What is the GMAT Focus Edition? Everything You Need to Know

On March 8th, 2023, the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) announced the biggest changes to the GMAT since the inception of the test in 1954. 

The new version of the GMAT is being called the “GMAT Focus Edition” and will be rolled out in the 4th quarter this year, with registration available in the 3rd quarter.

The current version of the GMAT will be available through “early 2024,” and we are recommending that most students study for this version through the 2nd round of the upcoming application cycle.

GMAT Focus Edition — Quick Facts

While the GMAT Focus Edition is still a developing story, here is what we know for sure from MBA.com:

GMAT Focus Edition Introduces a New Section: Data Insights

According to MBA.com, “the Data Insights section measures candidates’ ability to analyze and interpret data and apply it to real-world business scenarios.”

Data insights consists of 20 questions, some of which may require “math, data analysis, verbal reasoning, or all three.”

Question types within Data Insights include:

Our Recommendation for Students

With any change like this, it is beneficial to wait a little while and gain more information from those who have taken the new test and to see what new resources become available for preparation.

Likely, there will be some delays and/or issues with the new version upon its inception. 

For sure, it will be a confusing 12 months as the new test is rolled out and the current version continues to be administered. 

We advise the following to our current students and those who are interested in signing up:

At this point, we do not know anything about the scoring scale for the new edition or how MBA programs will use the two different exam versions for their application decisions. 

What we can say confidently is that this shift in the exam favors the style of preparation that we have always used in our curriculum: strategic and analytical preparation vs. content-based preparation. The goal of the GMAT has always been to assess higher-order thinking, and this new Focus Edition version will shift even more from assessing “who knows things” to “who thinks the right way” to succeed in business school.