The 3 Best GMAT Section Orders For Crushing It On Test Day

Section Ordering

The GMAT allows you to pick the order in which you would like the different sections of the test to appear. How you order the 4 sections of the GMAT should correspond to your strengths and weaknesses. In general, if you feel that you are weaker on either quantitative or verbal and would benefit from not being as fatigued on one of the sections then you should put that section earlier in your test.

Picking Your Style

Would you like a “warm up?” The writing section is a nice warm up for the verbal section seeing as the prompts are more or less an extended critical reasoning problem. The integrated reasoning section acts as a nice warm up for the quantitative section due to some of the problems involving mathematics. If the act of “warming up” for a section helps you, it is smart to utilize the two sections that do not impact your 800 score to “warm up” for the ones that do. If you want more details on which sections impact what, check out How The GMAT is Scored.

The 3 Best Section Order Arrangements for the GMAT

Examples: (let Q=quant V= Verbal E=Essay and R=Integrated Reasoning)

  • No Warm-Ups: This type of test-taker would place the quantitative and verbal section ahead of the writing and integrated reasoning sections. Which section went first would be whichever section the test-taker wanted to have the most energy for. (QVER, QVRE, VQER, VQRE are possible orderings.)
  • Partial Warm-Up: This test-taker may feel that they do better when they warm up for either quantitative or verbal specifically. This type of test-taker may also just prefer to begin the exam with a “low-pressure” section that is not as important to their overall score to get them into the test-taking groove. (RQVE and EVQR are orderings that make sense here)
  • Full Warm-ups: This test-taker likes to prepare for both the quantitative and verbal sections by warming up with one of the sections that does not factor into the 800 score. (RQEV and EVRQ are the possible orderings here.)

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