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Taking The GMAT In 2021 | 5 Key Takeaways

Find out everything you need to know about taking the GMAT or GMAT Online exam in 2021 in this special webinar with GMAC, INSEAD, and Manhattan Prep

Thu Mar 4 2021

Are you preparing for the GMAT exam? Are you unsure whether to take the GMAT online or in a test center?

Registration for the enhanced version of the GMAT Online Exam is now open. The revamped GMAT Online Exam offers more flexibility for test-takers, including the ability to preview test scores and to select the section order in which you take the test.

The online test also includes the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) for the first time, making the GMAT Online a direct alternative to the test center GMAT.

In this BusinessBecause special recorded webinar, we bring you the latest updates on changes to the GMAT Online Exam and provide you with all the information you need to take the GMAT in 2021.

Our panel of experts include Virginie Fougea, global director of admissions & financial aid at INSEAD; Chris Gentry, instructor at Manhattan Prep; and Karla Lawson, director of product marketing at the Graduate Management Admission Council, the makers of the test.

Scroll down to watch the recorded webinar

5 Key Takeaways

1. Schools see no difference between the GMAT Online and the test center GMAT

Following the latest enhancements to the GMAT Online Exam, the only difference between the online and the test center GMAT is how the test is delivered.

Which version of the GMAT you choose to take comes down to personal preference and business schools do not favor one test format over the other.

Virginie from INSEAD says: “We see no difference. We know different people perform better in different contexts and we don’t judge based on this.”

GMAC has released a guide to help you assess which GMAT test format is best for you.

2. Schools look at more than just your overall GMAT score

Your GMAT score is not just about a number between 200 and 800. Schools will delve deeper into your GMAT score, assess your verbal and quant scores individually, and keep your professional background in mind too.

“We expect people from finance backgrounds to probably do better on quant than people from liberal arts backgrounds, and we take these factors into account,” says Virginie.

Schools also assess the AWA and Integrated Reasoning (IR) sections, which are scored separately.

3. Aim for a score close to your target school’s median GMAT

What is a good GMAT score? That depends on your own skills and background as well as the schools you’re applying for. You should build an understanding of the average GMAT scores and GMAT score ranges for your target schools.

Chris from Manhattan Prep suggests you should aim for within 20 points of the median score of your school of choice.

For INSEAD, Virginie says aiming between for between the 70th and 80th percentile (around 650+) is a good idea.

4. Recreate your test environment when preparing for the GMAT

Whether you’re taking the GMAT at home or in a test center, Chris says you should recreate your testing environment when doing practice tests.

“Establish a test day ritual. If you plan to take the test in a test center then make sure part of your test day ritual is moving to a different location; maybe a conference room or study room in the library.

“If you’re going to be at home, check the restrictions on what can and can’t be in the same room with you when taking the online test.”

5. Use your breaks effectively

Without breaks, the GMAT exam takes approximately 3 hours and 7 minutes. You have two optional eight-minute breaks.

Karla, from GMAC, says breaks offer an opportunity for a mental recharge. If you’re testing at home, you are permitted to be off camera, to leave the room for example, for the duration of the break.

“Work breaks into your GMAT prep. If you’ve worked through your first section and feel tired, the breaks are there for you.”

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