Is it necessary to participate in the GMAT experimental program for choosing the order of passing the test sections?

Published on January 19, 2016

Is it necessary to participate in the GMAT experimental program for choosing the order of passing the test sections?

Original author: Stacey Koprince
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You may have heard that some began to receive emails inviting them to participate in the pilot program that GMAC (the GMAT test organization) planned for late February / early March. The purpose of the experiment is to test a new remarkable function: the ability to choose the order of execution of the various sections of the GMAT test .

Below are all the important details, as well as how to decide if you should take part in the project if you are one of the invited students.

How will the experiment go? What is being tested in it?


There are four combinations to choose from:

1. Quant (testing of abstract thinking and mathematical knowledge). Verbal (English proficiency test). IR (test of the ability to analyze large amounts of data presented in various formats). Essay (essay on a given topic).
2. Quant. Verbal. Essay IR
3. Verbal. Quant. IR Essay
4. Essay. IR Verbal. Quant.

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In the latter version, the test is presented in almost standard form: only Quant and Verbal have switched places.
In the first three options there is a serious deviation from the current state of affairs! They let you move your essayand IR at the end of the test, providing the opportunity to complete tasks from the Verbal and Quant sections with a fresh mind. This can be a serious advantage, depending on your strengths and weaknesses, as well as the usual style of passing the tests.

Sounds great. How to sign up for the program?

Unfortunately, no way if you did not receive a letter from GMAC on your e-mail. Excuse me. Admission by invitation only.
But for those who do not plan to take the test soon, there is potentially good news.

This is not just an experiment. His results will be counted.

Anyone who agrees to participate will receive real, valid GMAT points. In other words, the testing process has already moved very far; otherwise, they would not have assigned real points for participating in the pilot program.

If everything goes well, then it is likely that by the end of the year this system will be accepted as the main one. Maybe this will happen only next year. Of course, there is some likelihood that they will not accept it at all.

Thus, if you do not plan to undergo testing in the next few months, then you can just wait until the new function becomes standard. Let's wait - we'll see.

I was invited! Should I take advantage of this? Or is it better to choose the "traditional" way?


If you are among those invited to participate in a pilot project, consider several important factors.

Don’t let stress get the better of

you. If because of everything related to the test, you are experiencing great excitement, and the new experiment seems to you just another annoying task requiring a decision, then you better refuse.

Participating in the experiment, you will not be able to rehearse the passage of the test in the selected sequence in advance. If this is a matter of serious concern to you, then either refuse to participate or accept the invitation by choosing the fourth option. This option is as close as possible to the usual test, since only the Quant and Verbal sections are swapped in it. If you get very tired while doing Verbal, while Quant is relatively easy for you, changing the order of these two sections can have a positive effect on the final result.

To continue reading it makes sense to those who are attracted by the opportunity to take the GMAT test under more flexible conditions.


In general, it’s better to start with what you are good at (nuances are outlined below)

Most people will be interested in one of the first three options that allow you to go through Quant or Verbal first. The first section is also a kind of warm-up before the remaining parts of the test, so it is better that this is the easiest section for you.

In addition, if you first do what you are sure of, this confidence can be an impulse that will help you cope with the second part of the test, avoiding mistakes . In the end, you will start the second part of the test earlier than usual, so your mental stamina will be above normal, which can positively affect the final result.

Warning: if you don’t have panic fear in those sections where you are not very strong.
If you are worried about any sections and feel that this fear will interfere with the rest of the parts, then you can bite the bullet and start with the hardest part.

One of the students said that, having successfully passed Quant, she feels much more relaxed when passing through other parts, thanks to her confidence in her ability to easily cope with the three remaining sections, which are much easier for her than the first.

If this applies to you too, you can consider the possibility of doing the most difficult in the first place, leaving simple tasks for later.

When does GMAC plan to introduce a new system as a core?


It is still impossible to say for sure whether the innovation will become a permanent part of the GMAT test, although the probability of this is very high, otherwise the points received by students in the framework of this experiment would not be counted. Of course, there is no way to predict in advance, but if everything goes well, then it will not be a surprise if by the end of the year a new function will become the norm.

Good luck

PS We recommend another useful article on the topic of test preparation - Why should you work on preparing for two tests at once: AST and SAT? .

The author of the translation is Vyacheslav Davidenko, founder of TESTutor .