By Ajay Amar, Ph.D., May 4 2018 03:00PM
GMAC, the maker of the GMAT, has made yet another change to the exam. The GMAT has been shortened by 30 minutes, reducing its total time from four hours to 3.5 hours.
The shorter GMAT seems a reversal from changes in years past, which often added new exam requirements. The original 1954 exam, given on paper, was less than three hours. From the unique Data Sufficiency questions (1961) to the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) essays (adding an hour in 1994), the computer adaptive format (1997), and the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section (substituting for one AWA essay in 2012), alterations to the GMAT have often increased its time and difficulty.
Shortening the GMAT would seem to be a step towards simplification – right? Well, yes and no. The shorter GMAT should improve your test-taking experience in one important aspect. However, I also believe that GMAC missed several potential opportunities for improvement.