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Choose Your Own GMAT Adventure? GMAC Pilots New “Select Section Order” Option for Exam

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For many, feeling like you’re in the driver’s seat can make almost any experience better. But even the GMAT? The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which owns and administers the GMAT exam, plans to find out as part of a new pilot program that will give a select group of test takers the ability to choose the order of the exam sections they complete.

Clear Admit has obtained a copy of an email sent by GMAC to recent test takers inviting them to participate in the “exclusive, invitation only opportunity.” The testing period of the pilot is limited and expected to run from February 23rd through March 8th, 2016, according to the email, although exact test dates will vary depending on test center availability and other logistics. Apart from participants getting to choose the order of the sections, the pilot exam experience will be identical to any other GMAT exam, with standard test center policies and registration fees in place. As long as you accept your score at the conclusion of the pilot, it will be recorded as a legitimate score and included in all future score reports.

Small Sample Size for Select Section Order Pilot  
Participants in the pilot will get to choose from four options in terms of the order in which they tackle the respective quantitative, verbal, analytical writing and integrated reasoning sections of the test. Optional breaks will be offered before and after each of the longer quant and verbal sections. The table below represents the four available options, with corresponding optional breaks.

select section order


According to an FAQ page about the pilot on, invitations to participate were sent to a randomly selected subset of candidates who had registered on with previously canceled GMAT scores. The invited pool represents less than 1 percent of the total testing volume—the minimum required to obtain meaningful results, according to GMAC. Given the small sample size, the pilot is not expected to impact the admissions pool for schools, since the chance that any individual school will receive a substantial number of pilot scores is “extremely unlikely,” notes GMAC.

“The wider launch of the Select Section Order feature will depend greatly on the results of the pilot,” GMAC wrote in its invitation to participants. “GMAC may decide not to launch the feature for any number of reasons, including candidate dissatisfaction.” Depending on participation levels, GMAC may opt to send out additional invitations to take part at a later time. No schedule for further release of the Select Section Order feature has been determined.