GMAT vs GMAT Focus infographic explaining high level changes

GMAC, the maker of the GMAT, announced changes to the GMAT earlier in 2023. The new test is called GMAT Focus because GMAC claims that the new test puts the focus on skills that are relevant to doing well in business school.

What was Removed from the GMAT Focus

GMAT Focus no longer includes Sentence Correction or Geometry questions. Neither of these topics were seen as a good fit for a test that emphasizes business skills. That makes sense. After all, when was the last time your boss asked you to find the hypotenuse of a right triangle?

GMAC also removed the essay. While being able to write well is a valuable business skill, the brief essay included in the current GMAT didn’t align well with the type of writing that helps make one successful in business school. Moreover, most business schools didn’t put a lot of emphasis on the GMAT’s essay component as an admissions criterion.

What was Added to the GMAT Focus

The Data Insights section is similar to the Integrated Reasoning section of the current GMAT but puts the emphasis on analyzing data and more clearly tests relevant skills such as finding trends and making inferences.

GMAT Focus Length

With all those changes, it may not be much of a surprise that GMAT Focus is shorter than the current GMAT. dropping from a test that is a little over 3 hours long to one that is only 2 hours and 15 minutes long. GMAT Focus consists of 3 sections (Quantitative, Verbal, and Data Insights), each of which is 45 minutes long.

Reviewing Questions

GMAT Focus allows test-takers to bookmark and change the answers to up to 3 questions per section. In the current version of the GMAT, test-takers can’t change the answers to any questions. So, once the question is answered, it’s gone! For GMAT Focus, however, there’s a review screen at the end of each section. As long as time remains, it’s possible to navigate back to a question and change the answer. Test-takers can navigate back to as many questions as they like but can only change 3 answers per section.

While there’s a lot that’s new about GMAT Focus, it’s also clearly still recognizable as the GMAT. Most of the content and question types found on the current GMAT are included in GMAT Focus.

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