All You Need to Know about the GMAT Focus Edition

gmat focus edition

The GMAT Focus Edition, a pivotal test for admission into top MBA programs worldwide, has evolved significantly over the past decade, with each modification aimed at enhancing its relevance and ease of use for MBA hopefuls.

Let me give you a little history of the test –

In 2012, a notable change was the introduction of the Integrated Reasoning section, designed to gauge candidates’ aptitude in interpreting data across various formats like tables and graphs. This addition reflected the growing importance of data and analytics in the management realm.

Fast forward to 2018, the GMAT saw a reduction in both the number of questions and the duration of the Quantitative and Verbal sections. This change, which trimmed the overall testing time by about half an hour, not only aimed to alleviate the test-taking experience by making it less time-intensive and potentially less daunting for candidates but also strategically positioned the GMAT competitively alongside other standardized tests.

These alterations set the stage for what was to come – the GMAT Focus Edition. This edition further tailors the GMAT to the evolving needs of both MBA aspirants and business schools, ensuring a streamlined yet comprehensive evaluation of prospective business leaders like you…

A new version of the GMAT called GMAT Focus Edition will replace the current version of the exam after January 31, 2024​

What’s the GMAT Focus Edition?

The GMAT Focus Edition is like the updated version of the traditional GMAT exam. It’s designed to help you with your GMAT prep, aiming for those high scores that can open doors to a good business school. This exam is crafted with today’s management programs in mind, hoping to catch the eye of students from all over the globe who are seriously into getting a business or management degree.

Now that we’ve got a basic idea about the GMAT Focus Edition, let’s dive in a bit more to see what it’s got in store for you.

Table of Contents :

Why the Shift to the GMAT Focus Edition?

One of the major reasons for the update in the GMAT format is the rapidly changing business environment. This updated version tests only the business-relevant concepts that B-Schools focus on.

Essentially, the new GMAT assesses your ability to analyze information, evaluate arguments, and think critically. These skills are crucial in today’s business world, where professionals are often required to make data-driven decisions and solve complex problems.

These alterations set the stage for what was to come – the GMAT Focus Edition. This edition further tailors the GMAT to the evolving needs of both MBA aspirants and business schools, ensuring a streamlined yet comprehensive evaluation of prospective business leaders like you…

Evaluate your fitment For GMAT Focus Edition

Evaluate your fitment For GMAT Focus Edition

Spotting the Differences: GMAT Focus Edition vs Traditional GMAT

The GMAT Focus Edition is like a fresh coat of paint on an old friend. There are some really important changes that GMAC is introducing in the new format. These include tweaks in the format, a trimmer length, and some adjustments in the scoring system. It’s all about making your journey through the GMAT a little smoother and more streamlined.

While these updates aim to enhance your test-taking experience, remember, the core of the GMAT remains the same – it’s still that challenging but rewarding path to your MBA dreams. So, keep your eyes on the prize, and let’s navigate these changes together!

  1. Total Duration 3 hours 7 mins
  2. 2 optional 8-minutes breaks
  3. 4 Sections – AWA, IR, Quant & Verbal
  4. Total Questions (Parts) = 80
  5. Section Order Only 3 Choices
  6. Score Range 200 to 800 (excluding AWA and IR)
  7. Can select 5 schools before seeing the scores
  8. ESR report available for $30 extra fee
  9. Review and Bookmarking option is not available
gmat focus edition
  1. Total Duration 2 hours 15 mins
  2. 1 optional 10-minute break
  3. 3 Sections – DI, Quant & Verbal
  4. Total Questions (Parts) = 64
  5. Section Order 6 Choices (Any order)
  6. 205 to 805 (Includes all 3 sections)
  7. Can select 5 schools after seeing the scores
  8. A detailed report available for free
  9. Review and Bookmarking option is available for all three sections
gmat focus edition

What is the GMAT Focus Structure?

The GMAT Focus Edition introduces a streamlined and modernized structure, specifically tailored for contemporary business school applications. This section outlines the format and highlights the significant changes from the traditional GMAT.

Revised Components:

  • Quantitative Reasoning: This section continues to evaluate mathematical skills and understanding of basic concepts, featuring problem-solving and data sufficiency questions.
  • Verbal Reasoning: It tests candidates on their comprehension of written material, ability to evaluate arguments, and skills in written English.

New Addition – Data Insights:

  • Replacing AWA and IR: The GMAT Focus Edition replaces the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) and Integrated Reasoning (IR) sections with a new section, Data Insights.
  • Focus on Data Analysis: This innovative section assesses a candidate’s ability to interpret and analyze data, reflecting the increasing importance of data-driven decision-making in business.
Section Name Questions Duration
Quantitative Reasoning 21 45 minutes
Verbal Reasoning 23 45 minutes
Data Insights 20 45 minutes
Total 64 2 hours and 15 minutes

What’s New in the GMAT Focus?

