Are you planning to take the GMAT soon? Then you’ll be excited to hear about the GMAT Focus Edition, the latest version of the exam that is currently in development by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). The GMAT Focus Edition brings significant changes to the test structure, content, and scoring, and it’s important for prospective business school applicants to be aware of these changes.
In this article, we’ll give you the lowdown on everything you need to know about the new GMAT. We’ll cover the test structure, content, and scoring changes that are taking place, and explain why they matter for prospective business school applicants like you.
What Is the GMAT Focus Edition?
The GMAT Focus Edition is expected to be released later this year, in 2023. The current version of the GMAT will still be available until early 2024. According to GMAC, the new version of the GMAT is designed to “home in on the higher-order critical reasoning and data literacy skills that are especially relevant and applicable in the business environment of tomorrow.” This means that the test content will place more emphasis on skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and data analysis, all of which are essential for success in modern business.
The GMAC has worked collaboratively with business school professionals representing a wide mix of program types and sizes from around the world to redesign the exam. In-depth concept testing with candidates globally representing a mix of demographic characteristics has also been conducted to ensure the exam’s effectiveness.
It’s important to note that the fundamental purpose of the GMAT is not changing with the introduction of the GMAT Focus Edition. Rather, the new version is simply a revised and updated version of the exam that aims to better assess the skills that are most relevant to business school success. As such, the skills needed to perform well on the current GMAT will largely remain the same for the GMAT Focus Edition. This means that if you’ve already been studying for the GMAT, your preparation won’t go to waste, and you can continue studying for the GMAT Focus Edition with confidence.
GMAT Focus Edition: Format Changes
The GMAT Focus Edition introduces significant format changes to the test. Instead of four sections, it now features three 45-minute sections consisting entirely of multiple-choice questions. This new format makes the exam about an hour shorter than the current GMAT, which takes just over three hours to complete.
Section Order Selection
One significant benefit for test-takers is the new section order selection feature. The GMAT Focus Edition allows test-takers to choose the order in which they complete each of the three sections. This means that individuals can start with the section that they feel most confident about or are more comfortable with, which can help reduce test anxiety and improve performance.
Question Review and Edit Answers
The GMAT Focus Edition also includes the question review & edit feature, which allows test-takers to bookmark and review questions freely. Additionally, individuals can change up to three answers per section, providing them with the opportunity to improve their scores.
When it comes to scoring, each Official Score report for the GMAT Focus Edition will only contain one exam score, so you don’t have to share previous scores with schools. However, individuals can see their scores before sending them to five schools for free of their choice. The enhanced score report feature provides detailed feedback on individual performance, including analysis of strengths and weaknesses, which can help guide further study and test preparation.
Official Score Report
The GMAT Focus Edition is also designed to provide more insightful performance metrics to test-takers and admissions teams alike. The Official Score Report feature offers a detailed breakdown of test-takers performance in each section, as well as a comparison of their scores to other test-takers.
GMAT Focus Edition: Content Changes
The GMAT Focus Edition brings some significant content changes to the Verbal and Quantitative sections, as well as a new section called Data Insights. These changes are aimed at evaluating critical reasoning and data literacy skills.
Data Insight Section
The most significant content change in the GMAT Focus Edition is the addition of a new section called Data Insights, which replaces the Integrated Reasoning section of the current GMAT. The Data Insights section evaluates candidates’ ability to analyze and interpret data in a business context.
Quantitative Reasoning Section
The Quantitative section of the GMAT Focus Edition has been redesigned to emphasize data literacy skills that are relevant and applicable in the business environment.The new section features fewer questions and has been shortened to 45 minutes, but it still measures the same skills as the current GMAT Quantitative section. However, the GMAT Focus Edition places more emphasis on data interpretation and critical reasoning skills than the current version, which focuses more on arithmetic and algebraic calculations.
Verbal Reasoning Section
The changes to the Verbal section are designed to assess a candidate’s ability to analyze information, make logical connections, and draw conclusions. According to GMAC, the new Verbal section will feature fewer, but longer, reading passages that are more complex and require higher-order thinking.
Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
Another notable change is the removal of the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section from the main GMAT Focus Edition exam. This change reflects the increasing importance of critical thinking skills in the business world, and allows candidates to better focus their preparation efforts for each section of the exam.
GMAT Focus Edition vs. GMAT Exam: Key Differences
|GMAT Focus Edition||Current GMAT|
|Test Time||2 hours and 15 minutes||3 hours and 7 minutes|
|Number of Section||3||4|
|Section||Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Data Insight||Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment|
|Score Reports|| || |
|Section Order Selection||Completely flexible||Partially flexible|
FAQs about the GMAT Focus Edition
Can I Take the GMAT Focus Edition at Home?
Yes, it is likely that the GMAT Focus Edition will be available for both in-person testing and at-home online testing, as the current version of the GMAT is already available for both formats. However, GMAC has not yet confirmed the exact testing options for the GMAT Focus Edition.
When will the GMAT Focus Edition be available?
The GMAT Focus Edition is expected to be released later in 2023. GMAC has not yet provided a specific release date.
Can I still take the current GMAT after the GMAT Focus Edition is released?
Yes, the current GMAT will still be available for testing until early 2024, even after the GMAT Focus Edition is released.
Can I change the order in which I take the sections on the GMAT Focus Edition?
Yes, the GMAT Focus Edition allows test-takers to choose the order in which they complete the three sections, offering flexibility and control over the exam-taking experience.
Should I Prepare for the GMAT Focus Edition or the Current GMAT?
If you are already preparing for the GMAT, there’s no need to change anything. However, if you’re planning to take the exam in late 2023 or beyond, the GMAT Focus Edition may be a better option. Keep in mind that the GMAC has not yet released all the details about the new exam, so it’s important to wait for further information before making any decisions about your test preparation.
Is the GMAT Focus Edition Easier Than the Current GMAT?
The GMAT Focus Edition is not necessarily easier than the current GMAT. While the GMAT Focus Edition places more emphasis on critical reasoning and data literacy skills, the same fundamental skills are still necessary for success on both exams. It’s important to prepare for the GMAT Focus Edition with the same rigor and dedication as you would for the current GMAT.
In conclusion, we hope this article has given you a comprehensive understanding of the GMAT Focus Edition. Remember, the GMAT Focus Edition is designed to test the skills that business schools seek in their students and is a shorter, more flexible, and more insightful version of the exam.
If you have any questions about the GMAT Focus Edition or want to inquire about Apex’s test preparation services, please don’t hesitate to book a 30-minute complimentary call. We are here to help you achieve your business school goals. Additionally, we will continue to provide updates on the GMAT Focus Edition as more information becomes available.
Contributor: Cynthia Addoumieh