The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), owner and administrator of the GMAT, is working to launch an interim online alternative to the popular business school admission test. The decision comes as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced many GMAT test centers to close.
Online GMAT Test
GMAC are targeting a mid-April release of the online test. With the exception of not having the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section, the test will have the same structure, number of items, time, and scoring to the exam delivered in test centers.
'Our focus is on maintaining a valid and rigorous assessment, with the relevant security practices and protocols in place, to evaluate a candidates’ ability to succeed in a graduate school business program,' GMAC said in a statement.
GMAC will prioritize the availability of the alternative assessment as they seek to support test takers and schools in all impacted markets, outside of mainland China. The company are continuing to work with the Chinese government authorities to present appropriate alternative solutions for test takers in mainland China as well.
The interim alternative will be offered at a lower price point than the current exam. The current cost of the GMAT in the US and Canada is $275—GMAC increased the cost in North America by 10% earlier this year. It was the first price increase in North America for 15 years.
'We look forward to helping candidates and schools with an alternative that upholds our high standards for validity and reliability for the world’s most widely used assessment for MBA and business master’s programs,' GMAC said.
GMAT vs GRE
The GRE, an alternative admissions test that can be used for a variety of postgraduate degree programs, has also moved online in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Although coronavirus has disrupted the admissions process at many schools, the speed at which test providers are offering online alternatives to candidates shows how industry bodies are coming together to support each other through the crisis.