1. Any Section Order

The traditional GMAT presented a fixed order of sections, guiding candidates through a predetermined sequence. The GMAT Focus Edition introduces a significant change, empowering test-takers with the choice to select the order of sections according to their preferences.

In the GMAT Focus Edition, candidates can now tailor their test-taking experience by choosing the order in which they attempt the sections. This flexibility aims to optimize their performance by aligning with individual strengths and test-taking strategies.

Choosing the order of sections can significantly impact a test-taker’s performance. Starting with a stronger section can boost confidence, while beginning with a less preferred section might allow for more focused energy when tackling challenging areas.

Strategic Selection:

The best order varies for each individual. It’s recommended that candidates experiment with different sequences during practice sessions to discover which order aligns best with their abilities and test-taking style.

gmat focus edition

2. Bookmark, Review and Edit

The GMAT Focus Edition introduces a trio of features that enhance the test-taking experience: the ability to bookmark questions, review them, and edit responses. These features represent a significant shift from the traditional GMAT format, offering greater control to the test-taker.

Bookmarking Questions:

  • Functionality: Test-takers can now bookmark specific questions during the exam. This feature allows candidates to mark questions they find challenging or wish to review later.
  • Usage Strategy: Bookmarking is particularly useful for managing time. Candidates can proceed with answering other questions and return to the bookmarked ones if time permit.

Reviewing Questions:

  • Capability: The review feature enables candidates to revisit questions within a section before finalizing their answers.
  • Application: This allows for a strategic approach, where test-takers can first answer questions they are confident about and then return to review and rethink the more challenging on.

Editing Responses:

  • Flexibility: Unlike the previous GMAT format, the Focus Edition allows test-takers to edit their answers within a section.
  • Advantage: This feature is especially valuable for rectifying mistakes, adjusting strategies midway, or revising answers with a fresh perspective.

Impact on Test Strategy:

  • These features collectively offer a more dynamic test-taking strategy. Candidates can prioritize questions based on confidence and difficulty, optimizing their performance.
  • It’s recommended to practice using these features during mock tests to develop an effective strategy and become comfortable with their functionality.
gmat focus edition

3. Send Scores to B-Schools “after” the test

A significant update in the GMAT Focus Edition is the option to send scores to business schools after completing the test. This feature marks a departure from the traditional approach, offering enhanced flexibility and control to test-takers.

Traditional vs. New Approach:

  • Previously, candidates had to select the business schools to receive their scores before taking the GMAT.
  • The new option allows candidates to make this decision post-test, after viewing their scores.

Advantages of Post-Test Score Sending:

  • Informed Decision-Making: Test-takers can decide which schools to send their scores to based on their actual performance.
  • Strategic School Selection: Candidates can tailor their school choices to align with their scored GMAT results, potentially increasing their chances of admission.

How It Works:

  • After completing the GMAT, candidates will receive their unofficial scores.
  • Based on these scores, they can then select the business schools to receive their results.
  • This process adds a layer of strategic planning, as candidates can match their scores with the average scores accepted by their target schools.

Implications for Test-Takers:

  • This feature reduces the pressure of the pre-test decision and allows a more strategic approach to applications.
  • Candidates are advised to research business school requirements and average GMAT scores in advance to make informed decisions post-test.
gmat focus edition

4. A detailed score report like ESR for free

Introduction: The GMAT Focus Edition introduces an invaluable addition for test-takers: a detailed score report, similar to the Enhanced Score Report (ESR), provided for free. This feature offers in-depth insights into a candidate’s performance, traditionally available only at an additional cost

Overview of the Enhanced Score Report:

  • The ESR provides a comprehensive analysis of a candidate’s performance, including section-wise scores, percentile rankings, and time management across sections.
  • It helps candidates understand their strengths and weaknesses in various areas of the test.

Key Features of the Free Detailed Score Report:

  • Comprehensive Analysis: Just like the ESR, the new score report includes detailed breakdowns of performance in each section, including quantitative and verbal sections, integrated reasoning, and analytical writing.
  • Accessibility: This report is now freely accessible to all test-takers, offering everyone an opportunity to analyze and learn from their performance.

Benefits for Test-Takers:

  • Strategic Study Planning: Understanding specific performance areas enables candidates to tailor their study plans more effectively for future attempts or other standardized tests.
  • Feedback Loop: The detailed insights provide a valuable feedback mechanism, helping candidates to identify and work on their weaknesses.

