What are the differences between the question types on the old GMAT versus the new GMAT?

Old GMAT

  • The Analytical Writing Assessment section of the old GMAT consists of two essays: Analysis of an Argument and Analysis of an Issue.  In the Argument Analysis, you are asked to analyze the reason behind a given argument and write a critique of the argument.  In the Issue Analysis, you are asked to give your point of view based on an analysis of an issue.
  • The Verbal Reasoning section of the old GMAT consists of 41 questions on Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction:

    Reading Comprehension
    tests you on passages up to 350 words in length.  The questions are designed to test your understanding of words and statements in the passage; understanding of logical relationships between significant points and concepts in the passages; ability to draw inferences from facts and statements in the passages;  and understanding of quantitative concepts presented in the verbal material.  

    Critical Reasoning
    consists of three question types: argument construction, argument evaluation, and formatting and evaluating a plan of action.  Argument construction questions ask you to identify and assess the basic structure of an argument, as well as conclusions, underlying assumptions, and hypothesis.  Argument evaluation questions ask you to analyze a given argument and determine factors that would strengthen or weaken it.  Formatting and evaluating a plan of actionquestions ask you to recognize the relative effectiveness, appropriateness, or efficiency of various plans of action; factors that would strengthen or weaken a proposed plan of action; or assumptions underlying a proposed plan of action.Sentence Correctio

    n has two types of questions: correct expression and effective expression.  The questions in this section  test your grammatical knowledge, as well as your ability to state ideas clearly, concisely, and precisely.

  • The Quantitative Section of the old GMAT consists of 37 questions on Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency.  Problem Solving questions test basic mathematical skills, understanding of elementary mathematical concepts, and your ability to reason quantitatively and solve quantitative problems.  Data Sufficiency questions require you to analyze a quantitative problem, recognize which information is relevant, and determine the point at which there is sufficient information to solve the problem.

New GMAT

  • The Verbal and Quantitative sections of the new GMAT will remain identical to those in the old GMAT.
  • The Analytical Writing Assessment section has been reduced to one essay, Analysis of an Argument.
  • The new GMAT will also introduce a new Integrated Reasoning section.  This will have four new types of questions: graphics interpretation, table analysis, two-part analysis, and multi-source reasoning.  Graphics interpretation questions present graphs or graphical images that the examinee must interpret to answer fill-in-the-blank statements correctly.  Table analysis questions present examinees with a sortable table, similar to a spreadsheet, which they must analyze to determine whether accompanying statements are accurate.  Two-part analysis questions have solutions that involve two components.  Possible answers will be in a table format with a column for each component.  Multi-source reasoning questions will give you different data from two or three tabbed pages and ask you questions based on this data.
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