Holding tightly onto his dream of making it in time for the January intake of top Business Schools, our student, Ankit Todi, appeared for the GMAT online exam on May 12. While he claims that CrackVerbal helped him immensely in figuring out how to use the online whiteboard and on how to take the online exam, we feel that he has a lot to share about his at-home GMAT experience and his exam preparation.
[blockquote]I rescheduled my GMAT exam to May 12 because I felt that I was not ready to take the exam online and definitely not prepared enough to use the online whiteboard.[/blockquote]
So, this is just the beginning of Ankit’s story on how he took the GMAT online exam at home. And we have decided to share this story with you so that you can make an informed decision about taking the online exam. Moreover, Ankit has shared the tricks he used to tackle the most dreaded GMAT online whiteboard.
For those of you who are new to the “GMAT aspirants club”, we would like to give you a brief on why the new GMAT online exam is a big deal.
With the unprecedented COVID-19 situation across the world leading to a complete lockdown, GMAC, owner, and administrator of the GMAT came up with the new interim GMAT online exam that MBA aspirants could take from the comfort of their homes.
While everything seemed perfect, there was just one big problem: the GMAT online whiteboard.
Let us not tell you anything more about the online whiteboard. We will show you how the GMAT aspirants and forums reacted to this so that you understand the gravity of the situation:
We at CrackVerbal wrote to the GMAC conveying our concern regarding the impact that the GMAT online whiteboard could possibly have on our students’ performance and above all, their confidence.
As the GMAC could not make any changes to the “no scratchpad” scenario, we decided to help our students out by creating a video and curating an article, showcasing the steps to use the tools on the GMAT online whiteboard.
Ankit is one of our students who went through the entire video and attended our free live webinar on how to use the online whiteboard effectively, before his at-home GMAT exam.
Wait till the end of this article to watch the video. Ankit has a lot to share on his at-home GMAT experience with you as he has taken the online exam recently.
So, here’s what Ankit has to say about his at-home GMAT experience.
After everything, I finally decided to take the GMAT online exam
I was supposed to take the GMAT on March 23. With the implementation of the lockdown, most of the test centres shut down and my exam date started to get postponed. It kept getting postponed and I realized at this point that I will miss the September intake by universities this year.
That’s when I decided to take the online exam to apply for the January intake.
[blockquote]Just like every other GMAT aspirant, I was also very skeptical about using the online whiteboard. It was like, you got handed the best card, but you had to overcome a huge challenge to win the game. I had no other choice, but to figure out how to use the online whiteboard and take the online exam.[/blockquote]
The best thing about the new exam format is that you can schedule it for any time of the day. If you are a morning person, you can pick a morning slot. Similarly, if you are an evening person, you can take the exam then. You can even schedule for 3 AM if you’d like to.
Moreover, you can sit at home, relax and take the exam online. You don’t have to worry about getting to the GMAT test centre on time or anything.
So, my exam was scheduled for May 1. But when the exam date started nearing, I realized that I was not prepared enough to take it. And so, I rescheduled it to later in the afternoon on May 12.
But this time, I did not waver. I took the GMAT online exam.
I woke up and it was the GMAT online exam day
The GMAT day felt like any other day to me. There was no pressure to wake up early or get ready and get to the test centre on time.
I knew that I would feel a lot more confident if I took the exam after lunch. That time seemed like the best time for me to take the exam.
[blockquote]So, one of my suggestions to the GMAT aspirants would be to choose the exam time based on our comfort. If you are not a morning person, don’t try to take it in the morning. Simple.[/blockquote]
Coming to the exam, the check-in and security protocol was quite easy. I reported 30 minutes before the exam and ran a system check on mba.com. Once I received the link on my registered mobile phone, all I had to do was open the link and click pictures of myself, my passport and the surroundings – front, back and both the sides. Thankfully, my proctor came on time.
I have heard that sometimes the proctors come a little late. I am not too sure about this though.
I started my exam after my check-in was successfully completed.
Quant, Verbal, [Break], IR – my at-home GMAT exam journey
You all must be aware that you can’t choose the section selection order, right?
So, I started off with the Quant section followed by the Verbal section. I got a five-minute break after the Verbal section before I started with the last section in the online exam – Integrated Reasoning section.
Honestly, I did not find using the online whiteboard too difficult. Probably because I practised using it for almost 25 days until the exam day.
