GMAT Focus Edition Syllabus and Format 2024

May 2, 2024

You’ve decided to take the GMAT and are all set to hit the books and ace the exam.

That’s great! A positive attitude always helps.

But the questions you should be asking are…

“What are the topics that will be tested on the GMAT Focus Edition?

“What is the GMAT Focus Edition syllabus?”

“How is the GMAT Focus structured?”

“What is the GMAT Focus test format?”

Unlike most other blogs, in this blog, we will give you a detailed breakdown of the specific topics that are tested in each section of the GMAT Focus and the concepts you need to know well if you want to ace the test.

Let’s warn you right away – this is a long blog because we’ve mentioned and explained all the topics and concepts that will be tested.

It will take you about 20 minutes to read the entire blog in one go, which is a great way to go if you want an overall understanding of the GMAT Focus Syllabus.

But if you are looking for a helping hand as you prep for each section of the GMAT Focus, we suggest that you bookmark this blog and keep coming back here when you need greater clarity on which topics you need to tackle.

No matter how you go about doing it, by the end of this blog, you will know exactly what you need to focus on. More importantly, you will be clear about what you do not need to waste your time on.

Let’s get started!

Understanding the GMAT Focus Edition Sections

The GMAT Focus Edition consists of three main sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Data Insights. Each section is designed to evaluate specific competencies essential for success in business today.

Verbal Reasoning section

Test-takers will encounter questions focused on Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning. The focus on these two question types emphasizes the importance of analytical and logical reasoning skills in interpreting complex texts and arguments.

Quantitative Reasoning section

This section comprises questions on Problem Solving, covering topics in Arithmetic and Algebra, and aims to assess candidates’ ability to effectively apply mathematical concepts to real-world business scenarios.

Data Insights section

This section is a notable addition to the GMAT Pattern and includes questions on Data Analysis, such as Data Sufficiency, Multi-source Reasoning, Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation, and Two-Part Analysis. This new section reflects the increasing importance of data interpretation and analysis skills in modern business environments.

gmat focus edition
Section Question Types
Verbal Reasoning
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Reasoning
Quant Reasoning
  • Problem Solving – Algebra & Arithmetic
Data Insights
  • Data Sufficiency
  • Multi-source Reasoning
  • Table Analysis
  • Graphics Interpretation
  • Two-Part Analysis

Overall, the GMAT Focus Edition aims to assess test-takers’ analytical skills and provide a more relevant and comprehensive assessment of candidates’ readiness for business school and graduate management programs.

What’s the GMAT Focus Exam Pattern?

In the GMAT Focus test, the number of questions and the time allocated to each section are fixed.

gmat focus edition
Section No. of Questions Duration of the Section
Verbal Reasoning 23 45
Quant Reasoning 21 45
Data Insights 20 45
One optional 10-minute break between any two sections

However, you have the option to choose between 6 section selection orders

Quantitative Reasoning > Verbal Reasoning > Data Insights

Quantitative Reasoning >  Data Insights > Verbal Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning > Data Insights  > Quantitative Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning > Quantitative Reasoning > Data Insights 

Quantitative Reasoning > Verbal Reasoning > Data Insights

Quantitative Reasoning > Data Insights > Verbal Reasoning

Make sure you choose the GMAT section selection order based on your strengths. You should choose the section order wisely because this is one of the ways in which you can control your GMAT experience.

You also have the choice to take the optional break between any two of the three sections. The break is for 10 minutes.

Want to know more about GMAT section order selection? Check out this page to learn more about the GMAT section order selection.

Insider’s Input about the GMAT Focus Syllabus

Now that you know about the GMAT Focus question types and the GMAT exam pattern, let’s look at everything you need to know about the GMAT syllabus.

Unlike most standardized exams, the GMAT Focus is not a test of how much you know; instead, it seeks to find out how well you can apply what you have already learned. Therefore, it is important to spend enough time with each concept in the GMAT Focus Syllabus list we have provided to fully grasp it before moving on to the next.

Here’s what you will know by the time you get to the end of this article:

1. What is the GMAT syllabus for Quant?

2. What is the GMAT syllabus for Verbal?

3. What is the GMAT syllabus for Data Insights?

gmat focus edition
gmat focus edition

Grab your free copy of ‘Demystifying GMAT Focus Edition’

Grab your free copy of ‘Demystifying GMAT Focus Edition’

What is the GMAT syllabus for Quant?

