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# GMAT FORMAT IS CHANGING APRIL 16, 2018 - it will be 30 minutes shorter

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Re: GMAT FORMAT IS CHANGING APRIL 16, 2018 - it will be 30 minutes shorter [#permalink]
On one hand a shorter test means it's less of a marathon than it was before, but I am nervous that a shorter question set means there's less margin for error when it comes to scoring. Additionally, I plan to take the exam early in May... With this change coming so sudden, I may push that back to give me more time to adjust to the change.

I don't know how to feel about this to be honest. I know GMAC has probably thought through this in detail, but taking the exam so close to the big change makes me feel like I'm at a disadvantage.[/quote]
Hi

To alleviate one of your concerns: there should be the exact same "margin for error" as before, because the number of counted/scored questions has not decreased.

In my opinion, the test-takers who most deserve to be frustrated are those who are scheduled to take the GMAT before April 16th, and those who took the exam recently! However, at least GMAC is offering to waive the reschedule fee, as was done when the "Select Section Order" feature was implemented in July of 2017.

-Brian[/quote]

Hi there - you definitely spoke my mind - I actually scheduled my exam on April 11th and now wondering if I should reschedule. Could you please share your thoughts on this?
Thank you so much!! Cheers. mcelroytutoring
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Re: GMAT FORMAT IS CHANGING APRIL 16, 2018 - it will be 30 minutes shorter [#permalink]
Top Contributor
jppersonal wrote:
Hi there - you definitely spoke my mind - I actually scheduled my exam on April 11th and now wondering if I should reschedule. Could you please share your thoughts on this?
Thank you so much!! Cheers. mcelroytutoring

Hi jppersonal,

If I were you, then I would definitely reschedule.

On the current GMAT, there is a roughly 1 in 4 chance that the question you are trying is unscored (25.6% experimental questions). However, on the updated GMAT, there is only a 1 in 8 chance that the question you are trying is unscored (15.2% experimental questions). Plus, it will be a shorter test by almost 30 minutes, which should allow you to focus more on the questions that do count, and should give you more mental energy for the IR and AWA sections (assuming that you choose section order #2 or #3: Quant or Verbal first).

-Brian

Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 03 Apr 2018, 13:02.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 27 Apr 2018, 08:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GMAT FORMAT IS CHANGING APRIL 16, 2018 - it will be 30 minutes shorter [#permalink]
Just got an answer from GMAC about RC's - behold and don't miss the important facts:

Quote:
Hello BB,

We do not indicate the number of questions candidates might see in any question type on the exam.

Thank you,
XXXX
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Re: GMAT FORMAT IS CHANGING APRIL 16, 2018 - it will be 30 minutes shorter [#permalink]
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It appears that we are splitting hairs here: the loss of 1.5 seconds per question over the course of a 31 or 36-question section is practically irrelevant (around 1.5% of the section overall, at most). As others have noted, much also depends on the split between the number of questions of each sub-type, and the number of passages in RC. In addition, you could argue that the loss of roughly 2 seconds per question will be offset by the shorter durations of the Verbal and Quant sections, which will allow for more intense concentration on a smaller number of questions, a (slightly) faster pace, and a fresher mind when the IR and AWA sections arrive.

With regard to the # of RCs on the Verbal section of the updated GMAT, I'm glad to see that GMAC is being transparent and forthcoming as usual. Since the representatives from GMAC won't tell us much, and 5 questions are being removed overall, for now we have no choice but to assume that there will be about 2 fewer questions of each Verbal question type (but probably the same number of Reading Comprehension passages, with fewer questions per passage).

Others have brought up a good point...this change is going to wreak havoc on many students' timing/pacing strategies. We GMAT tutors are definitely going to have to do some re-calibrating when it comes to the pacing advice that we dispense to our students. I suspect that my "20/30 method," for example, will have to be renamed the "15/25 method."

-Brian

Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 04 Apr 2018, 07:17.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 09 Apr 2018, 13:53, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: GMAT FORMAT IS CHANGING APRIL 16, 2018 - it will be 30 minutes shorter [#permalink]
Maybe I'm missing something here...but this seems like excellent news overall.

You're essentially going to pace your per-question time the same. It's not a good strategy to try and guess experimental questions, so you're giving the same effort per question as you were before. The difference here is you will have more energy at the end of sections that you did before. I always struggled on the last 5 questions to stay conscious. Fatigue is now less of an issue.

I was scheduled to take it again 4/30...I'm going to push it for 2 weeks to give myself some time to take 1-2 CAT's with the new format. Prior, my entire timing strategy was basically:

By question 10, I should have 55 minutes remaining
By question 20, I should have 35 minutes remaining
By question 30, I should have 15 minutes remaining

I'll have to adjust that, but that's easy enough. I'm still studying the same. I'm still timing per question the same (basically, have a "2 minute sense" and get it under that.)

