The following article was copied from the official GMAT website.
Beginning April 16, 2018, the GMAT exam will be shortened by 30 minutes to a 3.5-hour exam, including the breaks and test instructions.
This includes a 23-minute reduction in the exam sections, as well as additional time and content reduction across several non-exam screens at the test center (e.g. Tutorial, Section Instructions).
The Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections of the GMAT exam will be shorter by 13 and 10 minutes, respectively. The new section structure is as follows:
The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) and Integrated Reasoning (IR) sections of the exam, the optional break times, and the Score Preview time will remain unchanged.
In addition, the information presented in the Tutorial Screens at the test center is available online via mba.com/tutorial for all candidates to access and review prior to their GMAT exam. You can view the tutorial at your convenience, and review it as many times as you like to further familiarize yourself with what you can expect at the test center.
Why is GMAC making this change?
GMAC is committed to continuously improving the GMAT exam experience for all test-takers. We are always looking for ways to help candidates build confidence and control, reduce anxiety, and streamline the test center experience in a way that continues to maintain the high quality and integrity of the GMAT exam.
Based on ongoing operational reviews of our systems and technology changes, we identified an opportunity to shorten the GMAT exam without impacting the way it is scored. We also received feedback from test-takers that they felt rushed through the tutorial screens at the test center prior to starting their GMAT exam, and so we reviewed and simplified much of the content on several non-exam screens, and have made the tutorial available in advance.
By shortening the two longer sections of the GMAT, combined with the availability of the tutorial information online, we want to create a better and friendlier testing experience that enables all GMAT test-takers to do their personal best on test day.
Will scoring be impacted by the shortened Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections?
No. The number of scored questions in each section, the average time per question, and the scoring algorithm will remain completely unchanged.
The Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections are being shortened by only reducing the number of unscored items. Unscored questions (sometimes referred to as “research or pre-test questions”) are used by GMAC as part of the question development process before they become scored GMAT questions. A number of unscored questions will still remain in each section so that we can continue to research and pre-test our exam questions and ensure their quality before counting them as scored questions.