There are 21 multiple choice questions in the GMAT Quant section, and you have 45 minutes to complete this section on the GMAT.

The GMAT Quant syllabus mainly comprises one question type:

Problem Solving (PS): Candidates will be asked standard questions on Algebra, Arithmetic, and Modern Math

You need to prepare for 16 topics in the quant section:

gmat focus edition
Arithmetic Algebra Modern Math
Numbers and Number Line Algebraic expressions and equations Statistics
Factors, Multiples, Divisibility and Remainders Linear Equations Overlapping sets
Exponents Quadratic Equations Counting Methods
Ratio and proportion Inequalities Probability
Percentages Functions and Graphing Sequences and series
Rate work and Mixture Problems

Let us look at each of the topics in detail.

GMAT Quant Syllabus – Arithmetic

Arithmetic is one of the three areas in the GMAT Quant syllabus. These questions test your understanding of the properties of the traditional operations in mathematics.

Here are the Arithmetic sub-topics tested on the GMAT:

Numbers and Number Line

A number system is a system that is used to express numbers. A number line represents points on a straight line with each point corresponding to a real number, providing a visual representation of the order and magnitude of numbers. All real numbers, including positive, negative, integers, zero, fractions, rational and irrational are tested on the GMAT. You will also be tested on even, odds, primes, co-primes and composite numbers. These numbers can be represented on a number line, providing a visual representation of the order and magnitude of numbers

Factors, Multiples, Divisibility, and Remainders

Factors or divisors are numbers that evenly divide another number; A multiple is a number that is the product of a given number and some other natural number. For example, 5 perfectly divides 10 without leaving a reminder. Hence 5 is a factor of 10, and 10 is a multiple of 5 because 5 x 2 = 10.

Divisibility determines if one number can be divided by another without a remainder, which is the amount left over.


Exponents represent repeated multiplication of a number with itself. It’s written as a small number to the right and above the base number, indicating how many times the base is multiplied by itself. For example, 2 multiplied by itself 3 times is 2x2x2 or 23. 2 here is the base and 3 is the exponent or power of 2.

Ratio and Proportion

Ratio and proportion describe the relationship between two quantities. A ratio shows how much of one thing there is compared to another, written as “a to b” or “a:b” or “a/b”. A proportion says that two ratios are equal.

For example, dividing $150 between two people, A and B in the ratio 2:3 implies that A receives two parts whereas B receives 3 parts of $150, when $150 is equally divided in 2 + 3 or 5 parts. So, every ratio unit here is equal to $30. A received $60 and b receives $90. 2 times 30 and 3 times 30.


The word “percent” means “ out of 100” or “per 100.” The word “per” can be thought of as denoting the bar of a fraction. A percentage is a number or ratio expressed as a fraction of 100.

So, 40% implies 40/100 or 2/5.

3/4 as a percentage is 3/4x 100, which is 75 %.

Rate, Work, and Mixture Problems

Rate, work, and mixture problems involve figuring out how quickly tasks are completed, how substances are combined, or how fast something moves. Fundamental strategies, such as distance = speed (rate) x time or work = rate of working x time are employed to solve these questions.

Let’s next examine the sub-topics in Algebra.

GMAT Quant Syllabus – Algebra

Algebra is one of the areas in Quant in which you have to deal with setting up of simple equations, solving word problems, breaking down inequalities and decoding functions.

Algebraic expressions and equations

An algebraic equation contains two algebraic expressions which are separated by an equal sign (=) in between. The main purpose of solving algebraic equations is to find the unknown variable in the given expressions.

Linear Equations

A linear equation is a type of equation that, when graphed, forms a straight line. It only includes variables raised to the first power, meaning there are no exponents higher than one. For example, 2x + 4 = 8 is a linear equation with one variable x.

Quadratic Equations

A quadratic equation is a type of algebraic equation that can be written as ax2 + bx + c = 0, where ‘x’ represents an unknown quantity, and ‘a’ and ‘b’ are specific known numbers. In these equations, the coefficient ‘a’ is never zero.

Inequalities and Basic statistics

Equations and inequalities are both ways of comparing mathematical expressions. In an equation, two expressions are considered exactly equal, shown by the “=” symbol. In contrast, an inequality shows that expressions might not be equal, using symbols like “>”, “<“, “≤”, or “≥” to indicate these relationships. For example, 2x+3=0 is an equation whereas, 2x=3>0 is an inequality.

