GMAT Sections

GMAT Verbal / GMAT Math

In both the GMAT Verbal and the GMAT Math sections, everyone starts out with an average difficulty level. The difficulty of subsequent questions then increases or decreases based on the correct or incorrect answers a person submits in the test. For each correct answer you give, you are given a harder question for each subsequent question and for each incorrect answer you are given an easier question. This process will continue until you finish the section, at which point the computer will have an accurate assessment of your ability level in that subject area.

Your score is determined by three factors: 1) the number of questions you complete; 2) the number of questions you answer correctly and; 3) the level of difficulty and other statistical characteristics of each question. To derive a final score, these questions are weighted based on their difficulty and other statistical properties, not their position in the test.


For the AWA section, one person and one computer programmed for grading (E-rater) score each essay based on essay content, organization, grammar and syntactic variety. Your final, single score is an average of both individual scores obtained on the issue and argument essays. AWA scores are computed separately from other sections and have no effect on the Verbal, Quantitative, or Total scores.

Although the GMAT score is considered as a reasonable indicator of future academic performance at business schools, it does not measure your job performance, knowledge of business, interpersonal skills, and personality traits such as motivation and creativity. Instead, your application, essays, recommendation letters and interviews will capture most of those aspects.

Total GMAT scores range from 200 to 800. About 66% of test takers score between 400 and 600. The Verbal and Quantitative scores range from 0 to 60. For the Verbal section, most people score between 9 and 44. For the Quantitative section, common scores are between 7 and 50. The Verbal and Quantitative scores measure different things and cannot be compared to each other, however, each section's score can be compared across different GMAT tests.

We generally recommend you to prepare well, stay focused, and then ace the GMAT in your "once and only" try. That way you can optimize the result without stretching yourself for an extended period. Also that way you don't need to worry about recovering from bruised "ego", exhausted soul, tighter purse string, and a swamped schedule. Most of our students achieve their desired score on their first try. All of our teachers and management team members scored in the 99th percentile on their first try. However, if you can achieve substantial score increase on the second try, we strongly recommend you to try it again. You too can become another Manhattan Review success story!