Introducing the new GMAT Focus Edition 2023 – As the business environment continues to evolve rapidly, so do the skills required to succeed in it. To ensure that the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) remains a reliable and accurate assessment of these skills, the GMAC has announced a major test change and is launching a brand-new GMAT test called GMAT Focus, starting from November 7, 2023; registration is now open. The classic GMAT is expected to be retired by Q1’2024 .
This new GMAT test will focus on higher-order critical reasoning skills and data literacy that are especially relevant and applicable in the business environment of tomorrow.
The wait is over! Now, you can create your Personalized Study Plan for the GMAT focus Edition.
In this blog post, we will answer the following questions:
- What is the GMAT Focus Edition 2023 & how is it different ?
- What does this new GMAT test mean for MBA admissions?
- What does it mean for e-GMATers and how to prepare for the exam?
- When will the new GMAT focus edition will be available & what is the pattern?.
- What do we not know about the new GMAT Focus exam 2023?
Access all the GMAT Focus articles here.
- What changes with the GMAT Focus Edition?
- Change 1: Three Sections instead of four
- Change 2: New Data Insights Section
- Change 3: Shorter test duration
- Change 4: Simplified/Shorter and more application-focused preparation.
- Change 5- The option to review the questions and edit the answers is now available
- Change 6- Detailed and improved official score report that is included with the registration
- Change 7- Content changes in the Quantitative and Verbal reasoning
- A comparison between GMAT Focus edition and the current GMAT exam
- GMAT Focus Edition vs Current GMAT Exam- Which exam should you take?
- When will the new GMAT Focus edition be available?
- GMAT Focus edition- Exam structure and number of questions | Syllabus
- GMAT Focus Edition- Score Chart and Percentiles
- The GMAT Focus Edition and your current preparation
Watch this video to know – What GMAT Focus Edition 2023? And how it differs from the current version of the GMAT:
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What changes with the New GMAT Focus Edition 2023?
Here are some of the major change in GMAT Format, the GMAT Focus Edition 2023:
Change 1: Three Sections instead of Four
The most significant change introduced in the GMAT Focus edition 2023 relates to the content of the exam. The current GMAT features four sections, which include Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), and Integrated Reasoning. The first three sections have been a part of the GMAT for over two decades, whereas the Integrated Reasoning section was added in 2012.
However, the GMAT Focus edition 2023 brings a notable change in the exam structure by removing the AWA section altogether. The new exam will continue to assess the Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning abilities of the candidates, but with a more significant emphasis on higher-order reasoning skills, particularly in the Verbal Reasoning section. This adjustment reflects the evolving needs of business schools and employers, who are looking for candidates with a high level of critical reasoning and data literacy skills.
Change 2: New Data Insights Section | GMAT Focus Edition 2023
In addition to eliminating the AWA section and enhancing the Verbal Reasoning section, the new GMAT focus edition introduces a cutting-edge Data Insights section. This new segment is specifically designed to evaluate candidates’ competence in data analysis and interpretation, which is crucial in today’s rapidly changing business environment. By integrating both Integrated Reasoning and Data Sufficiency question types, this section measures a newly calibrated digital and data literacy dimension, which is one of the most relevant and in-demand skills in business today.
Consisting of 20 questions, this section prompts you to evaluate the relationship between various sources and types of information, such as graphics, numbers, and language, in order to arrive at informed decisions. Some of these questions may involve mathematical computations, data analysis, verbal reasoning, or a combination of all three. To assist you in your task, an on-screen calculator is available only in this section.
Here are the different question types in the Data Insights section:
- Data Sufficiency: Assesses your ability to analyze a quantitative problem and determine when you have enough data to solve it.
- Multi-Source Reasoning: Evaluates your ability to analyze data from different sources and recognize discrepancies or draw inferences about which data is relevant.
- Table Analysis: Measures your ability to analyze and sort data from a table.
- Graphics Interpretation: Evaluates your ability to interpret graphical data to make inferences and discern relationships.
- Two-Part Analysis: Measures your ability to solve complex problems using quantitative or verbal reasoning.
By including this new section, the GMAT Focus edition aims to provide business schools and employers with a more comprehensive assessment of candidates’ skills in areas that are particularly relevant and applicable in the business environment of tomorrow.
Some predictions for the GMAT Focus 2023 based on the above
With this information, there are some predictions that we can make. Note, the GMAC has not substantiated any of these predictions and none of these may pan out. However, they just seem to be logical extensions, given the limited insights we have.
