The GMAT is going to feel different soon! Know what that means for your prep.
The GMAT is going to feel different soon! Know what that means for your prep.
Did you hear the big news that’s been doing the rounds?! The GMAT has changed. Starting 16th April 2018, the GMAT is going to start feeling a little less tedious.
Changes in GMAT 2018
This does not imply less studying on your part, neither does it imply fewer sections on the test. All it means is fewer minutes of test-time! You will you no longer be spending 4 hours within test conditions from here on out. The GMAC (the organizers of the GMAT) has finally realized how hard it can be to sustain attention for that long and has taken off 30 whole minutes from the total test time. So, yes, it is now a 3.5-hour long test. Yay!
So, how did the GMAC do this without affecting the question types, content and scoring? That’s what I’m here to write about. It’s true; the changes don’t necessarily imply any change in your prep strategy. In fact, let’s say you are almost done with your prep, there will be nothing you’ll have to pick up anew.
One of the bigger factors that contribute toward GMAT test time is the total number of questions that appear on the test. Of these questions, the majority are scored, i.e. answering them correctly will enhance your score, but there also exist a percentage of unscored (experimental) questions that the GMAT poses to candidates as part of its assessment of difficulty level. In its bid to enhance the test-taking experience, the GMAC has now decided to cut short the number of experimental questions on the test, thus making the test shorter by 23 minutes. Further to the 23-minute deduction on the verbal and quantitative sections overall (the change in number of questions has been contained within these two sections only), the time devoted to the tutorial screen display at the start of the test has been slashed too and the tutorial instructions have been made available in advance instead. So, now candidates can view and review the tutorial, from the convenience of their homes, prior to appearing for the exam. Factor in the breaks between sections, and it all effectively stands to a net 30-minute reduction in test time!
Of course, experimental questions will still exist on the test, but they will appear significantly less frequently. As per GMAC’s official website, the time spent on the quantitative section will drop from 75 minutes to 62 minutes, and on the verbal section from 75 minutes to 65 minutes. The number of quantitative questions will reduce from 37 to 31 and the number of verbal questions from 41 to 36. However, since the GMAC has very clearly stated that this does not change the average time per question and the scoring algorithm, know that this does not call for a change in the way you prepare for the two sections. Yes, the test is shorter, but your experience of each question remains the same. You may however need to re-strategize your pacing during the test, considering you may have gotten used to sparing 75 minutes for each section. To this end, it might help to track time when practicing full-length sectional questions.
This change is part of the test’s attempt to make the test-taking experience friendlier and is the first major change in the structure of the test since the introduction of IR section in 2012. Note that the IR and AWA sections remain exactly as they are; 30 minutes for each section and no change in the number of questions.
So, what now? If your test is scheduled for after the 16th of April, do you need to be concerned?
Well, certainly not. Like I said, the changes do not dictate a different kind of preparation from the content perspective. The GMAT Official Practice Exams reflecting the shortened Quantitative and Verbal section lengths shall be released soon; no later than April 30, 2018 is what GMAC is claiming. So, you should, very soon, be able to simulate your practice as per the new format. If you have your GMAT exam scheduled on or prior to May 6, 2018, you can reschedule to another date with a fee waiver, provided you call GMAC with your reschedule request on or prior to April 11, 2018.
If you have any further queries about the changes in the GMAT, just head over to GMAT’s official site to have them answered.
If you’d like tutoring sessions to match up to a fast-approaching test date, get in touch with our course advisor to schedule private tutoring sessions right away.
Giving the students greater flexibility during the exam, GMAC recently introduced a new GMAT Select Section Order. Starting July 11, 2017, test-takers can choose the order in which they want to take the four different sections of the exam.
What are the GMAT Select Section Order options?
It’s not as if this move allows students to take the sections in any order you want. Instead, GMAC has three preset options from which students can choose from. The Select Section Order options are as follows:
Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal (original order)
Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
When do students choose their Select Section Order?
Test takers will have to select their preferred option at the test center. The options will be presented after the students select the schools to send their score report, and immediately before the GMAT exam. Students will get two minutes to choose their preferred order. However, if they do not make any selection, then the original order will be selected as default.
How will the Select Section Order affect the GMAT Breaks?
If test takers choose option 2 or 3, then the two eight-minute breaks will be given right after the quant and verbal sections. Again, remember that these breaks are optional. Students can continue taking the exam if they do not intend to take a break. Also, the order selected will not be reflected on the GMAT score reports.
Why did GMAC introduce these changes?
