Things You Need to Know Before Taking the GMAT Online Exam & Course


We are all aware of how COVID-19 has impacted our lives in an unprecedented manner. It has also impacted the education sector, but most of the Colleges, Universities and other educational organizations globally are trying their best to ensure that the studies remain unaffected by the crisis. Recently GMAC has also come up with an interim online alternative to the GMAT exam.

5 Things to Know Before GMAT Online Exam

Should I take the GMAT online? The GMAT Online exam is an interim version of the original GMAT exam at a test center that allows students to take the GMAT exam online from the comfort of their homes. What’s more! Students can also send their score reports to the programs of their choice with a single click!

Doesn’t all this sound good? Yet, here are a few very crucial points to ponder before you make a decision to opt for the GMAT online vs test center.


1. Understand Your Whiteboard Strategy

You will have the option of using your own physical whiteboard, a GMAT online whiteboard, or both for scratch work and note taking during the test. Determine which option or combination of whiteboards works best for you and your test taking strategy should be an important part of your exam prep and confidence building.

If you intend to test with a GMAT physical whiteboard and need to obtain one, please schedule your exam appointment to allow for shipping time. Remember that your physical whiteboard can only be 12 inches by 20 inches (30 centimetres by 50 centimetres), and you can only have two dry erase markers and one dry erase whiteboard eraser.

In addition, schedule some time to work with the online whiteboard practice tool and decide whether, how, and when you’ll use it on exam day.


2. Plan Ahead of Time to Prepare Your Environment

You don’t want any surprises or added anxiety on test day, so plan ahead of time where you’ll take the exam and fully understand what you need to do to ensure the space is compliant with the test policy. Remember to be in a walled room with a closed door, and keep in mind that if your workspace does not pass the room scan as part of check-in (more on check-in below), you will be unable to take the exam—so don’t overlook this part of your preparation!

On test day, your work surface must be clean, and you must not have any books, notepads, sticky notes, papers, pens, pencils, or other writing instruments or objects within arm’s reach. Items with writing on them on the wall will be inspected as part of the room scan.


3. Understand What to Expect During Check-In

On test day, arrive about 30 minutes before your scheduled exam start time to allow for the check-in process.

After you log in, you’ll be prompted to pair your phone via a text message link. Then you’ll be asked to photograph yourself and your valid ID (such as a passport or driver’s licence). You’ll also be asked to photograph all four sides of your surroundings. This ensures that your testing environment adheres to exam policies and procedures, ensuring fairness for all examinees.

The GMAT online test is remote proctored, which means that human proctors (aided by AI technology) monitor your session and workspace via a live video and audio feed that is recorded throughout your session. Before the exam, your proctor will review the photos you took. You will converse with them as they verify your identity and ensure you are ready to begin your exam session.

If you choose to use a physical whiteboard during your exam, you must completely erase it and show the front and back of your blank whiteboard to the camera three times: before the exam begins, before the optional break begins (if you choose to take it), and before the exam ends.


4. Prepare As If It Were the Real Thing

There is no better way to prepare for the exam than to simulate the experience you will have on test day. And, now that you can take the GMAT test online from the comfort of your own home, this has never been easier or more important. It’s easier in the sense that you can take a practice exam on the same computer and in the same environment you’ll be in on test day, and it’s more important in the sense that some of the new tools and policies of the online exam require some practice to get used to.

How to prepare for GMAT at home? Here are some exam preparation ideas:
Mimic the surroundings. Perform a full practice exam in the same location where you’ll take the real test, using the same computer setup (remember, you can only use one monitor). Close the door, don’t let anyone in, and only drink water from a clear glass. Use your physical whiteboard, the practise online whiteboard, or a combination of the two instead of scratch paper.

Use the Section Order you’ll choose on test day to practise. On test day, you will be able to choose your Section Order. Consider what order makes the most sense for you, and then run through the entire exam with that order to ensure it’s what you want.

Make two 8-minute breaks a habit. On your online test day, you will be allowed two optional 8-minute breaks, just like in a testing centre. These are your chances to go off camera, use the restroom, and get food or comfort items like tissues or cough drops during the test.

Perform a full test at the time of your appointment. Do a complete run through at the time of day you’ll take the actual test to get a true sense of how you’ll feel on test day. This will help you get into the mindset of visualising what your test day will be like, as well as predict any interruptions. All GMAT Official Practice exams now include an online whiteboard to help you replicate the GMAT Online exam experience.