Also Read: The Ultimate Guide to GMAT Inequalities

Functions and Graphing

Functions describe how one set of numbers or objects relates to another. On the GMAT, you would also find special characters such as *, #, @, $, &, and so on that are used to define specific functions.

For example, a # b could be defined as (a + b)2 and so 2 # 3 = (2 + 3)2 = 52 = 25

Graphing these functions puts the relationship into a visual format, using a coordinate plane for easy understanding and analysis.

GMAT Quant Syllabus – Modern Math

Modern Math is not about mugging up formulae and using them to solve questions. Most of the questions in this area just require you to know basic concepts of statistics, counting (permutations and combinations), probability, sets, and their applications.

Here are the Modern Math topics covered in the GMAT syllabus:


Statistics involves the key skill to read, analyze, and interpret data. GMAT will test you on basic statistical tools such as arithmetic mean, median, and mode.

Overlapping Sets

Overlapping sets or Venn diagrams helps in structuring large volumes of data, especially when you have items that belong to more than one group. GMAT tests you on two-set and three-set Venn diagram-based word problems.

Counting Methods

Counting methods are systematic approaches for enumerating objects, which cover strategies like permutations and combinations to account for various arrangements or selections.


Probability is stated as a percent less than 100 or a fraction less than 1; it is found by dividing the number of desired outcomes by the number of possible outcomes. A great example is the coin flip and its probable outcomes.

For example, when you toss an unbiased coin, there is a 50% chance of either a head or a tail. So the probability of having a head or a tail is equal to 1/2

Sequences and Series

A sequence is a list of objects or events that have been listed in a sequential fashion. Whereas, series is the sum of a sequence of terms, They are a list of numbers which can be added.

That’s all there is to the GMAT Quant section.

With this, let’s move on to the GMAT syllabus for the Verbal Reasoning section.

gmat focus edition

What is the GMAT syllabus for Verbal?

The Verbal section has 23 multiple choice questions that you need to solve in 45 minutes.

The GMAT Verbal syllabus has two types of questions:

Reading Comprehension (RC): Candidates will have to read a passage and answer the questions based on what they have understood from the passage. In the GMAT Focus exam, one can expect to encounter 3 or 4 passages with 3 to 4 questions per passage.

Also read: How to Score Well on GMAT Reading Comprehension

Critical Reasoning (CR): Candidates will be given a short passage/prompt and will have to find the premise, conclusion, assumption and so on. In the GMAT Focus exam, one can expect to encounter 10-13 CR questions.

Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning are further divided into 18 GMAT Verbal topics.

gmat focus edition
Reading Comprehension Critical Reasoning
Passage Analysis Identify Assumptions
Identifying Main point / Central idea of the passage Weaken Arguments
Identifying Structure of the passage Strengthen Arguments
Identifying Tone of the passage Evaluate Arguments
Identifying purpose of the passage Identify Inferences/Conclusions
Identifying the stated information in the passage Resolve Paradoxes
Identifying Inferred information from the passage Identify the Logical Flaw
Identifying purpose of stated information Method of Reasoning
Identify Assumptions in the passage Bold-faced Arguments

GMAT Verbal Syllabus – Reading Comprehension

Passage Analysis

Analyzing the passage is the most important part of reading comprehension. Every passage will present different types of information and has a distinct structure, tone and argument. Having the required reading skills and Identifying these aspects is key to answering questions based on the passage.

Reading comprehension questions expect candidates to be able to read and analyze a passage and identify various points such as:

Main Point / Central Idea

The main point or a central idea tells us what the passage is about.

Structure of the Passage

The structure of a passage is how the content of the passage has been organized to support the main idea.

Tone of the Passage

The tone of the passage will tell us about the author’s attitude or perspective towards the subject matter.

Purpose of the Passage

The purpose of the passage is the reason the author wrote the passage and what he aims to achieve.

Stated Information

Stated information can be paraphrased in many ways to mean exactly what has been stated.

Inferred Information

Information that is not directly stated but can be implied by the author of the passage is inferred information.

Purpose of Stated Information

Whenever the author sometimes mentions a word or phrase or even an entire sentence, he has a reason for doing so.