GMAC aims to improve the test experience for students by giving them flexibility and control of their own testing process. According to their research, the Select Section Order was a highly requested feature among the pilot group. Also, this move seemed to be aimed squarely at getting an upper hand against the GRE. Over the years, GMAT has been losing ground to GRE steadily ever since the latter exam was used for MBA admissions. GMAC hopes that this user-friendly feature will help them gain some of that lost ground.
Is there any right Select Section Order?
Absolutely not! These options give the students an opportunity to tailor the exam according to their own strengths and weaknesses. If you think having a crack at your weakest section when you are fresh suits you better, by all means go for it. Alternatively, if you want to get off to a good start in your exam with your strongest section, feel free to select it.
Are there any mock GMAT exams which simulate the Select Section Order?
The Select Section Order feature is not available in the official full-length GMAT exams - GMAT Prep and Exam Packs 1 and 2. However, these products will be updated with the feature by July 31, 2017. However, if you do not want to delay the purchase of these full-length exam products, you can buy it right away. You will still be eligible for a complimentary upgrade whenever the software is updated with the Select Section Order feature. Test takers can use existing mock tests and practice questions to build confidence on their preferred order.
In addition to this major change, GMAC has also removed the profile update screens at the test center. Earlier, students had to address a series of profile questions after the exam. These will now be removed from the exam process. However, students can still update these details from their own profiles on mba.com.
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There has been an increase in the numbers of professionals in the country who are lured by management careers. It’s understandable since it’s rewarding and offers them much improved job profiles. If you have 3 years work experience, the question is how to make it work to your advantage, and which exam to choose to get into the best colleges?
The CAT and GMAT are undoubtedly the two most popular entrance tests for admissions in the best colleges in the country. GMAT also offers you an opportunity to gain admissions for top programs in foreign universities. Choosing between the tests is not just about picking one that is easier but the exam that is best suited for your interests.
Crucial factors that can help you make your decision
Choosing between the CAT and GMAT can be a tricky proposition and it has to be a carefully thought out decision. We have created a list of factors that you should take into account before you opt for either of the tests.
The changing scenario
There has been a rapid rise in candidates taking the GMAT in the country in the last few years, which has coincided with the decline in the numbers of CAT takers. Firstly, more B Schools in India accept GMAT scores today. Your work experience also holds a lot of importance with GMAT, which is an added advantage.
Admissions to top colleges
If you aspire to pursue your management programs from the IIMs or FMS then you need to appear for the CAT. B Schools like ISB, S P Jain accept GMAT Scores, which can also get you entry into B Schools abroad. If you want to gain entry into specific programs offered by certain colleges then you need to take the test accordingly.
Think of your future goals
Do you wish to settle abroad after completing your MBA? Given your experience do you prefer to pursue a reputed one year program like the one at ISB to fast track your future career? If the answer to these questions is Yes then GMAT would be the right choice for you. However taking the CAT can similarly drive you towards specific career goals.
Hallmarks of the test
CAT can be taken once a year and your scores are valid for the forthcoming year. Results are declared on the specified date. GMAT can be taken up to five times a year with a 31 day waiting period, the results are instant and scores valid for up to five years. Scheduling issues have to be factored in while choosing the test.
Irrespective of the test you choose, you need to give it your best shot to boost your prospects with the top B Schools in the country and abroad.
Read: CAT Syllabus Vs GRE Syllabus
As a career oriented individual you understand the importance of having the best qualifications to get the competitive edge. Your career path includes competitive exams that prepare you for the road ahead. Since there are several of them today, the key lies in choosing the best professional exam that takes you closer to your specific goals.
GMAT is one of the most popular entrance exams, which is taken by management aspirants all over the world. However it’s not your only option and CISSP test is gaining in prominence for those who want to make a career in the dynamic and every growing field of Information System Security. Here we discuss the difference between the tests and help you weigh your options.
CISSP Vs GMAT – An overview
GMAT is a general entrance exam that will help you gain admission to some of the top B Schools in the world. The test is conducted by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a non profile organization of graduate B Schools all over the world.
The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is a certification developed by International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium. The certification is a specialized qualification that is beneficial to professionals in the niche field.
Professional gains from the exams
GMAT scores are considered by B Schools when they admit candidates for their management programs. It can be your gateway to a successful professional career or help you switch to managerial roles. On its own the exam doesn’t offer professional benefits though some organizations look at your GMAT scores during recruitments.
CISSP certification is ideal for individuals who want to specialize in Information System Security careers. Given that there is growing emphasis on Information System Security, there is an increased demand for professionals in the field. Hence the qualification can help you professionally, albeit in a specific field.
The difficulty factor
GMAT is 3 and half hour long and you are tested on different sections including Quantitative, Verbal, Analytical Writing Assessment and Integrated Reasoning sections. However your scores only on the first two sections add to your composite scores. Overall it’s recommended that you prepare for the test for at least three months.