5. Take Advantage of the Ability to Test from Home 24/7

With the ability to take the GMAT online exam from the comfort of your own home at any time that works well for you—24 hours a day, seven days a week—the GMAT online exam provides unprecedented convenience and flexibility.

According to post-exam survey results, this is a huge help for many test takers.
Take advantage of this flexibility by scheduling your exam when it is most convenient for you—it may help you optimize your performance. Do you think you’re sharpest first thing in the morning? Schedule an early exam. Are you concerned that your spouse, roommates, or children will bother you? Schedule your appointment when they will be the least disruptive. Remember that you can schedule an exam appointment up to 24 hours in advance.


Technical Requirements for the GMAT Online Exam

The alternative GMAT will be administered online and be available on both Windows and Mac personal computers and laptops. Please refer to the below table to make sure the computer you will take the exam on meets the minimum system requirements.

Technical requirement Technical Specification
Operating System Windows 10

Windows 8.1 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Mac OS 10.13 and above (excluding beta versions)

Note: Windows Operating Systems must pass Genuine Windows Validation.

Windows Vista, Windows XP and Windows 7 are strictly prohibited for exam delivery

All Linux/Unix based Operating Systems are strictly prohibited.

Firewall Do not take your exam in a setting with a corporate firewall (including VPN), or, alert your Network Administrator to the network configuration requirements.
Display Minimum Resolution: 1024 x 768 in 16-bit color.

Additional monitors are forbidden.

Internet Browser The newest versions of Microsoft Edge, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox for web registrations or downloading the secure browser or Internet Explorer 11.
Internet Connection A consistent connection speed of 1 Mbps down/up is required.

We recommend testing on a wired network as opposed to a wireless network.

Tethering to a mobile hotspot is explicitly prohibited.

Webcam Webcam must have a minimum resolution of 640×480 @ 10 fps.

Webcam may be internal or may be external and connected to the computer.Mac users may need to allow OnVUE within their ‘System Preferences: Security & Privacy: Privacy’ settings for Microphone, Camera, Automation and Input Monitoring.

Sound & Microphone Verify the audio and microphone are not set on mute in Windows.

Mac users may need to allow OnVUE within their ‘System Preferences: Security & Privacy: Privacy’ settings for Microphone, Camera, Automation and Input Monitoring.

Browser Settings Internet Cookies must be enabled.

Any Pop-Up blocking setting(s) must be disabled.

Work Computer We recommend testing on a personal computer as work computers may block the OnVUE software.
Power Ensure you are connected to a power source before starting your exam to avoid draining your battery during the exam



The test will be proctored live. Remote human proctors will ensure test integrity. At present, the proctoring support for the GMAT Online exam will be available only in English.

Proctoring will include remote human + Video for check-in and exam delivery.


Before the Exam

It is crucial to check the system requirements prior to the exam day.

  • There is an option of Run System Test. Install OnVue Software on the computer for the testing. This is highly recommended to ensure the workstation is compatible.
  • Go to www.mba.com/gmatonline for direct links.



Run OnVue System Check and confirm hardware.

  • Upload digital photos and current face photo to match the id.
  • Verification of workspace through camera and uploading of photos of workspace is mandatory.


Proctor Check-In

  • Desk and work area scan with a 360-degree view via webcam.
  • The workspace should be clean. No materials or devices allowed.
  • The candidate also needs to confirm via installed software and proctor check that no other application is running.


Start Exam

Proctor will launch the exam.

  • The candidate is required to keep the live video feed on.
  • Further communication can be made with the proctor by raising hand or Live Chat.
  • If there is a technical glitch before the start of the test, the test-taker will receive a free voucher to register for the test again within 5 days.
  • Once some resilience is built-in, the exam will start at the same point.


