The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a three-and-one-half hour computer adaptive test (CAT). There are four sections in the test.
|Writing Section||Analysis of Argument Essay||30 minutes|
|Quantitative Section||37 Questions||75 minutes|
|Verbal Section||41 Questions||75 minutes|
|Integrated reasoning||30 minutes|
The writing section always begins the test. You will type your essay on the computer, using a very basic word processor.
Each question must be answered before you can go to the next question. Furthermore, you cannot return to a question once you go to the next question.
The GMAT is a standardized test. Each time it is offered, the test has, as close as possible, the same level of difficulty as every previous test. Maintaining this consistency is very difficult–hence the experimental questions (questions that are not scored). The effectiveness of each question must be assessed before it can be used on the GMAT. A problem that one person finds easy another person may find hard, and vice versa. The experimental questions measure the relative difficulty of potential questions; if responses to a question do not perform to strict specifications, the question is rejected.
About one quarter of the questions are experimental. The experimental questions can be standard mathematics, data sufficiency, reading comprehension, arguments, or sentence correction. You won’t know which questions are experimental.
Because the “bugs” have not been worked out of the experimental questions–or, to put it more directly, because you are being used as a guinea pig to work out the “bugs”–these unscored questions are often more difficult and confusing than the scored questions.
You ought to note that the GMAT is a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) and therefore can only be taken on a computer.