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Everything you need to know about preparing for the GMAT exam in 2023

In this blog post, we will delve into the details of the GMAT™ Focus Edition, including the timeframes for Official Prep, registration, and testing availability, as well as the exam overview and test structure.

GMAT Focus Edition is offering test center as well as online test appointments from 7 November 2023 onwards.


Updates on 2023 GMAT test acceptance in MBA Programs:


  1. Harvard Business School has announced that it will not accept the GMAT Focus exam for the 2023 MBA program.

  2. Harvard Business School will accept the GMAT Focus exam scores for the HBS 2+2 intake for 2024.


Timeframes for GMAT Focus Official Prep, Registration:


For those planning to take the GMAT™ Focus Edition, it's essential to be aware of the following dates:

  1. Official Preparation material will be available on June 6, 2023.

  2. You can now register for the GMAT Focus Edition from 29 August 2023, the tesing for which will start in the fourth quarter of 2023.

What is the GMAT Focus Edition?


GMAT Focus Edition Exam Overview:

  1. The GMAT™ Focus Edition is a 2-hour and 15-minute exam (with one optional 10-minute break) that comprises 64 questions in total.

  2. There is no AWA Essay section in the GMAT Focus Edition.

  3. Test Structure - Three 45-minute Sections, No Essay

  4. The GMAT Focus Edition consists of three sections, each lasting 45 minutes, and there is no essay section.

  5. The Quantitative Reasoning section comprises 21 Problem Solving questions and lasts for 45 minutes.

  6. Verbal Reasoning Section duration is 45 minutes and has 23 questions. Each question will have five answer options that can either strengthen or weaken an argument, explain why the argument is flawed, or provide strong support or damage to the argument. Data Insights Section.

  7. The Data Insights section comprises 20 questions and lasts for 45 minutes. The Data Insights section of the GMAT Focus Edition exam requires analysis graphical, numerical, and text information, to evaluate how they relate to one another.

  8. The Question Review & Edit feature allows test-takers to bookmark and review questions as many times as they want.

  9. They can also change up to three answers per section, giving them more control over their exam-taking experience.

  10. The Select Section Order feature enables test-takers to take the exam in any section order they prefer, providing them with greater flexibility and allowing them to play to their strengths.

  11. The Improved Score Report provides detailed performance insights with each exam, allowing test-takers to see where they excelled and where they can improve.

  12. During the exam, you have the option to mark questions for review and return to them later in the section. However, if you run out of time in the section, you will not be able to access the Question Review & Edit screen and will move on to your optional break or the next section.

How will the GMAT Focus Edition be scored?

  1. Each section is scored on a scale of 60 to 90, with a standard error of measurement of 3 points. For the GMAT Focus Edition the test score starts from 205 with the maximum score being 805, with score intervals of 10.

  2. It's important to note that the Total Score values in the GMAT™ Exam - Focus Edition end in 5, which is different from the previous version of the GMAT.

  3. The reason for this change is to provide more granularity in the scores, enabling better differentiation between test takers' performance levels.

  4. On each of the sections from the Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Data Insights, an individual can score from 60 to 90.

  5. In terms of the standard error of measurement, the Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Data Insights sections have a standard error of measurement of 3 points, while the Total Score has a standard error of measurement of 30-40 points.


What is the difference in the score interpretation of the existing GMAT exam vs GMAT Focus Edition?


If you're preparing for the GMAT exam, you might have heard of the GMAT Focus Edition, a computer-adaptive test designed to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses before taking the real thing. But how do the scores on the GMAT Focus Edition compare to those on the GMAT exam?


