Everything You Need to Know About GMAT Focus Edition™


The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has introduced significant changes in the GMAT with the launch of GMAT Focus Edition. These changes include alterations to the test structure, scoring, content, duration, and test pattern, as well as enhancements to the GMAT Official Score reports. This article will discuss the new changes in the exam and their impact on candidates’ preparation.


Launching of GMAT Focus Edition™

During their latest Summit in New Delhi, representatives from Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) informed us about some unprecedented changes in the GMAT exam. According to them, these changes were necessary to address the evolving requirements of B-schools and to enhance the efficiency, flexibility, and insights offered by the test. It was emphasized that the GMAT test population has significantly evolved over time, necessitating these updates.

GMAC has provided the following timeframe for the release of GMAT Focus Edition’s Official Prep materials, registration availability, and appointment scheduling.

Launch GMAT Focus Edition™ Prep Suits 6 June 2023
GMAT Focus Edition™ Registration Opens 13 Aug 2023
GMAT Focus Edition™ Testing Starts Globally Q4 2023
GMAT Exam Appointments Close Globally Early Q1 2024


However, it is important to note that the current GMAT will remain available until the following year, 2024. Therefore, individuals who are preparing for the GMAT do not need to wait or alter their plans for the test. In fact, it is advisable to take the test at the earliest opportunity, as the new test will introduce unknown changes that will require time and thorough research to comprehend once the new test materials are available.


Changes in GMAT Focus Edition™

Faster Test, Same Results: Shorter Duration, Maximum Efficiency!

One of the major significant changes in the GMAT test is that the test duration has been reduced by almost 1 hour. The new exam now lasts only 2 hours and 15 minutes. Notable modifications include the removal of the Sentence Correction section from Verbal Reasoning and the elimination of the AWA section.
The shorter duration allows candidates to allocate their time more effectively across the remaining sections of the exam.


Exam Structure & Content

Finally, GMAC has taken the decision to let the AWA section go as it was not required by most business schools and was not a significant factor in the overall evaluation of candidates’ abilities. This decision has been met with mixed reactions from test takers, as some believed the AWA section provided a valuable opportunity to showcase their writing skills and critical thinking abilities.

However, with the removal of the AWA section, test takers can now focus their preparation on other sections of the GMAT that hold more weight in the admissions process, such as the Quantitative and Verbal sections.

Not only will the AWA section no longer be a part of the GMAT exam, but GMAC has also implemented several other notable changes. One significant change is the reduction in test duration, aimed at providing a more streamlined and efficient testing experience. The shorter duration allows candidates to allocate their time more effectively across the remaining sections of the exam.

Please find below the structure of the GMAT Focus Edition™, which has been revamped to align with the evolving needs of test-takers and business schools:

Sections Number of Questions Time Allotted
Quantitative Reasoning 21 questions 45 minutes
Verbal Reasoning 23 questions 45 minutes
Data Insights 20 questions 45 minutes
64 questions 2 hours 15 mins

*One 10-minute break is allowed after the first or the second section of the test.


New Section: Data Insights

Additionally, GMAC has introduced a new section called “Data Insights.” This new section is designed to assess candidates’ ability to analyze and interpret data, a crucial skill in today’s data-driven business environment. The Data Insights section presents test-takers with real-world data sets and requires them to draw conclusions, make inferences, and propose insights based on the given information. This addition aims to align the GMAT with the evolving needs of business schools, where data analysis skills are highly valued.

This section will include IR questions and DS questions. Data Sufficiency (DS) questions will account for 20%-40% of this section. Notably, the DS questions in the GMAT Focus Edition™ will not be limited to math-related scenarios; they will also cover non-math Data Sufficiency GMAT questions. This expansion reflects GMAC’s efforts to assess candidates’ ability to reason logically and make informed decisions beyond traditional mathematical problem-solving.


Refine Your Performance: Review and Edit Your Answers with Ease!

Wow! One of the exciting features of the current GMAT is the ability to review and edit your answers. The current GMAT allows test takers to bookmark and review as many of their answers as they want, and they can change up to three responses per section. This feature becomes available at the end of each section, allowing candidates to carefully review and modify their answers within the allotted time for that section. It’s important to note that no extra time will be given specifically for this purpose.

However, it’s essential to be mindful of the limitations. Changing the response to the same question multiple times will count towards the three changes allotted per section. If a test taker exhausts all three changes on the same question, they will not be able to make further changes to any other questions.

While question review and changes may impact the difficulty level of subsequent questions, the overall score is not expected to change significantly. This feature aims to provide test takers with a chance to fine-tune their answers, but it is important to use the opportunity wisely within the designated time frame.


Customize Your GMAT Experience: Choose Your Preferred Section Order!

In the GMAT Focus Edition™, test takers can choose the order of sections they want to take, offering a personalized experience. There are six section orders available, allowing candidates to complete three sections in the order of their choosing.

With the freedom to select the order of sections, test takers can strategically plan their exam strategy. Whether someone prefers to start with their strongest section to build confidence or tackle the more challenging sections first, the GMAT Focus Edition™ empowers candidates to shape their test experience according to their unique needs.


Enhanced Score Report: Unlock Powerful Insights for FREE!

In the GMAT Focus Edition™, the Enhanced Score Report (ESR) is now included free of charge with the Official Score Report. This new and improved report features a fresh design, providing a visually enhanced experience for test takers. The ESR offers comprehensive insights into performance and includes improved performance reports that provide valuable analysis and feedback.

These enhancements ensure that test takers receive a user-friendly and informative assessment of their performance in a visually appealing format without the need to spend additional funds, promoting a more equitable and supportive testing experience.


Effortless Score Submission: Check and Send Scores Within 48 Hours!

The new GMAT Focus Edition™ allows you to check your scores first and send them to your preferred B-schools within 48 hours of receiving your Official Score Report. Experience greater convenience and flexibility in managing your GMAT scores.

  • Check Your Scores: Take the GMAT exam and know your scores.
  • Select B-schools: Choose the B-schools you want to send your scores to.
  • Timely Score Submission: Send your scores within 48 hours of receiving your Official Score Report.

With the new GMAT Focus Edition™, you have control over your score submission process, ensuring a streamlined and efficient application experience.


What Remains the Same

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Yes! These changes are real. By removing the AWA section, shortening the test duration, and introducing the Data Insights section, GMAC aims to ensure that the GMAT continues to be a relevant and valuable assessment tool for aspiring business professionals.

These modifications aim to ensure that the GMAT remains a relevant and effective tool for evaluating candidates’ skills and readiness for graduate management education. Register for the new GMAT at mba.com.

Prepare for success with the shorter and more focused GMAT test!
Good luck on your GMAT journey with these exciting changes!


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