GMAT™ Focus Edition

On March 8, 2023, the GMAC announced the launch of a new GMAT format called the GMAT™ Focus Edition. Official prep materials for the Focus Edition are expected to launch in June, but 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 Edition?

The GMAC has launched a new informational webpage for the exam, announcing that the Focus Edition will be comprised of three sections that are each 45 minutes long: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Data Insights. The sections can be arranged in any order that the test taker prefers.

  • Quantitative Reasoning - 21 Questions | Problem Solving format only
  • Verbal Reasoning - 23 Questions | Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning formats
  • Data Insights - 20 Questions | Data Sufficiency and Integrated Reasoning formats

The timeline for the GMAT™ Focus Edition rollout has also been revealed as of March 28:

  • June 6, 2023 - Official GMAT Focus prep materials will be made available
  • August 29, 2023 - GMAT™ Focus Edition official exam registration will open
  • Q4 2023 - GMAT™ Focus Edition testing will begin online and in-person

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 have been 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. 

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.

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." Furthermore, 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'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.

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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.

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