Coronavirus and its Impact on GMAT
The coronavirus outbreak has adversely impacted the operations of various industries, including those of the business schools. With on-campus classes suspended, several business schools have resorted to alternatives like conducting virtual classes for their students. On the admissions front, some schools have decided to accept applications without a GMAT score.
All in all, every B-school is trying to find their own ways of making the best out of the situation. But many students are still worried about the impact the global corona virus pandemic will have on them. Let’s discuss how you as a student will be affected due to the pandemic:
How will the Coronavirus outbreak Impact MBA Aspirants?
With testing centers closed, the most obvious question that MBA aspirants have been repeatedly asking is – ‘How will the corona-pandemic affect the GMAT exam?’. While the question makes complete sense because people in most parts of the world are confined to their homes, the business schools and the GMAC are doing their part to find relevant solutions in these dreaded times.
In this article, we have answered several questions around the GMAT for students who are planning to prepare for the test, are already preparing, or have already given the test. So, let’s answer those questions –
I. How will students give the GMAT during the global COVID-19 pandemic?
Since the testing centers are closed, the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), the administrator and owner of GMAT, has announced an alternative to the test, i.e. the interim GMAT for students residing in areas impacted by the coronavirus outbreak until the situation normalizes globally. The interim GMAT can be taken from home.
II. What is Interim GMAT?
The interim GMAT is an alternative to the GMAT exam for students in the markets impacted by COVID-19, except for those in mainland China. The test is expected to be made available by the mid of April. The interim GMAT will have a comparable test structure, number of items (including number of questions in Quant, Verbal, and IR), same score scale for Section scores and Total scores, and the time of completion of the test just as the exam delivered in the test centers.
The only two differences that students may find in the interim GMAT are –
a. There would be no AWA section on the interim GMAT. This may be due to the difficulty in evaluating the AWA section. Updates related to the alternative of AWA section have not been announced yet.
b. The cost may be lower compared to the standard GMAT test.
Apart from that, the GMAC would introduce modified security and check-in protocols to manage the integrity of the test.
- The GMAT will disclose details about the interim GMAT online in a webinar on Friday, 17th April at 12 noon ET. You can join the webinar using this link – https://start.mba.com/gmat-alt?utm_campaign=NAM|All|STU|Awareness|All|GMAT_Webinar_Online_Alt|30/MAR/2020
- Updates Regarding Interim Online Executive Assessment – The registration for an online proctored alternative to the Executive Assessment will open at the end of April. The test is expected to offer a comparable structure, time of completion, and score scale as the exam conducted at the test centers. The registration details are expected to be released soon.
III. How much will the interim GMAT cost?
While the GMAC is yet to reveal the exact cost of the interim GMAT test, it is expected that the it will be offered at a lower price than the standard cost, i.e. $275. The idea behind the lower charges is probably to support the students during the adverse situation and/or to encourage students to appear for the test instead of delaying their business school plans.
IV. The interim GMAT can be given from home. How will the students be monitored?
The GMAC has proposed certain check-in and security protocols to ensure a rigorous assessment during the test, such as remote proctors who might be monitoring the students through their webcam during the test. In other words, the GMAC is looking into the security protocols quite seriously not only to evaluate the students’ ability to succeed in a graduate school business program but also simultaneously maintaining the integrity of the test.
V. How to select the GMAT slots now that the test will be held online?
For writing the interim GMAT, students can expect a larger number of slots available, since they will be appearing for the test from home. For the GMAT exams that were taking place at the test centers, students often had to deal with limited number of seats at the test centers that got filled up too soon, especially during the peak months.
Now, since the students will be giving the test from home, the space limitation may not be there, and students may be able to take the test at their preferred slot.
VI. What will you do if you had your exam scheduled at a test center which is now closed down due to the pandemic?
According to the updates given by the GMAC, any exam scheduled at a test center that has been closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, including the GMAT and Executive Assessment exams, will either be cancelled or rescheduled.
VII. Will I get a refund for my GMAT/Executive Assessment that is now cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak?
All impacted test takers whose GMAT/Executive Assessment tests have been cancelled will receive a full refund of the exam fee and the cancellation fee. For those whose exams have been rescheduled must expect a refund of the rescheduling fee as well. Any notification regarding the rescheduling/cancellation of the test will be received via email. Students should, however, must not reschedule or cancel their appointment online.
When can you expect the situation to go back to normal?
As of now, a lot cannot be said about the situation going back to normal. However, if we look at the positive side of the situation, students now have the flexibility of giving their GMAT and other tests from the comforts of their home. So, if GMAT was your big plan for 2020, you do not have to wait for the world to beat the Coronavirus. You will soon be able to write the GMAT, right from where you are – at home!