GMAT Focus Edition 2023 – Everything you need to know! Major GMAT Changes
The GMAT Exam is changing in 2023!
In March 2023, GMAC announced that a new version of the GMAT called the GMAT Focus Edition will launch in the fourth quarter of 2023 (October to December). The current version of the GMAT exam will be available until at least “early next year ” and will then be phased out. It is designed to be more efficient, flexible, and insightful than the previous version of the GMAT exam.
For all the MBA aspirants out there targetting September 2024 intakes - don't worry. Here we'll try to address all the major concerns.
What is the new GMAT Focus? Major highlights about the new GMAT Focus:
It is a new version of the graduate business exam that will be available later this year.
It is designed to be more efficient, flexible, and insightful than the previous version of the GMAT exam.
Shorter Test: The GMAT focus edition is significantly shorter than the current GMAT, with a total test time of 2 hours and 15 minutes compared to 3 hours and 7 minutes in the current version
It has only three 45-minute sections: Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning. It does not have an Analytical Writing Assessment section.
It has reduced content to prepare for, as it focuses on the most relevant skills and knowledge for business school and beyond.
Sentence Correction is removed from Verbal Reasoning
Most likely, Geometry has been removed from Quantitative Reasoning
Question Review & Edit: The GMAT focus edition also offers some candidate-friendly features, such as Question Review & Edit, which allows candidates to bookmark and review as many questions as they want and change up to three answers per section.
Select Question Order: It lets you choose the order of the sections, allowing you to customize your test-taking experience based on your preferences and strengths.
Easier Score Sending: It enables you to send your scores to up to five schools for free, and you can also select which scores to send after you take the exam.
Improved Official Score Report: It provides you with a free personalized score report that shows your strengths and areas for improvement, as well as benchmarking data and tips to help you plan your next steps.
It offers you access to online resources and tools to help you prepare and succeed on the exam, such as official practice questions, study plans, webinars, and more.
It allows you to reschedule or cancel your exam up to 24 hours before your appointment, giving you more flexibility and convenience.
This is the official information so far:
Official Prep Available – June 6, 2023
Registration Opens – August 29, 2023
Testing Starts – Q4 2023
The exact testing date has not yet been announced. The current version of the GMAT exam will be available until at least “early next year ” and will then be phased out.
Some of the Top Questions students are asking about the new GMAT Focus Edition:
What is the GMAT Focus Edition and how is it different from the current GMAT exam?
The GMAT Focus Edition is a new version of the GMAT exam that will be available later this year. It is designed to measure the higher-order critical reasoning and data literacy skills that are more relevant and applicable in the business environment of tomorrow.
The GMAT Focus Edition is different from the current GMAT exam in several ways. Here is a table that summarizes some of the main differences:
When will GMAT Focus launch & how can I Register for it?
According to official sources, GMAT Focus will launch in Q4 2023, which means sometime between October and December 2023. The exact date has not been announced yet.
To register for the GMAT Focus exam, you will need to visit the official website of GMAC and create an account. Registration will open in Q3 2023, which means sometime between July and September 2023. You will be able to choose your preferred test date, time, and location (either at a test center or online) and pay the exam fee.
Before you register for the GMAT Focus exam, you will need to prepare for it by using the official prep materials that will be available in late Q2 2023, which means sometime in May or June 2023. You can also use other reputable sources that offer GMAT prep materials and practice tests, such as GuideMe, which has been set up by MBA Alumni from top business schools, such as HEC Paris, Harvard, Stanford, IE Business School, etc.
How can I prepare for the GMAT Focus exam?
To prepare for the GMAT Focus edition, you should familiarize yourself with the content and format of the exam, especially the new Data Insights section that measures your data literacy skills. You should also practice with GMAT Official Prep materials that will be available on June 7th, 2023.
What is the new GMAT Focus score scale?
GMAC has not yet officially confirmed that the new GMAT Focus will have its own scoring scale, but it does appear to be the case that the scoring scale will change.
Early reports indicate that this will be the new scale. Here is a screenshot from the upcoming Official Guide 2023-24 courtesy gmatclub!
The new Total score will include all three sections: Quant, Verbal, and Data Insights. This will be very similar to the GMAC Executive Assessment Exam
Currently, the Total score includes only the Quant and Verbal sections.
It will be on a scale from 205 to 805 in 10-point increments.
The individual sections will each receive a score on a 60 to 90 scale in 1-point increments.
