The GMAT online exam will change beginning 8 April 2021 to become more aligned with the test-centre version, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) said.
The news comes about a month after GMAC announced that GMAT online, which was launched as a temporary option in response of the coronavirus pandemic, is now permanent.
Test takers are already able to schedule an appointment for the redesigned GMAT online exam for dates beginning 8 April.
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Here’s what you can expect from the GMAT online exam online for appointments on April 8, 2021, and later:
- The unofficial score report will be available immediately after the end of the exam.
- GMAT online will allow test takers to select their section order, just like the test centre exam.
- Test takers will be able to take two 8-minute optional breaks.
- The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section will be included in the GMAT online exam.
Growing similarity between online or test centre tests
With the new changes to the online exam, the test centre and at home testing experiences are even more similar than before, GMAC said:
- Identical test structure. Whether you take it at home or at a test centre, the GMAT exam will have the same four sections.
- Score comparability. Test either way with the confidence that the score scales and reliability will be interpreted the same way by your target schools.
- Similar testing experiences. Get the same flexibility and control at home as the test centre, including selecting your section order, whiteboard usage, and breaks.
There are some additional characteristics of GMAT online that need to be mentioned. The online exam registration costs USD 250, which less than in-person registration. For the exact difference, visit the GMAT pricing page to see the rates valid for your country.
You may take the online GMAT exam twice. This counts towards your limit of eight lifetime GMAT tests and your limit of five times in a rolling 12-month period.
It’s important to know that you can use an online whiteboard or your own physical whiteboard, dry erase marker, and an eraser. Here you can get familiar with the online whiteboard tool.
A permanent option
The at-home version of the GMAT was originally launched as a temporary measure on 20 April 2020 when Covid-19 closed test centres around the world. Under the initial plan, the online exam should have been available for only three months, but GMAC eventually decided to keep it permanently. The initial online version did not include some major features of the test-centre exam such as the AWA section and the ability to choose the section order. GMAC said it included the AWA section in the online test following feedback from business schools.
Those choosing between the online and test-centre options should know that, generally, business schools do not prefer one version to the other. Whichever version you choose, however, make sure that you prepare well.