The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is taken online and is an admissions test for M.B.A. programs. The GMAT is also accepted as an alternative to the LSAT by a few law schools. It is a computer-adaptive exam, meaning the questions increase in difficulty as the student achieves more correct answers.
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) announced this spring it would phase out the current GMAT format and roll out a new GMAT Focus Edition 2023 in the fourth quarter of this year. To compare and contrast the existing GMAT with the new Focus Edition, please click here. See below for more details.
Existing GMAT Format:
Students can take the GMAT two ways: in person at a testing center or at home. Both exams are computer-based.
The existing GMAT consists of four sections and runs just over 3 hours, plus two 8-minute breaks. When taken at home, the online GMAT gives students the option of taking two 8-minute breaks. Students are offered an additional 30-minute check-in. When students take the GMAT, they have the flexibility to choose the order of sections. Students can take the test up to five times in a rolling 12-month period. A description of sections is below.
|Section||# of questions||Section length||Question Types|
|Analytical Writing Assessment||1 Topic||30 minutes||Written essay analyzing an argument|
|Integrated Reasoning||12 Questions||30 minutes||Graphics Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-source Reasoning, Two-part Analysis|
|Quantitative Reasoning||31 Questions||62 minutes||Data Sufficiency, Problem-Solving|
|Verbal Reasoning||36 Questions||65 minutes||Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction|
Looking Ahead: GMAT Focus Edition
Starting later this year, The GMAC will roll out the new, shorter, GMAT Focus Edition 2023 exam. The existing GMAT will continue to be available until early 2024 before the new Focus Edition exam fully replaces it. Registration for the new exam opens on August 29, 2023, with testing to begin in Q4 of 2023. The new GMAT Focus Edition 2023 exam consists of three total sections and runs for 2 hours 15 minutes. A description of sections for the new Focus Edition GMAT is below:
|Section||# of questions||Section length||Question Types|
(Replaces the current, Integrated Reasoning section)
|20 questions||45 minutes||Measures a candidate’s data literacy skills. Question types include data sufficiency, multi-source reasoning, table analysis, two-part analysis, and graphics interpretation.|
|Quantitative Reasoning||21 Questions||45 minutes||This section will now focus solely on Problem-Solving questions, measuring arithmetic and algebra knowledge.|
|Verbal Reasoning||23 Questions||45 minutes||Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning questions that emphasize higher-order thinking.|
The GMAT taken at test sites offer test dates that are flexible throughout the year. Click here to begin your registration to view testing dates and locations. Registration is required approximately one month prior to a student’s intended test date. Students are eligible to take the test every 16 days, no more than five times per year. Students are not allowed to test more than eight times.
The GMAT taken at-home is available seven days a week, around the clock. Students can register for the exam online.
While the official 4th quarter start date of the GMAT Focus Edition has not yet been announced, registration will open on August 29, 2023.
Students who take the current GMAT receive a total score that is scaled from 200 to 800. This score encompasses the Quantitative and Verbal sections. The Analytical Writing Assessment is scored 1 to 6 in half-point increments, and the Integrated Reasoning section is scored on a scale from 1 to 8 in one-point increments.
The GMAT is a computer-adaptive exam, meaning the questions increase in difficulty as the student achieves more correct answers. Students have the option to purchase an Enhanced Score Report, offering insight into question type, pacing, and areas of improvement if a student wishes to re-test.
Scoring for the GMAT Focus Edition 2023:
Students who take the GMAT Focus Edition receive a score that is scaled from 205-805. All three sections of this exam are weighted equally towards the overall score. This score cannot be compared to the current GMAT but there is a concordance table that allows students to identify the percentile ranking from each exam. The GMAT Focus Edition 2023 exam automatically includes a comprehensive score report as part of registration.
Score review & cancellation:
Prior to taking the exam, students select up to five schools to receive their score report at no cost. Students can add additional schools for a fee, which varies by the location of the test.
GMAT scores are valid for five years and are available for reporting (not school admission) for up to 10 years.
Students can cancel their scores at two junctures:
- Directly following their test following their Score Preview (no cost);
- Within 72 hours of their exam (for a fee)
If a student chooses to cancel their scores, they are able to later reinstate them for up to four years and 11 months following the exam date.
The Official score report sent to schools will contain all GMAT scores for that student; cancelled scores will not appear on the score report.
The GMAT is available for students with different learning abilities, including the following:
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Learning and Cognitive Disorders
- Physical and Systemic Disabilities
- Psychological Disabilities
- Sensory Disabilities (Vision and Hearing)
Students must apply for accommodations before they register for a test date and will receive a written decision.
Accommodation applications for the new GMAT Focus Edition 2023 open on August 29, 2023. For more information, please click here.
What is the Executive Assessment?
A small number of M.B.A. programs, many Executive M.B.A. programs, and some Master’s program accept the Executive Assessment in lieu of the GMAT. For more information, please click here.
The Current GMAT vs. GMAT Focus Edition 2023
|Current GMAT||GMAT Focus Edition 2023|
|Total Testing Time||3 hours, 7 minutes||2 hours, 15 minutes|
|Section: Analytical Writing Assessment|
|Number of Questions||1 question||N/A
This section has been removed
|Time Limit||30 minutes|
|Question Types||Written essay analyzing an argument|
|Section: Verbal Reasoning|
|Number of Questions||36 questions||23 questions|
|Time Limit||65 minutes||45 minutes|
|Question Types||Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction||Critical reasoning and reading comprehension skills|
|Section: Quantitative Reasoning|
|Number of Questions||31 questions||21 questions|
|Time Limit||62 minutes||45 minutes|
|Question Types||Data Sufficiency, Problem-Solving||This section will now focus solely on Problem-Solving questions, measuring arithmetic and algebra knowledge.|
|Section: Integrated Reasoning
Specific to the current GMAT
|Number of Questions||12 questions||N/A
This section has been updated to “Data Insights”
|Time Limit||20 minutes|
|Question Types||Graphics Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-source Reasoning, Two-part Analysis|
|Section: Data Insights
New to the GMAT Focus Edition 2023
|Number of Questions||N/A||20 questions|
|Time Limit||45 minutes|
|Question Types||Assesses data literacy skills|