GMAT enhanced online exam that was announced by the GMAC is another iteration at making the Online Version of the test resemble the offline test center-based version. This update includes 5 modifications to how the test is administered. While 4 of these changes affect test takers across the world positively, one update is of specific importance to Indian GMAT test takers. Indian test takers can now validate their identity using the Aadhar Card.
Of all the updates in this version, the one that is screaming out loud is the introduction of the AWA section in the enhanced GMAT online exam.
A list of updates
All of the below mentioned updates come into effect on the May 20, 2021. The registrations for the new enhanced GMAT online are underway.
- AWA in the new enhanced GMAT online exam
- GMAT Score Preview – Viewing your GMAT score right after you take the exam
- Selection of section order
- Two optional breaks
- Aadhaar Card as proof of identity (for Indian candidates only)
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1. AWA in the GMAT Online Exam
AWA is now a part of the GMAT online exam. With this update, the GMAT online exam also has the same 4 sections as its offline counterpart. We all know that the GMAT score is valid for five years. Admissions team might prefer to have a GMAT score that includes the AWA, now or at a later date. Before this update, the only way to comply with this requirement was to take the test in a centre or to postpone your test to a later date when the test centre based exam was more accessible. This update finds a viable solution for those who prefer to take the online version.
This is the most impactful of the updates by the GMAC putting the GMAT online on par with the GMAT offline.
2. Scorecard: Right after the exam
Now, instead of waiting for 8 to 10 days to know your score after taking your GMAT online exam, you can get a preview of what you scored in the Quantitative aptitude, Verbal, and Integrated Reasoning section immediately once after you complete the exam. You will also get to know how much you scored out of 800.
Earlier, to ensure that the integrity of the online exam is not compromised in anyway, GMAC had taken time to double check everything before scores of an online exam was made available to the test taker.. Now, after running the engine for about a year, GMAC has introduced the score preview feature to the online version of the test. Your official score including the AWA score will be available in a week to 10 days from the time you take the test.
3. Select Section Order
The online version of the test had a predetermined order in which you could attempted the different sections of the test viz., Quant, Verbal, and IR. However, the offline test centre based version gave 3 options to choose the order in which you attempted the different sections of the test. After April 8, 2021, the GMAT online exam will include this feature to select the section order from one of the options below
- AWA – IR – Quant – Verbal
- Verbal – Quant – IR – AWA
- Quant – Verbal – IR – AWA
4. The Optional Breaks
The number of optional breaks increases from 1 to 2. Candidates can now take 2 breaks of 8 minutes each instead of one 5-minute break.
The inclusion of the AWA section in the GMAT online exam might have contributed to this change.
Similar to the test center version, these breaks cannot be taken between the IR and AWA sections.
5. Aadhar Card
Indian candidates can now use their Aadhar Card instead of their passport as proof of identity to take the online version of the GMAT. The Aadhar card must be linked to your mobile number through which an OTP verification needs to be completed to use it as valid proof. Here’s the list of instructions by the GMAC to use the Aadhar card as a valid proof of identity
Please note that the passport continues to be accepted as a proof of identity for the online GMAT exam.
Also note that the passport is the only proof of identify if you opt for the test center based exam.
Unlimited Free Score Reports for GMAT Online Exam
All of these above-mentioned updates have a positive impact on test takers. Though the GMAT online is now on par with the GMAT offline, one thing that tops the GMAT offline is sending your scores to an unlimited number of schools. If you opted for the test center GMAT, you can send your scores free of cost to up to 5 colleges. Additional score reports cost $35 for each school from thereon. However, the online version continues to allow you to send scores to unlimited number of schools. That could be a tidy sum if you apply to 8 to 10 schools and did not get the school list right when you took the GMAT exam.
GMAT Online Exam : Final verdict
Sending your scores for free to any number of schools and taking the GMAT from the comfort of your home, combined with the above mentioned updates makes the GMAT online exam seem a better choice than taking the GMAT in the test centers.
Having said that, quite a few test takers prefer the test center based version because it eliminates the hassle of ensuring that you have a good uninterrupted Internet connectivity and having someone watch you online through the entire duration of the test. That could be unsettling for quite a few folks.
Notwithstanding which version of the test you choose, the most important component of a great GMAT score is a good preparation. Sign up as a trial user for Wizako’s comprehensive online course to ace the GMAT.
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Best wishes for your GMAT Preparation!