The coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic has spelled chaos for all kinds of human operations and the education industry is also among those bearing the brunt of these trying times. Many students who were planning to study abroad have seen their progress come to a stand-still with their exams either cancelled or postponed indefinitely. A wise person once said, “Where there is a will, there is a way” and that is how we have come to see humanity move forward amidst this catastrophe.
The Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) announced in mid-April, 2020, the launch of their GMAT Online Exam. Students hoping to appear for the exam can now apply for round-the-clock appointments and appear for the exam from the safety of their homes.
On the other hand, the Education Testing Service or ETS is also offering at-home testing options for exams like TOEFL and GRE.
As of April 14, 2020, registration has been made available for students all over the world (except Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Slovenia, and Mainland China). Test slots can be picked for any time between April 20, 2020 till June 15, 2020. The end date of the period is also up for re-evaluation, given that there might be a need for extension if the situation takes a grave turn.
GRE registrations for at-home testing started in April 2, 2020 for students worldwide (except Mainland China and Iran).
Although the GMAT exam is open to all test-takers, it is devised primarily as a temporary solution to support applicants in the upcoming 2020 business school admissions. Eligibility criteria GMAC upholds for the Online Exam is otherwise consisted with its regular examinations, in that –
It should also be noted that, at the time, the GMAT Online Exam is only available in English with English-speaking proctors. Adequate measures are also being taken to ensure the security and integrity of the exam. Proctors are working remotely with AI technology to monitor each session and workspace. The candidate’s check-in is authenticated by facial recognition technology that scan their government-issued IDs and their progress is recorded via live video and audio feed. To assure test-takers that their private information is safe, GMAC has taken local privacy and data laws from 190 global locations into consideration.
GMAT test takers are required to provide a room scan before proceeding with the exam. The assigned proctor will review photos and videos of the student’s desk. Students can work on either a Windows or Mac Computer system and will be given a digital whiteboard for calculations.
The ETS portal has guided GRE test-takers in a five-stage registration process, while also providing an ‘Equipment and Environment Checklist’ for appropriate preparation prior to registration. As per these rules, the test can be given through the Windows Operating System on either a desktop or laptop computer, using either a Chrome or Firefox browser. Students are then required to download and install the ETS Test Browser and run the ProctorU® System Check from the computer they will be using for the test.
Additional requirements include an internal or external speaker set, a microphone to communicate with the proctor and an in-built camera or webcam that provides a 360 view of the room before the test. The test must also be carried out in a private room with a standard desk and chair. Other details such as clothing and appearance, food and drink, note-taking materials are also specified.
GMAT’s online option is less expensive. The Online Exam’s registration is at $200 while that of the center-based exam was $275. Syllabus-wise, everything is nearly the same with the exception of the Analytical Writing Assessment. The Quantitative, Verbal and Integrated Reasoning units have the same number of questions and time allotment. Removal of AWA will result in a shorter overall testing period, so the total time of the exam is expected to be 2 hours and 37 minutes.
Scores are also consistent with those of the in-person exam in both the Section Scores and Total Score. The score will be sent to the student and the schools they’ve applied to within seven days of having appeared for the online exam. The online exam also allows students to send their scores to additional schools free-of-cost.
Students may only take the online exam once, whereas they could appear for 5 times in a 12-month period for the in-person exam with a total of eight attempts in a lifetime.
GRE’s at-home option does not vary much, continuing with its staple three sections – Analytical Writing (60 minutes), verbal reasoning (60 minutes), and Quantitative Reasoning (60 minutes). Students will get a ten-minute break during which they can leave the room. In case they do not return in time, however, the test would be cancelled and without fee refund. After all other sections, there will be a one-minute break during which the student cannot leave their seat.
If you are planning on applying to business schools, the GMAT Online Exam should certainly be kept in consideration. Given the benefits of a shorter test time, the comfort of giving the exam from home and the less expensive fee, the Online Exam is definitely an option to be considered.
As for GRE, ETS is providing practise tests to acquaint students with the at-home testing exercise. This way, you can confidently approach your online test and relax knowing that your higher education plans are going as planned.
To get more tips and advice on test-prep and application process for universities abroad, contact EdNet Consultants. Call: 011-41013223, 41013224, 41013225