In related news, the GMAT Focus score reports will include your scores from just one sitting of the exam, so if you take it more than once, you can choose exactly which set of scores you want to share. However, unlike the SAT, you will not be able to do the “superscore” thing—ie, combine your best Quant score from one test with your best Verbal score from another test and so on.
What is the Data Insights section and how can I ace it?
The Data Insights section is a new addition to the GMAT focus exam that measures candidates’ ability to analyze and interpret data and apply it to real-world business scenarios. It is composed of 20 questions that ask candidates to assess how multiple sources and types of information – including graphic, numeric, and verbal – relate to one another and can be leveraged to make informed decisions. Questions may require math, data analysis, verbal reasoning, or all three. Candidates can use an on-screen calculator while working on this section1.
To ace the Data Insights section:
You need to develop your digital and data literacy skills, which are one of the most relevant and in-demand skills in business today.
You also need to familiarize yourself with the question types that are used in this section, which are based on Integrated Reasoning and Data Sufficiency questions from the current GMAT exam.
You can practice these question types using GMAT official prep materials or GuideMe's in-house material.
You also need to manage your time well, as you have only 45 minutes to complete this section.
How much does it cost to take the GMAT Focus exam?
The cost of taking the GMAT Focus exam varies depending on your location and local taxes. You can check the location-specific pricing and regulations on mba.com. For example, the GMAT Focus exam will cost $275 in the United States, $250 in India and most of Asia, €250 in most of Europe, and £225 in the United Kingdom. Your test fee will include the option to send your scores to up to five MBA programs for free.
Should I take the current GMAT or the new GMAT Focus?
The answer to this question depends on your personal preferences and goals.
Here are some factors to consider:
Timeline: Probably, the most crucial factor for current-GMAT aspirants. The current GMAT exam will be available until early 2024, while the GMAT Focus edition will start in late 2023. If you want to take the exam sooner rather than later, you should opt for the current version. However, if you want to take advantage of the new features and content of the GMAT Focus edition, you may wait for its launch.
Changed Content & Your Strengths/Weaknesses: The current GMAT exam has four sections: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment. The GMAT Focus edition has only three sections: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Data Insights. The GMAT Focus edition does not have an essay section and has a new section that measures data literacy skills. Depending on your strengths and weaknesses, you may prefer one version over the other.
Duration of the Test: The current GMAT exam is longer and more adaptive than the GMAT Focus edition. The current version takes about 3 hours and 7 minutes to complete, while the GMAT Focus edition takes only 2 hours and 15 minutes. The current version also adapts to your performance after each question, while the GMAT Focus edition adapts after a certain number of questions. If you prefer a shorter and less adaptive test, you may choose the GMAT Focus edition. However, if you prefer a longer and more adaptive test, you may choose the current version.
Ability to Review & Change Answers: The current GMAT exam has fewer features and options than the GMAT Focus edition. The current version does not allow you to review or edit your answers, while the GMAT Focus edition lets you bookmark and change up to three answers per section.
Choose your Order: The current version offers only 3 options when it comes to choosing the order of the sections & does not let you choose entirely your order of the sections, while the GMAT Focus edition does.
When to Send Scores to the Universities: The current GMAT version requires you to send your scores before seeing them, while the GMAT Focus edition lets you send your scores after knowing them. If you want more flexibility and control over your test-taking experience, you may prefer the GMAT Focus edition.
I’m currently studying for the GMAT or I’m applying in 2023. What should I do?
GMAT vs GMAT Focus for 2023 applicants
If you are planning to apply during round 1 or round 2 of the 2023-2024 admissions cycle (applying this fall for a program beginning in 2024), you can take the current GMAT exam and don’t worry about the GMAT Focus Edition. The current GMAT exam will be available until at least early 2024 and your scores will be valid for 5 years after your test date.
If you are planning to take the exam in 2024 or later
If you are planning to apply later than round 2 of the 2023-2024 admissions cycle or for a program beginning in 2025 or later, you may want to consider taking the GMAT Focus Edition. The GMAT Focus Edition will launch in the fourth quarter of 2023 (sometime between October and December) and will have a shorter test time, a tighter focus on business skills and executive decision-making, and a simplified scoring system.