Assumptions in the Passage

The author will sometimes present a claim and has taken some information for granted when he made this claim. This is the assumption. Some assumptions can make a claim stronger or weaker.

GMAT Verbal Syllabus – Critical Reasoning

The GMAT tests your critical thinking ability and logical sense with this question type.

Let’s look at what candidates are expected to do in each question type in Critical Reasoning

Identify Assumptions

Spot underlying premises not stated in the argument.

Weaken Arguments

Find information that reduces the argument’s effectiveness.

Strengthen Arguments

Select evidence that supports or bolsters the argument.

Evaluate Arguments

Assess how certain factors affect the argument’s validity.

Identify Inferences/Conclusions

Deduce the logical end or main point of the argument.

Resolve Paradoxes

Reconcile seemingly contradictory information in the argument.

Identify the Logical Flaw

Point out errors in the argument’s reasoning.

Method of Reasoning

Understand how the argument is constructed or developed.

Bold-faced Arguments

Analyze the role of specific parts of the argument highlighted in bold.

gmat focus edition

What is the GMAT syllabus for Data Insights?

There are 20 multiple choice questions in the GMAT Data Insights section, and you have 45 minutes to complete this section on the GMAT. This section requires both Verbal and Quant skills.

The GMAT Data Insights syllabus mainly comprises five question types:

Data Sufficiency (DS)

These are questions for which you don’t have to solve anything. All you need to do is interpret whether the given data is enough to answer the question.

Multi-source Reasoning (MSR)

In this type of question, you will receive three pieces of information on tabbed pages. It could be charts, articles, data, or even emails. While you will get a lot of information from these, you might not have to use all of them to answer the questions.

Table Analysis

You must have seen spreadsheets, right? You will be presented with a similar, sortable table. All you need to do is to analyze and interpret the information provided on the table.

Graphics Interpretation

In Graphical interpretation questions, you will be given graphs or graphical images. You need to analyze and understand what they represent. These questions test your ability to interpret and analyze data.

Two-Part Analysis (TPA)

These questions may test your quantitative or verbal skills. Two-Part Analysis questions will give you a few lines of text and instructions. These instructions are to help you select choices on a table based on the information provided.

Also read: A Guide to Integrated Reasoning

gmat focus edition

Now that you know what is in the GMAT syllabus and what the exam tests, do you wish to follow a structured approach for your GMAT prep? All you need to do is to reach out to our experts and they will help you with a personalized study plan.

Talk to our GMAT Expert Advisors

Evaluate your fitment for the New GMAT Focus Edition

Frequently asked questions

What is the GMAT Focus Edition?

Launched by GMAC on November 7, 2023, the GMAT Focus Edition is an updated version of the classic GMAT, tailored to current business education demands. It includes three sections: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Data Insights, focusing on providing a more targeted assessment for business schools.

What is the difference between the old GMAT syllabus and the GMAT Focus syllabus?

The GMAT Focus Edition has streamlined the exam content to better reflect modern business school requirements. Notable differences include the removal of Data Sufficiency and Geometry questions from the Quantitative section and Sentence Correction questions from the Verbal section, along with the addition of a new Data Insights section.

What is the structure of the GMAT Focus Edition?

This edition consists of three 45-minute sections: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Data Insights, offering a concise yet comprehensive assessment framework.

How does the scoring system work in the GMAT Focus Edition?

Scoring is based on a scale of 60-90 for each section, contributing equally to a total score range of 205-805, reflecting a diverse and global test-taking population.

Is the GMAT Focus harder than the GMAT?

The difficulty is subjective and depends on individual strengths and preparation. Some may find the Focus Edition’s specific areas more aligned with their skills, while others may have higher accuracy in the question types that were removed.

What changes have been introduced because of the GMAT Focus Edition?

Changes include a shorter exam duration, the option to review and change answers, the removal of certain question types, and the introduction of the Data Insights section, aligning the exam with current curricula and digital proficiency requirements.

Is ISB accepting the GMAT Focus Edition scores?

Top business schools, including ISB, typically accept scores from the current GMAT version. Candidates should verify the most current admissions criteria directly with their institution of interest.

How should I prepare for the GMAT Focus Edition test?

Preparation should focus on the new structure and question types, particularly the Data Insights section, using updated materials and mocks tailored to the GMAT Focus Edition.

How much does the GMAT Focus cost in India?