What am I missing here?
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Re: GMAT FORMAT IS CHANGING APRIL 16, 2018 - it will be 30 minutes shorter [#permalink]
Would really appreciate anyone's input to my situation.

I quickly skimmed through past replies and I believe there is one positive point about the new format that hasn't been mentioned, in addition to the more obvious; extra stamina for the IR + AWA. Not sure about everyone else but when I know how to solve a problem (mainly Quant) with a high degree of certainty, I'm generally willing to go beyond the 2-minute/question mark (aka gamble a few extra seconds at the expense of later questions).

With the number of un-scored questions being reduced, the odds of my doing the above on an un-scored question gets reduced as well - further ensuring that I will not make bets on things that would yield no return, or even worse, penalties.

I'm currently scheduled to take the exam this Saturday (April 7th). I see the free option to reschedule but:
a) I'm all out of practice material and
b) I tend to do better on my practice exams when I'm still in rhythm from the days/week prior

Would you reschedule if you were in my shoes?

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Re: GMAT FORMAT IS CHANGING APRIL 16, 2018 - it will be 30 minutes shorter [#permalink]
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I would take it now and then retake if you had to. Not a huge price to pay and the benefits you will get from answering feeer questions will be outweighed by lack of prep material or simulation software for the new format.

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: GMAT FORMAT IS CHANGING APRIL 16, 2018 - it will be 30 minutes shorter [#permalink]
Top Contributor
jsheppa wrote:
Maybe I'm missing something here...but this seems like excellent news overall.

You're essentially going to pace your per-question time the same. It's not a good strategy to try and guess experimental questions, so you're giving the same effort per question as you were before. The difference here is you will have more energy at the end of sections that you did before. I always struggled on the last 5 questions to stay conscious. Fatigue is now less of an issue.

What am I missing here?

Hi jsheppa,

I agree--it is excellent news! A shorter GMAT with fewer questions is an easier GMAT, no matter which way you slice it--especially if you have issues with test fatigue, as many test-takers do. An added bonus is the significantly reduced presence of experimental questions (nearly 50% fewer--from 25% to 13% of all questions), which makes the updated GMAT a fairer test overall.

Kudos to the GMAC for making the test more user-friendly, so to speak. With regard to "pretest/unscored" questions, it will soon compare much more favorably to the GRE, which has 20% experimental questions (1 unscored section out of 5 total).

UPDATE: According to the GMAC website, the GMATPrep software should be updated with these changes "no later than April 30th," 2 weeks after the changes go into effect on the real GMAT.

-Brian

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Re: GMAT FORMAT IS CHANGING APRIL 16, 2018 - it will be 30 minutes shorter [#permalink]
Yup, definitely makes the final score less dependent on luck with these changes! I think we will see less variation in scores for candidates who test multiple times, especially if the tests are close together. The current margin of error/variation was said to be about +/- 30, I think that will now decrease. On the upside, it's less of a slog, but does require more careful timing, because if you go over time on one question, you have less questions to make up that time

We may also see less 760+ scores because there will be less likelyhood of someone scoring very highly because they had a "good run" on the test. Before, if someone who was 760+ level and underscored significantly (bad/unlucky day), they would likely resit to get their "true" level. So the 760+ scorers would be made up of true 760+ people, plus those at the 740/750 level who had a lucky day with the exam. We should get less of the latter cases now.

Personally I think they should also reduce the number of experimentals on the IR section - 4/12 is a huge number. In my first test, my concentration was absolutely shot by the time I got to the IR, I guessed a bunch of answers but still got 8. Not at all indicative of how I performed! Second time, felt much better and found the questions easier - but only got 6. I'd clearly got lucky in my first test and got only experimental questions wrong, and unlucky in the second. With just 12 questions and only 8 of them marked, the IR scores can vary a lot
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Re: GMAT FORMAT IS CHANGING APRIL 16, 2018 - it will be 30 minutes shorter [#permalink]
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tinyinthedesert wrote:
Personally I think they should also reduce the number of experimentals on the IR section - 4/12 is a huge number. In my first test, my concentration was absolutely shot by the time I got to the IR, I guessed a bunch of answers but still got 8. Not at all indicative of how I performed! Second time, felt much better and found the questions easier - but only got 6. I'd clearly got lucky in my first test and got only experimental questions wrong, and unlucky in the second. With just 12 questions and only 8 of them marked, the IR scores can vary a lot

Hi tinyinthedesert, just to clarify, there are only 3 experimentals on the IR section. That being said, it is still a relatively high proportion of experimentals (25%), especially in comparison to the updated Verbal and Quant sections. This helps explain why IR scores will tend to vary more than Quant, Verbal and AWA scores.

