How To Choose The Best Possible GMAT Section Order For You

GMAT Section Order 2 Image

In 2017, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) announced some changes that significantly impacted the test takers. They are now able to select the order of GMAT sections.

However, some people are still often confused about the section order that works best for them. In this article, we are going to talk about that and help you make the best decision.

GMAT is a great opportunity that would help you get admitted to a good business school. The council has made the exam flexible by allowing you to choose your section order. It might prove to be an excellent help for scoring better. When you take GMAT prep online, it is the best time to think about the order selection, depending on your preparation and strengths. You can arrange the three sections depending on your comfort level with the subject, which might help you get better marks.

Choosing the GMAT section order

The section’s default order that you would see once you sit for the exam is Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning. If you think that you are comfortable with this order, then start with the exam right away, and if not, then it is the time to make the right selection. You will be given two minutes to make up your mind.

Apart from this, GMAC has added another flexible feature to the exam- you would no longer have to complete your profile after the test. You can fill out the information whenever you want by visiting This change has brought a lot of convenience for the test takers and has enhanced their overall test center experience.

How choosing the right GMAT section order benefits you?

GMAT Section Order Image
GMAT sections Tree diagram.

Your preparation would decide your score, and the section order will not affect it in literal ways as the result would not show your selection. But it might have an impact on your overall test-taking experience that might affect your confidence level.

  • It would help you to manage your anxiety. While some students prefer starting the exam with the more challenging sections, others want to start with ones that they are most comfortable with. With the choice of section ordering, you will gain confidence and have a better overall experience.
  • Quantitative and verbal sections bear a lot of importance to the business schools. However, in the original order, test-takers might get drained before they even reach that section. Thus, this flexibility option can help the test-takers to cope up with the exam fatigue.

Making the right selection

Now that we have talked enough about the situation and told you about the GMAT exam’s flexibility, let us now discuss selecting the right section order that will affect you on the day of examination.

The business school will not be able to see your section order, and it would also not affect your score in the examination. So, there is no perfect section order flow that is going to impress anyone. It is solely for your convenience. So it is essential that you understand your strength and weakness first and then decide the right section order that works for you.

For example, if you are weak in quant, keep it, at last, to fully focus on the other two sections and work the best on them. Some students also start with the section they are afraid of, as they feel that they would be able to work on it better when they are high on energy. It depends on the way you manage your anxiety during examinations. There is no right or wrong choice in this. If you choose the section order as per your comfort, it will help you score better as you will manage your exam anxiety and work great on your strength.


Make your choice way before going for the final test. It would help you to prepare better, and you will also be able to manage your anxiety. Take as many mock tests as you can before going for the showdown. You can mix and match the orders during those mock tests to see which one works the best for you. The more you practice, the more comfortable you would be with the whole examination procedure.

Your individual choice depends on your skillset and individual thinking. Remember that there is no right or wrong choice- what works for you might not work for other people. In the end, it is all about doing everything that would help you to score better.

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