Say goodbye to the old GMAT exam! Starting in early November, say hello to the new, slimmed down, and reimagined GMAT Focus.
Manish Dharia, director of product marketing at the Graduate Management Admission Council, told Accepted Founder Linda Abraham in a recent podcast that the GMAT Focus reflects current needs and realities for business schools, business school candidates, and employers.
Just as the GRE has been updated and significantly trimmed, GMAT Focus has lopped off nearly one hour from the length of the previous test, clocking in at roughly two hours and 15 minutes. Each of the three sections is only 45 minutes long, and new flexibility means that test takers can not only work the sections in any order they wish but also revisit their answers and revise them. There is an optional ten-minute-break.
Changes to the test were intended to “provide better insight to both test takers as well as to schools so that they can make better decisions about their readiness for school,” Dharia explained. Still, most of the questions on the GMAT Focus will look the same as ones on the current version of the exam.
The previous GMAT had sections for Quant, Verbal, and Integrated Reasoning assessments, as well as an essay. The redesigned GMAT continues to emphasize problem solving, critical thinking, and data analytics (or data literacy), including a new section called Data Insights. The new test will still have a Verbal section, but the essay component is gone. As noted, many questions will remain the same, but others have been deleted or moved to a different section.
GMAT Focus registrations opened in late August, with the first test appointments on November 7. The current version of the GMAT will remain available through early 2024 before being entirely phased out.
To learn more about the new GMAT Focus and to access test prep materials, visit the GMAT Focus site.
Most B-schools are accepting the GMAT Focus, though not all. Check the following chart to see whether your target schools accept the new exam.
|Accepted in Round 1||Accepted in Round 2|
|Columbia Business School||Yes||Yes|
|Harvard Business School||No||No*|
* HBS will accept GMAT Focus scores only from 2+2 applicants during the 2023-2024 application season.
** Wharton will accept GMAT Focus scores as of the end of January 2024.
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with each school directly to verify which exams it accepts.***
By Judy Gruen, a former Accepted admissions consultant. Judy holds a master’s in journalism from Northwestern University and is the co-author of Accepted’s first full-length book, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools. Want an admissions expert help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!
- Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One, a free guide
- Admissions Directors Reveal the Most Common Mistakes Applicants Make, podcast Episode 538
- MBA Calculator Quiz