Another factor on the IR section, or course, is that all of the questions have multiple parts. 2 out of 3 choices correct doesn't get you any partial credit: it's either 100% correct, or it's wrong.

-Brian

Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 05 Apr 2018, 07:30.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 05 Apr 2018, 08:15, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: GMAT FORMAT IS CHANGING APRIL 16, 2018 - it will be 30 minutes shorter [#permalink]
Wow I didn't know I'd face that many experimental questions in this current exam. It seems like the new version will be fine with still some experimental questions. My exam is tomorrow, but I'll take it anyway. Hope I can be one of the last testakers who crushes the oldie gmat

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: GMAT FORMAT IS CHANGING APRIL 16, 2018 - it will be 30 minutes shorter [#permalink]
Top Contributor
megakee9 wrote:
Wow I didn't know I'd face that many experimental questions in this current exam. It seems like the new version will be fine with still some experimental questions. My exam is tomorrow, but I'll take it anyway. Hope I can be one of the last testakers who crushes the oldie gmat

Posted from my mobile device

Hi megakee9,

Right. GMAC is removing 11 of the 23 experimental questions, which is enough to subtract 23 minutes from the test.

If we do some simple direct-proportion math, then we can conclude that on the real GMAT, you currently spend about 48 minutes answering questions that don't count toward your score.

Good luck tomorrow!!

-Brian
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Re: GMAT FORMAT IS CHANGING APRIL 16, 2018 - it will be 30 minutes shorter [#permalink]
On a webinar with GMAC.

The news is that the GMAT is likely to have...

13-14 RC Questions (4 RCs)
8-9 SCs (Shocker!)
13-14 CR Questions
17-18 PS Questions
13-14 DS Questions

Sent from my SM-N950F using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
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Re: GMAT FORMAT IS CHANGING APRIL 16, 2018 - it will be 30 minutes shorter [#permalink]
1
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Maxximus wrote:
On a webinar with GMAC.

The news is that the GMAT is likely to have...

13-14 RC Questions (4 RCs)
8-9 SCs (Shocker!)
13-14 CR Questions
17-18 PS Questions
13-14 DS Questions

Sent from my SM-N950F using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

If this is the case for SC, my boat is drowned. And overall percentiles will certainly drop. SC is the greatest time saver and easy to improve. Fingers crossed.
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Re: GMAT FORMAT IS CHANGING APRIL 16, 2018 - it will be 30 minutes shorter [#permalink]
AjiteshArun wrote:
Update: there will be a new (unique) set of 12 IR questions for (GMATPrep) practice test 2.

Exam Pack products will be (a) eligible for activation for 12 months from purchase and (b) accessible for 12 months after activation.

Thanks for keeping us posted. I am glad GMAC India is more forthcoming with information.
The Exam Pack 12-month restriction is something they have contemplated for a long time and frankly, I think it is annoying and will cause problems now that they are doing it. It is basically now a 12-month subscription for 2 tests @ \$49.95. Ouch.
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Re: GMAT FORMAT IS CHANGING APRIL 16, 2018 - it will be 30 minutes shorter [#permalink]
bb wrote:
AjiteshArun wrote:
Update: there will be a new (unique) set of 12 IR questions for (GMATPrep) practice test 2.

Exam Pack products will be (a) eligible for activation for 12 months from purchase and (b) accessible for 12 months after activation.

Thanks for keeping us posted. I am glad GMAC India is more forthcoming with information.
The Exam Pack 12-month restriction is something they have contemplated for a long time and frankly, I think it is annoying and will cause problems now that they are doing it. It is basically now a 12-month subscription for 2 tests @ \$49.95. Ouch.

Hello,

Most of the members were from the US team. Probably it's just that we are in a time zone that is ~10 hours ahead

Thanks
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Re: GMAT FORMAT IS CHANGING APRIL 16, 2018 - it will be 30 minutes shorter [#permalink]
1
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QZ wrote:
Maxximus wrote:
On a webinar with GMAC.

The news is that the GMAT is likely to have...

13-14 RC Questions (4 RCs)
8-9 SCs (Shocker!)
13-14 CR Questions
17-18 PS Questions
13-14 DS Questions

Sent from my SM-N950F using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

If this is the case for SC, my boat is drowned. And overall percentiles will certainly drop. SC is the greatest time saver and easy to improve. Fingers crossed.

Agree. This was my strategy. Use 45 secs per SC, 1 min per CR, and the rest on RC.
Now that there are fewer questions, unless the RC's are shortened, and changed, the new GMAT scores won't be apples to apples. Also, reduction of SC's (the previously most populous question type - used to be approx 12 RC, 11 CR, and 13 SC), is a big issue.....
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Re: GMAT FORMAT IS CHANGING APRIL 16, 2018 - it will be 30 minutes shorter [#permalink]