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GMAT Online Exam | FAQs

Vineet Chhabra, global product and marketing head for the GMAT exam, tells you everything you need to know about the new GMAT Online test

Thu Apr 30 2020

You can now register to take the GMAT test online, after the coronavirus pandemic shut down GMAT test centers around the world, with around-the-clock testing appointments available into 2021.

The GMAT Online exam costs $250—cheaper than the test center GMAT at $275 in the US and Canada—and is available globally excluding markets limited by regulatory restrictions: Mainland China, Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Slovenia, and North Korea.

But how exactly does the new GMAT Online exam work? How is it different to the test center version? Will business schools view it differently?

BusinessBecause caught up with Vineet Chhabra, the global product and marketing head for the GMAT exam, to get your questions answered. 

GMAT Online Exam: FAQs

Why did you launch the GMAT Online exam?

The GMAT Online exam is an interim short-term solution we’ve developed specifically in response to the COVID-19 situation. With test centers closed, we wanted to offer a solution that allows us to continue to serve our mission to connect business schools and candidates.

How is the GMAT Online exam different?

In terms of the overall test construct, the structure of the exam, how you register and start your check-in process, the scoring methodology and score scales, the test is exactly the same as the GMAT that is delivered in test centers. The only differences are the delivery of the test and the exclusion of the Analytical Writing Assessment.

There are obviously some differences in the delivery model because this is an online model. You’re not taking the test in the test center; you’re doing it hopefully in the comfort of your own home. Instead of the...

strator in the test center, there are remote human proctors who monitor you at all times during the exam. You are given one optional five-minute break before the Integrated Reasoning section.


Why is there no Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) in the GMAT Online exam?

As we’ve worked to bring this solution to market, we’ve had to make some prioritizations. We removed the AWA section so we could bring this solution to market in a very short time frame.

Why is the GMAT Online exam cheaper?

We’ve taken in consideration the unique value the GMAT provides for the industry and the unique situation we’re in with schools and test takers as we bring to market this interim solution in these difficult times.

GMAT Online Exam Tips

What would you say to candidates who fear the GMAT Online exam will be viewed differently by business schools compared to the test center version?

The GMAT Online exam assesses the same skills as the test center version, across quantitative, verbal, and integrated reasoning sections. It provides all the necessary information for schools and test-takers to assess their readiness for the graduate management program they’re being considered for.

We are confident schools are willing to use these scores and candidates should feel confident too.

How will you stop people cheating on the GMAT Online exam? 

We take security very seriously. There are human proctors who check in with candidates and monitor them live through a video feed during the entire exam delivery process.

Will there be accommodations for people who require them? (e.g. Extended time)

Yes, this is very important for us. We will have accommodations for test takers that need them and our approval process [for accommodations] remains the same.

Do you expect more people will now take the GMAT?

These are uncertain times. We’re all learning and adapting to this new situation—that’s true for all of us and certainly for our schools and test-takers.

One thing we see is that interest in graduate management education continues to stay strong and robust all over the world. We know that schools have a need to evaluate and qualify talent for their pipeline and we know candidates still looking to demonstrate their commitment and readiness for b-school.

We are confident we have delivered a solution that will help them achieve the same through the GMAT Online exam.

Will you make the Online GMAT exam a permanent solution?

The GMAT Online is an interim, short-term solution we’ve created to meet a very specific need in the market for our stakeholders and for the current admission cycle. We will evaluate what we learn from this and the value this provides.

At this point in time, we are not restricting the availability of the test to anyone. In the future, if a test center is open and you feel safe to do so, we encourage you to take the GMAT in a test center. If access is restricted and you have an immediate need to test, the GMAT Online solution is available to you.

Will you develop online versions of the Executive Assessment and the NMAT?

We are working to bring the Executive Assessment online in the next few weeks. With the NMAT, we are watching as the situation continues to unfold in the markets the NMAT serves. The NMAT testing window in India—the largest market—starts much later in the year, so we are watching the situation and evaluating the solutions we can offer should a test center delivery model not be an option at that time.

New questions answered

Will no AWA section impact what score to aim for?

There are five different scores reported for a GMAT test center exam – Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, AWA, and the Total Score. The Total Score has always been separately calculated based on performance in the Quantitative and Verbal sections of the exam and that remains the same with the GMAT Online exam. 

While a GMAT score is a very important part of a candidate’s application, schools consider many other factors when assessing a candidate’s application. I encourage those on a journey toward b-school to look at their GMAT score as part of what they bring to a school. Finally, I’d remind test takers that the GMAT Online exam assesses the same skills as the test center version and continues to provide schools insight into your strengths and readiness for a business program.

What’s your advice on using the online whiteboard and still performing well in the GMAT?

These are uncertain times and we recognize candidates are now preparing for a different GMAT delivery experience during this interim period. We’ve welcomed the market feedback and strongly encourage test takers to spend time preparing with our Online Whiteboard Practice tool that allows for a higher level of understanding on functionality while also increasing one’s level of familiarity in advance of test day. 

We also encourage candidates to visit our GMAT Online - Preparing for Test Day section of, which includes additional details, a reference guide and tips for success regarding not just the online whiteboard but preparing to test in an environment outside of a test center.

Note: The GMAT Online Exam now includes a physical whiteboard option. From June 2020, you can take physical notes during your exam.

Got a question about the GMAT Online exam? Submit your question to our admissions experts and we’ll get back to you with an answer.

Find out more about the GMAT Online exam:

GMAT Online Exam | Release And Reaction

GMAT Online Exam | 13 Top Test Prep Tips

Register for the GMAT Online Exam