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This thread will address the Frequently Asked Questions about the GMAT exam.

Important Articles : 

How to start GMATPrep

How to start GMATPrep if you have taken CAT previously

GMAT Exam:

GMAT Free Mocks:

UPDATED ON 5/25/16

How to start GMAT Prep:

Below are some of the books/materials/resources published by the GMAC (Makers of the GMAT test)

1) Official Guide - 13th Edition (Latest Edition currently).

2) Official Guide 12th Edition - There are almost 70% overlap of questions between OG 13 and OG 12.

3) verbal Edition - 2nd Edition - Supplement of OG 13/12 and contains all the new questions apart from OG 12/13.

4) Quant Edition - 2nd Edition - Supplement for OG 12/13 for Quant section and contains new questions compared to OG 12/13.

5) GMATPrep - Contains two mocks - Mock 1 and Mock3 and it is available for free. It can be downloaded for free from You need to register though - Free registration.

6) GMATPrep Question Pack 1 : It is extra set of questions that can be ADDED to existing GMAT Prep software. I will be publishing a separate Review for the same in 1-2 weeks.

7) GMAT Prep Exam Pack 1 : It is an extra set of two mocks - Mock 3 and Mock 4. You need to purchase it from

8) GMAT Prep Exam Pack 2: It the latest offering from GMAC and contains 2 more mocks. These are paid and you need to purchase from

9) IR Prep Tool : From August 2012, the pattern of the GMAT exam is changed and they have introduced a new IR (Integrated Reasoning ) section. There are some questions on IR in GMATPrep , GMAT Prep Question Pack 1 and GMAT Prep Exam Pack 1. If you think, the practice is not enough, this can be bought.

How to start the prep:

1) Download GMATPrep from Take the 1st Mock. If you want to, you can skip AWA (Analytical Writing Ability) and IR (Integrated Reasoning) sections, but take Quant and Verbal sections together. in actual GMAT, there is break of 8 mins. If you want, you can take a break or you can skip the break. Take 1st mock and see what is your performance is.

2) The software will give you scaled scores in Quant and verbal. Maximum score in both the section is 51. ONLY this scaled scores play a part on your Total SCORE out of 800 and not other scores . More on my post on scoring of GMAT.

3) Based on the score, draw up a study plan and work on the preparation plan. Consult Official Guide or other prep books to see what is the commonly tested concepts in GMAT.

4) When you take a mock next time, make sure you write other sections as well. AWA and IR are equally important.

Any specific questions. Do let me know.

How to start Prep if you have taken CAT previously :

Similarities between CAT and GMAT:

1) Quant : CAT quant is quite high level and that will help you in conquering GMAT to a great extent. If you are good in CAT Quant, expect 49-51 in GMAT Quant.

The CAT Junta should be wary of Data sufficiency questions. CAT used to test the students on DS but now, I don't remember encountering DS questions in last CAT exam I took. On the contrary, the GMAT will test you quite well in DS. So CAT junta needs to factor in this aspect. One more word of caution, GMAT is an adaptive test (More on my Post on GMAT test), so if you are doing well, you WILL get tougher questions and those questions can be compared to the medium to tough level CAT questions.

2) Verbal : Verbal in GMAT is a make or break section in GMAT. Verbal is given a higher value in GMAT.

Let me explain in detail:

For the same increase in verbal score, the total score increases by much more when compared to increase in Quant score. Why is it so? Because of us. Most of Indians and chinese test takers score very high in quant (case in point, I have scored QA 50 in GMAT) and that pushes the %tile scores in GMAT. GMAC just revised the GMAT %tiles and total scaled score just last year in 2013.

The illusive : 750

750 : is QA 51/VA 42 or QA 50/VA 43-44. So if you can score round about low 40s and score 50s or round about 49s, you should be able to score 750. It is just an indication and not an absolute guidance. As more and more students take GMAT, the scores gets revised. In 2012, QA 51 was comparatively easier to get than now (My personal take on this).

Any specific questions: Please post.


GMAT Exam !!!

GMAT Exam consists of the following sections:

1) AWA - Analytical Writing Ability - 30 mins.

