In the ever-evolving landscape of standardized testing, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) has long been a trusted assessment tool for aspiring business school students worldwide. However, to adapt to the changing needs of both test-takers and business schools, the creators of the GMAT have introduced a new format.

The latest PrepAdviser webinar delves into the significant changes brought about by the new GMAT and explores how these modifications may impact test-takers. The speaker Sergey Kouk is a senior trainer and program director at Admit Master, and has worked with thousands of clients over the past 10 years. Admit Master is a top-rated premium provider of test preparation services for graduate level admissions tests, including GMAT, LSAT, and GRE. You can visit their website to get a free one-on-one consultation.

Watch the full webinar to find out more about the test itself, how to study for it, test-taking strategies, the types of questions, and most importantly – the most recent changes to the format and what this means for you.

Overview of the new GMAT format

The recently revamped GMAT format aims to better reflect the skills and abilities required for success in today's business world. The new format introduces several key changes:

Section order flexibility

Unlike the previous exam that offered a limited selection of the order of sections, the new GMAT allows test-takers to choose any order in which they tackle the sections. This flexible approach empowers individuals to play to their strengths and tailor the test-taking experience according to their preferences. The three sections are now: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Data Insights.

Quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning integration

The new GMAT format will continue to have separate Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections. However, there are a few changes: Sentence Correction (Verbal) and Geometry (Quant) questions are all removed. Data Sufficiency questions are moved to the new Data Insights section. Hence, the redesigned Quantitative Reasoning section will contain only Problem Solving questions, and the redesigned Verbal Reasoning section will contain Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension questions only. This shift aims to simulate real-world scenarios in which critical thinking and problem-solving skills often require the application of both quantitative and verbal abilities simultaneously.

Algorithmic question selection

The new GMAT will still use an adaptive technology that dynamically adjusts the difficulty level of questions based on the test-taker's performance. The algorithm selects questions based on the accuracy of previous answers, tailoring the test experience to the individual and providing a more accurate assessment of their abilities. However, in the past, only Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections were adaptive, while now the new Data Insights section is  also computer adaptive. Another big change is that all 3 sections will now contribute to the total score that now has a new scale of 205-805. 

Implications for test-takers

Understanding the implications of the new GMAT format is crucial for those considering taking the exam:

Keeping flexibility

Test takers will again be able to choose the section order which allows them to better strategize their approach and allocate their time more effectively. By beginning with their strongest section, individuals can boost their confidence and optimize their performance throughout the test.

Adaptive testing experience

The new format will keep the old GMAT adaptive nature. The adaptive question selection feature ensures that each test-taker faces questions that accurately reflect their skill level. As the exam adapts to their performance, test-takers will be presented with challenges that appropriately match their abilities, providing a more accurate evaluation.

Preparing for the new GMAT format

To succeed in the new GMAT format, test-takers should consider the following preparation strategies:

Familiarize yourself with the new format

Understanding the structure, question types, and timing of the new GMAT is essential. Engage with official study materials, practice exams, and reputable GMAT prep resources to gain a comprehensive understanding of the updated format.

Develop data interpretation skills

Given the new role of the Data Insights section, test-takers should exercise their ability to understand, analyze and interpret data. Developing skills like scrutinize information and making logical conclusions will be paramount to excel in the new GMAT.

Practice adaptability

Simulating the adaptive nature of the exam is crucial during preparation. Utilize adaptive practice tests and question banks to accustom yourself to the changing difficulty levels and the pressure of adapting to each question.

The essence of the GMAT remains unchanged – to evaluate a candidate's potential for success in a rigorous academic environment and in future leadership roles. However, the new GMAT format represents an exciting step forward in the assessment of business school applicants. While some topics are removed and there will be fewer concepts to learn, the new exam will be less forgiving when it comes to time management. It will focus even more on logic and reasoning instead of theory. Test-takers should concentrate on learning strategies, as opposed to memorizing theory, if they want to succeed on the new exam.Overall, new format offers a more accurate reflection of an individual's skills and readiness for the challenges of a dynamic business world. Embrace the changes, invest in your preparation, and let your potential shine through.