Prediction 1 – Unified Scoring in the New GMAT
Rather than having multiple scores, the new GMAT will have a single score.
The current GMAT gives out three scores – a core Quant and Verbal score out of 800, an AWA score, and an IR score. The current scoring is confusing for two reasons:
- Difficult to evaluate three scores: For business schools, it has been difficult to evaluate three scores and combine them to create one unified ability metric for the candidate.
- Not all scores are equally discerning: The score out of 800 is the most discerning since it puts people in 61 different ability buckets. At the same time, the IR score just has 8 levels (from 1 to 8), whereas the AWA section has 13 levels, starting from 0 to 6, with intervals of 0.5.
Because of the above, business schools generally rely on the score out of 800 since it is the most discerning, ignoring the GMAC’s latest innovation and probably their biggest differentiator against the GRE – the Integrated Reasoning section.
With GMAT Focus Edition, the GMAC will address both these issues. By providing a single score that unifies a candidates’ Quant, Verbal, and IR scores, they will make it easier for admission offers to evaluate candidates.
This change benefits candidates as well, as it will allow them to focus on mastering the exam as a whole rather than trying to excel in individual sections.
Read our article GMAT Focus Edition- Score Chart and Percentiles to know more about scoring system.
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Prediction 2: Data insights will be more discerning than IR in the New GMAT
We expect the data insights section to be much more discerning than the current IR section. There are two reasons for the same.
Firstly, the data insights section will now be 45 minutes long, which is 50% longer than the 30-minute IR section in the current GMAT. This extra time will allow the GMAC to evaluate candidates’ data literacy skills in greater depth, making the section more discerning.
Secondly, the GMAC is putting the data insights section on par with the Quantitative and Verbal sections, which are the most discerning sections of the current GMAT. The Quantitative and Verbal sections are scored from 6 to 51, allowing for the test to evaluate candidates on 46 different levels (51-6+1). This (parity) indicates that the data insights section will be nearly as discerning as these sections on the new GMAT, further emphasizing the importance of data literacy skills in the modern business world.
Prediction 3: GRE to GMAT score conversion may be challenging.
Prediction 3 is built on Prediction 1 – a unified score. Currently, ETS provides a tool that maps GRE scores to GMAT scores, which has been very helpful for candidates who are considering both exams. This tool is possible because both the current GMAT and the current GRE have Quantitative and Verbal sections. However, if the GMAT Focus edition introduces a single score that combines the scores of the data insights section with those of the Verbal and Quantitative sections, it may be more challenging for ETS to create a one-to-one converter without making corresponding changes to the GRE.
As a result, ETS may need to make corresponding changes to the GRE exam to enable a one-to-one converter that accurately reflects the new GMAT Focus edition’s scoring system.
Overall, if the GMAT Focus edition introduces a single score, it may present some challenges in terms of score conversion for candidates considering both the GRE and the GMAT. It remains to be seen how ETS will address these challenges and whether they will make corresponding changes to the GRE to enable accurate score conversion
Change 3: Shorter test duration | GMAT Focus Edition 2023
The GMAT Focus edition is significantly shorter than the current GMAT, with a total test time of 2 hours and 15 minutes compared to 3 hours and 7 minutes in the current version. This is because the new exam consists of three 45-minute sections, including Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Data Insights. With the removal of the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section, the total test time has been reduced by almost an hour, making it more efficient and less time-consuming for candidates.
The shorter test duration may also help reduce test-taking fatigue, allowing candidates to perform at their best throughout the exam. Overall, the new test format in the GMAT Focus edition provides a streamlined, more focused assessment of the critical reasoning and data literacy skills necessary for success in the business world while also reducing the overall testing time.
Change 4: Simplified/Shorter and more application-focused preparation.
This is more of a claim by the GMAC rather than a hard change. According to the GMAC, the new GMAT Focus edition will enable students to prepare faster for the exam. This claim is primarily based on the fact that the AWA section has been removed, which means that candidates no longer have to spend time preparing for this section. Additionally, the GMAC states that the new exam will have reduced content for preparation, which may help students to focus on mastering the most critical concepts and skills required to succeed in the exam.
Our assessment of this claim
However, it is important to note that the primary goal of the GMAT remains the same – to assess a candidate’s readiness to take on the B school curriculum. The exam must still accurately evaluate candidates’ abilities and put them into decisive ability buckets. Therefore, although the new GMAT may have reduced content for preparation, it will still be a rigorous and challenging exam that requires candidates to demonstrate their mastery of the material.
