Should I retake the GMAT?
The first thing you need to do is decide whether or not you should take the GMAT. Here are some scenarios where retaking the GMAT may be a good idea:
- You took the GMAT under less than ideal conditions, and circumstances beyond your control may have influenced your score. These circumstances could include being sick, dealing with a personal or family issue, being in a distracting test-taking environment (such as a test site near a construction area).
- There's a specific area you know that you can improve upon. For example, if you did poorly on a particular section because you had to rush through questions, you can work on your time management skills to better the next time around.
- You used the wrong GMAT prep materials. If you study with the right materials (such as the books suggested by Beat the GMAT) chosen based on your strengths and weaknesses, you have a good chance of improving your score.
- You followed the wrong study plan. One of the most common mistakes is to choose a study plan that focuses more on the areas that play to your strengths. Another mistake is putting off your GMAT prep or not studying enough. If you prepare again with a more realistic, personalized plan, you will probably get a higher score.
- Your MBA application won't suffer if you retake the GMAT. Retaking the GMAT may not be a good idea if it takes time away from other parts of your MBA application, such as application essays.
- Your last score was close to the average GMAT score for your first-choice school. If you are only off by 20 points, then retaking the GMAT may not be the best investment of your time. If you aren't within the ballpark of the average score, however, retaking the GMAT may be your only chance of being considered by that particular school.
If you do decide to retake the GMAT, you don't have to start entirely from scratch. While you didn't get your ideal score on the first try, you can apply the lessons you learned the first time in order to get a better score. Instead of cramming or trying several methods at once, pick a few weaknesses and focus on improving them.
When can I retake the GMAT?
According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, you must wait 31 days before retaking the GMAT again. If you score an 800, you must wait five years.
If your score is cancelled, you must still observe the 31 day waiting period. GMAT Customer Service representatives and test administrators are not allowed to waive this retest policy.
How many times can I retake the GMAT?
You are not allowed to take the GMAT more than five times a year. If you want to take the GMAT more than five times a year, you must submit a written request. These requests will not be considered unless you have already taken your fifth test. The retest policy will only be waived for those with “compelling reasons”.
If you go against the policy, your new scores will not be reported and your test fee will not be refunded. You also risk being prohibited from ever taking the GMAT again, and could face other remedial actions. Even if you aren’t caught right away due to inconsistent registration information, the policy will still be enforced. In the event that your scores are still reported, they will be cancelled and the schools you applied to will be told about the score cancellation.