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Super long post for those who want to know about the GMAT [#permalink]
15 May 2005, 15:06
Important Changes to GMAT Delivery Beginning in 2006
You may have heard that beginning in January 2006, ACT will develop the GMAT and Pearson VUE will administer the exam (currently itâ€™s developed by ETS and administered by Thomson Prometric). Although no changes to the examâ€™s format are currently planned, you should be aware of the upcoming changes.
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) decided to change providers in large part to improve test security and to increase the number of test centers outside the U.S. Pearson VUE will implement new security measures, such as the use of digital fingerprinting. Though the test centers administering the GMAT will change, the number of test centers in the U.S. will remain about the same. The number of centers outside the U.S. will increase. Currently, some overseas test centers deliver paper exams, and starting in 2006, all centers will deliver exams on computer.
The change in test centers will have little impact on students taking the GMAT in the U.S. Provided there are no problems with the international expansion, access to testing for students taking the GMAT outside the U.S. should improve.
After the switch, test takers will still be able to register online at mba.com. Registration by phone and mail will continue to be available, although the phone numbers and addresses will change. Walk-in registration at test centers will no longer be accepted. Registration for 2006 exams will open on October 1, 2005.
Though we urge students to register well in advance of when they plan to take the GMAT, some students wait to register until the last minute. Right now, they are sometimes able to get appointments by calling or stopping by individual test centers. Students wonâ€™t be able to do this after the end of 2005 when Thomson Prometric centers will be winding down GMAT delivery, and Pearson VUE centers will be gearing up. GMAC is confident the transition will go smoothly, but unexpected difficulties can crop up. We urge everyone planning to test in December 2005 or January 2006 to make their test reservations as far ahead of time as possible.
The Testing Experience
Pearson VUE centers have a standardized design, so the testing experience will be largely the same for everyone. At Thomson Prometric centers, proctors sit outside the testing room and observe examinees via video camera. They occasionally patrol the testing room, a practice many examinees find disconcerting. At Pearson VUE centers, the proctor will sit in a booth at the center of the testing room. Each testing room will have from three to fifteen workstations, and large test centers may have several testing rooms.
Test takers will no longer be given scratch paper and pencils to work out problems. Instead, each test taker will have an erasable tablet - a white board, essentially. The tablets are approximately the size of a sheet of paper. We donâ€™t know yet what kind of markers and erasers will be provided, but will keep you informed as soon as we get more information.
Finally, there will be minor upgrades to the test interface and the font will look and feel more contemporary.
Test takers will no longer have to wait two to three weeks to get their official score reports by mail. Theyâ€™ll be able to access score reports and send reports to schools through a secure online system. Itâ€™s not yet clear how soon after the exam essay grades and the complete report will be available.
GMAC will offer â€œPaper in a Pinchâ€