Prepare for success with the New GMAT – Focus edition. Dive into this comprehensive guide, packed with tips, strategies, and insights to ace the exam.

Introducing the GMAT Focus Edition 2023 – As the landscape of business undergoes rapid evolution, the requisite skills for success continue to transform. To ensure the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) remains a precise measure of these evolving skills, GMAC has unveiled a significant test modification, unveiling the all-new GMAT Focus test, effective from November 7, 2023.

The Classic GMAT is scheduled for retirement by January 31, 2024. Come February 1, 2024, the exclusive GMAT version accessible will be the GMAT Focus Edition.

This fresh iteration of the GMAT aims squarely at advanced critical reasoning abilities and data literacy crucial for navigating the business landscape of the future.

We wanted to clear something at the very start, absolutely! No need for concern. Business schools continue to accept old GMAT scores for up to five years from the date of your test. The legacy exam remains valid, so there’s no need to worry if you’re considering applying in 2024 or beyond.

Focus Edition 2023:

Change 1: One of the most notable alterations in the GMAT Focus Edition 2023 concerns its structure. The conventional GMAT usually comprises four sections: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), and Integrated Reasoning. While the first three sections have been part of the GMAT for a long time, the Integrated Reasoning section was introduced in 2012.

However, in the GMAT Focus Edition 2023, there’s a significant modification as the AWA section is omitted entirely. Instead, the revised test will continue to evaluate candidates’ Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning capabilities, with a heightened Focus on higher-order reasoning skills, especially in the Verbal Reasoning section. This change mirrors the shifting demands of business schools and employers, who seek individuals with advanced critical reasoning and data literacy abilities.

Hand switching blocks from 'CHANCE' to 'CHANGE' symbolizing strategy shift for GMAT 2023
Transforming CHANCE into CHANGE A metaphor for strategic preparation for the GMAT Focus Edition


Change 2: Data Insights Segment | GMAT Focus Edition 2023

In a bid to streamline the GMAT examination and offer a more robust assessment, the latest GMAT Focus edition goes beyond mere adjustments by introducing a groundbreaking Data Insights section. This innovative addition aims to gauge candidates’ proficiency in data analysis and interpretation, recognizing their pivotal role in today’s dynamic business landscape. By amalgamating Integrated Reasoning and Data Sufficiency question formats, this new segment evaluates a recalibrated digital and data literacy dimension, crucially essential in contemporary business realms.

Comprising 20 questions, this section challenges examinees to discern connections among diverse data sources—be it graphics, numerical figures, or language—to make well-informed decisions. Tasks within this segment might encompass mathematical computations, data analysis, verbal reasoning, or a blend of all three disciplines. This strategic integration aligns with the evolving demands of the business world, emphasizing the significance of these multifaceted skills in modern professional scenarios.

Colorful data analytics visualization representing data literacy for GMAT
Master data literacy and analytics Essential skills for the new GMAT Focus Edition 2023
FeatureThe GMAT Focus edition 2023The GMAT exam
Exam duration2 hours 15 minutes3 hours 7 minutes
SectionsQuantitative reasoning, Verbal reasoning, Data insightsQuantitative reasoning, Verbal reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical writing assessment
Question typeAll multiple-choice questionsMultiple choice questions + One essay
Exam Cost$275$275
Individual section duration3 sections of 45 minutes eachQuantitative reasoning- 62 minutes;
Verbal reasoning- 65 minutes;
IR- 30 minutes;
AWA- 30 minutes
Section orderAny order possibleOrder 1- AWA and IR> Quant> Verbal;
Order 2- Verbal> Quant> IR and AWA;
Order 3- Quant> Verbal> IR and AWA
FlexibilityBookmark and review as many questions as possible; Change up to 3 answers per sectionNo option to bookmark, edit or review questions
Score sendingSend scores to 5 schools for free after knowing your score in both the online and test center examSelect five schools to send the score for free before starting the exam

Are you prepping for the GMAT or planning to apply in 2024? Don’t let the buzz about the new GMAT version throw you off track. GMAC is providing ample notice for those interested in taking the updated exam, but if you’re comfortable with the current version, there’s no need to change your approach.

For applicants aiming to submit their applications in Round 1 or Round 2 of the 2023/early 2024 cycle, sticking with the existing GMAT is perfectly fine; there’s no pressure to switch to the new GMAT Focus Edition.

Keep this in mind: if your circumstances shift later on, you can always opt for the new exam or even take both tests, choosing to submit the one with the higher score. The core content and question types between the two exams largely overlap, meaning the prep you do for the legacy GMAT will still be highly relevant for the new version.

Stay Focused on your current GMAT preparation, but know that flexibility exists to adapt if needed. Trust that your efforts will pay off, regardless of the exam version you eventually choose.

GMAT Focus adaptive?

Yes, it operates on an adaptive model, much like the regular GMAT format. This adaptive nature means that after answering each question, the subsequent question is determined based on your performance up to that point in the exam. This approach is considered advanced and sophisticated as it tailors the difficulty level of questions according to the test-taker’s abilities. The system aims to precisely assess individual test-taker abilities by adjusting the difficulty of questions in real-time.

However, this method might introduce added pressure and stress for test-takers. It requires swift decision-making during the exam since once an answer is submitted, it cannot be altered. This real-time adaptability challenges candidates to remain Focused and make confident choices throughout the test.

Despite the stress it might induce, the adaptive nature of GMAT Focus allows for a more personalized assessment, aiming to provide a more accurate representation of a candidate’s abilities and skills.

