What Topics Are Covered on the 2019-2020 GMAT?

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The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is an important part of the application to many graduate level programs, including most master’s in accountancy programs. For this reason, most applicants prepare diligently for the exam, sometimes studying for months beforehand.

To make the most of your study time, you should know what topics will be covered on the GMAT and what skills you will be asked to demonstrate. The content changes slightly from year to year, so up-to-date research is required for accurate, targeted preparation on the appropriate GMAT test subjects.

Good prep work is the only way to guarantee a good score on the GMAT. Top scores are highly desirable because they may lead to admission into superior accountancy programs, such as University of North Dakota’s Master of Accountancy online program. A good education can lead to a great career in accounting and job satisfaction down the road.

Overall Format

On its website, the organization MBA Crystal Ball Admission Consultants explains the current format of the GMAT. The exam is a computer adaptive test, which means it is taken on a computer and changes in response to the test taker’s answers. Correct answers will lead to harder questions, and incorrect answers will lead to easier questions. Answers are weighted according to their difficulty to generate the final score.

The GMAT has four sections. Test takers have 3½ hours to complete all four sections, which consist of:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment
  • Integrated Reasoning Section
  • Quantitative Section
  • Verbal Section

The highest possible score for the verbal and quantitative sections is 800. The other two sections are scored independently.

Section 1: Analytical Writing Assessment

In this section, test takers are given 30 minutes to analyze an argument and write a critique. They must figure out the reasoning behind the argument and come up with a methodical approach to present their thoughts. In doing so, they must consider various viewpoints and support their answer with appropriate examples and explanations. Grammar counts, so the answer should be well written as well as conceptually substantive.

This section is scored on a scale of 1 to 6. The essay is given two independent scores; the final score is the average of the two.

Section 2: Integrated Reasoning

This is a relatively new section of the GMAT, introduced in 2012. It includes 12 questions, and test takers have 30 minutes to answer. Scoring is on a scale of 1 to 8.

This section tests your ability to use analytical skills to solve complex problems. Each question presents data in various forms — tables, graphs, charts and so on. You must perform tasks such as table analysis, graphics interpretation, multi-source reasoning and two-part analysis. Good performance depends on being able to handle the data, pick out the relevant information and then choose the right answer.

Section 3: Quantitative Problems

This is the dreaded mathematics section. It consists of 31 questions, and test takers have 62 minutes to complete them (an average of 2 minutes per question). The questions involve basic arithmetic, geometry and algebra — nothing tricky, but you will have to work with great speed and accuracy to make it through the section.

This section includes two basic types of problems:

  • Data sufficiency. You will be given a question followed by two statements and five answer choices. You must determine if you have enough data to answer the question.
  • Problem solving. These are your garden-variety math questions. You have to solve them.

Section 4: Verbal Section

In the final section of the GMAT, you will get 65 minutes to answer 36 multiple choice questions. The questions fall into three categories:

  • Reading comprehension. You will read a short passage, then answer multiple choice questions based on the passage. Test takers must be able to understand the underlying concept of the passage and grasp the key ideas involved.
  • Critical reasoning. Test takers must read through an argument and carefully analyze it, then determine which of five statements best describes the argument.
  • Sentence correction. Test takers will read a sentence with an underlined portion. There will be five choices for what might be wrong with the underlined portion, as well as one choice for “fine as is.” Excellent grammatical and structural skills are required for success in this section.

Prepare to Succeed

Understanding the format of the GMAT will not guarantee a good score, but it will help you prepare for the test. By practicing the types of skills you will be asked to display on the GMAT, you’ll have the best possible chance of getting a high score — and being admitted to the graduate program of your choice.

University of North Dakota’s Master of Accountancy Online Degree

University of North Dakota’s Master of Accountancy (M.Acc.) online program helps students master accounting principles and general accounting terminology, as well as related skills necessary for a successful career in accounting at the highest levels.

UND is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, which only recognizes about 30% of business programs in the United States. The Master of Accountancy online program offers practitioner and fundamentals tracks. Coursework is done online, which allows busy professionals to study accountancy and earn their degree without disrupting their work or personal lives. For more information, contact UND today.


GMAT format and content – MBA.com

Overall format – MBA Crystal Ball Admission Consultants