The GMAT Focus Edition, set to launch in late 2023, brings significant changes to the exam’s structure, content, and scoring, as stated by the latest article by Poets&Quants. With a new format and a single combined score, the Focus Edition aims to streamline the test-taking experience, though uncertainty remains regarding the adaptive function and implications for admissions professionals.

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Introducing the GMAT Focus Edition: Major Changes Coming to the Renowned Exam

Key takeaways:

  • The GMAT Focus Edition introduces major changes, including a new Data Insights section replacing Integrated Reasoning, a shorter test duration, and the removal of geometry and sentence completion questions.
  • Unlike the current GMAT, the Focus Edition will allow test-takers to mark and review questions within a section, offering increased flexibility in navigation. However, the adaptive function’s implementation alongside this feature remains unclear.
  • The new GMAT Focus Edition will provide a single combined score, raising concerns about its utility for admissions professionals assessing applicants’ quantitative abilities and creating uncertainty about the exam’s comparability to the GRE and EA.

The Graduate Management Admissions Council has announced a new version of the GMAT exam, called the Focus Edition, set to launch late in 2023. The new format brings significant changes to the test’s structure, content, and scoring, aiming to better assess applicants’ skills and streamline the examination process.

Key changes to the GMAT Focus Edition include:

  1. The test is now divided into three sections – Quantitative, Verbal, and Data Insights, replacing the current Integrated Reasoning section. The new format is nearly an hour shorter than the current test.
  2. The adaptive function of the test remains uncertain. It is unclear how the adaptive function will work alongside the new “mark and review” feature that allows test takers to revisit questions.
  3. The new GMAT will provide a single combined score, rather than separate quant, verbal, IR, and AWA essay scores. This change raises concerns for admissions professionals who rely on the quantitative score to assess an applicant’s abilities.
  4. The new Official Score Report will offer insights to help test takers assess their strengths and weaknesses, potentially at no extra cost. However, it is unclear what information schools will receive.

Despite the GMAT’s claim that the new edition will require less study time, experts remain skeptical about this assertion.

As the new test format and prep materials are still in development, experts advise prospective test-takers not to wait for the Focus Edition and continue studying for the current GMAT.

Unconventional Wisdom: 5 Lesser-Known GMAT Preparation Tips for Success

While the new GMAT Focus Edition brings significant changes to the test format and scoring, it is crucial for prospective test-takers to continue preparing for the current GMAT or the new edition, depending on their application timelines. 

Alongside common test preparation strategies, consider these five lesser-known but effective tips to help you excel in the GMAT:

Focus on mastering the basics

Before diving into advanced concepts, ensure that you have a strong foundation in basic math and grammar. This understanding will serve as the bedrock for tackling more complex GMAT problems, and you’ll be better equipped to identify shortcuts and strategies.

Practice mental math

The GMAT is a timed test, and being able to perform quick mental calculations can save valuable minutes. Improve your mental math skills by practicing arithmetic and estimations in everyday situations or using mobile apps designed for this purpose.

Develop a reading habit

Reading regularly, especially articles on diverse subjects, can enhance your reading comprehension and critical reasoning skills. This habit will improve your ability to analyze complex GMAT passages, helping you save time and respond more accurately to verbal section questions.

Embrace your mistakes

When preparing for the GMAT, don’t be disheartened by errors. Instead, analyze your mistakes and identify areas of improvement. Keeping track of these mistakes in a journal can help you spot patterns and focus on areas that need more attention.

Incorporate relaxation techniques

Stress and anxiety can negatively impact your test performance. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, or meditation to manage stress effectively and maintain focus during the exam.

These unpopular yet useful strategies can supplement your GMAT preparation, helping you achieve the best possible score on the test.

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