The online GMAT registration fee is $200, $75 less than the regular GMAT fee. The fee to reschedule your online GMAT is $25 and to cancel is $100. You can reschedule or cancel your appointment 24 hours or more before your scheduled exam.
You can take the online GMAT on both Windows and Mac personal computers and laptops. You must have a built-in or plug-in webcam and microphone. The online proctor will use these to monitor you during the exam. You can only have one monitor attached to your computer. Headphones and headsets are prohibited.
We highly recommend that you run a system test prior to your exam to ensure system compatibility, as detailed on the GMAC’s Prepare Your Environment webpage. This process takes 15-20 minutes and entails agreeing to GMAC / Pearson policies, ensuring that you have the necessary computer equipment, and taking and submitting photos of yourself, your ID, and your environment.
Online GMAT Structure and Mechanics
The online GMAT is similar to the regular in-person GMAT, but with some very important differences. First, there is no Analytical Writing (AWA) section in the online GMAT. Second, the Select Section Order feature is not available. The order will be fixed as Quantitative first, Verbal second, and Integrated Reasoning third. Quant remains as 31 questions in 62 minutes, Verbal is 36 questions in 65 minutes, and IR is 12 questions in 30 minutes. The scoring algorithm and scoring scales will be identical to the regular GMAT.
Your workspace must be clutter-free. You cannot have any books, papers, notepads, watches, electronic devices, or writing instruments within arm’s reach. You also cannot have any food or drink with you, not even water. The proctor will conduct a room scan with your webcam. If your workspace does not pass the room scan, you will not be permitted to take the test.
You can take the online GMAT only once. The online GMAT attempt does not count towards the GMAT limits of five times within a rolling 12-month period or eight times lifetime. But if you have already exceeded these limits, you cannot take the online GMAT.
Pros and Cons of Online GMAT
One advantage of the online GMAT is that you take the exam from the comfort of your own home or office, on your own computer. This may help alleviate the stress associated with going to a physical test center. A second advantage is that you can select up to five schools to receive your score report either before or after your exam at no additional charge. A third advantage is the lower test fee.
There are several disadvantages to taking the online GMAT, relative to the regular GMAT:
- You are allowed only one 5-minute break, before Integrated Reasoning. In other words, you must do the Quant and Verbal sections back-to-back with no break in between the sections.
- You are not allowed to use a physical whiteboard or paper / pencil. Instead, you must use an online whiteboard built into the special OnVUE browser that delivers the exam. Users who are not accustomed to online whiteboards may find this unwieldy and challenging to use.
- There is no Score Preview feature. Scores will be sent to you via email within seven business days of your exam date.
- Furthermore, score cancellation options are not available. No matter how you perform, the score becomes part of your permanent GMAT record for the next five years. So be sure that you are ready to perform well before you register.
- Enhanced Score Reports will not be available. So you will not have the opportunity to analyze your test day performance as you can with an ESR for the regular GMAT.
- Disability accommodations (e.g. extra time) are not currently available, so those test takers who qualify are out-of-luck for now. The GMAC hopes to make this available in the “coming weeks”.
Although the online GMAT is far from perfect, it is a viable solution for those who have been unable to take the regular GMAT due to test center closures but who need a score due to impending application deadlines. The lack of a break between Quant and Verbal and the restriction of an online whiteboard are serious limitations. But we understand that the GMAC needs to take precautions to ensure test security. If you decide to take the online GMAT, we wish you tremendous success and hope to hear positive results.
The big uncertainty for those who are not applying now is how business schools will treat online GMAT scores in the future. If you are not applying in the current admissions cycle, it may be better to wait to take the regular GMAT at a test center. Unfortunately we cannot say with certainty when those appointments will be available.