Other Pointers

  • If there is a non-recoverable glitch during the test, the exam will be reset, and upon review and verification, the candidate will be allowed to re-test.
  • No physical scratch paper will be allowed. Instead, an online whiteboard feature or physical whiteboard can be used to take notes.
  • Score cancellation option will not be available in this interim online version.
  • A student can send the scores up to 5 programs either during the registration for the GMAT exam or after receiving the official score report via email. The official score report will be sent within 7 business days from the completion of the exam.
  • A candidate can send additional score reports at no cost. This means a saving of USD 35 per score report.
  • Scores will be provided to schools via secure Dashboard
  • Special accommodations will be available to eligible test-takers in May (50% and 100% extra time + extended Break of 10 minutes). The approval and review process will continue to remain the same.
  • Appointments cannot be transferred – this implies that the candidate can cancel or reschedule the test centre based appointment and may later apply for the interim online appointment as per their convenience.
  • Score cancellation is not available at this time. The exceptions involving verified technical glitches can be considered for retaking by the GMAC.
  • The GMAT interim online exam scores will be valid for 5 years and this attempt will not be counted towards the maximum limit of 5 exams in a rolling 12-month period and lifetime limit of 8 exams.
  • The GMAT online can be retaken once.

On our part, at Manya – The Princeton Review, all our existing batches and 1-on-1 courses are available both in classrooms and online platforms. In addition, we are continuing to provide all our value-added-services such as extra-help and Booster sessions online. Manya – The Princeton Review is with you in this crisis!


Online Courses for GMAT Preparation

GMAT is the examination that allows a student to enter the top business schools in the world. GMAT scores are taken into high consideration by schools like the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Harvard. Needless to say, given the demand for this test, it is a tough nut to crack. More so for Indians, because they run on a tight schedule. Lack of preparation time can be a dead end as a lot of energy investment is required for this. There are physical coaching centers across the country, but attending them can be cumbersome due to the tiring commuting time. Besides that, these institutions require a fixed, consolidated amount of time from every individual.

In many cases, especially for those who have to go to work, this can create a major issue. Hence, the advent of online courses. Online courses save time as an aspirant can access the portal while commuting to his/her workplace, or even in their free time. This broadens the scope of the candidate to prepare better without having to compromise with his/her existing schedule.


What to Look for in GMAT Online?

Cracking the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) requires rigorous and effective preparation. You can plan your GMAT preparation through a GMAT self-prep course, preparing for your GMAT on your own. You can also join a classroom course. If you are a working professional or don’t have time to go to regular classes, you can go for the best online courses for GMAT preparation. There are a number of Online GMAT courses available, and you only need to choose the one that suits you the best, and for that, you need to have a shopping list in place so that you get what you need.

Nowadays, online courses are in big demand. The flexibility of the schedule and ease of access have rendered online GMAT courses very popular. Let us look at some of the key points that you should keep in mind while planning to prepare online.


Study Guide

Pick an Online GMAT coaching that provides you with a detailed study plan and guides. The online program should be one that provides you with strategies that enable you to sail through the GMAT. Online GMAT coaching should provide you with a detailed schedule stating where to start and how to use the practice material/ resources, and also have online GMAT practice tests.


Monitoring Progress

Online GMAT coaching should be one that monitors your progress right from the beginning. Test analysis and test feedback are important for GMAT online preparation – these help you understand your strengths & weaknesses. Good quality guidance and direction will make sure that you get assistance to nail specific topics.


Extra Help From Teachers

If you are attending classes in a physical classroom, you have someone to go back to in case you are facing problems with specific questions or topics. Do lookout for an online GMAT course that allows you to get in touch with experts who can address your problems.

Getting support from teachers/experts is very important. While picking a GMAT online course, keep in mind that you should be able to connect with someone in case you face any problem while preparing for the GMAT.


Well Researched Study Material

Well researched material should be available to you when you take up Online GMAT coaching. This material could be in the form of GMAT books, additional practice questions, and online practice. A good GMAT virtual classroom course should not only include training/teaching but also should have workshops providing enough practice covering all parts of the GMAT.


How to Plan Your Online GMAT Course?

Planning for an online GMAT prep course is no more a secondary alternative for the test takers. Well, if you are planning to opt for online GMAT prep, then you are on the right track. Nowadays, the online courses are well planned and developed to suit the convenience of all categories of test takers. Whether you are a working professional or a regular college going student you can plan your own schedule as per your preferences, interests and convenience.

Regular practices to follow while preparing for an online study course:


Adhere to Your Schedule

The online GMAT prep course will give you the flexibility and convenience to study at your own pace. Preparing online for the GMAT demands a lot more self-discipline than what might be required from a student preparing via a classroom course. Once you have a schedule and a plan in place, the onus lies on you to take out time and complete the given assignments in a timely manner. Sticking to the schedule will allow you to complete your assignments on time, which will further help you to complete the test on time, thus increasing your chances of scoring well on the GMAT.


