GMAT Breaks Shorter as of July 17th

ayang —  July 13, 2009 — 17 Comments

We’ve received word through the grapevine that GMAC is shortening all break periods during the test by a total of 15 minutes, effective July 17th.  This change has yet to be confirmed – we’ll update this blog post as soon as we receive official confirmation.

The primary change for students is that breaks between sections will be 8 minutes each instead of 10 minutes.  Those 2 minutes can be significant, as most people go to the bathroom between sections.  So it’s something to be aware of.

The other 11 minutes come from the time allocated to read Instructions, fill out background info, and decide whether to see your score.

However, none of the allotted times for GMAT Content areas will be affected (i.e. 2 30-minute essays, 75 minutes for Quantitative and 75 minutes for Verbal).

Why is GMAC making this change?  Hard to say.  It could be that shortening the total appointment time by 15 minutes would allow more appointments at the margins.  Or it could be an added security measure so that people have less time to do anything non-test related during break periods.  Whatever the rationale, a stressful experience just got a little bit more intense.


ayang

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17 responses to GMAT Breaks Shorter as of July 17th

  1. totally true. i was aware, but shoot, 2 minutes was the deal-breaker. started my quant section on the wrong foot, never recovered!

    GMAT, I can’t seem to quit you…

  2. Having taken both the LSAT and GMAT, I’d say the reason is probably to ramp up the stress conditions of the test. Our world is fast-paced and one doesn’t always have the luxury of long breaks and time for reading instructions etc. I may be a bit cyncical with my theory, but I can’t help believe ramping up the stress component is all part of the testing environment. After all, tests like LSAT and GMAT are all about time constraints. If given unlimited time, most people could get most questions right.

  3. On average, the GMAT takes about 4 hours to complete. I agree with Jon. This is a little tightening of the screw to differentiate between candidates who can take the pressure and still score highly.

  4. I can understand it as a security measure, but those few minutes are important to relieve the pressure in a high stress situation. I wonder if it will really make much difference anyway?

  5. I’m not sure that I understand how reducing the break time adds anything to security. And you can’t really measure that anyway.

  6. “The other 11 minutes come from the time allocated to read Instructions, fill out background info, and decide whether to see your score”.

    Kind of hard to shave much off that, would you agree? If a person hurries with instructions, they may not get it right. Background info they are going to want as well.

    For some people, what they do will expand to fill the time alloted, but for others, this is shaving off time they truely need.

  7. When I took the GMAT I needed all the time I could get. Dropping those 2 minutes during the breaks could be a big problem from some. I agree – a stressful situation just got more stressful.

  8. Yup totally agree with the previous comments on here. That two minutes could be crucial for some people. Why would they add unnecessary pressure to an already stressful situation?

  9. This is going to cause too much stress for some people. I wonder whether that is what GMAC meant to do, or if it were for other reasons.

    In my opinion shaving off time to read instructions is never good.

    “The other 11 minutes come from the time allocated to read Instructions, fill out background info, and decide whether to see your score”.

  10. There are a few ways to look at this. Is it really a security measure. I haven’t heard of there being a great increase cheating on the GMAT.Not where 2 minutes would make a difference. I honestly think they just wanted better numbers. This will force people taking the GMAT to be capable of comprehending the instructions faster. Either way I do not think that it will have a detrimental impact on the majority of the people taking it. It still comes down to who is prepared and who isn’t……

  11. The loss of these two minutes could mean failure for some. And I really doubt it will effect the overall security.

  12. “It could be that shortening the total appointment time by 15 minutes would allow more appointments at the margins. Or it could be an added security measure so that people have less time to do anything non-test related during break periods.”

    I guess we will never know, but 15 minutes seems a lot to cut off – especially to read instructions and fill out forms. I wonder how this worked out?

  13. I knew about the shorter break times going into the GMAT, so I was ready for them (even practiced with the minute breaks). 10 minutes would have been nice, but I don’t think the loss of the two minutes affected my score.

  14. Hi there! Thanks so much for the update! Higly appreciated!

  15. Needless to say, change is permanent. The change may be sudden but let’s just see what will happen.

  16. Knowing in advance the shorter break time prepares you in advance to do whatever it is you going to do during the break faster and more efficiently. A little more stress non the less.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Is this true?......Please confirm - TestMagic Forums - July 15, 2009

    [...] the break duration from 10 mins to 8 mins. Here is the link to the article I am referring to : Manhattan GMAT Blog Blog Archive GMAT Breaks Shorter as of July 17th Don’t know why it has reduced the time, but it’s a bad news for us (at least for [...]

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