From the 16th of April 2018, the length of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) has been shortened from four hours to three and a half hours. This change, which entails a shortening of the exam time by 30 minutes, has been made by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) to improve the test experience for candidates by reducing their anxiety levels and helping them build greater confidence to perform well on the test day.
While the alteration of the exam pattern has not led to any changes in the Analytical Writing (AWA) or Integrated Reasoning (IR) sections, it has streamlined the Quantitative and Verbal sections on the test and both sections will now have fewer unscored and research questions and consume lesser time. Additionally, some of the tutorial screens that students previously saw at the beginning of the test have also been removed. Thus, there is a 23-minute reduction in the exam sections with a 13-minute reduction in the Quantitative Section and a 10-minute reduction in the Verbal Section, and a 7-minute reduction across non-exam screens at the test center.
The change in the test pattern has, however, not changed the scoring algorithm of the test and both individual and overall scores are largely comparable to test scores prior to the 16th of April. Also, the time per question has approximately remained the same. Moreover, the quality of the exam, in terms of reliability, validity, security, and integrity has also been retained.
In support of the shortened sections, a few cosmetic changes have been made to all Enhanced Score Reports (ESR) ordered after the 16th of April 2018. While the overall content and information included in the ESR has remained unchanged, there have been text changes in places where references to any specific number of questions in each section were removed.
GMAC claims that the above-mentioned changes have been successful in creating a better and friendlier testing environment for candidates.