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2019 GMAT Exam Changes and Updates

In April 2018, the GMAC shortened the GMAT, reducing the number of questions in the Quantitative and Verbal sections. The changes were minimal, and largely did not affect the test-taking experience other than making it shorter. If you took the GMAT before April 2018 and are gearing up to take it again, you might notice it’s a swifter experience. Here’s what you need to know about what changes occurred to the GMAT in 2018, including changes to section timing, number of questions, and pacing.

Changes to the GMAT

Before April 15, 2018

Section# of QuestionsTime
Quantitative3775 Minutes
Verbal4175 Minutes

After April 16, 2018

Section# of QuestionsTime
Quantitative3162 Minutes
Verbal3665 Minutes

Also, students no longer see a pretest tutorial on how the GMAT works before starting the exam on Test Day. Instead, you should make time to complete the Interactive GMAT Exam Tutorial on GMAC’s website within 3 days of your scheduled GMAT. The tutorial covers the logistics of the test administration including giving you a feel for what the GMAT screens will look like, information about the exam structure, and some helpful tips.


The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) and Integrated Reasoning (IR) sections did not change. The testing experience is about 30 minutes shorter than the previous version.

What else?


  • Scoring

    GMAC cut only unscored, experimental questions, so there are the same number of scored questions as the old test. Test takers still get Quantitative and Verbal subscores and a 200–800 overall score.

  • Question Types

    The same question types are tested as before. 

  • Content

    The same skills and knowledge are tested as before.

  • Pacing

    The timing guidelines per question are still the same as you work through the sections.

So it’s the same test, just shorter. You should rest assured that you are prepared for the shorter test.

How Does This Affect Timing on the GMAT?

The per-question goals still apply:

  • Quantitative: 2:00/question
  • Sentence Correction: 1:00/question
  • Critical Reasoning: 2:00/question
  • Reading Comprehension (Reading): 1:00/paragraph
  • Reading Comprehension (Questions): 1:30/question

When taking the shorter test, you’ll need to shift your overall timing benchmarks:

Quantitative Timing Benchmarks

Start Question #Time Remaining
552 minutes
1042 minutes
1532 minutes
2022 minutes
2512 minutes

Verbal Timing Benchmarks

Start Question #Time Remaining
1047 minutes
2029 Minutes
3011 Minutes

Try our Free GMAT On Demand Practice Test to get realistic practice and a detailed score analysis.