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If you’re considering applying to the top B-schools, you may be aware of the latest makeover that GMAC brought in with the latest GMAT Focus Edition. Wondering whether your GMAT preparation would affect if you change to the new version or should you stick to the OG GMAT exam? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

In this blog: 

  1. I’m applying in 2023. What should I do?
  2. Will old GMAT scores be accepted in B-schools in 2024 and later?
  3. When to register for GMAT Focus Edition?
  4. What’s New and What has Changed?
  5. What should I study for GMAT Focus?
  6. Will it be easier to score higher in Focus Edition than standard GMAT?
  7. Factors to consider
  8. Making the right choice for your GMAT test

I’m applying in 2023. Which GMAT should I take?

If you’re in the middle of your GMAT preparation, keep going at it. Since the content & question type of the two versions overlap, your preparations won’t go to waste and would still be applicable to the new GMAT Focus edition. 

If you plan to submit your applications by autumn 2023, stick to the current GMAT as it will be available until the beginning of 2024. 

Test-takers who are planning to apply in 2024, should take the new GMAT Focus Edition version as by then, the course materials will be updated for GMAT preparation.

Will B-schools still accept old GMAT scores in 2024 and later?

Absolutely! B-schools will continue to accept the old GMAT scores along with the new GMAT Focus Edition. Your GMAT scores (for both exam types) will be valid for 5 years after you have taken the test. So don’t worry and carry on with your GMAT preparation.

When to register for GMAT Focus Edition?

The registrations for the new GMAT Focus will begin from 29th August 2023. You can schedule your test appointments from the fourth quarter onwards (October 2023) and beyond. The practice material for GMAT Focus has been released already on 6 June. So mark your calendars!

Also read: GMAT Exam Dates 2023

What’s new and what has changed?

Here’s a quick comparison between the current GMAT and GMAT Focus Edition which might give you a better understanding of what has changed and what has been added. 

GMAT vs GMAT Focus

Feature  Current GMAT  GMAT Focus
Duration of the exam  3 hours 7 minutes  2 hours 15 minutes
Number of sections 4 3
Question type Multiple choice questions + one essay All multiple choice questions
Sections covered Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Data Insights
Evaluation Three different scores Single unified score 
Score range 200-800 205-805
Flexibility  No option to modify, bookmark or review questions Save and review as many questions and can modify up to 3 answers per section
Score submission Selecting 5 schools for free before taking the test Can select up to 5 schools after receiving scores

 The new GMAT Focus Edition targets more on one’s critical reasoning and data literacy skills particularly for business prospects in the future. It’s a complete MCQ-based test which means the Analytical Writing section has been removed from the format. Along with that, Sentence Correction and Geometry will no longer be a part of the exam. 

What should I study for GMAT Focus?

GMAT Focus Edition syllabus has been tailored in a way to assess one’s comprehension, analysing and reasoning abilities. The new edition would have 64 questions in total. The syllabus is divided into three sections – Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning and Data Insights. Even though there are a few omissions in the test pattern, one’s test-taking strategies shouldn’t differ much.

Will my GMAT preparation be quicker if I choose GMAT Focus? 

Perhaps. However, one should evaluate one’s strengths and weaknesses while preparing. If one finds it difficult to study AWA, or to an extent, Sentence Correction section is a weaker spot for them, then GMAT Focus syllabus could be an advantage, but then, if one is rusty in Integrated Reasoning, then one should put a significant amount of preparation for Data Insights.

Will it be easier to score higher in GMAT Focus than old GMAT? 

Very unlikely! The nature of the evaluation is still based on ability, thus the competitiveness between the old and new GMAT exam versions remains the same. Therefore, whichever version one intends to take, one’s GMAT preparation should be thorough and meticulous.  

Factors to consider when choosing between GMAT and GMAT Focus

It’s obvious that your application deadline would determine whether you should take the standard GMAT or wait for GMAT Focus. Also, you have to consider planning ahead extra time just in case for test retakes. What if you’ve already taken the old GMAT test, and are currently studying for a retake? Would you risk switching gears with your GMAT preparation? There are no correct or incorrect answers to these factors but one should analyse before choosing either of the options. 

Just to simplify, here are three pro tips before you decide to switch to GMAT Focus Edition.  

  • College application deadlines 
  • Current test preparedness 
  • If it’ll be disruptive to delay your GMAT test

Making the right choice for Your GMAT test 

The best way to weigh your decision is to consider your individual preferences and situations. If the two GMAT exam versions have put you in a constant dilemma, consult a Jamboree expert and choose the exam that aligns best with your academic and professional aspirations. You don’t want to falter on your B-school dreams. Book a call now!.

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