If you are undecided
If you are not sure when you will apply or which exam is more suitable for you, you can start studying for the common content areas that are covered on both versions of the GMAT, such as problem-solving, data sufficiency, critical reasoning, and reading comprehension. You can also wait until GMAC releases more prep materials and practice tests for the GMAT Focus Edition in late Q2 2023 (possibly May or June) and then decide which exam to take based on your strengths and weaknesses.
You can also take both exams and submit only the one that gives you the better score. However, this may require more time and money than taking one exam. You should also check with your target business schools whether they have any preference or policy regarding the two exams.
What’s new on the GMAT Focus? What all is changed?
Is GMAT Focus still adaptive?
Yes, the GMAT Focus Edition is still a question-adaptive exam, just like the current GMAT. After you answer each question, the exam chooses the next one based on your performance to that point in the exam.
However, unlike the current GMAT, you can go back and change answers on up to 3 questions per section on the GMAT Focus Edition. This may give you more flexibility and confidence in your test-taking strategy.
Which business schools will accept the GMAT Focus exam?
The GMAT Focus edition is accepted by many business schools around the world that value the skills and insights that the exam measures. You can check the list of participating schools on mba.com.
Some of the schools that have confirmed the GMAT Focus edition are:
You can read more on this here: GMAT™ Focus Edition | The view from business schools (mba.com)
What are some new features of the GMAT Focus exam, such as Question Review & Edit and Select Section Order?
Some of the new features of the GMAT Focus exam are:
Question Review & Edit: This feature allows you to bookmark and review as many questions as you want and change up to three answers per section. This gives you more control and confidence over your test-taking experience.
Select Section Order: This feature allows you to choose the order in which you want to take the three sections of the exam: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Data Insights. This lets you customize your test strategy and play to your strengths.
How can I use GMAT Focus Question Review & Edit effectively?
Question Review & Edit is a feature that allows you to bookmark and review as many questions as you want and change up to three answers per section. To use this feature effectively, you should:
Bookmark questions that you are unsure about or want to revisit later. You can do this by clicking on the bookmark icon at the top right corner of the screen.
Review your bookmarked questions at the end of each section. You can do this by clicking on the review button at the bottom right corner of the screen. You will see a list of all the questions in the section, with the bookmarked ones highlighted.
Change up to three answers per section if you are confident that your new answer is correct. You can do this by clicking on the edit button next to the question number. You will see a confirmation message before you submit your new answer.
Be mindful of the time limit for each section. You should allocate enough time to review and edit your answers without compromising your accuracy or speed on the other questions.
Will my old GMAT scores still be accepted by business schools in 2024 or later?
Yes, your old GMAT scores will still be accepted by business schools in 2024 or later if they are within the five-year validity period.
The GMAT score validity is five years from the date of the test. For example, if you took the test on January 1, 2021, your GMAT score will be valid until January 1, 2026. You can use this score to apply to any business school that has an application deadline before January 1, 2026. However, if you took the test on January 1, 2019, your GMAT score will expire on January 1, 2024. You cannot use this score to apply to any business school that has an application deadline after January 1, 2024. You will need to retake the test and get a new score. The same applies to GMAT Focus Edition.
What are some reputable sources for GMAT Focus prep materials and practice tests?
Some of the reputable sources for GMAT Focus prep materials and practice tests are:
GMAT™ Official Prep: This is the official source of prep materials from the makers of the GMAT exam. It includes GMAT™ Official Guides, GMAT™ Official Practice Exam Packs, and GMAT™ Official Practice Questions. These materials contain questions from past GMAT exams and provide detailed answer explanations and performance insights. You can access them online or through a mobile app. They will be available for the GMAT Focus edition in late Q2 2023.
GMAT™ Focus Official Prep: This is a new source of prep materials that will be launched in June 2023. It will include a diagnostic evaluation, practice questions, and practice exams for the GMAT Focus edition. It will focus on the new Data Insights section that measures data literacy skills.
GuideMe™ GMAT Prep: If you are looking for a comprehensive and reliable guide to ace the GMAT, look no further than GuideMe’s GMAT book. This book is packed with official GMAT questions, time-tested strategies, and expert insights from real GMAT takers. You will learn how to master every section of the test, avoid common pitfalls and boost your confidence. GuideMe’s GMAT book is your ultimate resource for achieving your best score.
To find out about the GMAT Test Centers in the UAE & Qatar, visit this link for complete details: List of all GMAT Test Centers in the UAE & Qatar
Looking for the Best GMAT Prep in the UAE, contact our test experts to know how!
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