On the GMAT Focus, you can change up to 3 answers in each section, even though it’s still a question-adaptive exam, this is a good and a bad thing – good because if you suddenly remember something then you can go back and change it however this is also bad because a student should not use the review option as it WASTES time, the time on the exam is still limited and if you sit to review three questions, then the chances of you LEAVING three questions in the end are extremely high which will result in a major penalty as we all already know.

Camera lens focusing on a clear landscape, analogy for targeted GMAT study approach
Sharpen your focus Gain a clear perspective for tackling GMAT Focus Edition questions

Conclusion;

The recently updated GMAT exam retains a substantial resemblance to the previous version. This means that individuals preparing for the new GMAT can leverage their existing study materials that were originally designed for the “old GMAT.”

However, while transitioning study resources, it’s recommended to downplay emphasis on certain areas, particularly geometry and Sentence Correction segments. These sections, although prevalent in the older version, have been somewhat reduced in significance in the updated GMAT.

It’s important to note that even though a majority of geometry and Sentence Correction elements might not hold as much weight in the new GMAT, there are exceptions. For instance, coordinate plane geometry, classified within the realm of algebra, retains relevance and may still feature prominently in the new GMAT Focus. Therefore, while some content can be overlooked, candidates should remain mindful of certain topics that might carry over or have a different context in the updated exam.

Q. How to solve RC (reading comprehension) on the Focus edition?

Reading Comprehension (RC) on the old GMAT as well as the new GMAT (Focus) can be challenging, but employing certain strategies can significantly improve your approach.

  1. Identifying Tone: Understanding the tone of the passage is the most crucial aspect. It helps in discerning the author’s attitude towards the subject matter. Once you identify the tone, eliminate answer choices that contradict or present an opposite sentiment. This strategy narrows down options and enhances accuracy.
  2. Verify and Eliminate: This technique involves using the information within the passage to confirm or invalidate answer choices. It’s essential to refer back to the text for evidence supporting an answer. If an answer choice cannot be backed by the passage or contradicts it, eliminate it.
  3. Practice Active Reading: Engage actively with the passage. Try to anticipate the author’s argument, intentions, or conclusions. Active reading promotes better understanding and aids in answering inference-based questions.
  4. Time Management: Allocate time efficiently for each passage and its related questions. Don’t linger excessively on a single question. If you’re unsure about an answer, make an educated guess and move forward to prevent time constraints on other questions.
  5. Review Mistakes: After completing practice passages, thoroughly review incorrect answers. Understand why an answer was incorrect and how the correct answer was derived. Recognize patterns in your mistakes to avoid them in the future.

Remember, practice is key. Regularly practice RC passages using official GMAT materials to become familiar with the question types and enhance your comprehension skills. Implementing these strategies systematically can significantly boost your efficiency and accuracy in tackling GMAT Reading Comprehension.

Q. How to solve RC (reading comprehension) on the Focus edition?

Here are some novel tips to tackle Critical Reasoning (CR) questions effectively in the GMAT exam:

  1. Identifying Tone and Eliminating Opposite Answers: Understanding the tone of the passage is crucial. It helps in discerning the author’s perspective or the attitude conveyed. Once you’ve grasped the tone, eliminate answer choices that express the opposite sentiment. For instance, if the passage has a positive tone towards a particular argument, eliminate answer choices with a negative or contradictory tone.
  2. Verify and Eliminate Technique: After reading the passage, use a “verify and eliminate” approach. Carefully analyze each answer choice and verify if it aligns with the information provided in the passage. If an option contains information that cannot be supported or is inconsistent with the passage, eliminate it. This technique involves systematically ruling out answer choices that do not conform to the logical flow of the passage.
  3. Focus on the Main Point: Identify the main point or argument presented in the passage. Often, CR questions revolve around strengthening, weakening, or evaluating the main argument. Understanding the core argument will assist in narrowing down answer choices that directly relate to the primary contention of the passage.
  4. Recognize Assumptions and Logical Gaps: Many CR questions involve identifying unstated assumptions or logical gaps within the argument. Pay close attention to any unsupported claims or assumptions made in the passage. This can aid in selecting answer choices that address these assumptions or fill in the logical loopholes.
  5. Eliminate Extreme Language: Be cautious of answer choices containing extreme language such as “always,” “never,” “completely,” or “entirely.” In most cases, these extreme options tend to be incorrect as they often oversimplify or exaggerate the situation presented in the passage.
  6. Practice Time Management: Allocate a specific time for each CR question during practice sessions to improve your pacing on the actual exam. Some questions might be more time-consuming, so managing time effectively is crucial to answering all questions within the allocated time frame.

The Quantitative part remains the same on the Focus as well as old edition. 

Conclusion

Preparing for the New GMAT – Focus edition necessitates a multifaceted approach, blending expertise in subject matter, astute test-taking strategies, and meticulous planning. As you embark on this journey, keep these key points in mind:

Q. Can I use calculators during the New GMAT – Focus edition?

The New GMAT – Focus edition doesn’t permit the use of calculators during the exam. This underscores the emphasis on assessing the candidate’s ability to perform calculations mentally and comprehend mathematical concepts.

Q. How long is the validity of GMAT scores?

GMAT scores are valid for five years. After this period, scores are no longer reportable or accessible.

Q. Are there any breaks during the exam?

Yes, the New GMAT – Focus edition includes two optional eight-minute breaks.

Q. Can I cancel my GMAT scores after the test?

Yes, after finishing the test, you’ll have the option to cancel your scores. However, this decision should be considered carefully as canceled scores will not be retrievable later.

Q. What’s the recommended study duration for the New GMAT – Focus edition?

The ideal study duration varies for each candidate, but generally, a preparation period of 3-6 months is recommended or 500 hours. This allows for thorough coverage of the test syllabus and adequate practice.