Moreover, the GMAC’s statement on higher-order critical reasoning and data literacy skills indicates that the new GMAT will be more application-focused. This means that candidates will need to demonstrate their ability to apply critical thinking and data analysis skills to real-world business scenarios. As a result, candidates may have fewer concepts to learn, especially in the Sentence Correction section. (Prediction 4)
However, we still expect Reading Comprehension to be a critical part of the Verbal section, as it tests candidates’ ability to understand complex written material, which is essential for success in graduate business programs.
In summary, while the removal of the AWA section and reduced content for preparation may help candidates prepare faster for the new GMAT Focus edition, the exam’s primary goal remains the same – to evaluate candidates’ readiness for the rigors of graduate business education. Candidates should still expect a challenging and rigorous exam that requires mastery of the material, critical thinking skills, and data literacy.
Change 5- The option to review the questions and edit the answers is now available | GMAT Focus 2023
Currently, GMAT doesn’t allow candidates to change the answers to the questions. However, the new GMAT focus edition will allow you to bookmark and review as many questions as you want. You can also change up to three answers per section. According to the GMAC, these changes will allow the candidates to optimize their test strategy. How this change will impact the computer adaptability of the test remains to be seen.
Change 6- Detailed and improved official score report that is included with the registration
So far, the candidates had to purchase an ESR at an additional cost of $30 to get detailed insights into their performance. The new version of the GMAT now includes an improved official score report that will presumably function like an ESR. This report will help you assess your strengths and focus areas.
Change 7- Content changes in the Quantitative and Verbal reasoning
The GMAC has now announced the content changes in the exam to help the students plan their preparation strategy. Here are the major changes in the quant and verbal sections of the new GMAT:
Changes in the GMAT Verbal section:
Sentence Correction questions will be entirely removed, and only Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning questions will be featured. This new structure aims to test students’ comprehension, analysis, and reasoning abilities more effectively. Additionally, the Verbal section will now have 23 questions instead of the previous 36
Changes in the quantitative section:
The Quantitative section will only feature Problem-Solving questions, and Data Sufficiency questions will be moved to the newly introduced Data Insights section. Also, this section will no longer test Geometry. Instead, it will focus on arithmetic and algebra. Further, it will now have 21 questions, completely based on problem-solving
GMAC has released the Free GMAT focus mocks on the official mba.com website. To help you access these valuable resources, we have provided a clear and concise step-by-step guide in this informative article- How to access Free GMAT Focus Mocks
GMAT Focus Edition vs. the current GMAT exam- A comparison
Here is a comparison of the features of the GMAT focus edition and the old version, The GMAT exam:
|Feature||The GMAT Focus edition 2023||The GMAT exam|
|Exam duration||2 hours 15 minutes||3 hours 7 minutes|
|Sections||Quantitative reasoning, Verbal reasoning, Data insights||Quantitative reasoning, Verbal reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical writing assessment|
|Question type||All multiple-choice questions||Multiple choice questions + One essay|
|Individual section duration||3 sections of 45 minutes each||Quantitative reasoning- 62 minutes; |
Verbal reasoning- 65 minutes;
IR- 30 minutes;
AWA- 30 minutes
|Section order||Any order possible||Order 1- AWA and IR> Quant> Verbal; |
Order 2- Verbal> Quant> IR and AWA;
Order 3- Quant> Verbal> IR and AWA
|Flexibility||Bookmark and review as many questions as possible; Change up to 3 answers per section||No option to bookmark, edit or review questions|
|Score sending||Send scores to 5 schools for free after knowing your score in both the online and test center exam||Select five schools to send the score for free before starting the exam|
|Performance insights||Improved official score report with detailed insights into your performance||You can get insights into your performance by purchasing the ESR at an additional cost of $30|
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GMAT Focus Edition vs Current GMAT Exam- Which exam should you take?
Are you curious to know which exam should you take- the current GMAT exam or the GMAT Focus edition? Take the quiz below to find out.
The current GMAT is available now while the GMAT Focus Edition is around the corner. Although the GMAT Focus Edition is not accessible until late October, it is undeniably the future. We surveyed our students to understand their preferences and concerns about these tests. The results, gathered from over 800 respondents, were unexpected. For detailed information we recommend you to read our article Student Survey – Current GMAT vs GMAT Focus Edition.
When will the new GMAT Focus edition be available?
