Starting April 8, GMAT Online to have all features of GMAT at Center!

The global pandemic has made everyone miss out on a lot of things, but GMAT is not one of them. In April 2020, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) launched GMAT Online Exam which can be taken from the comfort of your home. This blog talks about everything you need to know about GMAT Online exam and how is it different from test centre based GMAT. From April 8 onwards, students will be able to take GMAT Online exam that would be exactly similar in terms of structure and scoring to the regular GMAT.

WHAT IS GMAT AT CENTER?

The GMAT at centre is the regular computer adaptive test centre-based GMAT exam. The exam is divided into 4 sections which are, analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, and integrated reasoning. You can also choose the order of sections.

The total duration given to complete the test is 3 hours 7 minutes. During this time, test takers are also entitled to have two optional 8-minute breaks. So, the total time limit is almost about 3 and ½ hours inclusive of the breaks.

The exam can be taken up to five times a year but no more than eight times in total. Attempts must be a minimum of 16 days apart. GMAT score is valid for 5 years. GMAT exam fee is $250.

CAN I TAKE GMAT EXAM ONLINE?

Yes, GMAT Online exam is an online alternative to the test centre-based GMAT which allows you to take the test from the comfort of your home. GMAT Online exam was launched by GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) in response to worldwide lockdowns due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The GMAT exam online is a remote proctored GMAT, which means that the exam software enables Human/AI to monitor the test taker live through the webcam to look for behaviour that could indicate cheating.

GMAT Online Exam fee costs $250.

Should I take GMAT online or at test center?


WHAT CHANGES IN ONLINE GMAT?

Online GMAT exam introduces few changes from test centre GMAT, such as:

The Analytical Writing Assessment is not a part of GMAT online exam till 8th April 2021. The GMAT exam online also revokes the option to choose the order of testing sections. This implies that students will attempt the exam in a default and fixed order of: Quantitative, Verbal and Integrated Reasoning.

Online GMAT exam does not have optional break between quantitative and verbal sections. Only a 5-minute break between the Verbal Reasoning and Integrated Reasoning section is provided.

You cannot view your unofficial scores immediately after the test has ended instead it will be sent to you via email within 7-10 days of completing your exam.

Another thing to note is that the GMAT exam online permits only the use of a whiteboard during the exam, unlike the GMAT test centre exam. You can choose between an online whiteboard tool that can be accessed during the exam or a physical whiteboard to enter text, draw shapes or lines.

Online GMAT also offers complimentary unlimited score sending. However, Online GMAT exam can only be taken once per person and it counts towards 12-month and lifetime limits.

Other aspects such as duration and length of the testing sections, type, difficulty, and rating algorithms remains same as GMAT at centre.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GMAT ONLINE AND GMAT AT CENTRE?

Basis of Difference

Online GMAT

Regular GMAT

Analytical Writing Assessment

AWA is omitted *

Requires to attempt AWA

Order of test sections

Order is fixed *

Order is up to test takers

Break between sections

No break except for 5-minute break between the Verbal and Integrated Reasoning sections

Two optional breaks of 8 mins each.

No. of tests per person

Only once in lifetime

5 per year and 8 in a lifetime.

Note taking

Whiteboard Tool or Physical whiteboard.

Note taking equipment is provided (big notebook, two pencils)

Unofficial Display of Result

Not provided. *

Is provided at the end of the test.

Cancelling Scores

No provision for cancelling scores.

Scores can be cancelled without affecting limits.

*(till 8th April’2021)

GMAT EXAM ONLINE vs GMAT AT TEST CENTER

A major upside to GMAT online exam is the flexibility to schedule an appointment which is not the case in GMAT test centre-based exam. Also, GMAT Online eliminates aspects like unfamiliarity with the testing environment, fear of transmission and preparation for analytical writing assessment out from the picture.

Cons of Online GMAT has to be lack of breaks and choice of order of testing sections. Technical difficulties are another major and a very common reason why GMAT test centre-based exam is preferred. The testing staff might experience technical difficulties leading to the occurrence that you have to wait 30 to 120 minutes in the queue until you can take your GMAT Online exam and on the other hand you might face loss of broadband or internet connection. A program that is blocked by the testing software could shut down some tasks of your computer which can also lead to some technical difficulty resulting in troubled testing experience.

However, these issues can be avoided to a large extent by taking GMAC’s System Test as well as ensuring uninterrupted internet connection. Additionally, it is always advised to practice on the whiteboard and to log in early (at least 20 minutes before).

With the changes introduced to GMAT Online exam from 8th April 2021, it will certainly turn out to be a pretty convenient alternative.

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