To overcome the disruption in test center-based delivery of the GMAT during the Covid-19 pandemic, GMAC has come up with the GMAT Online exam that you can take from home. Amidst all the information available online, some of you may be feeling overwhelmed by the changes, rather flummoxed because of all the uncertainty.
In this article, I will be sharing my two cents on how you should be approaching the GMAT online test and the features of the new whiteboard on the test.
B-schools are worried that due to the pandemic they may not get enough number of applicants and particularly good applicants. The current event has consequently increased the chances of candidates with high GMAT scores to secure admissions to high ranking B-schools. What can be better than this! With all the time in hand, most of you just need to have right amount of practice using the digital whiteboard. But, what are the pros and cons? Will it suit everyone? That’s the question I will answer at the end of this article.
Here are some of the important details relating to the GMAT digital whiteboard.
- No physical scratch paper will be allowed. Instead an online whiteboard will be available during the exam to take notes.
- You will be able to see the whiteboard option even before the test begins, but according to the rules designated by the GMAC you are not allowed to use it before start of the test.
- A wired mouse and a touchpad are allowed for writing on the whiteboard.
- Pen tablet or any sort of writing pad, paper, or stylus is not allowed for taking the test.
- GMAC has allowed the use of touchscreens but not for using the whiteboard as the screen shows some discrepancies while writing on the whiteboard using a touchscreen.
- Tablets and phones are also not allowed.
- A couple of other things you must know about the official whiteboard:
- Its background is white and it covers only the top half of the screen and the lower half is grey and cannot be used for writing.
- It will stay on top of all other windows.
- It will not allow the use of any shortcuts such as ctrl + Z to undo.
- You will be able to see the result of your last work even if you close the whiteboard.
- It may reset sometimes due to some technical glitch which is a rare occasion, though.
- A laptop touchpad may be difficult to use to draw figures.
- Resize the whiteboard as per your requirement.
- Check your mouse beforehand. If it has multiple buttons, make sure that you disable them so that there are no accidental clicks leading to avoidable anxiety.
- The GMAT Online exam has its pros as well as cons.
- It’s less necessary to transfer a data sufficiency stem or statement to the whiteboard because you are doing the work right next to the problem.
- Writing complicated equations may be a headache for a few test-takers. Practice some of the complicated equations on the digital whiteboard provided by GMAC to know if it works for you.
- There is no writing section so you will be able to focus more on the other sections.
- You can’t choose the section order. It is fixed.
- If you are good at typing, you will be able to manage the test comfortably.
- You can take this test only once. However, you cannot preview the score and cancel it.
- Albeit GMAC wanting students to have a good test-taking experience, there are going to be some cases of technical glitches. GMAC will continue to provide guidelines in order to avoid such issues.
Here is a checklist you can use to ensure that you are ready for the test day:
- Computer with an approved operating system and web browser
- Private room
- Table and chair
- Wired mouse
- You must meet all “OnVue” system requirements.
Use the information in this article to decide whether you want to go for the GMAT Online home-testing or you want to wait for the centers to reopen. If you are applying for Round 3, you will have to make the decision soon. However, if you are not applying for Round 3, you have enough time and you may like to invest 3 to 4 hours in a week to practice on the digital whiteboard.
Keep in mind that it may not be easy to find the appointment dates for the GMAT once the centres reopen considering the fact that the social distancing may still be the norm even when the lockdown is over. Another reason is the rush of the GMAT test-takers who may have been waiting for taking the test at the centers.
- GMAC has provided a whiteboard for practice. Start using it as you prepare for GMAT exam, especially if you are planning to take the real GMAT in the next 2 to 3 months.
- There are 15 tools on the Whiteboard, but you will need mostly text and pen. This is how the GMAT Online Whiteboard Practicetool looks like.
- GMAC has created a dedicated section in their website to understand the process. Check the video also.
- For more information related to the GMAT interim online test, read our blog.
Therefore, as you may have understood by now, there are several advantages of taking the test now in its Online Home-testing avatar. Also please note that the GMAT home-testing date has been extended till 31.12.2020.
On our part, at Manya Education, all our existing batches and 1-on-1 courses have been moved to online platforms. In addition, we are continuing to provide all our value-added-services such as extra-help and Booster sessions online.
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