Be Self-Driven

Self-motivation is a must! It is extremely important to stay focused in an online course. In an online course the mode of interaction is through the online screen, thus staying focused during the class is the key. Surely, here the benefit is you can go through the recorded videos repeatedly; for the live sessions, you need to be more focused.

To stay on top of the game, do homework assignments regularly and follow the test schedule shared with you online. Try not to miss any of the online classes. The faculty will assist you with meeting your needs, monitoring your progress in the online practice tests, and helping you to stay motivated throughout the course.


Be Open to Interaction

Being a part of an online GMAT prep course, you would be worried that it would curtail the opportunity to interact with your batch mates and your faculty. Well, think again! The concept of online education not only allows you to study at your convenience but also ensures that you stay connected via the online discussion forums and emails. Make sure that you are proactive & ask questions or seek help when required. A good online course does not restrict your boundaries. It gives you opportunities to interact with others through emails and chats.


Essential Components of an Ideal GMAT Online Course

Although there are many online courses, not all of them are good, let alone excellent. However, it can be quite different to pinpoint the good ones and segregate them from the ones that will not work for you. Knowing a few essential characteristics of a good online course can help you move through the GMAT syllabus, easily.

Given below are five points that can help you figure out the best online course for the GMAT test:


Should be Available to You 24×7

The whole point of choosing an online course over a physical, institution-oriented course, is so that you can access it anytime from anywhere. Choosing a course that is available all the time can make a huge difference in your average GMAT scores. Although this seems like a basic feature of an online course, it is not so in reality. Not all online courses are available round the clock. Hence, it is always a good idea to check before deciding.


Should Vary According to the Needs of the Students

Different students require different amounts of preparation. Just like we do not grow at the same rate, we cannot learn at the same pace. For something as serious as the GMAT prep, online courses are supposed to design their schedules, keeping this critical detail in mind.

However, unfortunately, not all courses do that. GMAT mock tests are often created using a typical mould, without much thought being given to the different requirements of students. This can be harmful to the final results as a student does not get what he or she particularly requires. Instead, what the aspirant has to settle with is not suited to his or her needs. Checking if an online course is designed differently for different students, is an important feat, and should always be kept in mind.


Content Should be of High Quality

Content is the most important for the GMAT format. If a course does not have top-notch content, it is of no use. Catering and adhering to the question pattern of the GMAT examination is very important. It makes all the difference in reality.

The most hardworking students cannot get past an average or even below-average score if the content of the online course that he or she is availing is not up to the mark. Online courses often provide free trials or a few GMAT mock tests free of cost. Going through these thoroughly before applying is essential.


Availability of Best Trainers for GMAT Preparation

GMAT is an examination that is designed according to the standards of education in America. The questions follow the patterns of American schools, predominantly. Although the Indian brain is claimed to be well-cultivated, students of Indian origin can often face problems adhering to the profile of questions asked. To get past this, correspondence is required. Individuals who have been successful in this examination should be present to guide a student accordingly.

However, not all online courses have trainers available. Even if they do, these trainers are often no better than the students themselves. An ideal course will have the best trainers associated with the organization. They will have hands-on experience with the GMAT and will be available for the students to guide them through the procedure.


Can be Accessed with Ease

Online courses can be quite cumbersome to access. Some examinations cannot be taken from smartphones, while some other portals are just tricky to use. The course that can go past all these constraints, while also taking care of all the points mentioned above, is the ideal course for an Indian aspirant.


Manya – The Princeton Review Advantage

Manya – The Princeton Review offers end-to-end study abroad services encompassing admissions consulting services, test preparation, English language training, career assessment, and international internship opportunities to study abroad aspirants. Founded in 2002, Manya holds an impeccable track record of enabling more than 4 lac students to accomplish their study abroad dreams through its network of 47+ centers across India.

Manya has formed long-lasting global alliances with several market leaders in the education industry in order to maximize the benefits of its large service portfolio. Their list of esteemed partners and affiliations includes – The Princeton Review (TPR), Cambridge University Press (CUP), Cogito Hub, British Council, Tuding to name a few. Manya has also forged 600+ partnerships with international universities across top study abroad destinations.

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