GMAT is a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT). This means that the testing software adapts to your performance as you progress through the test. Therefore, your performance on each question will determine the difficulty level of the next few questions in the exam. Consequently, the GMAT score is calculated on your ability level i.e. on the basis of the difficulty level of questions that you solve correctly and not just the number of questions that you get right.
Note – Only Verbal and Quant sections are computer-adaptive. IR and AWA are not adaptive in nature. Read our deep-dive on how the Computer. Understanding the test is the first step towards acing it.
Each section starts with medium difficulty level questions. Based on your response, you will then receive an easier or more difficult question. Your score is a composite result which considers the difficulty of each question you got right and wrong. Because each question you answer directly affects the next question you get, the CAT does not allow you to go back to questions you’ve already answered. It only shows one question at a time and does not allow you to see the next question until you’ve answered the current one. Therefore, you must review each response before confirming and moving on to the next one.
The test you take may include questions that are modified versions of published questions or of questions you have already seen on the test. Some modifications are substantial; others are less apparent.
Even if a question appears to be similar to a question you have already seen, it may in fact be different and have a different answer. Pay careful attention to the wording of each question.
The overall testing time for the computer-delivered GRE® General Test is about three hours and 45 minutes. There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the third section.