You will be provided with one argument based on some premise and you need to write an essay evaluating the soundness of the argument. Mostly, 2-3 paragraphs with proper reasoning of the argument should do the trick. Some people prefer to have an format and plug-in their arguments in the right places. Try to complete the writing part within 20 mins and rest 10 mins can be used to format it or review it. Avoid the spelling mistakes. Some of the mocks such as ManhattanGMAT uses the browser text area for the mock and that provides the auto spell correct. GMAT doesn't use that and you WILL BE ON YOUR OWN with regard to spellings . So get used to no auto spell check.

2) Integrated Reasoning : IR - 30 Mins.

Right after the AWA, you will taken to IR sections

without any break

. IR section consists of 12 Questions and you need to complete as many as possible within 30 mins. As far as I know, the IR is not computer Adaptive so you will be provided the random questions. More on the different question types:

Apart from  Multi Source Argument, it is similar to DI section of CAT. In multi source argument which has 2-3 tabs and you need to answer questions combining the data or data from one tab. I will suggest you to get used to it as none of the indian exams has this type of question. 

The maximum score is 8. Mostly, if you get 10+ of 12, you will be rewarded 8 score.

3) Break - 8 mins

Break is provided for 8 mins. You can take the break or skip the break depending upon your comfort level. But don't exceed it. if you exceed it, the extra time WILL be Deducted from the next section and that is Quant.

4) Quant - 37 questions in 75 mins.

The next section is Quant ability and have following two type of questions:

1) Problem solving - PS

2) Data sufficiency - DS

Problem Solving is similar to normal question where the question is asked and 5 answer options are given. You need to select the correct answer. 

Data Sufficiency has a questions stem and it has two more statements.

Option A) If Statement 1 is sufficient

Option B) if Statement 2 is sufficient

Option C) If both the statements are required

Option D) If either of the statement is sufficient.

Option E) If both the statements together is not sufficient.

The above options are NEVER going to change and you need to select one of the correct option.

Quant section is Computer Adaptive and you will get tougher questions based on your response. 

5) Break - 8 mins

Break is provided for 8 mins. You can take the break or skip the break depending upon your comfort level. But don't exceed it. if you exceed it, the extra time WILL be Deducted from the next section and that is Verbal.

6) Verbal section - 41 questions in 75 mins.

Verbal section has three type of questions

1) Critical Reasoning 

2) Sentence correction

3) Reading comprehension .

Critical Reasoning:

There are further more classification of the questions but mostly, you will given Strengthen and weaken questions which consists of 60% of the critical reasoning questions. Apart from those, most questions will be Assumption, Evaluate, Resolve the paradox and Bold Faced questions. Some of the Official guide questions, you can see fill in the blanks, but in my last two attempts, I didn't get any of them.

One more indication that you are doing good is to get Bold Faced Questions. Normally Bold faced questions are considered toughest so if you are doing well, you might get bold faced questions. This might be true but not entirely, in one of the GMAT Prep mock, I got 43 in VA (considered good by GMAT standards), I didn't get any bold faced questions. So just do your bit and don't worry about other things.

Sentence Correction:

Sentence Correction will be one line of sentence with some or whole part underlined. Option A) WILL be same as that of question and other options will be modification of the sentence. 

The correct option is that option which renders the correct meaning when the sentence fragment is plugged in to the original sentence.

There are different types of errors tested in GMAT. 

1) Modifier issue

2) Parallelism Issue

3) Comparison issue.

4) Conditional Statement issue 

5) Subject Verb Agreement issue.

6) Use of Idioms.

GMAC says the correct option should be grammatically correct and should provide the unambiguous meaning.

Reading Comprehension 

Reading comprehension will have a passage and 3-4 related questions to the passage. Mostly there will be three passages and those will be spread across the exam. There is no definite questions number where the passage will appear. Mostly the first question will be about the central idea or the passage structure so that the students have to read the passage entirely. The student can only see one question at a time along with the passage. 

After close to 3.5 hrs, you will be asked some questions about the demographics of the text taker and those are optional. I didn't have the mental strength to even look at it. Those questions are timed.

After 10 mins, you will be shown unofficial score of IR/QA/VA/Total score. You have 2 mins to decide to accept or cancel. If you don't act, by default the scores will be canceled.

