Time management of 3 Hours 30 Minutes in the GMAT

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GMAT Exam is one of the tests in which you need to score high as much as you can to get admission in the international universities for the management programs. To score well you have to plan the test duration very effectively not wasting much time. So here we are going to discuss time management of  3 Hours 30 Minutes in the GMAT. We will mention the tips to cover each section on time.

Duration of GMAT

GMAT takes  3 hours and 7 minutes to complete in which the  Analytical Writing Assessment section will cover 30 minutes, Integrated Reasoning section will utilise your 30 minutes of time, Verbal Reasoning section will take 65 minutes to complete and Quantitative Aptitude section will take 62 minutes. If you accept to take both of the eight-minute breaks, then your total time duration will be 3 hours and 23 minutes.

Select Section Order

You can take the GMAT sections in a different order based on your own strengths and weaknesses. You will have 3 option orders to choose from. They are as follows:

Order 1 Order 2 Order 3
Analytical Writing Assessment Verbal Reasoning Quantitative Aptitude
Integrated Reasoning
Optional 8-minute Break
Quantitative Aptitude Quantitative Aptitude Verbal Reasoning
Optional 8-minute Break
Verbal Reasoning Integrated Reasoning Integrated Reasoning
Analytical Writing Assessment Analytical Writing Assessment

Time management of each section in GMAT

You should take the time limit of each of the 4 sections as the guide rather than as a restriction. Let us discuss how you manage time for each section in GMAT.

Analytical Writing Assessment

  • When you are appearing for the Analysis of an Argument section, you have 30 minutes to complete 1 essay. But instead of stressing yourself over the overall 30 minute limit for the essay, break up the process and allow each step with a time guide. You can allot 5 minutes to reading the question and outlining the important points of what you are going to explain in the essay. Then you can write the essay for 20 minutes and use the leftover 5 minutes for proofreading.

Integrated Reasoning

  • When you are taking the Integrated Reasoning section, you have 30 minutes to answer 12 questions. So if we estimate time for each question it must take 2.5 minutes per question. It is not compulsory to complete one question within this time limit. Maybe some hard questions may take more time and the easy question may finish early. It is just an estimation that may help you to complete the integrated reasoning section on time.

Quantitative Aptitude

  • When you are taking the Quantitative Aptitude section, you have 62 minutes to answer 31 questions which means you will get an average of 2 minutes per question. Keep this time estimation only to complete this section and not to stress yourself. You can manage the time between hard and easy questions accordingly.

Verbal Reasoning

  • When you are taking the Verbal Reasoning section, you have 65 minutes to answer 36 questions. So if we estimate time for each question it must take 1 minute 48 seconds to complete one 1question. Keep an eye on the timer and keep your speed accordingly. So that you finish this section on time.

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Optional breaks

During the GMAT 2 optional 8-minute breaks are given. Although both breaks can be canceled, we suggest you utilize both of them. Giving yourself a break will help you to maintain your concentration for the sections yet incomplete. You can use the time by stretching, moving around, and getting your blood pumping, the little exercise by rolling your head, etc. But make sure that you go back in time. After 8 minutes, the test will start automatically and if you take a break beyond time, the additional time you take will be deducted from the next GMAT section. GMAT time per question should be estimated right to get better results. Here are a few useful tips to score well: How to get 700 on GMAT?

The following table shows you how much time to allow for each question in every section.

Sections Total Time Time per Question
Analytical Writing Assessment - 1 question 30 minutes 30 minutes
Integrated Reasoning - 12 questions 30 minutes 2 ½ minutes
Quantitative Aptitude - 31 questions 62 minutes 2 minutes
Verbal Reasoning - 36 questions 65 minutes About 1 minute and 48 seconds
Total time: 3 hours, 7 minutes (not including breaks) 2 minutes (excluding AWA section)

Also, note that it might not be the best strategy to divide your time equally between the given questions, but this will surely help you to estimate which gives a good starting point for thinking about the management of time. Know about the scores: GMAT scores

Tips to deal with 3 Hrs. 30 Min. of GMAT

  • If you feel that you are not clear about the solution even after a couple of minutes, leave the question and move on. At this point, it would become difficult for you to find a solution at this time.
  • If you worked and found the solution and after two minutes it feels like it's not the right one, then you should go back and check your previous steps. Very often one silly mistake can stop you from getting the correct solution.
  • If you have a certain weakness and on top of that the difficult problem makes you more stressed. At that time you can save time by randomly guessing the answer. The logic behind this is that you will have fewer chances of getting the correct answer even after spending a couple of minutes. Leaving a question answered shouldn’t hurt you too much, and also you can save time for other questions which indeed can help you.
  • Utilize both breaks so that you feel relaxed and can concentrate more on the upcoming sections

As a final note of dealing with time management, remember that the stress and pressure you feel about each timed section can be completely controlled by you. Whenever you feel that you are losing your concentration, instead of worrying over how long you have just taken to answer one question, take a deep breath and remain calm. Remember that you have prepared well for this test and you will be just fine if you stick with your plan. Just have a look at things you should be careful about: Do’s and don’ts before and On the GMAT Test day