Absolutely YES !
The Indian School of Business (ISB) joins the list of global business schools in accepting GMAT Focus Edition scores from Round 2 (R2) this admission cycle. However, it’s important to note that the GMAT Focus Edition will only be administered starting November 7, 2023, leaving a narrow window for applicants aiming for the ISB R2 deadline on December 3, 2023. This timeline suggests that the GMAT Focus Edition scores will likely become a more common sight among Round 3 (R3) applicants, as the new testing format gains ground.
The Impact of Different GMAT Editions on Your Application
On paper, there should be no difference in how GMAT scores are perceived, whether they are from the original or the Focus Edition. Yet, the reality may differ due to the newness of the GMAT Focus Edition. Admissions committees are still calibrating benchmarks for the new scoring scale, where, for instance, a 645-655 on the Focus Edition equates to the 700 benchmark on the traditional GMAT—a score that resonates with ISB’s average class profile. Another layer of complexity is the Data Insights (DI) section, a novel addition that isn’t present in the previous GMAT format. Comparing applicants with and without a DI score poses an additional challenge for admissions committees.
Choosing the Right GMAT Version for Your ISB Application
The decision boils down to where you can best achieve a score above the 700 mark—or above 645 in the context of the Focus Edition. Maximizing your score potential is key. If you’re confident in sections that replace Sentence Correction and Geometry with more analytical components like Data Insights (DI), the Focus Edition might be beneficial. However, if these sections of the original GMAT are your strong suit, it may be wise to continue with the established format, which is expected to be available until at least Q1 of 2024. Remember, changing between GMAT versions is unlikely to bridge a significant score gap, such as 100 points. Irrespective of which GMAT edition you chose, do remember to demonstrate what you will bring to the table via a compelling application.
Contrasting the GMAT Focus with the Traditional GMAT Version
- Allows review and modification of up to 3 questions per section at the end.
- Eliminates Geometry and Sentence Correction sections.
- Introduces Data Insights, reflecting the evolving competencies needed in the modern workforce.
- Aligns closely with business school admission requirements.
- GMAT Focus commences on November 7.
- The traditional GMAT will phase out by Q1 2024.
- Shorter test duration at 2 hours and 15 minutes.
- Comprises 3 sections with 64 questions.
- The new scale ranges from 205 to 805, incorporating a ‘5’ to distinguish it from the traditional 200-800 scale.
- Achieving a 700 is perceived as more challenging.
- The GMAT now recommends schools to focus on percentiles.
- Cultural significance and subconscious anchoring to the 700-mark remain influential.
- Customizable exam sequence to optimize scores.
- Option to bookmark and review questions, changing up to 3 answers per section.
- Score sending options post-exam, not before.
- Enhanced Official Score Report with in-depth performance analytics.
Is GMAT Focus Still Adaptive?
Yes, the GMAT Focus maintains the question-adaptive format, a standard in standardized testing. This means each question must be answered to move on to the next, and once answered, you cannot return to it. This aspect can add pressure to the test-taking experience. You can find more information here
For those considering the GMAT Focus Edition, rest assured that ISB will accept your score just as it would the traditional GMAT scores. The global acceptance of this score reaffirms its credibility. Ultimately, your best bet is to choose the version of the GMAT that aligns with your strengths and where you believe you can perform your best on exam day.