A much awaited update on Online GMAT, probably the biggest one after the introduction of Physical whiteboard and re-attempt, came yesterday.

 

Starting 8th April 2021, the online GMAT will have the following:    

 

  1. 2 optional 8 minute breaks – More breathing time between sections
  2. Choice of 3 section orders to choose from instead of a fixed Quant-Verbal-IR order
  3. Unofficial scorecard – Will be shared right after test is completed. So, no more wait needed to know your scores
  4. AWA included – Makes it at par with Test center format  

 

With these updates, the online GMAT format is now at par with the test center format except the following differences:

 

  1. No ESR available for the attempt
  2. Only 1 retake allowed (test center format can be taken 5 times in a year and 8 times in one’s lifetime)

However, the above differences are not as important. Thus, for all practical purposes, Online GMAT can now be treated same as Test center format.

 

WHY ARE THESE UPDATES IMPORTANT?

 

  1. Earlier, online GMAT just allowed for 5 mins break whereas at the test center 2 breaks each of 8 mins were allowed. This definitely comes as a big breather as many people become anxious during the test and the break helps in easing off things.
  2. The previous version of Online GMAT allowed test takers only to start with Quant and then follow it up with Verbal. This sequence isn’t ideal for students who are weak at Verbal because when you’re fresh you’re in a better situation to tackle your weak areas. So, definitely, this came as a boon to students who are weak at Verbal. We believe this is the biggest plus of this new version of Online GMAT.
  3. AWA being included makes the Online GMAT as acceptable as the test center based format, since now the structure is just the same.
  4. Seeing the score right away is much better, even if unofficial.


SHOULD YOU TAKE THE ONLINE ONE OR TEST CENTER FORMAT?

Now that the GMAC has included these updates, the balance shifts greatly in favor of the Online test. Here are for the following reasons:

  1. You can take it from the comfort of your home
  2. The score can be sent to unlimited number of schools for free
  3. If the nearest test center is far away, you don’t need to travel anymore

 

So, kudos to GMAC for coming up with these updates.

 

Note: These updates will be effective from the online GMAT attempts taken 8th April onwards. The ones who are taking it before 8th April will go through the same format as earlier. No changes have happened to the exam structure or test center format.