CISSP on the other hand requires you to have in-depth knowledge of the specific field. It is considered to be a long and grueling exam where you are given six hours to complete it. The natural of the test can be taxing and requires elaborate preparations.
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Nearly half (49 percent) of all graduate business programs received more applications in 2016 compared with 2015, according to a global survey report released today by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).
European programs across the board, plus full-time one-year MBA, executive MBA, and online MBA programs appear to be experiencing stronger application growth, whereas full-time two-year, part-time, and flexible MBA programs worldwide are indicating declines this year.
"Business degrees continue to be one of the most sought-after educational credentials," said Sangeet Chowfla, president and CEO of GMAC. "With the creation of more tailored business programs such as the Master in Data Analytics, the demand for entrance into business school is spreading across a growing supply of programs. With the competitive landscape changing, applicants have more options from which to choose, creating a mixed picture for business schools today."
GMAC conducted its 17th annual Application Trends Survey from early June to mid-July 2016. The survey findings are based on a record number of responses from 335 business schools and faculties worldwide representing 872 graduate management programs, including MBA, non-MBA business master's, and doctoral-level programs.
Participating programs received a combined total of 440,000 applications during the 2016 application cycle. Ninety-three percent of all participating programs report that the applicants this year are similarly or more academically qualified than candidates last year.
Key Findings: Program Application Growth
A key finding within the report reveals that European business programs -- which have seen stagnant volumes for several years -- are experiencing an influx in applications this year. Sixty-five percent of European programs (across all program types combined) grew their application volumes. Forty-six percent of U.S. programs and 41 percent of programs in East and Southeast Asia grew their application volumes as well.
Further, European full-time one-year MBA programs stand out in this year's findings -- nearly 3 in 4 (74 percent) programs report year-on-year increases. Nearly half of U.S.-based programs (43 percent) and programs in East and Southeast Asia (45 percent) report volume growth in the full-time one-year MBA market.
Additional program types experiencing application gains include the full-time one-year MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, Master of Finance and the Master in Data Analytics.
A majority of all full-time one-year MBA programs (57 percent) report growing application volumes this year, building on the momentum of last year's results when 51 percent reported growth.
For the first time since 2008, a majority (51 percent) of executive MBA programs report growing volumes, 8 percentage points higher than programs that reported growing volumes in 2015.
For the second consecutive year, a majority (57 percent) of online MBA programs report growing application volumes, up from 50 percent of programs that reported volume growth last year. Survey responses also show that 9 percent of online programs are new in 2017, signaling schools are implementing programs that are of high interest to prospective students.
Also for the second year in a row, a majority of Master of Finance programs report growing volumes. More than half of the European (65 percent) and U.S.-based programs (55 percent) report growth this year.
One of the newest programs in the graduate management education space -- Master in Data Analytics -- continues to see growing demand. Nearly all (94 percent) of the 16 data analytics programs that submitted data comparing 2015 with this year report application volume growth in 2016. The survey also shows program growth in this area as nine new programs will be seating their first classes this year.
After three years of slowing growth, the Master in Management program holds steady in 2016 with a majority (51 percent) of programs reporting growing application volumes. More European programs (58 percent) report growth compared with half (50 percent) of U.S.-based programs.
Key Findings: Decreasing Volumes for Some Flagship Programs
A select number of program types realized fewer application submissions or held steady with last year.
For the first time since 2012, fewer than half of full-time two-year MBA programs (43 percent) experienced year-on-year application growth this year. This is the second straight year that the share of programs reporting growth is down from a high of 61 percent in 2014.
Part-time MBA and flexible MBA programs continue to exhibit the same application volume patterns seen over the past seven years since the end of the Great Recession. This year, just 43 percent of part-time MBA programs and 44 percent of flexible MBA programs report application volume growth.
Master of Accounting programs continue a trend of declining growth. Less than half (44 percent) of programs experienced rising application volumes in 2016.
Other Points of Interest: Candidate Diversification and Tuition Assistance
Business schools continue to diversify their outreach and recruitment efforts to broaden their appeal to targeted candidate segments. Seventy percent of full-time two-year MBA programs recruit international candidates. These candidates, especially those from China, India and the U.S., also are a priority for outreach and recruitment by a majority of full-time one-year MBA programs and master's programs in management and finance.
The most common form of tuition assistance that graduate management programs offer is merit scholarships. The majority of all program types offer financial aid, including 78 percent of full-time MBA programs. Two-thirds of programs (68 percent) report that the percentage of their incoming students receiving employer-based tuition reimbursement this year will be similar to 2015.
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