New GMAT Exam Pattern 2018- All you need to know


From April 16, 2018, GMAC has reframed the GMAT Exam Pattern 2018. The new GMAT pattern exam will be shortened by 30 minutes to a 3.5 hours long test duration including breaks and test instructions. The number of questions from Quant and Verbal sections has been reduced.

Along with the reduction in the time duration, the number of questions from the sections viz., Quantitative Aptitude and Verbal Reasoning have been reduced.

  • The number of Quant questions will be cut-down by 6: from 37 to 31
  • The number of Verbal questions will be cut-down by 5: from 41 to 36

Overall there is a 23-minute reduction in the GMAT exam sections, as well as 7 minutes reduction across several non-exam screens at the test center (e.g. Tutorial, Section Instructions). Briefly the time slot for Quantitative Aptitude will be shorter by 13 minutes and Verbal Reasoning by 10 minutes respectively. An official statement from GMAC says that there will be no significant impact if you have already prepared for the exam and are attempting it after this change has been implemented. You may have to get accustomed to only the shorter time frame but there is no change in the content of the exam.

Section No. of Questions Section Time No. of Questions Section Time
Quantitative Reasoning 37 75 minutes 31 62 minutes
Verbal Reasoning 41 75 minutes 36 65 minutes

The reduction in the questions is only with the non scoring section of the exam (i.e) the research section of the exam. Although there is no particular way to determine which questions are part of the non scoring section and hence it is advised that you treat all sections of the exam in a similar manner. However, the other sections: Analytical Writing Assessment and Integrated Reasoning remain unchanged.

New Changes and GMAT Exam Rescheduling

The new changes will be applicable on the GMAT test from April 16, 2018 onwards (local time). The rescheduling decision is your choice. In case, you have recently scheduled a GMAT test date on or before to May 6, 2018, and you wish to reschedule the exam as a result of this change, you can contact GMAC Customer Service for assistance. If your request is received on or prior to April 11, 2018, and your exam is scheduled for on or prior to May 06, 2018 then both the reschedule fee (based on early or late reschedule) and phone fee ($10) will be waived off.

There may be many reasons as to why there has been this sudden reduction in the duration of the exam. The GMAC authorities state that this has been done primarily to improve the test taking experience for the individuals who attempt the exam. A shorter duration will help improve the morale and capability of the candidate who is writing the exam when compared to a longer marathon like length of the exam. As already mentioned earlier there is no change in the content of the exam and hence you will not have to panic if your GMAT exam date is nearby. The only factor which you will have to take into consideration is the pacing which you may have practiced for each section of the exam. This will have to be adjusted now that there is a revised duration for the GMAT. The changes as given above are effective only for the Quant and the verbal section. Therefore you will have to modify the timing of attempting the questions for these sections specifically. Also remember that the number of questions which you will attempt in both Quant and verbal will be reduced when compared to the original GMAT exam. You will be able to master the new format and duration of the GMAT exam easily once you have practiced with sufficient mock tests which follow the new pattern of GMAT.

Finally ensure to remain calm and don’t get flustered due to the changes which you may encounter in the new format of the GMAT. The changes which you may come across are significantly lesser when compared to the unchanged sections. Therefore you can rest assured that the majority of the portions of the exam which you will attempt are unaffected with the recent changes which GMAC has implemented. This will assist your preparation efforts in a better manner.

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