GMAT™ Focus Edition
On March 8, 2023, the GMAC announced the launch of a new GMAT format called the GMAT™ Focus Edition. Very few explicit details about the exam have been provided to date, but we at MyGuru are confident that anyone prepping for the current version of the GMAT will find that much of the content of the new Focus Edition is the same. Additionally, the current version of the GMAT will continue to be offered through the beginning of 2024, so if you have been prepping for the existing version of the test, continue to work towards your official GMAT as is without worrying too much about a new version that hopefully will be released sometime prior to 2024.
What do we know about the new GMAT Focus exam?
So far, the official answer is very little! The GMAC has launched a new informational webpage for the exam with circular links that only point back to that landing page. Eventually, we expect that those links will share additional information, but for now what is known is that this new GMAT option will launch sometime in 2023 and will be comprised of three sections that are each 45 minutes long: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Data Insights.However internet sleuths were able to screen capture content from the upcoming Official Guide to the GMAT 2023-2024 prior to its removal from several online retailers and those images have led to speculation about several topics. On this website as of March, 2023 we are most certainly discussing unconfirmed but likely changes to the GMAT.
Several topics will no longer be covered on the GMAT
The exam will no longer have an Analytical Writing Assessment essay. This is a somewhat expected change, as few MBA programs seemed to care about this section, and it was not included in the official reported score out of 800. More interestingly, two major components of the current GMAT are expected to be removed from the Focus Edition - geometry and sentence corrections. We find that students often struggle to refamiliarize themselves with geometric principles, which don't tend to be used often in most business settings, and so the removal of geometry seems like a reasonable change. Writing and communicating clearly is of course important in business, so rationale or value in removal sentence corrections is less clear to us.
The exam will allow for more personalization
You can already choose the sequence in which you take each section of the current GMAT, and the Focus Edition appears to offer even more personalization. It will allow for more personalization in terms of section ordering and allow test takers to edit up to three questions in a section after having selected an answer. How that function will work exactly, however, remains to be seen.
There is a new scoring scale, which now includes your performance on Integrated Reasoning
The GMAT Focus edition will now have three sections, all of which will count towards a total score. Integrated Reasoning, which previously existed separately and on its own scoring scale, will be combined with the notoriously difficult Data Sufficiency question type to form a new section called Data Insights.
GMAT Focus Section Structure
- Quantitative Reasoning: 21 Questions - All Problem Solving
- Verbal Reasoning: 23 Questions - Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension
- Data Insights: 20 Questions - Data Sufficiency and Integrated Reasoning
Additionally, there will be a single unified score for the exam on a new scoring scale, meaning that the Data Insights (again, a newer version of the old Integrated Reasoning section) will no longer be an afterthought for GMAT test takers. Ultimately, the GMAT™ Focus Edition is expected to be quite similar to a 50% longer Executive Assessment exam, which is a test that MyGuru has been tutoring exclusively for more than five years with content dedicated to that exam as opposed to just repurposing GMAT content.
GMAT Focus Scoring
- Quantitative Reasoning: Individual scale 60-90 in single point increments
- Verbal Reasoning: Individual scale 60-90 in single point increments
- Data Insights: Individual scale 60-90 in single point increments
- Total Score: Combined scale 205-805 in ten point increments
Score reporting is also becoming more user-friendly with the GMAT™ Focus Edition as you can decide to send your results to up to five schools for free after seeing your score. The Official Score Report for all Focus Edition tests will also be more analogous to the Enhanced Score Report that is currently available for an extra $30 and only for GMAT exams taken at a testing center.
The exam is now shorter
Primarily because of the removal of the Analytical Writing Assessment essay, the exam will be about 45 minutes shorter than the GMAT students are taking today. As previously mentioned, geometry and sentence corrections appear to be on their way out. This flows down to the GMAT test prep process, implying that MBA applicants may be able to spend less time studying for the GMAT.
Is the GMAT Focus Edition harder than the current version of the GMAT?
There is simply too much changing and not enough known about the changes to conclude with any certainty that the new exam is "harder" or "easier." Further more, difficulty is relative. If the exam is relatively more difficult overall, but you are better positioned to deal with the changes than the average GMAT test taker, they changes could benefit you. Or vice versa. It's just too early to tell.
Should you take the current GMAT or wait for the GMAT Focus Edition?
If you're currently more than a month into your prep for the current GMAT - stay the course. It will take time for the GMAC to rollout practice materials and exams, so it is unlikely that the GMAT™ Focus Edition will be available in the first half of 2023. Even more importantly, it's going to take some time for admissions offices to get acclimated to a new exam. For this reason, we don't expect the Focus Edition to play much of a role, if any at all, in round 1 or round 2 admissions for the application cycle beginning this fall.
However, if you're early in your prep, and not necessarily planning to apply in 2023, you may consider looking at the GRE or waiting for the GMAT™ Focus Edition if you know that sentence corrections or geometry are areas of difficulty, since they will be retired in the new exam.
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GMAT™ Focus Edition Tutoring
The content of the Focus Edition will emphasize the benefits of our approach to online GMAT coaching that provides a more intuitive and personalized experience than any other GMAT instruction option. After every MyGuru online session each student will still a minimum of two texts to review - The Official Guide online (including the 2023-2024 version once it is available) and a digital copy of that day's whiteboard filled with study notes and GMAT strategies specifically tailored to you. Furthermore, with the new Focus Edition focusing more on live problem solving and critical thinking, being able to work through processes in real-time with your instructor will be more important than ever.
Additional Resources to Support Your GMAT Test Prep
Check out our GMAT blog for the latest student testimonials, GMAT concept reviews and explanations, and advice on graduate business school admissions.
Example articles include:
- How to Successfully Answer a GMAT Sample Sentence Correction Question
- Executive Assessment (EA) Exam vs. GMAT: Pros, Cons, and Considerations
- Why Hire an MBA Admissions Consultant?
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