The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), owner and administrator of the GMAT, has announced the release of the GMAT Online exam, to help business school candidates complete their applications during the coronavirus pandemic.
You can register to take the GMAT at home, online, from April 14, with around-the-clock testing appointments available from April 20 to June 15.
The test is available in impacted markets globally, excluding markets limited by regulatory restrictions: Mainland China, Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Slovenia, and North Korea. GMAC is also working to provide appropriate online options for candidates with disabilities who meet specific eligibility criteria.
For now, the GMAT Online exam is being dubbed a temporary solution, designed specifically to assist candidates in the current application cycle. GMAC will review the need for a more permanent online GMAT test ahead of June 15.
How does the GMAT Online exam work?
The GMAT is the premier admission test for business schools, used as a quality indicator when measuring your suitability for an MBA or master's program.
Previously, you were only able to sit the GMAT exam in test centers. However, coronavirus (or COVID-19) has forced the closure of GMAT test centers worldwide.
In this climate, business schools have been forced to extend MBA application deadlines and relax their admission requirements. The GMAT Online exam means candidates can continue to apply for business school in this disruptive time.
You can take GMAT Online exam on both Mac and PC. Your computer must match GMAC's system requirements. The online GMAT has the same structure, number of items, and duration as the test center exam. It also uses the same scoring algorithm and score scale for the Section Scores and Total Score.
While you take the test from your home computer, you will be monitored by a human proctor through a live video feed to ensure you don’t cheat. You will need to have a camera on your computer and a strong internet connection.
The test will be hosted on mba.com, where you also register for the test.
How much does the GMAT Online exam cost?
The online GMAT test costs $200 globally. This is cheaper than the test center version, which costs $275 in the United States and Canada. GMAC’s aim is to support test takers and business schools during this difficult time.
What’s the difference between the GMAT Online exam and the test center GMAT?
Aside from the obvious difference that you can take the online GMAT at home, the sole difference is the exclusion of the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section from the online test.
This section, known as the ‘essay section’, consists of a 30-minute writing task. It requires that you analyze the reasoning behind a given argument and write a critique of that argument. It tests your ability to think critically and to communicate your ideas through an essay written in English.
GMAC says this section has been omitted from GMAT Online exam in order to get it to market as quickly as possible for candidates. The GMAT’s Quantitative, Verbal and Integrated Reasoning sections (omitting the Analytical Writing Assessment section) are the same.
The GMAT Online exam is proctored with Pearson VUE technology. Learn more about the GMAT Online testing experience:
Online GMAT Exam: Reaction
GMAC’s launch of its online GMAT test followed its rival, the Educational Testing Service (ETS), announcing its own at-home testing solution for the GRE. GMAC is also working to bring the Executive Assessment—an admission test for EMBA candidates—online by the end of April.
The launch of the GMAT Online Exam should be good news for candidates who have already spent several months preparing for the tricky GMAT test.
Kaplan, the test prep company, has reported that the level of interest in the online GMAT and GRE tests rivals the time when the exams switched from paper-and-pencil to a digital format, and there are calls for the temporary online GMAT solution to become a permanent one.
The reaction to the online GMAT test has been especially positive among admissions consultants, who help thousands of prospective MBA and master’s students successfully apply to business school each year.
Travis Morgan, founder & CEO of MBA Whisperer, confirms that the GMAT going online means b-school candidates will be able to apply for entry as early as this fall, given the extended application deadlines at many schools.
“Schools will need to be nimble to fill classes when students are unable to obtain visas or travel from other countries, so they will likely be filling this fall’s classes right up to the last moment,” he says.
Admissions expert, Barbara Coward, agrees that the online test will help increase applications. “If you make a process easier for people, they will respond favorably. Candidates appreciate the flexibility and the opportunity to continue to move forward with their plans for business school.”
Piyush Ranjan, MBA and MiM admissions consultant, thinks the at-home version of the GMAT may even help reduce test-taking anxiety for candidates who struggle with the test center environment, and lead to higher test scores.
During the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, the GMAT Online exam is a welcome boost for candidates and business schools. However, like with any new innovation online, there are questions over functionality and security. Mark Skoskiewicz, founder of MyGuru, says someone has already offered his GMAT prep company $10,000 to take the online exam for them—although the test’s security procedures make this difficult to pull off.
Because of these security measures, you cannot take physical notes using pen and paper during the GMAT Online Exam and instead need to use an online whiteboard provided onscreen. Travis’ chief concern—that the calculations required for the GMAT’s quantitative section are too complex to do easily using an online notepad—matches that of some candidates.
As the tests are not identical, there are also fears from candidates that business schools will view online GMAT test scores differently to the standard GMAT exam. Manhattan Prep GMAT tutor, Stacey Koprince, says candidates are asking her a lot of questions: “How’s it going to work? Do schools care if you take it at home? Is it easier? Is it secure?”
To get all your questions answered, BusinessBecause teamed up with Vineet Chhabra, global product and marketing head for the GMAT exam.
For your next read, check out the article: Online GMAT Exam | Your Questions Answered
GMAT Online Exam Tips
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