GMAT Focus Edition - all that you need to know about the new version of the gmat

Recently, the GMAC announced a brand-new version of the GMAT exam – GMAT Focus Edition, a shorter and a more flexible version of the current test. The idea, as said by the GMAC, is to have a more focused test that reflects the rapidly changing business landscape. GMAT focus-edition is expected to test the higher-order critical reasoning skills and data literacy skills that are clearly more relevant in the business world today.

While the changes are set to affect the GMAT test structure, content and scoring, it is important to note that the fundamental purpose of the exam is still the same i.e. to test an applicant’s readiness for an MBA program and it will continue to be a computer-adaptive standardized test. Let’s learn more about the changes in the GMAT –

Some Major Changes in the GMAT Focus Edition

A number of changes are expected to reflect in the new edition of the GMAT. Lets check them out –

1. No Essay Question i.e. No AWA Section

The current GMAT test structure has four sections – Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment. The GMAT Focus Edition introduced a major change in this structure – the test only featuring the first 3 sections while the AWA section has been dropped.

With a growing demand for individuals with critical reasoning and data literacy – skills that are not only relevant but also highly sought after by major B-schools and employers, the Quant and Verbal sections on the GMAT Focus edition will focus on testing these skills.

2. A New Data Insight Section

Another major change in the GMAT Focus Edition is that there will be a special section on the Data Insights (Integrated Reasoning on the current version). The section is most likely similar to the IR section and is designed to test the candidate’s ability to analyse and interpret data.  The questions in this section will also be computer-adaptive just like in the Quant and Verbal sections.

3. Testing time

The GMAT Focus Edition will be only 2 hours & 15 minutes long, significantly shorter than the current test which is 3 hours and 7 minutes excluding breaks. Information on duration a d number of breaks is still awaited. 

4. Section Structure

5. Section order selection

Unlike the current version where you are given three fixed section orders to choose from, the new edition of the GMAT allows you to decide the section order as per your preference. You can choose from the following –

Quant -> Verbal -> Data Insights

Quant -> Data Insights-> Verbal

Verbal-> Quant -> Data Insights

Verbal -> Data Insights-> Quant

Data Insights -> Verbal -> Quant

Data Insights -> Quant -> Verbal

6. Question Review & Edit

The GMAT Focus Edition will also be a question-adaptive test just like the current version. However, there is an interesting addition to the test features – you can now bookmark unlimited number of questions to review at the end of the test with provision to edit your answers thrice per section. You can review your answers to as many questions as you like. However, you cannot skip a question entirely. You will still need to answer it to move to the next question but revisit it later by bookmarking the question.

Note: You can only review your bookmarked questions before the section time runs out.

7. Scoring

To simply the confusing scoring of the current GMAT, the new edition will have a unified score. Thus, making it simpler for B-schools to evaluate the scores. The three sections on the GMAT will now contribute equally. This will also allow students to master their data interpretation skills and not just focus on Quant and Verbal to score well on the test.

8. Score Reporting

This one might come as a relief for many candidates. Test-takers can now know their scores first before selecting the schools to send their scores for free. Unlike the current GMAT where you select the schools first, test-takers can now decide better.

Also, the official score report will reflect only 1 GMAT score. So, if you do not want to share your previous scores with your target scores, you can choose to do so. 

9. Enhanced Score Report

The ESR for the GMAT Focus Edition is included for free with your registration. Not just that, the ESR will also include certain personalized insights although we are yet to know what will be included in this detailed report.

When Will the GMAT Focus Edition be Released?

The announcement of a new version of the GMAT worried a lot of students, especially those who are already preparing for the test or are scheduled to take it in a few days. However, you can take a sigh of relief because there is still time for the new edition to roll out.

The official GMAC announcement says that the GMAT Focus Edition will be released later this year. So, you can expect it to likely release by the fall of 2023. While students are eyeing the release of the GMAT Official Guide which is expected to release by the end of March 2023 to get further details of the new edition, the GMAC too seems to be right on schedule for the release. 

Should I pause my prep and wait for more clarity on the test?

Absolutely, not. If you are already engaged in your GMAT prep or are under a deadline to take the test this year, you plans will not be derailed. The current version of the GMAT will be available till June 2024 and you will have access to the current GMAT prep material and the official practice tests. So, do not panic.

For GMATWhiz Students – How to go forth with your prep now that a new version of GMAT is all set to release?

GMATWhiz is always proactive when it comes to simplifying their students’ prep journey. We are all set to incorporate the new changes in the course content. If you have already bought the course, you can continue with your prep journey as is since the current version of the GMAT is available till June 2024. You will also have access to the updated version of the course without paying any extra fee once the changes are implemented. We strive to ensure quality at every stage.

What to do next?

If you are already preparing for the GMAT, do not derail your plans. Continue preparing and don’t let the changes distract you from your prep. Although the GMAT Focus Edition is expected to be more focused and more user-friendly compared to the current version, there is still a lot that we do not know. Also, you would still need to devote a good amount of time and effort to prepare for the test since a majority of the content is the same as the current GMAT.

Need help to give your prep the right start? Here’s a useful guide for you to give your GMAT prep the right start.

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