Major Changes In GMAT 2023 [Focus Edition] – What You Should Know

GMAT Focus Edition Key Changes

It has been almost 10 years since the GMAC significantly changed the GMAT exam format. The latest change is a complete revamp of the exam: the introduction of the GMAT Focus Edition, which promises to be a game-changer for prospective business school applicants. In this article, we will dissect what this new edition is all about.

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Exam Duration

Exam duration

The GMAT Focus edition will be significantly shorter than the previous versions of the test. The test duration will be reduced from 3 hours 7 minutes to 2 hours 15 minutes, making it easier for test-takers to focus well through the entire test duration. Verbal Reasoning, which is 65 minutes long and Quantitative Reasoning, which is 62 minutes long, will be 45 minutes long each. A new section called the Data Insights section will be introduced, a modified version of the current IR section. It will also be 45 minutes, compared to the current allocation of 30 minutes to the IR section. 

Another significant change is the removal of the AWA section. This implies that the entire paper will consist of only MCQs.

Changes in Syllabus


The GMAT Focus edition is designed to be shorter, more flexible, and easier to navigate than previous test versions. The most significant change is the removal of geometry from the quantitative section of the test. The new GMAT Quant Review of 2023-2024 most likely does not feature Geometry in its contents. This change is likely to be welcomed by many test-takers who may find geometry a challenging topic. Removing geometry from the test also allows the GMAT to focus on other vital areas of quantitative reasoning, such as algebra and arithmetic.

Another change in the GMAT Focus edition is the removal of the Sentence Correction question type. The new Verbal Reasoning section will focus more on the examinees’ critical thinking and data literacy skills, which are vital for pursuing business roles.

Please note that there has yet to be an announcement from GMAC on the new syllabus. However, they have officially announced that the syllabus will be shortened in the focus edition. 

Changes in Exam FormatExam format

Another exciting feature of the GMAT Focus edition is the ability to edit the answers to up to three questions per section. This feature is a significant departure from previous test versions, which did not allow test-takers to go back and change their answers once they had moved on to the next question. The ability to edit answers will give test-takers greater flexibility and control, allowing them to maximise their scores.

The GMAT Focus edition also allows test-takers to choose the order in which they attempt the sections of the test. This essential feature will enable test-takers to prioritise sections based on their strengths and weaknesses.

For example, a test-taker with a strong quantitative reasoning ability may tackle that section first to maximise their score.

When Are These Coming Out?

The GMAC has announced that the new format will come out in the latter half of this year. It will take time as the new GMAT Guide has to be adapted to the new format. GMAC will also need to provide new mock tests in the new format.

The old format will continue for the time being. Examinees will most likely be able to opt for either of the exam formats starting from the latter half of this year. However, the old format will be phased out by June 2024.

The Way Ahead?

For now, there are more questions than answers regarding the new format of the GMAT exam. If you have been preparing for the exam and are scheduled to appear this year or the first half of next year, there is no cause for concern. You should continue with your preparation as planned.

If you plan on giving the GMAT in the second half of 2024, you should focus on the more fundamental aspects of the GMAT, such as arithmetic, algebra and reading comprehension. 

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