GMAT Canceled? You Can Take the GMAT Online Exam At Home

close up of hands typing on laptop to represent taking interim gmat exam or online gmat exam -image by magoosh

We are updating this post as more information becomes available.
Latest update: June 17, 2020

Due to the new coronavirus, many of you have had your in-person GMAT exams canceled. With test dates up in the air, Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), the makers of the GMAT, announced that they have launched their GMAT Online Exam, allowing students take their admissions test from home.

Update: As of June 15, 2020, most GMAT test centers are open again.

When Can I Take GMAT Online Exam?

The GMAT Online Exam is available for registration as of April 14, 2020, with test slots open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, beginning April 20, 2020 until July 17, 2020 (updated). With the COVID-19 situation rapidly evolving, the end date may be re-evaluated.

Who’s Eligible?

GMAC has released the interim GMAT option to anyone in a market impacted by COVID-19. The exceptions are Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Slovenia, and mainland China due to IP and/or regulatory restrictions. With 242,714 GMAT test takers in 2018, 29.5% of would-be test takers are ineligible. It’s also important to note that the GMAT online exam is only available in English with English-speaking proctors for the time being.

How Similar Is the GMAT Online Exam to the Regular GMAT?

The at-home exam will be less expensive, coming in at $200 USD for registration, where the in-person exam registration costs $275 USD.

There will be no AWA section. That feels like a substantial change in that you have thirty fewer minutes of testing which is 16% of your would-be total test-taking time!

The test will still have the Quant, Verbal, and IR sections, in a fixed order, with the same amount of questions and time available as the in-person exam. That is, there will still be:

  • 62 minutes for 31 Quantitative questions
  • 65 minutes for 35 Verbal questions
  • 30 minutes for 12 IR questions

The online test is expected to take approximately 3 hours, with 2 hours and 37 minutes of online test-taking time. Test takers will receive 15 minutes to check into the online Pearson VUE proctored system and have a 5 minute break before the IR section starts. Just like the in-person exam, interacting with the test proctor via Live Chat will not pause the clock ticking down.

Taking the online exam will not count towards a student’s 12-month and lifetime GMAT limits. Usually, students are only allowed to take the GMAT no more than 5 times in a 12-month period, with a lifetime availability of 8 total GMAT exams possible. During this unprecedented time, the 16-day retake waiting period does not apply. Technically, you could take an online GMAT from home and then take the exam in-person the next day if your test center opens up. That said, students may only take the online exam once.

Regarding check-in protocols, the GMAC has said, “The check-in and security protocols will be modified to accommodate online delivery and remote proctors will be used to manage test integrity.”

GMAT test takers will have to pass a room scan in order to continue to the exam. You’ll have to take photos and videos of your desk area for a proctor’s review, ensuring that there are no pens, papers, books, in reach. Starting June 11, 2020, physical whiteboards that meet the requirements will be allowed (more on this below). A digital whiteboard will also be provided. Unlike the GRE’s approach to at-home testing, GMAT test takers will be allowed to use either a Windows or a Mac.

After you’ve finished up your online exam, you’ll receive your score within 7 days. Any schools you’ve selected to receive your scores will receive these also. However, the interim GMAT will allow test-takers to send their scores to additional schools for at no cost, where it usually costs $35 for each additional school.

  • Tip: Take the interim GMAT, if you’re happy with the score you received, send your score to desired schools for free!

GMAT Online Whiteboard Options

Starting with appointments from June 11, 2020 onward, GMAC allows you to use either a physical whiteboard or the online whiteboard for your GMAT online test. Here’s what you need to know about each option.

Physical Whiteboard

You won’t be able to use just any whiteboard for the GMAT online exam. Here are the physical whiteboard requirements:

  • 1 dry erase whiteboard, maximum size 12 in x 20 in (30 cm x 50 cm)
  • 1 dry erase marker
  • 1 dry marker eraser

Here is what’s NOT allowed when it comes to the physical whiteboard:*

  • Paper and pencil/pen
  • Permanent, non-erasable marker
  • Tissues, paper towels, or napkins for erasing
  • Whiteboard spray
  • Paper in a sheet protector (clear slide)
  • Writing tablets
  • Chalkboards
  • Boogie boards

*These are some of their examples of prohibited items, not a comprehensive list.

If you’re planning to order your whiteboard online, make sure you schedule your GMAT online test to allow adequate time for shipping.

Online Whiteboard

As for the online whiteboard option, MBA.com has released a version of the digital whiteboard for you to practice with. The whiteboard includes the following tools: a pen, eraser, shapes like rectangles, circles, free-form polygons, panning, color selection/eyedropper, undo/redo, zoom in and out. GMAC has clarified that the whiteboard can only be used with a mouse, no fingers, styluses, or writing pads will work.

  • Want to get our GMAT expert’s tips on how to use the GMAT online whiteboard? Then check out our free GMAT online whiteboard! Our engineering team has worked hard to replicate the digital whiteboard released by MBA.com, so you can easily use it with your Magoosh practice tests and GMAT prep.

