT is a four-part exam measuring a student's knowledge and ability to succeed in a graduate-level business degree program. Learn about the exam's structure, the time allotted for each section, and tips on how to prepare for this important step toward a career in business.

GMAT Time Length and Structure

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a 3.5-hour exam designed for students seeking admission to graduate-level business schools. It comprises both essay writing and multiple-choice-question components, and is separated into four individually timed sections:

  • Analytical Writing - Students have 30 minutes to write an essay that demonstrates their problem-solving, analytical reasoning and communication skills.
  • Integrated Reasoning - This section requires the ability to analyze data from multiple sources and features graphical, text and numerical data that students will evaluate and use to solve problems. The 12 questions in this section have to be answered in 30 minutes.
  • Quantitative - Students have 75 minutes to answer 37 questions using their reasoning and data analysis skills.
  • Verbal - In this 75-minute section, test-takers employ their critical reasoning and reading comprehension skills to answer 41 questions. This section also tests grammar and language proficiency skills.

Preparing for the GMAT's Time Format

Because the GMAT is computer adaptive (adjusting in difficulty based on a test-taker's previous answers), each question must be answered in order. Students preparing for the GMAT, therefore, should keep in mind that they will not be able to leave a difficult question to return to it later, and focus their preparation both on studying to obtain a solid understanding of each section's content and on conducting practice tests within the time guidelines of GMAT's section format.

GMAT Study Materials

Study.com offers a prep course that can help students get ready to take the GMAT. The GMAT Test: Online Prep and Review course is a useful tool for reviewing the math, critical reasoning, grammar, reading comprehension and writing skills you'll need to answer exam questions.

The lessons in this course are brief, about 5-6 minutes each, and are available in a fun and flexible video format. Test-takers can study on the go using their mobile device and will find a variety of tools to help them get ready for exam day. Self-assessment quizzes, chapter exams and a practice test are all available along with written transcripts and printable worksheets, all of which make test prep simple and fast.

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