The current version of the GMAT Exam will continue to be available until early next year to facilitate the in-progress preparation and applications for business schools. Additionally, the timeframe for GMAT Focus Official Prep, registration, and appointment availability is now available:
GMAT Focus edition- Exam structure and number of questions | Syllabus
The upcoming GMAT focus edition will have a total of 64 questions. The test comprises three sections, including 21 questions in the Quantitative Reasoning section, 23 questions in the Verbal Reasoning section, and 20 questions in the newly introduced Data Insights section.
Here is a brief overview of the three sections:
|Feature||Verbal Reasoning||Quantitative Reasoning||Data Insights|
|No of questions||23||21||20|
|Question types||Reading Comprehension;|
|Problem Solving- |
Algebra and Arithmetic
|Section duration||45 minutes||45 minutes||45 minutes|
GMAT Focus Edition- Score Chart and Percentiles
GMAT Focus Edition- Score Chart and Percentile
Read this article to understand the GMAT Focus edition score chart and percentiles, its scoring architecture and how the scoring is different from the current GMAT version. GMAT Focus Edition- Score Chart and Percentiles
The GMAT Focus Edition and your current preparation
In this section, we have tried to answer some of your questions related to how the new GMAT exam affects your preparation strategies:
Read This article to know everything about GMAT Official Guide 2023-2024 and boost your preparation.
Q1: Should I stop preparing for the GMAT and wait for GMAT Focus Edition to launch?
Based on the information provided, we do not recommend that you stop preparing for the GMAT and wait for the GMAT Focus Edition to launch. Firstly, the announcement of the GMAT Focus Edition does not make the current GMAT irrelevant. The current GMAT will still be available until early next year, which gives you enough time to take the exam. Therefore, if you have already started preparing for the current GMAT, you should continue with your preparation.
Secondly, the Quantitative and Verbal preparation for the current GMAT will still be relevant for the GMAT Focus Edition. Therefore, any preparation that you do for the current GMAT will also help you to prepare for the GMAT Focus Edition.
Moreover, as per GMAC’s announcement, the GMAT Focus Edition will not be available until the second half of 2023, which may be too late for those applying in Round 1. By preparing for the current GMAT now, you will give yourself the best chance of getting admitted to the B-school of your choice and, hopefully, with some scholarship.
Q2: Would it be easier to get a high score on GMAT Focus Edition than on the current GMAT?
Based on the information provided, it is unlikely that it will be easier to get a high score on the GMAT Focus Edition than on the current GMAT. The reason for this is that the GMAT evaluates ability, and the GMAT Focus Edition will have to place the same set of candidates that take the current GMAT into ability groups. Therefore, for most candidates, we expect the new GMAT to be just as competitive as the current GMAT, and it will be equally difficult to score a high percentile on the new GMAT as it is on the current GMAT.
The only exception may be for students who find it challenging to prepare for the AWA section or to some extent, the Sentence Correction section. However, with the GMAT Focus Edition, candidates will be required to put more emphasis on the new Data Insights Section than they currently do on the Integrated Reasoning Section. Therefore, students who find the IR section more challenging may also find the new GMAT more difficult.
Overall, it is unlikely that the GMAT Focus Edition will be easier to score highly on than the current GMAT. Therefore, candidates should continue to prepare thoroughly and diligently for the exam, regardless of which version they plan to take.
Q3: Will e-GMAT support the new GMAT? Will I have to purchase a new course?
For the last 10 years, e-GMAT has delivered more 700+ scores than any other test prep provider. Since 2021, e-GMAT has accounted for 60% of all success reported on GMAT Club. With every change – be it the introduction of IR in 2012 or the introduction of a shorter format in 2018 – we have improved our offerings and have delivered more success. We will continue to do the same in 2023.
We will enhance the current e-GMAT course to incorporate the proposed changes. Students who have already subscribed to e-GMAT’s current course will be able to access the updated course without having to purchase a new course. Therefore, they will have access to the same level of quality content and support that e-GMAT is known for and be fully prepared for the GMAT Focus Edition.
Read this article to understand – How will e-GMAT support the GMAT Focus Edition?
In conclusion, the GMAT Focus edition, which has been designed in partnership with leading business schools and prospective business school candidates, reflects how the GMAT has evolved in accordance with the rapidly changing business landscape. However, a few questions related to the specific content changes in the GMAT, the scoring metrics, and the exact date of the launch of the new exam remain yet to be answered. Stay tuned for more updates on the GMAT focus edition: the brand new exam of the GMAC.