How to Use the Report:

  • Candidates should review their score report in-depth to identify patterns in their answers, time management issues, and areas requiring more focus.
  • The report can be a guide for further preparation, especially for those considering a retake of the GMAT.

The provision of a detailed score report for free in the GMAT Focus Edition is a game-changer for test preparation and post-test analysis. This feature democratizes access to crucial performance insights, enabling all candidates to gain a deeper understanding of their GMAT performance and to strategize accordingly for their academic and career aspirations.

gmat focus edition

Evaluate your fitment For GMAT Focus Edition

Evaluate your fitment For GMAT Focus Edition

Analyzing the Verbal Section

In the GMAT Focus Edition, the Verbal Reasoning section has been refined to consist of 23 questions to be completed in 45 minutes. This section now exclusively features Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning questions, demanding quick reading and analytical skills.

Question Types and Distribution:

  • Reading Comprehension (40% – 50%): Consists of 3 to 4 passages, each followed by several questions that test comprehension and interpretation skills.
  • Critical Reasoning (40% – 50%): Involves evaluating arguments, identifying assumptions, and understanding logical connections.

Reading Comprehension:

  • Time Allocation: On average, 6 to 8 minutes should be spent per passage.
  • Approach: Focus on quick and efficient reading to grasp the main ideas, structure, and purpose of the passage.
  • Skills Required: Developing the ability to quickly understand complex texts and to map out key information and themes.

Critical Reasoning:

  • Time Allocation: Less than 2 minutes should be spent per question.
  • Approach: Practice breaking down arguments to identify premises, conclusions, and underlying assumptions.
  • Skills Required: Sharpening analytical skills to assess the strength of arguments and to draw logical inferences.

Strategies for Success on Verbal

1. Developing Speed and Accuracy:

  • Regular practice with timed drills to improve reading speed and comprehension accuracy.
  • Engaging in exercises that strengthen critical thinking and argument analysis skills.

2. Techniques for Effective Reading:

  • Skimming for structure and then delving into a detailed reading for comprehension.
  • Practicing active reading by summarizing main points and connecting ideas.

3. Enhancing Critical Analysis:

  •  Familiarizing oneself with different types of arguments and logical fallacies.
  • Applying the process of elimination to quickly discard irrelevant or weak answer choices.

The Verbal section in the GMAT Focus Edition requires a balanced approach between quick, efficient reading and rigorous critical analysis. Mastery in these areas will not only aid in excelling in this section but will also be beneficial in the overall business school journey.

Understanding GMAT Focus Verbal Scores

The transition from the original GMAT to the GMAT Focus Edition has brought several changes, particularly in the Verbal Reasoning section. Understanding how verbal scores compare between the two formats is crucial for candidates aiming to gauge their performance and set realistic targets.

gmat focus edition

The above representation can help you nuances of scoring in the Verbal section across the two GMAT formats. This understanding is vital for effective preparation and setting well-informed goals.

Analyzing the Quant Section

The Quantitative Reasoning section in the GMAT Focus Edition presents a focused assessment of mathematical skills and problem-solving abilities. This section consists of 21 questions to be answered in 45 minutes, exclusively featuring Problem-Solving questions.

Problem Solving:

The sole question type in this section, it is evenly divided into two contexts:

  • Pure Context (50%): These questions test abstract and theoretical mathematical concepts.
  • Real Context (50%): Questions set in practical, real-world scenarios, applying mathematical concepts to everyday situations.

Time Management:

  • Average Time Per Question: Approximately 2 minutes and 8 seconds should be allocated for each question, balancing speed with accuracy.

Skills Required:

  • Solid Foundation in Fundamental Concepts: A thorough understanding of basic mathematical principles is essential.
  • Reading and Processing Data: Ability to quickly interpret and analyze the data presented in questions.
  • Comprehending Data in Context: Skills in applying mathematical concepts to both theoretical and practical scenarios.

Strategies for Success on Quant

  1. Strengthening Mathematical Fundamentals:
    • Regular practice with a variety of problem types to reinforce basic concepts.
    • Focus on areas traditionally challenging in GMAT Quant, like algebra, geometry, and number properties.
  2. Effective Problem-Solving Techniques:
    • Develop strategies like estimation, back-solving, and pattern recognition for efficient problem-solving.
    • Practice with time-bound drills to enhance the ability to solve questions under exam conditions.
  3. Contextual Comprehension:
    • Sharpen skills in interpreting real-world scenarios and applying mathematical logic.
    • Engage in exercises that simulate real context problems, enhancing practical application skills.

