- Graduate school application season has been hindered by the coronavirus outbreak, causing in-person standardised testing to be shuttered.
- Starting April 20, the GMAT will be available online for students seeking to take the test.
- Top schools, including Harvard and MIT Sloan, have either waived the test requirement or said they would accept online scores.
- But candidates in China, Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Slovenia, and North Korea won’t have access to the online version.
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The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way students work, learn, and interact with each other. And many graduate schools have shifted application requirements, relaxed deadlines, or taken the entire process virtual, including top-notch institutions like NYU Stern and Berkeley’s Haas.
But one crucial part of the admissions process is the submission of standardised test scores. The Graduate Management Admission Council had cancelled all in-person testing for the GMAT on March 18, one of two options for required tests for getting into most graduate programs. While many MBA programs and other schools waived the requirement to submit scores on time, such as Columbia, Stanford, and INSEAD – or at least allowed candidates to submit them at another date – uncertainty around when testing would resume could quell prospective candidates from throwing their hat in the ring.
In an effort to rectify this, the makers of the GMAT have made the test virtual, accepting registrations as of April 14. The first virtual test will be held April 20, and can be taken on either a Mac or PC for a $US75 price cut of the original in-person test at $US200 – $US5 less than the rival online GRE.
All aspects of the GMAT will remain the same – including scoring algorithms – apart from the ommission of the Analytical Writing Assessment. It will be a two-hour and 37-minute test monitored by a human proctor. In order to complete it, test-takers must log in 15 minutes prior to their time, take a virtual photo-ID picture, and include photos of their immediate surroundings.
Results will be emailed within seven days of taking it, GMAC’s Vineet Chhabra, the senior director and head of the GMAT product, told Poets&Quants. Tests will run around the clock in 15-minute intervals through June 15, 2020, when it will reevaluate the need for this at-home solution.
But many candidates will not be able to take the test. A third of all prospective students wishing to complete the GMAT online won’t be able to, Poets&Quants estimated, due to regulatory restrictions in certain countries, including China, Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Slovenia, and North Korea.
Several MBA programs have already declared that they would accept either the online GMAT or GRE, including Harvard, MIT Sloan, Berkeley Haas, INSEAD, Fuqua at Duke, Imperial College London, and Michigan Ross out of a top 20 ranking by Quacquarelli Symonds. And some have cut the requirement this round completely, including Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.
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