GMAT Focus Edition is Coming (soon)
GMAC is making big changes to GMAT that will be presented by the end of 2023. The new test, known as GMAT Focus Edition (vs the currently blurry GMAT) will be shorter and cover less content, notably Sentence Correction and Geometry will be lost to the ages.
In addition, the format will be more flexible by allowing test takers to return to previous questions to rethink answers.
The total score will now include Integrated Reasoning, long the ignored outsider of the GMAT universe.
Lastly, you will be able to use a calculator on Data Sufficiency questions.
You can find more details and some explainer videos from GMAC here.
GMAT Focus Edition = Executive Assessment
GMAT Focus Edition format/scoring has a strong resemblance to that of the Executive Assessment. The tests won’t be the same but, again, hard to ignore the similarities. Will the EA survive?
Should you wait for GMAT Focus Edition or test now on classic GMAT
In some ways GMAT Focus Edition is easier. That said, the potential difficulty level differences may not matter in practice. This reminds me a lot of a GMAT vs GRE decision. Yes, GRE may be easier in a couple of different ways but it isn’t clear cut whether you should take the GRE over the GMAT based on that.
If you are in the swing of studying now then keep your focus on classic GMAT.
If you are planning on studying in the near future: same thing. Just study for the test that is available. It isn’t worth wrestling over the decision.
That said, if you are terrible at Geometry with zero hope of succeeding on those questions. Same thing for Sentence Correction.
And this is a big AND.
You have flexibility in your timeline. Meaning, by waiting you are not going to put yourself in a stressful position in terms of application deadlines then you could consider waiting for the new GMAT Focus Edition.
I don’t think many people are in that category though so mostly that advice isn’t relevant.
GMAT Put Out to Pasture…
The old school GMAT which, for the most part, has remained in the same format for the better part of 100 years, will be retired in Q1 2024. I think GMAT Focus will be very similar in practice but the reshuffling does feel drastic considering how long the current format has endured.
Yes, it’s true that going from paper to computer adaptive was a big move.
And at that point the test also got harder. But still, it was the same setup with Quant and Verbal each having their own scores that then counted towards the composite.
The new trifecta of IR/Quant/Verbal feels foreign. That said, GMAC has been testing the setup with the Executive Assessment so it isn’t entirely surprising that we have veered in this direction.
A Focused Conclusion
GMAT Focus Edition will likely be a little easier to prepare for (less content) and potentially less stressful to take but shouldn’t be a factor in how the great majority of current studiers approach their MBA entrance exam decisions.
Hope that helps with whether to wait for new GMAT or take the classic. Feel free to comment with any questions. Happy studies.