GMAC Announces Enhancements to the GMAT™ Online Exam

Updates include adding Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section, aligning with the test center delivery of the exam

Reston, Va. (February 10, 2021) – The Graduate Management Admission Council™ (GMAC™), the administrator of the Graduate Management Admission Test™ (GMAT™), is introducing enhancements to the GMAT online exam that provide additional flexibility for test takers and create greater parity with the test center exam experience. Chief among the enhancements is the addition of the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section to the GMAT online. To respond to rapidly changing marketing dynamics, some GMAT features were omitted from the initial GMAT online exam launch, including the AWA section. However, the AWA section has remained an integral part of the GMAT exam, providing business schools with important insight and candidates with the opportunity to demonstrate critical thinking and the ability to communicate ideas.

In addition to the introduction of the AWA section to the GMAT online exam, other enhancements include the ability to preview unofficial test scores immediately; additional and extended breaks; and the convenience to select the order in which the sections of the exam are taken. 

Registration for the enhanced GMAT online exam will open February 17, 2021 for appointment dates beginning April 8, 2021. Testing appointments remain available for the current version of the GMAT online exam through April 7, 2021.

GMAC quickly introduced and evolved the GMAT online exam since the outset of COVID-19 from an interim to a permanent solution, supporting the ability to consistently evaluate talent in a virtual, ever-changing environment. In under a year, GMAC has released several enhancements to the GMAT online exam experience including the use of physical and online whiteboards, disability accommodations, and the option to retake the GMAT online exam.

“We’re focused on providing the flexibility and support to address the long-term needs of schools and test takers,” said Joy Jones, GMAC’s Chief Product Officer and General Manager of Assessments. “As we continue to adjust to uncertainties of the new norm, our online exams become a vital standard option, providing test takers around the world with the confidence to test in a test center or online to meet their business school application needs,” said Jones. “There was an interest from schools to include the AWA online, and we worked to make this happen to support application cycle seasonality. We’ll continue to make investments that support our schools and test takers with enhanced and comparable online and test center exam experiences.”

Since the GMAT online exam launched, over 45,000 exams have been delivered in more than 150 countries, territories, and special administrative regions in support of global demand.

“The GMAT exam is a powerful tool for both business school candidates and admissions professionals to help make ‘right fit’ decisions for MBA and business master’s programs, which are seeing record numbers of applications,” said Jones. “We believe that test takers globally should have the ability to choose how they test to achieve their best on exam day in pursuit of their goals. Our ongoing enhancements to the GMAT online exam help to ensure the options are consistent and that we continue to meet the evolving needs of candidates and business schools.”


About GMAC

The Graduate Management Admission Council™ (GMAC™) is a mission-driven association of leading graduate business schools worldwide. Founded in 1953, GMAC creates solutions and experiences that enable business schools and candidates to better discover, evaluate, and connect with each other.

GMAC provides world-class research, industry conferences, recruiting tools, and assessments for the graduate management education industry, as well as tools, 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; GMAC also owns and administers the NMAT by GMAC™ (NMAT™) exam and the Executive Assessment (EA). BusinessBecause and The MBA Tour are subsidiaries of GMAC, a global organization with offices in China, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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