The GMAT online exam will undergo some changes beginning 8 April 2021 to give test takers more choice and flexibility, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) said.

The news comes about a month after GMAC announced that GMAT online, which was launched as a temporary option in response of the coronavirus pandemic, is now permanent.

Test takers are already able to schedule an appointment for the enhanced GMAT online exam for dates beginning 8 April.

So, what’s new?

There are four major changes to the GMAT online exam that will begin on 8 April:

  1. The unofficial score report will be available immediately after the end of the exam.
  2. GMAT online will allow test takers to select their section order, just like the test center exam.
  3. Test takers will be able to take two 8-minute optional breaks.
  4. The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section will be included in the GMAT online exam.

Joy Jones, Chief Product Officer and General Manager Assessments, said:  

We believe that test takers should have the ability to choose how they test to bring their best on exam day. Our ongoing enhancements to the GMAT online exam help to ensure the options are consistent regardless of where a candidate prefers to test.

Growing similarity between online or test center tests

With the new changes to the online exam, the test center and at home testing experiences are even more similar than before, GMAC said:

  • Identical test structure. Whether you take it at home or at a test center, the GMAT exam will have the same four sections.
  • Score comparability. Test either way with the confidence that the score scales and reliability will be interpreted the same way by your target schools.
  • Similar testing experiences. Get the same flexibility and control at home as the test center, including selecting your section order, whiteboard usage, and breaks.

A permanent option

The at-home version of the GMAT was originally launched as a temporary measure on 20 April 2020 when Covid-19 closed test centers around the world. Under the initial plan, the online exam should have been available for only three months, but GMAC eventually decided to keep it permanently. The initial online version did not include some major features of the test-center exam such as the AWA section and the ability to choose the section order. GMAC said it included the AWA section in the online test following feedback from business schools.

Check out: GMAT Online Exam Now Available

Those choosing between the online and test-center options should know that, generally, business schools do not prefer one version to the other. Whichever version you choose, however, make sure that you prepare well.