If you have started preparing for the GMAT or are planning to, we can help you with a personalized study plan and give you access to quality online content to prepare. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are the most reviewed GMAT prep company on gmatclub with 2500+ reviews. Why don’t you take a free trial and judge for yourself?
GMAT Focus Edition – FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions on GMAT Focus Edition 2023.
The duration of the New GMAT Test will be 2 hours and 15 minutes.
There will be three sections in the New Gmat Test – Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Data Insights.
As per the current update, Sentence correction section will be removed from Verbal Reasoning and Geometry will be removed from Quantitative Reasoning.
The New GMAT Focus Edition will give you one single total score based on three sections (Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Data Insights), unlike the old GMAT Exam, which gave three different scores (The total score, AWA score, and IR score) Read this article – GMAT Focus Edition- Score Chart and Percentiles
Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Problem-Solving in Quant will be retained in the NEW GMAT Exam Format.
Yes, any GMAT score will be valid for 5 years from the test date. The business school will not stop accepting your old GMAT score once the GMAT focus edition is introduced.
Yes, GMAT Focus is adaptive, adjusting the difficulty based on your responses. However, uniquely, it allows you to change up to three answers in each section to reduce exam stress and promote decisive decision-making.
While it is possible that business schools may regard a high score on the GMAT Focus Edition more favorably than a similarly high score on the current GMAT, it’s unlikely that such a shift would happen rapidly, say within two years. This is because, for such a transition to take place, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) would need to demonstrate that the new GMAT Focus Edition is a more reliable indicator of a student’s potential for success in a business school program.
This involves collecting significant data over a period of time that shows a strong correlation between high scores on the GMAT Focus Edition and successful performance in MBA programs. It will also necessitate that admissions committees at business schools across the globe come to trust and value the assessment methods and scoring of the new GMAT Focus Edition.
This process of collecting and analyzing data, and then convincing admissions committees of the validity and value of the new GMAT Focus Edition scores, will likely take several years. Therefore, while a shift in preference towards the GMAT Focus Edition might happen eventually, it is highly unlikely to occur within the next two years.
So, in the short term, it’s safe to assume that business schools will continue to accept and value high scores from the current GMAT just as they always have. In the meantime, preparing diligently and doing your best on whichever version of the GMAT you decide to take is the most important thing.
I hope this provides some clarity for your future preparations and decisions related to the GMAT. Best of luck in your journey towards business school!
Absolutely. A score of 760 on the current GMAT is considered in the 99th percentile, and students achieving this high level of performance will always be highly regarded, regardless of the test format in which they achieve this score.
Based on the research up to 2021, a student who scores 760 on the GMAT is about twice as likely to be admitted to a top-tier M7 business school compared to a student who scores 730. Similarly, a student with a score of 760 was found to receive, on average, approximately $50,000 more in scholarship funds than a student who scored 730.
We anticipate that even after the introduction of the GMAT Focus Edition, business schools will continue to value high scores on the current GMAT format. A score of 760 will still indicate exceptional aptitude and potential for success in a rigorous business school program.
Therefore, if you’re able to score 760 on the current GMAT, it is expected that business schools will continue to hold such a score in high regard, regardless of whether the GMAT Focus Edition is in place. This reflects the tradition of valuing high academic achievement and the predictive validity of the GMAT in assessing a student’s potential for success in a challenging business school environment.
The introduction of a new version of the GMAT (in this case, the GMAT Focus Edition) does not inherently change the relative value of a score on the current version of the GMAT. A 710 on the current GMAT still indicates a strong performance, as it generally falls around the 90th percentile.
However, it’s important to note that how business schools interpret these scores can evolve over time. Admissions committees may need time to familiarize themselves with the new testing format and understand how scores on the Focus Edition correlate with student success. Until there is substantial data showing a clear correlation between performance on the new test format and student success in business school, it’s unlikely that the relative value of a 710 on the current GMAT would change significantly.
It’s also worth noting that GMAT scores are just one factor that business schools consider in their admissions processes. Other factors such as undergraduate GPA, work experience, essays, letters of recommendation, and interviews also play a crucial role. So while a high GMAT score is beneficial, it is not the sole determinant of admission or success in business school.
In summary, while we can’t quantify an exact change in the relative value of a 710 GMAT score after the introduction of a new version of the test, it’s reasonable to assume that, at least in the short term, the score will maintain its value until there is substantial data on the new test’s predictability of business school success.
The GMAT Focus Edition will start testing from November 7, 2023.
Registration for the GMAT Focus Edition is now open. (Started on August 29, 2023) – Registration link