New Changes to The 2017 GMAT Release

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is always looking for ways to improve the candidate’s experience. Through the research and a pilot study conducted in 2016, the GMAC found The Select Section Order feature, where a candidate can select the order of the exam, to be commonly requested and favored amongst test-takers. The pilot successfully determined the two most popular section orders that will be implemented with the new feature (in addition to the original section order) and verified that taking the exam in different section orders did not impact the integrity of the GMAT score.

Beginning July 11, 2017, GMAT test takers will be able to choose the order in which they complete the four sections of the GMAT exam.

Three options will be available:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal (original order)
  2. Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
  3. Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

Benefits of The New Select Section Order

The Select Section Order will allow students to better strategize and eliminate some overwhelming test-taking strategies. Because Analytical Writing and Integrated Reasoning take less time than the Verbal and Quant sections, some candidates may prefer to focus their attention and energy on the Verbal and Quant sections first, then tackle the shorter sections afterward.

 How Does Select Section Order Work?

Candidates will select their section order at the test center. The Select Section Order screen will be presented on the computer after they select the schools to send their score report – this is placed after the navigation tutorial and immediately prior to beginning the GMAT exam. They will be presented with the three section order options and will have two minutes to make a selection. If you they do not make a selection within two minutes, the original order will be selected as a default.

Candidates Should Consider the following:

  • Once selected, candidates must complete every section of the GMAT exam and cannot skip any sections. Per usual, a section is considered complete once a candidate answers every question or runs out of time.
  • Schools will not know which section order a candidate selected. The section order selected will not be exposed to any unofficial or official score reports.
  • If students have already scheduled their GMAT exam, it is their decision whether or not they want to reschedule to take advantage of the new feature. Those who prepared for the GMAT and feel comfortable moving forward with the exam as scheduled should do so, as the original section order will be available. For those who may be scheduled, but feel that they require a boost of confidence, having the ability to choose the sections will give them the opportunity to start with a section of their choice before taking on a more difficult section.

Removal of Profile Update Screens

Another change that will be launched in conjunction with the new Select Section Order feature is the removal of profile update screens at the test center. Typically, there is a series of profile questions (e.g. undergraduate degree, years of work experience, demographics) presented on the computer monitor at the test center following the exam. These will now be removed from the testing monitor and available for candidates to access and update on mba.com any time prior to or following their GMAT exam.

Both the new Select Section Order feature and the removal of profile update screens will launch to all regions beginning July 11, 2017, at 12:01 am local time. All exam appointments scheduled for July 11 or later will include these changes at the test center. For more information about these changes, please visit GMAC.com.

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