With the newest edition of GMAT all set to go live in late 2023, it’s time to understand how its scoring works. A balanced approach to scoring that will truly determine the ability of today’s candidate- this truly summarizes the new GMAT Focus Edition scoring system recently revealed by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). But what’s so different about it?
Old vs. New Scoring System
The old scoring system had the following framework: A combination of your subscores from the Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections, every section was reported on a scale from 6 to 51 points, and the composite score was graded on a scale of 200 to 800 points. With the scores depending on the no. of correct answers and the difficulty level of only the correct answers, a single final score was assigned along with the percentile that signified your position in comparison to the other test takers.
The new scoring system is widely different. With a score range of 205 to 805, the GMAT Focus Edition total score always ends with a 5 due to the score interval of 10. The new system equally lays focus on every section with an individual score range of 60-90 and a score interval of 1. The score report generated post the test provides more detailed information regarding all three sections of the test instead of the final score only, which is beneficial to both you and the school you’re applying to.
Do note that the scores from the new and old systems cannot be directly compared. If the relative comparison needs to take place, it is rather the percentile that can showcase your competitiveness across different GMAT attempts.
Key differences in the new GMAT scoring
Being one of the shortest GMAT exams with just three 45-minute multiple-choice sections and no essays, the amount of content to prepare for is reduced. It is not just the format but the new GMAT Focus Edition scoring system also represents a significant improvement over the previous system. Here are some of the key differences you should know about:
Granular Score Precision:
The new scoring system was mainly introduced to provide granularity for top scorers. In the old system, a score of 710 was considered excellent, but there was no way to differentiate between to candidates who scored 710 and 780 respectively. The new system provides more granularity with 61 ability levels, allowing schools to differentiate between high-scoring candidates more accurately.
Score Weight of All Sub-Sections:
Unlike the old system where Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning were considered more important, the GMAT Focus edition ensures equal score weightage of all three subsections: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Data Insights. This implies that you have a strong chance to do well on the test even if two sections are your strong points and you have worked extremely hard on the third one.
Along with the official score report, the GMAT Focus Edition exam will provide you with detailed performance insights which will mainly include insights from every question type, fundamental skill, and content domain within each section of the exam. You will also be able to get the time breakdown throughout the exam, including their responses and time spent reviewing each question in all three sections.
Apart from these main differences, the GMAT Focus Edition has also introduced a new ‘Question Review & Edit’ page where you can see your answers and bookmarked questions. You can review as many questions as you like and edit up to three answers per section.
Overall, the new GMAT Focus Edition scoring system provides a more detailed and informative assessment of a student’s skills and abilities. Through the combination of equal section score weightage and adaptive testing, it works in favor of the student taking the test. By providing a better understanding of a student’s strengths and weaknesses, it also benefits the school by helping them gauge your competence on a more transparent level. We completely understand that changes in formats and scoring systems can be scary. But it doesn’t have to be!
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