GMAT® Exam Security

Leading-edge security measures are designed to ensure valid and reliable GMAT exam scores and prevent cheating.

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GMAT security procedures are consistent at Test Centers around the world.

Nick Barniville, MBA Director, European School of Management and Technology, talks about the importance of GMAT exam security to his program.

Additional Resources

GMAT Test Security Procedures PDF File Format

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You'll know that the person whose scores you receive will be the same person attending your program.

We at GMAC administer the GMAT exam under strict supervision and security measures to protect the integrity of testing and candidate information. We use security safeguards within an enterprise security program, administered by our security officials, and incorporate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards over data and systems.

Our Investment in Security

When candidates take the GMAT exam, they provide proof of identification—literally—with the palm of their hand. To identify test takers, GMAC relies on a sensor that records the unique pattern formed by a person’s palm veins. The state-of-the-art Palm Vein technology (pdf) ensures that each test taker has a single GMAT exam record, preventing people from taking the test for others.

By adapting the PalmSecure sensor at our test centers worldwide, we strengthen our position as the industry leader in test security. The system is part of the ongoing efforts of GMAC to maintain test integrity and helps ensure that the GMAT exam is a fair measure of a test taker's ability.

Palm Vein Technology: Easy to Administer and Highly Accurate

The PalmSecure sensor is easier to use and less intrusive than fingerprinting: You simply hold your palm several inches above the two-inch-square sensor for several seconds. Because the blood veins in your palm stay in the same position as you age and through sickness or injury, the pattern record remains unique to you.

The digital system is highly accurate. In tests on 140,000 individual palm vein patterns taken from 70,000 people, the PalmSecure device was found to be 99.99% accurate, with a false acceptance rate (i.e., the likelihood it recorded one person’s palm as someone else’s) of less than 0.00008%.

Palm vein recognition systems protect access to highly sensitive information and are used in some hospitals in the United States and in automated teller machines in Japan. Because the palm vein pattern readers use system-specific digital encryption, they provide an extra layer of privacy and assurance that the patterns cannot be used for identification by anyone else in any other context.

Preventing Cheating

Cheating on admissions tests is not new, but it is preventable, and news of cheating in college admissions testing has raised questions among the public, the media, and lawmakers about test security. We are committed to providing every GMAT test taker with a fair testing experience. We strive to ensure to schools that the candidate sitting in the classroom is the same one who earned the GMAT score that was used in the admission process. Equally, we are dedicated to delivering test scores of the highest integrity and reliability.

Secure GMAT Exam Check-In

Unique GMAT security measures used to detect, prevent and deter cheating on the GMAT exam include the following:

  • Strict identification requirements: A government-issued identification document that must include:
    • A recent, recognizable photograph
    • A signature
    • The date of birth must match what was provided at registration
    • In some markets, we accept only passports as an ID and use document readers to verify the authenticity.
  • Digital photograph taken at the test center is captured as part of the candidate profile
  • Palm vein scanned at the test center

Rigorous Candidate Monitoring

Our monitoring measures include the following:

  • Audio/Video monitoring and recording of every testing session: Video recording enables the test center administrator to see each candidate during the testing session and  to refer any suspicious behavior to a regional center where the video can be reviewed.
  • Testing proctors: Proctors monitor every testing session in real time with the ability to report any concerns, also in real time.
  • Limiting items in testing rooms: Limited items are permitted into testing room with some exceptions granted as deemed appropriate. Explicit rules set out what can be brought in. All candidates are provided with a locker to store items that may not be taken into the testing area.
  • Palm vein scan and a “one to many” matching system ("one to many" is a new way we will be using palm vein scanning that promises to enhance the strength of our security procedures): These tools enable us to catch serial proxy test takers and preclude both the proxy and the candidate who hired the proxy from taking the GMAT exam in the future.
  • Extensive proprietary test forensics: Used to detect potential fraud.

Our Commitment to Privacy & Data Integrity

In addition to our efforts to protect the security, reliability, and fairness of the GMAT exam, we are also committed to protecting the privacy of every test taker no matter where in the world they are taking the exam. We adhere to local privacy law and respect the local privacy culture. Around the world and in each market we seek to work with local privacy officials and advocates to ensure that our procedures strike a balance between the need for security and the privacy interests of test takers.

We also strive to ensure that all testing and test-taker data is highly secure. Our Enterprise Security Program (ESP) safeguards the data and all systems. Schools are permitted to receive individual GMAT scores and personal data only when designated by the test taker. Test takers can access their mba.com profile and score reports at any time to modify personal information, and they are responsible for the accuracy of that information and for keeping their User ID and password secure.

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