The Quantitative Reasoning section in the GMAT Focus Edition demands a balanced approach of theoretical knowledge and practical application. Mastery in problem-solving, combined with a strong grasp of fundamental concepts and data interpretation skills, will be key to excelling in this section.

Understanding GMAT Focus Quant Scores

With the introduction of the GMAT Focus Edition, the Quantitative Reasoning section has undergone significant modifications. It’s essential for candidates to understand how these changes impact scoring, especially when comparing scores between the original GMAT and the GMAT Focus Edition.

gmat focus edition

As you can see, the scoring algorithm has now become more sensitive. This means that B-Schools will now be able to differentiate between candidates who are just one or two points apart unlike the traditional GMAT where the top 10 percentile of scores all within were 4 points.

Analyzing the Data Insights Section

The Data Insights section is a distinctive feature of the GMAT Focus Edition, encompassing 20 questions to be completed in 45 minutes. This section integrates and extends the skills tested in the Quant and Verbal sections, with a focus on data analysis and interpretation.

Question Types and Distribution:

  • Data Sufficiency (30% – 40%): Tests the ability to assess whether given data is sufficient to answer a question.
  • Two-Part Analysis (20% – 30%): Involves solving complex problems that have two components or ‘parts’ to the answer.
  • Graphical Interpretation (15% – 20%): Requires interpreting and analyzing information presented in graphical form.
  • Table Analysis (10% – 15%): Focuses on sorting and analyzing data presented in tables.
  • Multi-Source Reasoning (10% – 15%): Challenges test-takers to synthesize information from multiple sources.

Time Management:

  • Average Time Per Question: Approximately 2 minutes and 15 seconds per question, balancing speed with comprehension and analysis.

Skills Required:

  • Integration of Quant and Verbal Concepts: A blend of quantitative reasoning and verbal comprehension is essential.
  • Quick and Efficient Data Reading: Ability to swiftly interpret large sets of data, discern patterns, and draw conclusions.
  • Analytical Thinking: Skilled in evaluating information from various sources and formats to make logical decisions.

Strategies for Success on DI

  1. Enhancing Data Interpretation Skills:
    • Regular practice with different types of data presentations, such as graphs, charts, and tables.
    • Focus on quickly identifying key information and trends in complex data sets.
  2. Building Analytical Reasoning:
    • Develop the ability to connect disparate pieces of information to form coherent insights.
    • Practice with sample questions that mimic the complexity and format of GMAT Data Insights questions.
  3. Time Management and Decision Making:
    • Practice pacing to ensure each question type is given adequate time for analysis and response.
    • Learn to make quick yet informed decisions, especially in data sufficiency and multi-source reasoning questions.

The Data Insights section in the GMAT Focus Edition is a rigorous test of a candidate’s ability to combine quantitative and verbal skills in the context of data analysis. Mastering this section requires a strategic approach, focused practice, and a strong foundation in both mathematical concepts and data interpretation.

Understanding GMAT Focus DI Scores

With the introduction of the Data Insights (DI) section in the GMAT Focus Edition, understanding the scoring and percentile rankings poses a unique challenge. As this section is a new addition, the percentile chart provided here is theoretical, based on heuristic data and estimated performance metrics.

gmat focus edition
gmat focus edition

The theoretical percentile chart for the DI section of the GMAT Focus Edition is an initial step towards understanding scoring in this new component. It serves as a starting point for candidates to align their preparation and performance expectations, with an anticipation of evolving insights as more empirical data becomes available.

Understanding GMAT Focus Scoring

The GMAT Focus Edition brings a fresh perspective to the scoring system, tailored to its revised structure and content. Understanding these scoring nuances is essential for candidates to align their preparation and expectations with the new format.

Key Changes in Scoring:

  • The new scores end with a ‘5’ to allow B-Schools to differentiate between traditional GMAT and GMAT Focus.
  • The raw scores have also been shifted to a scale between 60 and 90.

Here’s a comparison between the current GMAT Exam and the new Focus one in terms of percentile rankings.

gmat focus edition

Peek at an Official Score Report!

The new GMAT Focus Edition also offers students access to a free score report which provides comprehensive information about their performance on the test.

Here are a few screenshots of the new ways you can measure your performance on the GMAT Focus:

gmat focus edition
gmat focus edition
gmat focus edition
gmat focus edition

Like To Access GMAT Resources ?

Would You Like To Access GMAT Resources?

How is Crackverbal your Trusted Guide for Mastering the GMAT Focus Edition?

In the vast ocean of GMAT preparation materials, each claiming to chart the course for the Focus Edition, it’s crucial to discern which resources are truly reliable and tailored to meet the new challenges of the GMAT Focus Edition.

