*Originally Published on mba.com
What is the GMAT™ Focus Edition? How can it boost your chances of admission to your choice of business school?
If you have ambitions to be a leader in your business career, you know that a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or other post-graduate business degree opens doors and prepares you for the business world like no other qualification. You’ve probably also heard of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), the most widely accepted business school exam globally. The exam helps thousands of graduate business programs make critical admissions decisions and helps you, as a candidate, to demonstrate your commitment and eligibility for the MBA or business master’s degree program of your choice.
What’s new about GMAT™ Focus Edition?
The GMAT™ has evolved to be more aligned with your priorities. Introducing GMAT Focus Edition: Built for ambition focused on you. Accelerate your future with the graduate business exam that’s:
- Shorter: Composed of only three 45-minute sections, allowing you to efficiently prepare for test day in as little as six weeks.
- Flexible: Personalize your test-taking experience with Question Review & Edit, Select Section Order, and the ability to take the exam at a test centre or online.
- Insightful: After the exam, leverage the detailed insights provided by your Official Score Report to review your performance in each section, each question type, and more.
GMAT Focus Edition also introduces new improvements and features that make a major difference in how you take – and use – the exam.
Question Review & Edit: You can now bookmark and review as many questions as you want, and you can change up to three answers per section within the section time remaining, allowing you to optimize your test-taking strategy.
Select Section Order: Take the exam in whatever section order you prefer. Want to get Quantitative Reasoning out of the way? Start there. Feel like Verbal Reasoning is best saved until the end? Slot it in last.
Focused Content: With the removal of the analytical writing assessment, you can spend more time developing the skills that matter most to business schools.
Detailed Performance Insights: The Official Score Report now details your performance in each section, for each question type, your time management skills, and more!
Five Free Score Reports: You now have the flexibility and control to select programs to send your scores to after the exam – regardless of whether you test online or at a test centre. You can send up to five score reports for free within 48 hours of receiving your Official Score, and additional score reports are available after that for a fee.
GMAT™ Focus Edition in brief
The candidate experience has been central to the development of the GMAT™ Focus Edition. The test itself is shorter than the previous version and takes less time to complete than similar graduate school examinations. It’s flexible, too – you can complete the sections in any order you choose, review questions, and revise up to three answers per section. The test has a maximum score of 805 and a minimum score of 205. It consists of three sections, each with a maximum score of 90 and a minimum score of 60. Each section takes 45 minutes, so the total testing time is two hours and 15 minutes.
Section 1: Quantitative Reasoning
The Quantitative Reasoning section determines mathematical ability and numerical literacy, testing your ability to reason, solve problems, and interpret data. It measures the skills you will use in quantitative-based subjects such as finance, accounting, and managerial statistics. This section consists of Problem-Solving questions and requires common knowledge of concepts related to arithmetic, elementary algebra, and word problems.
Section 2: Verbal Reasoning
The Verbal Reasoning section evaluates reading comprehension and critical reasoning. You will be assessed on your ability to comprehend and draw inferences from written material and to evaluate arguments through two types of multiple-choice questions. Reading Comprehension passages of up to 350 words are followed by a set of questions that test your ability to interpret the text, to draw inferences from it, and to identify logical relationships between elements of the content. Critical Reasoning questions measure your ability to draw conclusions from short arguments.
Section 3: Data Insights
The Data Insights section tests your ability to read and interpret data in multiple formats, including tables and graphs. It is designed to mimic today’s business world, in which managers synthesize data from multiple sources to identify patterns, make decisions, and solve business problems. This part of the GMAT Focus Edition uses question formats that include Data Sufficiency, Multi-Source Reasoning, Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation, and Two-Part Analysis.
How is GMAT™ Focus Edition different to the previous GMAT?
Each enhancement to the GMAT™ exam was designed in partnership with leading business schools and prospective business school applicants to ensure relevance and alignment with the skills required to succeed at business school and the world of work. GMAT Focus Edition is one of the biggest enhancements to date reflecting the rapidly changing business landscape we’ve all seen in the past few years.
|Features||GMAT Focus Edition||GMAT Exam|
|Structure||Three sections: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Data Insights.||Four sections: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment.|
|Exam duration||2 hours, 15 minutes||3 hours, 7 minutes|
|Total Score scale||205-805||200-800|
|Section order||Sections can be completed in any order you choose.||Three section order options to choose from.|
|Question Review & Edit||At the end of each section, you can review as many questions as you would like and can edit up to three answers.||Not available.|
|Score reports||A score report with detailed performance insights is included in the exam fee.||A basic score report is included in the exam fee. An enhanced score report is available for an additional fee.|
|Attempts||Five attempts in a rolling 12-month period and eight attempts in a lifetime.|
|Test Availability||Testing starts Q4 2023.||Available now! Tests are available up to 7 days a week (or around the clock if taken online) and can be scheduled up to 6 months in advance.|
What score do business schools look for?
What makes the GMAT Focus Edition stand out from other admission tests is that it has been formulated specifically for business schools and is accepted by more than 7,700 business school programs worldwide. This commitment to your business education is highly sought-after in the admissions process. Even when the GMAT is not a compulsory part of the application process up front, admissions managers may still ask you to supply a score later in the process if your application is not as competitive as others in their applicant pool.
The definition of a “good” score changes from business school to business school and candidate to candidate. Most programs do not have an explicitly stated minimum for GMAT™ percentiles but tend to publish an average or a range of GMAT scores achieved by their most recent class. This can provide a useful benchmark; however, they are generally looking for candidates with a well-balanced set of scores across all sections.
Don’t rule out programs even if you haven’t reached your target GMAT score, especially if it is close to the published range. Your score will be one part of your application, and you may have considerable strengths in other areas. Contact the admissions team for your chosen program to seek their guidance and be prepared to retake the exam.
Ultimately, even where the GMAT Focus Edition is not required, taking the test can give you an edge over other candidates, providing access to top business schools globally. It’s one of the best ways for you to prove that you’re willing to do what it takes to achieve your goals and make your dream of a successful business career become a reality. Whether you aspire to a high-flying corporate career, further study, or work abroad, or even founding a business of your own, make the GMAT Focus Edition the next step on your journey.