Select Section Order & Removal of Test Center Profile Update

Frequently Asked Questions around the 2017 GMAT Release

What is included in the 2017 GMAT release?

There are 2 changes included in the 2017 GMAT release:

1. Select Section Order: Beginning on July 11, 2017, all candidates will have the flexibility to select the order of the sections of the GMAT exam from three options:

• Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal (original order)
• Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
• Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

The section order selection will take place at the test center on exam date, immediately prior to the start of the GMAT exam.

2. Removal of Profile Update Screens at Test Center: There is a series of profile questions (e.g. undergraduate degree, years of work experience, demographics) presented on the computer monitor at the test center following the exam. These screens will be removed from the testing monitor; they will still be available for candidates to access and update on mba.com at any time prior to or following their GMAT exam.

These changes will be launched to all regions beginning July 11, 2017 at 12:01am local time. All exams appointments scheduled for July 11 or later will include these changes at the test center.

Why is the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) making these changes?

GMAC is committed to continuously improving the GMAT experience by providing control and flexibility for candidates. The Select Section Order feature has been a commonly requested and strongly favored feature throughout our research, and the pilot study we conducted in early 2016 validated this research.

We also hope that removing the extra profile screens will provide a more streamlined test center experience. By removing these screens, candidates will be able to see their unofficial scores immediately following their exam and their overall time at the test center will be reduced.

How do candidates select their preferred section order for the GMAT exam?

Candidates will select the section order at the test center. The Select Section Order screen will be presented on the computer after they select the schools to send their score report, after the navigation tutorial, and immediately prior to beginning the GMAT exam.

They will be presented with the three section order options below and will have two minutes to make a selection. If you they not make a selection within two minutes, the original order will be selected as a default.

• Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal (original order)
• Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
• Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

Will breaks be impacted by the section order selected?

Candidates can take two optional 8-minute breaks that will be spaced at relatively even time intervals throughout the exam based on their section order selection. The break schedule for the section orders will be as follows:

Order #1

Order #2

Order #3

Analytical Writing Assessment

Verbal

Quantitative

Integrated Reasoning

Optional 8-minute Break

Quantitative

Quantitative

Verbal

Optional 8-minute Break

Verbal

Integrated Reasoning

Integrated Reasoning

Analytical Writing Assessment

Analytical Writing Assessment


Remember that the breaks are optional; if they don’t want to take a break, they can skip through it and continue to the next section of the exam. If a candidate exceeds the time limit for a break, the time will be deducted from the next section of the exam.

Which section order should candidates select?

There is no “correct” or “recommended” section order to select. This option gives more control and flexibility to take the GMAT exam based on each candidate's strengths and testing preferences. Some people may prefer to take their strongest section first to build up their confidence and “warm up” for the other sections. Others may prefer to their weakest section first so they can tackle it with a fresh mind.

We suggest that candidates think through their strengths and the testing strategies that work best for them prior to their GMAT appointment.

If a candidate is not sure, they can simply take the exam in the original section order.

Can candidates skip any of the sections?

No, they must complete every section of the GMAT exam and cannot skip any sections. A section is considered complete once they answer every question, or run out of time for that section.

Will the section order choice be displayed on score reports?

No, the section order selected will not be shown on any unofficial or official score report. Schools will not know which section order a candidate selected.

Are there study and preparation materials available that simulate the GMAT exam in different orders?

Yes, a new version of the GMATPrep software is available here. The Select Section Order feature will be available on all full-length practice exams delivered through the updated GMATPrep software, including the 2 free exams that come with a candidate’s initial GMATPrep download, as well as 2 additional exams in each Exam Pack 1 and 2. Candidates can access additional FAQs on GMATPrep with Select Section Order here.

What was involved in the 2016 pilot testing for Select Section Order and what were the results?

The purpose of the 2016 pilot test for Select Section Order was two-fold:

A) Determine which section orders were the most popular amongst candidates
B) Verify that taking the exam in different section orders did not impact the integrity of the GMAT score

The pilot successfully determined the two most popular section orders that will be implemented with the new feature (in addition to the original section order). The pilot also confirmed that statistically, the integrity of the GMAT scores was not impacted by candidates taking the exam with different section orders.

How can candidates update their profiles?

Candidates can update their profiles at any time at mba.com, as long as they have an mba.com account. They should login to the account on mba.com, click on “My Profile” in the left navigation menu, and then click the “Edit button” under the Personal Information section.

I have noticed some GMAT content has a different look-and-feel lately. Is this intentional?

The GMAT brand is undergoing a refresh to match our renewed commitment to improving the GMAT testing experience.

You can expect that all GMAT-related materials will be refreshed to the new brand over the next several months.