And Arun sir (Arun Jagannathan, CrackVerbal CEO and MBA expert) called me personally and guided me on how I can use the whiteboard effectively. His techniques helped me a lot to save time as I was able to use the whiteboard easily.
The only issue I faced while using the online whiteboard for the Quant section was having to scroll up and down numerous times to see what I had written on the top. Other than that, everything else was easy enough for me. When it came to the Verbal section, I applied Arun sir’s tactic — writing down a, b, c, d, e and then eliminating the wrong answers and then undoing them. This helped me save a lot of time as I could keep using the options (a, b, c, d, e) for the next questions.
After the Verbal section, I got a 5-minute break. At that point, I felt like I could have just completed the exam without taking the break. But you don’t get to decide that.
I didn’t have to use the online whiteboard in the Integrated Reasoning section and so, I just decided to give one last push and finish the exam.
Here’s what I’d like to tell you about the at-home GMAT exam
I am not really sure what I have to tell you all. But I can share a couple of things that I feel would help make your at-home GMAT experience a little better.
GMAT online whiteboard is the only problematic element in the online exam. Like I said earlier, I practised using the online whiteboard provided on mba.com website for almost 25 days. Before they came up with this practice board, I used to practise using Paint on my system.
So, I would say that if you practice using the online whiteboard, you will find it really easy to use it on the GMAT exam day.
Also, if you have an external mouse, it will be much easier for you to use the online whiteboard. You don’t want to be fiddling with your laptop touchpad while using the GMAT online whiteboard.
Oh! I almost forgot. Take mock tests. The tests will help you understand if you are able to complete the exam on time. I took a couple of mock tests before appearing for the final exam. Taking mock tests will help you understand whether you require more practise or not.
[blockquote]I think in my case, my GMAT preparation went really well which in turn helped me while taking the online exam. I used to receive emails regarding upcoming webinars from CrackVerbal. I used to register and attend all of them. I actually utilized a lot of tactics given by the CrackVerbal faculty members during the webinar. It all came back to me when I started taking the test.[/blockquote]
And… I haven’t received my score yet. It will take almost seven days to get it. I am keeping my fingers crossed until then.
We at CrackVerbal are waiting to know Ankit’s score as well.
But we are glad that he had a good at-home GMAT experience despite having to use the online whiteboard.
So, as promised in the beginning, we are sharing the video in which we guide you step by step on how to effectively use the GMAT online whiteboard. Click on the play button on the video below:
Now, if you want to read more about using the online whiteboard effectively, you can click here: GMAT Online Whiteboard: How to Effectively Prepare for Online GMAT, and read the article.
Also, if you’re someone who is struggling to prepare for the GMAT from home, here’s how you can prepare for the GMAT at home.
If you would like to prepare for the GMAT from home by attending online classes, you can join our Live at Home Mastery Class. By enrolling for the course, besides having access to 80 hours of weekend live sessions, you will also get numerous free resources and good guidance from our experienced faculty members.
FAQs – GMAT at home
Can I take the GMAT online at home in 2021?
Yes. You can take the GMAT online exam at home. While the online version of the exam was introduced as a temporary solution, the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), has now made it permanent. This means that you can take the GMAT online exam from your home whenever you want.
How many times can I give the GMAT online exam?
According to the latest updates in 2021, you can give the GMAT online exam a total of two times. This means that you can retake the exam once.
How do I use the GMAT online whiteboard?
The GMAT online whiteboard is a virtual board that you can use as a scratchpad while taking the GMAT online exam. You have several tools that you can use to write text and draw shapes on the GMAT online whiteboard. You can check out this article to know the purpose of each tool and how you can use them efficiently during your GMAT online exam.
How do I check if my GMAT online exam setup is right?
You can run a system check to know if your PC or laptop has the correct settings to help you take the GMAT online exam seamlessly. You can run the system check by going to the mba.com website.
How do I view and send my score?
Those of you who are taking the GMAT online exam before 8 April 2021 will not receive the unofficial GMAT score on the screen right after the exam. You will only receive the official GMAT score report within seven business days. But all the GMAT aspirants who take the GMAT online exam after 8 April 2021 will get to view the unofficial results on the screen right after the exam. Once you receive the official scores via email, you can choose the programs and B-schools you want to send your GMAT score to.