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GMAT™ Focus: Is the GMAT™ Test Prep Different?

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The GMAT™ Exam is evolving. The GMAT Focus Edition covers the skills we know really matter to business schools. It takes into account the things that matter to you, too, offering more efficient prep and a shorter exam time, so you can get on with enjoying your life and pursuing your goals.

So, if you choose to take the GMAT Focus Edition what can you expect? Ana Kyper, Senior Director, Prep and Readiness at the Graduate Management Admission Council, answers candidates’ frequently asked questions about the test, how it works, what to expect on your GMAT Focus Edition journey, and how best to prepare.

What’s changed in the GMAT Focus Edition?

The GMAT Focus Edition is an evolution reflecting that the world of work is changing, and so are business schools and candidates. So, the new test is laser-targeted and includes highly relevant content that only covers the skills and concepts we know admissions panels are looking for.

The test comprises only three sections and at two hours and 15 minutes is almost an hour shorter than the previous exam. It includes a Data Insights section that encompasses data sufficiency and integrated reasoning questions. It is designed to measure your ability to analyse different types of data from multiple sources – graphic, numeric, and verbal – to make informed decisions.

GMAT Focus does, of course, have some other important differences to the previous version. We have removed sentence correction and there is no analytical writing assessment. We know that candidates have busy lives with work and study, so it allows you to prep as smartly as possible and be confident that you’re making the very best use of your time, moving forward with confidence to pursue your dreams.

What about the GMAT prep I’ve already done? Is the prep now different?

Not at all. The question types are the same as those you’re already prepared for, so if you’ve already started preparing, you’re in great shape. Where you are in your studies will decide your next course of action and your GMAT practice. If you’ve studied and you feel confident with the question types, then review the new test format and take a GMAT Focus practice exam to make sure you’re comfortable with the new format and timing. There are two free official practice exams available to get you started.

What if there’s content in the GMAT Focus Edition that I haven’t prepared for?

There’s nothing new on the exam, so you don’t need to brace for any shocks when you take the test. When you take the practice exam you may find you are comfortable with the new format and timing, or you might need a little more practice, either overall or on specific sections. Once you know where you are, you can use the official practice questions to target your specific needs and take another practice exam to get exam ready.

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I haven’t done a lot of prep yet, so how much time should I spend?

We have a free six-week study planner that takes you through everything you need to prep for the GMAT Focus Edition.

What’s the best prep to get started?

I would personally recommend that you concentrate your preparation on the GMAT Official Prep, because it’s the only resource that includes real GMAT exam questions. It includes the GMAT Official Guide, which walks you through the exam section by section with review sections, examples, and then over 600 practice questions.

In addition, the official guide comes with an online question bank. There are the Official GMAT Practice Exams, which use the same scoring algorithms and the same timing as the actual GMAT Focus Edition exam. All that enables you to understand your strengths and weaknesses, know your best section, and plan your order and pacing strategy.

I’ve planned my approach to the GMAT exam – should it change?

You should validate your approach with the GMAT Focus Official Practice Exams.

When you take the GMAT Focus Edition, you are able to select the order in which you work through the sections of the exam. The GMAT Official Practice Exams give you the same option. So, determine the best section order for you and use the practice exams to validate your strategy.

I can’t wait to get started, break all this down for me one more time.

First, I would say if you’ve already started to prep for the GMAT Exam, don’t worry. There’s nothing new or unexpected on the GMAT Focus Edition. Make sure you understand how the exam has changed. Then, download the six-week study planner and tailor it to where you are in your studies. If you think you’re well versed on the question types, take a practice exam, and then plan additional practice based on how you do. And finally, I wish you all the best on your GMAT Focus Edition journey!

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