The cost is generally consistent worldwide, with the online exam approximately USD 300 and the test-center version about USD 275. Candidates should check the official GMAT website for the most current pricing.

What are the key changes in the GMAT Focus Edition?

Key changes include the removal of certain question types, the ability to review and change answers, and the introduction of the Data Insights section. Find out more about the 7 differences between the GMAT focus and the Classic GMAT.

How can I prepare for the GMAT Focus Edition?

You can prepare for the GMAT Focus Edition by utilizing updated prep materials, including comprehensive materials and GMAT Focus mocks, and by focusing on new question types, especially in the Data Insights section.

What are the average GMAT Focus scores required for top MBA programs?

Average scores vary by region, with top 50 US business schools requiring an average of 685, Europe’s top schools averaging 655, and Canada’s top schools ranging between 595-625. Broadly speaking, a score above 645 can be considered a fairly good score, but if you have your eyes set on one of the top-tier M7 schools, you’ll need a score of 685 and above.

What are the percentile rankings for GMAT Focus Edition scores?

Percentile rankings suggest the Quantitative Reasoning section may be somewhat harder on the GMAT Focus than on the current GMAT, with a score of 89 placing you in the 97th percentile.

When can I take the GMAT Focus exams?

Online test slots are available 24X7 and you can book any slot to suit your convenience. In most centers, time slots are available from 8 in the morning to 4.30 in the evening.

Is the GMAT Focus Edition replacing the classic GMAT exam?

Yes, the classic GMAT exam was retired as of February 1, 2024, making the GMAT Focus Edition the standard exam moving forward. This new edition is designed to better align with the skills and knowledge relevant to modern business school curriculums.

What's new about the GMAT Focus Edition?

The GMAT Focus Edition introduces a shorter format with three 45-minute sections, flexible test-taking options like Question Review & Edit, Select Section Order, and detailed insights after the exam for performance review, aiming to provide a more personalized and efficient testing experience.

Can I change my answers during the GMAT Focus Edition exam?

Yes, the GMAT Focus Edition allows candidates to review and change up to three answers per section, enabling a more strategic approach to answering questions.

Are the sections the same on the new GMAT Focus Edition compared to the classic GMAT?

While there are similarities, significant changes include the removal of geometry questions and the relocation of Data Sufficiency questions to the Data Insights section. This modification reflects a shift towards evaluating skills more directly applicable to business school success.

Can I take the GMAT exam online?

Yes, the GMAT is available in an online format, providing flexibility for candidates to take the exam from the comfort of their own home or another suitable location. This option has been introduced to accommodate test-takers during varying circumstances, offering the same rigorous assessment as the test-center version.

When can I take the GMAT?

The GMAT can be taken year-round at various test centers globally. For the online version, appointments are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, giving candidates the flexibility to choose a time that suits their schedule. It’s advisable to book your test date well in advance to secure your preferred slot.

How will I know if I am ready to take the GMAT?

Knowing you’re ready for the GMAT often comes from consistent performance in practice tests, comfort with the exam’s timing and format, and achieving scores in practice tests that align with your target scores for admission. Confidence in handling all types of questions and managing time effectively during the exam are also good indicators of readiness.

What are the GMAT prep materials I should use?

Official GMAT preparation materials, such as the GMAT Official Guide, GMAT Prep Software, and additional official practice questions and tests, are highly recommended. These materials are created by the makers of the GMAT and provide the most accurate representation of the exam.

Can I skip any GMAT section?

During the actual GMAT exam, candidates are not allowed to skip entire sections. Each section of the GMAT must be completed for the test to be scored.

What is the difference between CAT and GMAT syllabus?

The Common Admission Test (CAT) and the GMAT both assess quantitative and verbal skills, but they are tailored for different audiences and have distinct structures and content focuses. The CAT is primarily for admission to MBA programs in India and emphasizes data interpretation, logical reasoning, and a broader range of verbal ability. The GMAT is a global exam with a significant focus on integrated reasoning and analytical writing, in addition to quantitative and verbal skills. The syllabus and format of each test are designed to meet the specific requirements of the programs they serve.

Want to know more about the GMAT Focus Edition?

Speak To Our Expert GMAT Advisors.

Speak To Our Expert GMAT Advisors

Written by Arun J.

Arun, India's leading GMAT and MBA expert, has coached over 30,000 students in his 20-year EdTech career. His alumni have made it into top business schools including Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, and ISB.


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