Practice with Magoosh's digital whiteboard

Will accommodations be available for the GMAT online exam?

For students requesting accommodations, GMAC has reported that accommodations will be available mid-May for the online GMAT exam. There will be an extended break before the IR section begins but no other breaks. Otherwise, students may receive 50% – 100% more test-taking time depending on their accommodation.

TL;DR

  • The online exam registration costs $75 less than the in-person registration
  • There will be no AWA section
  • There will be the same amount of Quant, Verbal, and IR questions and time available
  • You may only take the online GMAT exam once, no retakes or score cancelations, unless verified technical difficulties occur
  • Your online GMAT will not count towards your 8 total available GMAT tests
  • An online whiteboard is available but no physical whiteboards, papers, pens, or pencils will be allowed

Should I Plan to Take this Online GMAT Exam at Home?

If you’re finding yourself with an interest in applying to business school, having more free time on your hands to take the GMAT, and you have a private space at home where you could take a test, you may want to consider it. You’ll potentially be able to practice in the exact same environment as that of test day, and you’ll have a test that is thirty minutes shorter than the in-person GMAT.

If you decide that you’ll take the interim GMAT, make sure to check the system requirements and run the On VUE system test.

We’ll update you as we learn more, so keep an eye on this blog. In the meantime, if you’re still studying, you can use our GMAT prep product, which has been used by over 50,000 students.

You can also read the full announcement on the GMAC website here.

Will you be taking the GMAT online exam? What are your thoughts on the digital whiteboard? Let us know in the comments below.

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14 Responses to GMAT Canceled? You Can Take the GMAT Online Exam At Home

  1. Adam April 23, 2020 at 1:44 pm #

    Is there any updates if they are allowing pen and paper for the at home exam? I was registered for the online version, but since there isn’t even a sample of the online whiteboard available, I cancelled my scheduled test.

    The online whiteboard seems like an unnecessary extra security precaution in a test based on time.

    • Erina Dominick April 23, 2020 at 3:20 pm #

      Hi Adam! The digital whiteboard is available to try here: https://www.mba.com/exams/gmat-online/prepare-for-your-exam/online-whiteboard

      • Adam April 29, 2020 at 8:25 am #

        I tried the online whiteboard and it’s a nightmare in timed trials. I also saw a professional test taker scored 30 points lower writing this format. Is there any indication if they will budge on the scrap paper? As all test centres in my area are closed until July at the earliest

        • Erina Dominick April 30, 2020 at 1:59 pm #

          Hi Adam,

          It’s difficult to say what GMAC will do in this unprecedented situation where things are changing so quickly. I’m sure they’re monitoring feedback and I hope they’ll consider make some changes.

  2. Ben April 16, 2020 at 10:17 am #

    Dear Magoosh

    For the online gmat there will be no scratch paper allowed, and only an online whiteboard. It seems bizarre to do the difficult algebra / math problems without being able to do it on scratch paper. Any comments on this?

    • Erina Dominick April 17, 2020 at 4:37 pm #

      Hey Ben!

      It seems tough not to have a physical option to aid in note-taking on the GMAT, since GMAC has stated that styluses and USB mice may not work if attached to the computer. It seems like this is a concern for many other students as there is a change.org petition calling on GMAC to allow pen and paper instead.

  3. Ami April 13, 2020 at 6:37 am #

    Have they announced the alternative GMAT option yet? I keep checking the GMAT website, but it says more updates to come in the next few weeks (mid-April).

    • Erina Dominick April 14, 2020 at 10:49 am #

      Hi Ami, we have been checking everyday also but it looks like the at-home test is not yet available as of 10:45AM PSD on April 14, 2020. That said, MBA.com is hosting an online webinar on Friday, 4/17 and we hope new information will be released then. Here’s the link for it: https://start.mba.com/gmat-alt

    • Erina Dominick April 14, 2020 at 2:56 pm #

      Hi Ami! The online GMAT exam has now become available for registration here: https://www.mba.com/exams/gmat-online

  4. Aaron April 8, 2020 at 2:51 pm #

    Has there been any update to taking the test at home? I was hoping to take the test in late April/early May, but I don’t see much before late May. I believe that’s due to most centers being closed and if I could take it at home sooner, that would be greatly appreciated.

    • Erina Dominick April 14, 2020 at 10:48 am #

      Hi Aaron, as of 4/14/20 10:45AM PST, there has not yet been an update on the status of the at-home GMAT availability. MBA.com is holding a webinar for test takers about the online GMAT on Friday, 4/17 and we hope new information will be released then. Here’s the link for it: https://start.mba.com/gmat-alt

    • Erina Dominick April 14, 2020 at 2:57 pm #

      Hi Aaron! The online GMAT exam has now become available for registration here: https://www.mba.com/exams/gmat-online

  5. Suhel khan March 26, 2020 at 7:19 am #

    Please keep updating me.Seems a good web site for GMAT.

    • Erina Dominick April 14, 2020 at 10:44 am #

      Thanks Suhel, hoping you are well!


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