With Crackverbal, rest assured, you have more than just study materials; you have a dedicated team committed to steering you through your GMAT journey, straight to the doors of your desired business school.

At Crackverbal, we offer a well-defined path for all GMAT aspirants, whether you’re just starting out or aiming to boost your score. 

Our mission is to assist you in achieving your target score and to make your journey to business school as rewarding and memorable as possible.

Learner Identification: We kickstart your GMAT prep by identifying your learning style. Our prep plan pivots on three core strategies to bolster your scoring potential.

Conceptual Clarity: Our first strategy focuses on unraveling what the GMAT truly tests.Every lesson is designed to foster a logical understanding of the concepts. We swear by official sources for material, having decoded the GMAT’s logic over 15 years in the industry. Our concept videos, honed through extensive research and iterations, elucidate precisely what resonates with the GMAT.

Application Mastery: Strategy two is all about applying learned concepts to solve questions.As your proficiency grows, the GMAT will throw tougher challenges your way. We guide you on tackling varying levels of GMAT questions, especially the tricky ones, ensuring a smooth transition from easy to hard.

Flexible Learning Pathways:

Self-paced Plan: Ideal for self-motivated individuals seeking the right guidance and direction.

Cohort Learning: Engage with a community of learners and benefit from collective problem-solving and discussion.

One-on-One Mentorship: For those who’ve identified their challenges or seek personalized guidance, our GMAT mentors are ready to provide one-on-one coaching until you face the exam.

Continuous Support: Our mentors are accessible throughout your preparation journey.Post-session queries, prep challenges, or last-minute jitters—we’re here for it all.

Adaptable Prep Plans: Whether you’re a solo learner or thrive in a community, we have a plan that caters to your preference

With Crackverbal, you’re not just preparing for an exam; you’re gearing up for a transformative journey toward your dream B-School.


The GMAT Focus Edition is more than a mere test; it’s your strategic ally on the trail toward triumph in the bustling domain of business education.

Through the lenses of this blog, we’ve unraveled the core essence of the Focus Edition, delved into its pertinence, and explored the facets that set it apart on the map. You’ve witnessed how precision and adaptability are the heartbeats of this paradigm, carving pathways for efficient and streamlined scoring.

Always remember, we at Crackverbal are here to guide you through every step of your GMAT journey. Dive into our extensive resources, learn from our experienced mentors, and make the most of our adaptive learning platform. We’re excited to be part of your path to GMAT success and beyond.

Some Frequently asked questions

What is the GMAT Focus Edition?

The GMAT Focus Edition is a revised version of the standard GMAT exam, featuring a streamlined structure with an emphasis on Data Insights, alongside the Quantitative and Verbal sections.

How is the GMAT Focus Edition different from the traditional GMAT?

The main differences include the removal of the Analytical Writing Assessment and Integrated Reasoning sections, replaced by the Data Insights section. The test also offers flexibility in choosing the order of sections.

What is the duration and format of the GMAT Focus Edition?

The GMAT Focus Edition has a duration of approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes, consisting of the Quantitative, Verbal, and Data Insights sections, with a total of 64 questions.

Can I choose the order of sections in the GMAT Focus Edition?

Yes, the GMAT Focus Edition allows you to choose the order in which you want to attempt the sections, providing a strategic advantage to play to your strengths.

What types of questions are included in the Data Insights section?

The Data Insights section includes question types like Data Sufficiency, Two-Part Analysis, Graphical Interpretation, Table Analysis, and Multi-Source Reasoning.

How is the scoring done in the GMAT Focus Edition?

Scoring in the GMAT Focus Edition follows a similar pattern to the traditional GMAT for the Quantitative and Verbal sections. The Data Insights section contributes to the overall score, with details of scoring still evolving

Are the scores of GMAT Focus Edition accepted by all business schools?

Most business schools accepting GMAT scores are likely to accept the GMAT Focus Edition scores as well. However, it’s advisable to check with specific institutions for their testing requirements.

How should I prepare differently for the GMAT Focus Edition?

Preparation should include a strong focus on Data Insights, alongside traditional Quantitative and Verbal practices. Familiarizing yourself with the new section order and adapting your strategies accordingly is also crucial.

Can I send my scores to business schools after seeing them?

Yes, the GMAT Focus Edition allows you to view your scores before deciding which business schools to send them to.

Is there a free detailed score report available for GMAT Focus?

Yes, a detailed score report similar to the Enhanced Score Report (ESR) is available for free with the GMAT Focus Edition, offering in-depth insights into your performance.

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