Here's what you need to know:

  1. For a score of 660 on the GMAT exam, you can expect a 605 on the GMAT Focus Edition with a 75 percentile ranking.

  2. A score of 670 on the GMAT exam is equivalent to a 615 on the GMAT Focus Edition with an 80 percentile equivalence.

  3. A score of 680 on the GMAT exam would translate to a 625 on the GMAT Focus Edition at an 83 percentile.

  4. If you score a 690 on the GMAT exam, you would likely score a 635 on the GMAT Focus Edition at an 85 percentile.

  5. Similarly, a 700 on the GMAT exam would be comparable to a 645 on the GMAT Focus Edition with an 89 percentile.

  6. For a GMAT Exam score of 710, you would compare with a 655 on the GMAT Focus Edition, amounting to a 93 percentile.

  7. A 720 GMAT scorer would have a close cousin with a GMAT Focus edition scorer at 665 at a 94 percentile ranking.

  8. The 730 on the GMAT exam score would on the GMAT focus edition become a 675 at a 96 percentile ranking.

  9. With a 740 on the GMAT exam, you would probably score a 685 on the GMAT Focus Edition at a 97 percentile rank.

  10. A 750 GMAT exam score with 98 percentile rank would be a 695 on the GMAT Focus Edition.

  11. The game changes once more at the 99 percentile and above. While on the GMAT exam, a 760 is the 99th percentile rank, on the GMAT Focus Edition, it could be a 705 or a 715 or a 725.

  12. Similarly, while an 800 on the GMAT Exam is the 100 percentile, on the GMAT Focus Edition, it could be a 735 or a 745 or a 755 or a 765 or a 775 or a 785 or a 795 or an 805.

Here are some key points to consider regarding the section-wise percentile benchmarks for the GMAT Focus edition:

1. Quantitative Reasoning Section of the GMAT Focus Edition:

  • Scoring an 81 lands you in the 71 percentile

  • Scoring an 82 brings you to the 76 percentile

  • Scoring an 83 relates to 81 percentile

  • Scoring an 84 on this section places the applicant in the 85 percentile

  • Scoring an 85 means that you are in the 89 percentile

  • Scoring an 86 brings you to the 92 percentile

  • Scoring an 87 is equivalent to the 94 percentile

  • Scoring an 89 is equivalent to the 97 percentile

  • Scoring a 90 brings you to the 100 percentile

2. Verbal Reasoning Section of the GMAT Focus Edition:

  • Scoring an 81 lands you in the 70 percentile

  • Scoring an 82 brings you to the 79 percentile

  • Scoring an 83 relates to the 86 percentile

  • Scoring an 84 on this section places the applicant in the 91 percentile

  • Scoring an 85 means that you are in the 96 percentile

  • Scoring an 86 brings you to the 98 percentile

  • Scoring either 87 or 88 is equivalent to the 99 percentile

  • Scoring a 89 or 90 is equivalent to the 100 percentile

2. Data Insights Section of the GMAT Focus Edition:

  • Scoring a 78 gets you to the 73 percentile

  • Scoring a 79 brings you to the 79 percentile

  • Scoring an 80 relates to the 86 percentile

  • Scoring an 81 is equivalent to the 90 percentile

  • Scoring an 82 brings you to the 94 percentile

  • Scoring an 83 is equivalent to the 96 percentile

  • Scoring an 84 brings you to the 98 percentile

  • Scoring between 85 to 88 lands you in the 99 percentile

  • Scoring between 89 to 90 is equivalent to the 100 percentile.

These percentile benchmarks provide valuable insight into how the GMAT Focus edition scores compare to the previous version of the exam. By understanding these benchmarks, test-takers can accurately assess their competitiveness and identify the right scores for applying to their desired business schools.


It is not only the score that is important, but also the percentile ranking on the GMAT Focus Edition. To accurately assess your competitiveness based on the GMAT™ Exam - Focus Edition, it is recommended to compare percentile rankings instead of total scores when comparing it to the previous version of the GMAT™ Exam. This is because the percentile ranking takes into account the performance of other test-takers, giving a better indication of where you stand in comparison to others.


Top Indian Schools that accept GMAT Score For the One year MBA program are ISB Hyderabad, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta


Therefore, while the scores on the GMAT Focus Edition and GMAT Exam may differ, understanding the percentile ranking can help you gauge your strengths and weaknesses, and work towards improving your chances of success on test day.


Get in touch to discuss your profile and get application assistance for applying to MBA programs with an MBA admission consultant at GOALisB. Email us at contact@goalisb.com or Call us @ +91 7719497187.

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