Free prep materials available two months prior to propel candidates to success on their business school journey
RESTON, Va. (May 2, 2023) – The Graduate Management Admission Council™ (GMAC), a global association representing leading business schools, today announced that registration for the GMAT™ Focus Edition, an updated version of the Graduate Management Admission Test™ (GMAT™) exam, will open on August 29, 2023 for testing in the fourth quarter this year. In addition, official GMAT Focus prep materials will be available on mba.com on June 6, 2023, with a free study planner of only six weeks to help test takers stick to a schedule, inform prep activities, and track progress, as well as a free GMAT Focus Official Starter Kit that comes with a sampler of 70 real GMAT questions and two full-length practice exams to help candidates establish performance baseline.
Earlier this year, GMAC introduced GMAT Focus Edition after extensive research efforts involving hundreds of school professionals and an in-depth concept testing with thousands of students globally. The GMAT, the most widely used business school admissions exam in the past seven decades, was redesigned with improved test taking experience and flexible new features to better support candidates of graduate business education. Schools will benefit from it as an improved element in their holistic admissions process.
“We want to encourage people with a broad set of qualifications, undergraduate backgrounds and lived experiences to understand the richness of their choice and take that leap forward on their business school journey.” said Joy Jones, CEO of GMAC. “It is our belief that GMAT Focus Edition will allow candidates to optimize their preparation for graduate business education while helping schools attract a global pool of qualified and diverse applicants.”
“This is an important evolution of the test,” said Bruce DelMonico, Assistant Dean for Admissions at Yale School of Management and a board member of GMAC. “In terms of the relevance and usefulness of the test, this is definitely a positive step that will be beneficial both to business schools and to candidates.”
More efficient, more flexible, and more insightful, in an all-new testing experience
The GMAT Focus Edition will feature three 45-minute sections: Quantitative Reasoning, which examines problem solving skills; Verbal Reasoning, which evaluates critical reasoning and reading comprehension but no longer incorporates sentence correction; and the newly developed Data Insights section, which measures candidates’ data literacy skills and ability to analyze and interpret data and apply it to real-world business scenarios. With these changes and the removal of the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), it is nearly one hour shorter than the current version of the GMAT and therefore requires less content to prepare. Besides new features that allow test takers to bookmark as many questions as they want, review questions within the remaining section time and change up to three answers per section, and to complete the three sections in any order, the enhanced Official Score Report now offers detailed performance insights that helps them assess strengths and identify focus areas at no additional cost.
“I think the redesign of the GMAT exam is testament to GMAC’s commitment to continuous improvement. Changes to the exam address the growing importance of certain competencies and the future of work – for example with the addition of Data Insight,” said Arnold Longboy, Executive Director, Recruitment & Admissions at London Business School.
New score scale and concordance to help assess candidate competitiveness
The GMAT Focus Edition’s Total Score, ranging from 205 to 805, is based on test taker performance on all three sections of the exam, with each section, ranging from 60 to 90, weighted equally. This change has been made to ensure that test takers and schools can easily distinguish from a GMAT Focus Edition score to the currently available GMAT Exam score, which ranges from 200 to 800. To understand a test taker’s relative competitiveness, one can use the concordance tables available on mba.com that link score distributions between the two versions of the exam by percentile. With the GMAT Focus Edition's new score scale, percentile rankings deserve the primary attention from test takers and schools when looking to understand the results.
“When comparing scores of GMAT Focus Edition to the current version of the GMAT Exam, we encourage test takers and schools to compare percentile rankings rather than comparing total scores,” stressed Manish Dharia, director of product development at GMAC. “Because the Total Score scale and the score scale distribution have both changed, comparing total scores or section scores from the current version of the exam to the GMAT Focus Edition is not appropriate, accurate, or a meaningful comparison of performance. Scores of 600 and 605 may look similar, but they represent very different performance levels on different skills.”
Additional efforts to facilitate smooth transition and swift adoption
As GMAT Focus Edition rolls out for the remainder of 2023, the current version of the GMAT exam will continue to be available to candidates until early next year to facilitate their in-progress preparation and applications for business school. Also, to that end, the GMAT Focus Edition fees will remain the same as the current GMAT exam.
“Keep in mind, all GMAT exam scores – whether they are of the current GMAT or GMAT Focus Edition – continue to be valid for 5 years,” said Ashish Bhardwaj, senior vice president and head of market development at GMAC. “With the advance announcement of the new edition, we encourage candidates to proceed with registering and taking the GMAT exam in ways that best enable their pursuit of graduate management education.”
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is a mission-driven association of leading graduate business schools worldwide. GMAC provides world-class research, industry conferences, recruiting tools, and assessments for the graduate management education industry as well as resources, events, and services that help guide candidates through their higher education journey. Owned and administered by GMAC, the Graduate Management Admission Test™ (GMAT™) exam is the most widely used graduate business school assessment.
More than 12 million prospective students a year trust GMAC’s websites, including mba.com, to learn about MBA and business master’s programs, connect with schools around the world, prepare and register for exams and get advice on successfully applying to MBA and business master’s programs. BusinessBecause and GMAC Tours are subsidiaries of GMAC, a global organization with offices in China, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
To learn more about our work, please visit www.gmac.com
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