GMAT Old vs New version. Which one is easier ?
I took the new, shortened version of the GMAT recently and the fact that my most recent score was consistent with two of my previous efforts is evidence that the new version of the GMAT is consistent with the old. However, I much prefer the new version to the old!
The Verbal section has been shortened by 10 minutes, while the Quantitative section has been shortened by 13 minutes. Along with the reductions in time, both the Quantitative and Verbal sections have fewer questions. The Quantitative section has been reduced from 37 questions to 31, and the Verbal section has been reduced from 41 questions to 36. While these changes apparently did not affect my score, I found the new version of the exam to be much less exhausting. Though the test has only been shortened by a few minutes, that small amount makes a big difference in terms of stamina and concentration. When it came time for my first break, I really didn’t feel as though I needed one. I took a short break anyway, but I was back in my seat with time to spare. When it came time for my second break, I chose to skip it, and I didn’t regret that decision as I found my stamina to be more than adequate for the remainder of the exam. I actually enjoyed taking the GMAT this time around!
There have always been experimental questions on the GMAT. These too have been reduced in number on the new GMAT. Though we don’t know the exact number of experimental questions, we can assume that there are only a handful in both the quantitative and verbal sections. From a strategic standpoint, experimental questions are no longer much of a consideration. However, knowing that some questions don’t count does give you the comforting hope that missing any particularly difficult question may not count against your score after all!
- Please remember that no question anywhere on the exam is worth destroying your timing. Missing an occasional question here or there will not prevent you from achieving a high score.
- Missing several questions in a row anywhere on the exam, however, can have dire consequences. Each time you miss a question on the GMAT, the computer gives you a slightly easier question.
- If you miss several questions in a row, you are missing questions that are well below the level of difficulty that you had previously attained, and the computer penalizes you for this.
- If you are going to make mistakes on the GMAT, it is better to spread them out. Try to avoid a string of wrong answers anywhere on the exam.
Thanks to recent changes, taking the GMAT is less stressful than it used to be, but remember that the best remedy for stress is to properly prepare!
Mr. Paul Lundquist | GMAT / GRE STAR Trainer
- 20+ years as Kaplan Hong Kong’s GMAT trainer
- Helped thousands of students improve their GMAT scores
- Scored in the 96th percentile
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