The GMAT online exam – Everything about taking GMAT exams from home

The GMAT online exam – Everything about taking GMAT exams from home

The GMAT online exam is a remote proctored version of the GMAT test-center-based exam that is meant to help candidates meet their business school application goals from home or anywhere in the world. All candidates have the option to take the exam at the test center, online, or both. The GMAT online exam creates more flexibility allowing exam takers to be at their best and meet their business school admission goals. 

The Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) updated the online exam in 2021 to be more aligned with the test center version, giving candidates a viable option to take the exam at a time of uncertainty. The GMAT online is now a permanent option for those who would wish to take the exam online.

Exam structure and content

When the GMAT online was first released, it did not have the Analytical Writing Assessment section. The exam also did not have any breaks and was, therefore, shorter than the test-center version; the new version of the GMAT online is much more like the test-center version in both structure and content. Here are some features that were added:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) – the GMAT online now includes the 30-minute AWA section. If you choose to take the online exam, you will have an AWA score to send to schools. 
  • 8-minute optional breaks – the online exam includes two 8-minute breaks you can take advantage of to rejuvenate or prepare for the next section. 
  • Section order selection – the candidates can choose the order in which to take the exam sections from three available options, just as in the in-person exam. 
  • View provisional score immediately –  candidates can see their unofficial scores immediately after they finish the test. 

The GMAT online exam has four sections, Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment sections.

Quantitative reasoning – has 31 questions to be covered in 62 minutes

Verbal reasoning – has 36 questions to be completed in 65 minutes. 

Integrated reasoning – has 12 questions to be completed in 30 minutes. 

Analytical Writing Assessment – 1 essay to complete in 30 minutes.

The GMAT online exam allows candidates the flexibility to choose their exam section order from any of the following three options:

  • AWA, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, AWA
  • Quantitative reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, integrated Reasoning, AWA

GMAT exam scores

The GMAT online scores are calculated using the same algorithm as the in-person GMAT, therefore the score scales and percentile ranking are also identical. At the end of the test, the candidate will be able to preview their unofficial scores for the Verbal, Quant, and IR sections and the total score on the spot. The official score report will be available on the candidate’s accounts within 7 days. The score report will show a Total Score, a Quant section score, a Verbal section score, an IR section score, and an AWA section score. These scores are valid for 5 years.

Once you have the official results, the GMAT online allows you the freedom to decide when you are ready to send your results to programs. You can first view your score and then choose to send it to the programs of your choice. The official score will be available to schools within 24 of your request. 

When you are taking your exam at a test center, you can cancel your score after viewing it on your computer, but online GMAT scores cannot be canceled. However, your score will not be included in the GMAT score history that schools see when you send in-person scores. And if you take the GMAT online more than once, you can choose which score you want to send. 

Registration process

Registering for the GMAT online is a simple process, you can register for the exam by creating a account and then logging into the registration portal. You will be required to provide some personal information to build a profile, then you can log into your account at any time to schedule a test. You can use this account to schedule both the online and the test-center exams. 

You can schedule an exam appointment for the GMAT online up to six months in advance, candidates are presented with these appointments on a six-month rolling basis. 

You can cancel or reschedule your exam appointment at any time by logging into your account. 

Registration fees

The registration fee for the GMAT online is $300. This is higher than the $275 fee paid for the in-person exam. This difference may not be a significant deciding factor when considering whether to take the exam online or at the test center, especially considering the flexibility and convenience afforded by the online exam. 

There are also fees charged for rescheduling an exam appointment depending on how much notice is given:

  • If the candidate reschedules an exam more than 60 days prior to the original exam date, the rescheduling fee will be $60.
  • You will pay $120 if you reschedule an exam 15-60 days prior to the exam date.
  • If you reschedule 14 days or less prior to the original exam date, then the rescheduling fee is $180.

Exam Appointments and Availability

The GMAC provides the GMAT online exam as an option to support candidates’ business school goals. One of the major features of GMAT online is that the testing time slots are available 24/7, which means you do not have to conform to a test center schedule. You can schedule your exam for any time of day, any day of the week.

If you are taking the test in person, you will need to choose a test center and pick from available time slots, but if you choose to do your exam online, then you can schedule your test for whichever time suits you best, this added flexibility should come in handy for candidates who already work or go to school full time. 

Whether you choose to take the test-center exam or the GMAT online exam, GMAT test dates are available all year round. The GMAT online is however not available in Mainland China, North Korea, Sudan, Iran, and Cuba. If you are in any of these locations, the only option available for you is the test-center exams. 

GMAT online is only available in English. 

System Requirements

The GMAC has made online test widely accessible. You don’t need a highly advanced technical setup to be able to take the test at home. You can use either a laptop or desktop computer and the GMAT online software will run on either a PC or Mac operating system. You will need a webcam, microphone, and speakers. 

Before you are fully set on taking the GMAT at home, review the system requirements for the online test then run a system test on your computer to ensure that it is compliant.

When taking the GMAT at home, you will have the option of using either a virtual erasable whiteboard that is accessible on your computer, an erasable physical whiteboard that you must buy, or both. 

The physical whiteboard must be no larger than 12 inches by 20 inches. You are allowed 2 dry-erase markers and 1 eraser.

Test Environment

If you are taking the test at home, you need a private environment where you can sit for about three and a half hours without interruptions. Your desk must be cleared of all things except your computer and whiteboard, even the walls must be cleared. You are not allowed any extra comforts except a bottle of water in a clear container on your desk. 

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