Are you considering applying to business school? If so, taking the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a crucial step in the admissions process. A good GMAT score can greatly increase your chances of being accepted into your desired program, as it shows admissions officers that you are serious about your education and prepared for the rigorous curriculum.
However, with the recent release of the GMAT Focus Edition, many test-takers are left wondering which version they should take. In this article, we will discuss the two versions of the GMAT and help you determine which one is the best fit for you. We will also provide important information on application deadlines and test-taking experience to help you make an informed decision. So, let’s dive in and explore which version of the GMAT you should register for!
When it comes to deciding which version of the GMAT to take, one of the most important factors to consider is the application deadlines for your desired business schools. The GMAT exam is typically taken before or during the application process, and the scores are valid for five years. Therefore, it is essential to plan ahead and choose the right version of the GMAT that aligns with your application timeline.
The previous version of the GMAT Exam is still available for test-takers until January 31, 2024. This version consists of four sections: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning. It takes approximately three and a half hours to complete, including breaks between sections.
If you are planning to apply for Round 2 admissions, which usually have deadlines in January or February, then the previous GMAT Exam is the right choice for you. This will give you enough time to prepare and take the exam before the application deadline. However, it is essential to note that application deadlines may vary by program, so be sure to check the specific deadlines for the schools you are interested in.
The GMAT Focus Edition, on the other hand, is a newer version of the exam that was released in 2021. It consists of three sections: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Integrated Reasoning. This version is significantly shorter, with a total testing time of just two hours and 45 minutes, including one optional 10-minute break.
If you are planning to apply for Round 2 or 3 admissions, which usually have deadlines in March or April, then the GMAT Focus Edition is the right choice for you. The exam appointments for this version are available starting now, giving you more flexibility in choosing your test date. However, as mentioned earlier, application deadlines may differ by program, so make sure to check the specific deadlines for the schools you are interested in attending.
Apart from application deadlines, another crucial factor to consider when deciding between the two versions of the GMAT is your test-taking experience. Each version has its own unique features and format, and it is essential to choose the one that aligns with your strengths and preferences.
The previous version of the GMAT Exam offers more opportunities to take breaks between sections, making it a better option for those who prefer to have more time to rest and recharge during the exam. Additionally, this version includes an Analytical Writing Assessment section, which allows you to showcase your analytical writing skills, a highly sought-after skill in the business world.
If you have already prepared considerably for this version of the GMAT and feel confident in your ability to achieve your goal score, then the previous GMAT Exam is the right choice for you. Moreover, if you prefer your total score to reflect only your quantitative and verbal skills, then this version is the better option.
The GMAT Focus Edition, on the other hand, offers a much shorter exam with only one optional 10-minute break. This makes it a great choice for those who prefer a more streamlined testing experience. Additionally, this version puts a strong emphasis on data analysis skills, which are highly in-demand in the business world today.
If you want to highlight your data analysis skills and feel confident in your ability to perform well on this section, then the GMAT Focus Edition is the right choice for you. Furthermore, if you have already taken the previous GMAT Exam and would like to attempt this version before trying it, then the GMAT Focus Edition is a great option.
In conclusion, both versions of the GMAT have their own unique features and benefits. The previous GMAT Exam offers more opportunities to take breaks between sections and allows you to showcase your analytical writing skills, while the GMAT Focus Edition offers a shorter and more streamlined testing experience with a focus on data analysis skills.
When deciding which version to take, it is crucial to consider your application deadlines and test-taking experience. If you are applying for Round 2 admissions and prefer more breaks between sections, then the previous GMAT Exam is the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you are applying for Round 2 or 3 admissions and prefer a shorter exam with a focus on data analysis skills, then the GMAT Focus Edition is the better option.
Ultimately, the key is to choose the version that aligns with your strengths and preferences, as this will give you the best chance of achieving your desired score. So, carefully consider all the factors discussed in this article and make an informed decision when registering for the GMAT Test. Good luck!