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What You Need to Know About the GMAT Exam

The Graduate Management Admission Test that you were familiar with has undergone a major change and transformed into the new GMAT Focus Edition. So, the quicker you adapt to the change, the better.

If you’re unfamiliar with this new format, you can reach out to AbroAdvice.com for GMAT coaching online. According to the GMAC, the newer version is more comprehensive. It also focuses on higher-order critical reasoning and data literacy skills. 

Now that the Focus Edition is live let’s cover everything you should know about this new version.

Updated Exam Structure

While the earlier GMAT exam consisted of four sections, the Focus Edition includes only three. The Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections are still present in the new version. However, the Analytical Writing Section and the Integrated Reasoning sections have been scrapped to introduce the Data Insights section. 

It might be challenging for students familiar with the old structure to figure out the new one. If you face a similar issue, try reaching out to study abroad counselling experts on AbroAdvice.com. They can provide you with a better explanation of the changes. Until then, here’s a brief highlight of the new structure. 

SectionNumber of QuestionsTotal Duration
Quantitative Reasoning2145 minutes
Verbal Reasoning2345 minutes
Data Insights2045 minutes

Updated Exam Syllabus

The syllabus has transformed significantly. Even though the number of topics has decreased, the exam hasn’t become easier in the least. In fact, it’s best you start familiarizing yourself with the changes as soon as possible so you can modify your preparation accordingly.  

Quantitative ReasoningArithmeticAlgebra
Verbal ReasoningReading ComprehensionCritical Reading
Data InsightsData SufficiencyMulti-Source ReasoningTable AnalysisGraphics InterpretationTwo-Part Analysis

Focus Edition Scoring

GMAC has also updated the score calculation for the Focus Edition. In the previous version, the total score range was from 200 to 800. However, in the newer version, the range has been updated to 205 to 805. For each section, you can score between 60 to 90. 

Due to the new update, you can’t compare your old results to the new ones. If you want to draw a comparison, it’s better to do it by percentile. Here’s a comparative table for your understanding.

GMAT ExamGMAT Focus EditionPercentile Ranking
800 – 780805 – 775100.0%
780 – 770765 – 75599.9%

You can check out the complete comparison table on the official website. 

New Exam Features

The Focus Edition of the exam has introduced several new user-friendly features that are meant to give you more control of the exam experience. Let’s check out a few of these below.

1. Question Review & Edit Feature

Have you ever felt indecisive about a particular answer? Despite answering the question, the nagging feeling that you might have made a mistake doesn’t disappear. So, instead of moving on to the next question, you get stuck on that particular one.

Well, with the new Review & Edit feature, there’s no need to spend too much time overthinking a question. Time is extremely precious in such exams. If you waste too much, it’ll be impossible to complete the entire exam on time. So, whenever you have a doubt about a particular question, you can bookmark it to review it later.

Here’s how this system works:

  • As you keep solving each question, bookmark the ones that you want to review later.
  • Once you’ve completed answering all the questions, click on the Question Review & Edit screen. (Note that if you run out of time, you won’t be able to proceed to the Review section. You’ll be automatically redirected to the next section or your optional break.)
  • The questions that you’ve bookmarked will appear in a numbered list on the Question Review & Edit screen.
  • Click on the question you’d like to review, and the test portal will redirect you to that particular question.
  • You can edit each answer up to 3 times.

This new feature makes it easier for you to come back to the more challenging questions later on. It’s better for time management since you don’t have to remain stuck on a particular question if you can’t answer it correctly on the first attempt.

2. Score Sending Flexibility

In the new version, you can send your free reports to educational institutions after you’ve appeared for the exam. So, you know how you have performed. If your performance meets your expectations, you can forward your reports to a maximum of 5 B-schools within 48 hours of receiving your scores. Otherwise, you can opt out of score forwarding. 

3. Flexibility in Section Order Selection 

Many competitive exams with timed sections do not allow students to choose the section at will. They have to complete the first section, then the second, and so on. However, in the Focus Edition of the GMAT, you can select the section you wish to attempt first. Besides, there’s an additional 10-minute break that you can take after the first or the second section is over. Thus, you have more flexibility to tackle the exam according to your convenience.

4. Quick Result Delivery

You will receive your Official Score Report within 3 to 5 days of completing the exam. This fast and efficient result delivery saves time, so you can proceed to the next step without any delay. The report doesn’t include only your overall and sectional scores. It also includes the following – 

Performance by Content DomainGives you a detailed assessment of your performance in a particular subject area based on 5 years of data.
Performance by Question TypeGives you a detailed assessment of your performance in particular question types in individual sections based on 5 years of data.
Performance by Fundamental SkillsGives you a detailed assessment of your fundamental skills exhibited in each individual section based on 5 years of data.
Time Management & PerformanceGives you a detailed assessment of the time you spent on each question, including the time spent reviewing questions.
Summary of Question Review & ChangesGives you a detailed assessment of the time you spent on each question in the review section so you can figure out if reviewing improved your performance.

In summary,

The new GMAT Focus Edition has brought about quite a remarkable change to the old pattern. This revised exam has been praised for its comprehensiveness and improved question quality. It might take time to get used to the new format. Your primary focus should be to familiarize yourself with the updated question pattern, scoring details, and timing restrictions. Once you get used to these, you can begin your preparations accordingly. 

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