GMAT duration reduced by 30 minutes: Check details here

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has shortened the exam duration of the GMAT by 30 minutes as part of its ongoing focus on creating the best possible testing experience and offering user-friendly features. The new, shorter exam -- 3.5 hours instead of 4 -- will be available for test-takers worldwide beginning April 16.

The quality of the exam remains unchanged in terms of reliability, validity, security and integrity. GMAT scores before and after this change will be the same and comparable across time.

Here's why the exam duration was cut short

The time savings are achieved by streamlining the two longer sections of the exam, the Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections, reducing the number of unscored, research questions in these sections.

Several tutorial and instruction screens that test-takers see at the test center have also been simplified. There are no changes to the exam's Analytical Writing or Integrated Reasoning sections.

The way the GMAT exam is scored, the content of the exam, the question types and the average time per question are not changing.

"Through our ongoing market feedback and operational reviews, we were able to identify this opportunity to shorten the exam, without changing its reliability," said Chhabra.

"This change will not affect GMAT exam scoring as the number of scored questions will not change. The scoring algorithm will be the same; the total Score and individual quant and verbal section scores will be comparable to the exams taken prior to this change," he said.

"There is no action or change required on the part of business schools and universities. We are providing candidates with a better testing experience, while providing business schools with the same high quality, fair and reliable scores," he added.

Online tutorial from GMAC

Along with these changes, GMAC is providing a new, online tutorial that mimics the screens that test-takers see on exam day, further enhancing and streamlining the test center experience.

By moving the tutorial information online, to www.mba.com/tutorial, test takers can access it prior to arriving at the test centre, at their convenience and as often as they wish.

New GMAT Official Prep tools being launched

To align with the changes, GMAC is launching new GMAT Official Prep tools to match the structure of the shorter exam. The GMAT Official Practice Exams and Practice Questions will be available on an online platform for better ease-of-use, as well as some feature improvements such as single sign-on and ability to access prep materials across multiple devices.

GMAT Official Prep tools are the only official source of retired GMAT questions, and the Council's research shows that candidates who use official products score an average of 18 percent higher on the GMAT exam than those who don't. The updated practice tools will be available by the end of April.

The GMAT exam is designed to showcase the skills that are most relevant to the world's leading graduate business programs; 9 out of 10 new MBA enrollments globally are made using a GMAT score.

These changes are part of a series of candidate-friendly enhancements to the GMAT exam in recent years, all focused on improving the testing experience, including:

Exam section order selection at the testing center (Select Section Order)

Making unofficial scores available immediately, before leaving the test center following the exam

Updates to score cancellation and reinstatement options

About GMAC:

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is a global, non-profit association of 223 leading graduate business schools. Founded in 1953, we are actively committed to advancing the art and science of admissions by convening and representing the industry and offering best-in-class products and services for schools and students.

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