If you act and choose Accept:

The scores will be reported to the school whom you chose at the start of the test.

if you act and choose Cancel:

The scores will not be reported and in the report a line will be added that says you can cancelled the scores. You can however, choose to reinstate the score you have "Chose" to cancel by paying $100 within 60 days.

More on this new feature :

Before you start with the exam, you will be asked for 5 B schools where you want to report the scores. The fee to report the scores is included in the $250 that you paid while registering for GMAT. If you want to report the scores later to any B school, you need to pay $28 per school.

So all the best !!!

Any specific questions, SHOOT !!! 

I will be adding topics which I think it is related to GMAT. If any of the users want me to throw some light on specific topics of GMAT, I will write an article on that or get more information about it.

Do let me know

While doing the registration for GMAT..,..In the academics section under profile, there is an option....which says From Where U have completed ur Undergrad...It seems the autosuggest list is exhaustive...I wrote down the name of my college...but in the review's not getting reflected....Do I need to write Others for that...Please suggest!!!

Hi Guys..

I have started my preparation for GMAT and my verbal is sucking me. I have gone through OG and following it. Can you please guide me for an another book for verbal, my objective is to have more of practice questions and tests and less of Strategies.


I'm a GMAT aspirant. I do have almost 9.7 years of work experience. I planned for GMAT in yesteryear but somehow didn't manage. My basic need is too narrow. I want to apply mostly in 1 year MBA programs offered by IIMs, ISB, The South Asian B-Schools. My basic query is how much I'm suited into the course as I feel I have older to be appeared.

Also, can anyone help me out with the list of global B schools who offers only the 1 year program and also their FT rankings.

Thanks & Regards
Supratik De

hi everyone.I am 4th year engineering student . would it be wise to appear in GMAT without job experience .? 

Exciting new feature to the GMAT Exam puts more control in your hands. See unofficial scores (Integrated Reasoning, Quant, Verbal and Total) before deciding to accept or cancel the same. Read more

Know your probable pace and plan accordingly. If you're consistently rushing to meet the time limit in a section, that haste will probably lead to silly mistakes on questions toward the bottom of your ability level. If you think that will be the case, plan to guess two to three times when a question immediately looks difficult and allocate that time over the rest of the test, giving yourself the time you need to avoid those mistakes.

Exciting new feature to the GMAT Exam puts more control in your hands. See unofficial scores (Integrated Reasoning, Quant, Verbal and Total) before deciding to accept or cancel the same. Read more

what all things/ checklist am i supposed to take for the GMAT exam.

Also what are the good options for filling the list of 5 colleges to apply for through GMAT ?

Free Tests for GMAT:

1) GMAC (Makers of the test) provides the two free GMAT mocks.

Refer :

2) ManhattanGMAT provides one free mock out of the total of 6 mocks.

3) VeritasPrep Free mock:

4) Kaplan Free Mock:

5) Princeton Free Mock:

6) Grockit Mocks - 3 days free trail of the course and one Free Mock

7) 800score - Free Sample Maths test - Not the whole mock:

Official Guide, 2015 Edition: What Do You Need to Know?

hi, i am a college student. my course is of 3 years. universities require minimum 4 years of education post school. which universities accept students with just 3 years of education? how many minimum years of work experience would be ideal as my academic score is very average. 

Would appreciate if someone can reply to my query, I am done with the OG-13 and have started the OG-12 however i observed that most questions are repeated, I am therefore considering buying the OG Verbal review - 2015, could someone please suggest if the questions in this book will also overlap with the OG-13 or is it all different questions.

i Have 3 weeks till my gmat, any other suggestions are also welcome.


Hi all. I am looking for Aristotle Prep Sentence Correction Grail 3rd edition soft copy. Kindly PM me if anyone has it. It would be really helpful.


I have always had a passion for business and I am doctor by training. I have completed my MBBS in 2009 and completed my MS in General Surgery in 2012. I have been working and I have gathered a work experience of 2 years. I have entrepreneurial experience in setting up a training institute, and a medical center. And I learned that I would require an MBA to take this to the next level. Hence I am gathering info to crack GMAT. Any pointers? Much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.