In an interesting move, GMAC, the body the conducts the GMAT, has announced the addition of yet another interesting feature in GMAT – Select Section Order. Simply speaking, this feature now allows you to choose the order of the sections during the exams. It will be effective for test takers from July 112017.

What’s the new GMAT feature all about?

Till now, the 3.5-hour test had the following section sequence:

Analytical Writing Assessment -> Integrated Reasoning -> Quantitative -> Verbal

With Select Section Order, you now have 3 choices of section orders at the beginning of the test:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment  ->  Integrated Reasoning  ->  Quantitative  ->  Verbal
  2. Verbal  ->  Quantitative  ->  Integrated Reasoning  ->  Analytical Writing Assessment
  3. Quantitative  ->  Verbal  ->  Integrated Reasoning  ->  Analytical Writing Assessment

This announcement comes after a year of deliberation. The GMAC had previously conducted a Select Section Order pilot in March 2016 with a handful of test takers. Given the positive response the pilot generated, the full fledged rollout was only a matter of time.

Impact on test takers

Non-native GMAT takers commonly consider the Verbal section to be the toughest in the GMAT. The fact that they face the toughest section at the end makes it all the more challenging. “Select Section Order” will definitely give a boost to the confidence of these students.

Now students can play on their strengths! With the added flexibility of Select Section Order, GMAT aspirants shall be able to pick the order of sections based on their preferences. Students who wish to give their best shot at Verbal or Quantitative sections might consider appearing for these sections ahead of AWA or IR sections.

Our recommendation

At IMS, we believe that students should take practice tests using all the 3 orders before finalizing their choice for their actual test. Concentration levels and fatigue should be considered as critical parameters while making a choice.

IMS CIE GMAT adaptive tests will include Select Section Order, starting from July 1, 2017 to help you assess the right section order for your test.


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