How to Select the Right GMAT Date

Written by Kelly Granson. Posted in GMAT Test Dates

Students often ask about GMAT dates, and why is it so important to get the right one. GMAT tests are pretty adaptive and can be taken at any time. Unlike CFA or LSAT, GMAT tests are administered all through the year so you can register anytime you want.

Why is it important to select the right GMAT date?

You should give yourself the right time for preparation so that when you appear for the test, you are not just prepared, but also fresh and energetic.

Generally, the best GMAT dates are about two months before the date of application or B-school deadline. It's actually 'the earlier the better.' Having at least two months ensures that the score gets to a business school before deadlines. You can retake the test after no less than 31 days, and because the scores arrive at the school in about 21 days, 2 months make it a safe option. GMAT official policy says that you can take the test 5 times in a year, but those tests should be at least 31 days apart. So if while selecting GMAT testing dates, you pick June 10, you can't take the test again until July 12. If you opted for June 10, and the deadline of your B school is July 1, you will not have enough time for a retake- pretty simple.

Factors to consider when selecting the GMAT exam date

Here are a few factors that you should keep in mind as you select GMAT dates out of the available options:

  • Find out the regular GMAT score prerequisites and MBA application deadlines for your intended university.
  • While you are selecting GMAT test dates, try to register for 1st part of the day, because you would be the most active at that time.
  • The availability of GMAT dates varies from place to place- depending upon the test centers planned in your region, so it is best to register early.
  • Give yourself enough time for preparation, but the time shouldn't be too much because you will begin forgetting the concepts. Ideally, a time frame of 4-6 weeks would be the most suitable, but of course it differs from person to person.

Getting the results

Once the test is complete, you will see a confirmation screen that has your test scores. As you leave, you will get an unofficial score report (printed confirmation). And in about 1-3 weeks, you will receive the official score online (or at your mailing address). The official and unofficial scores are the same, except that the official score consists of AWA score in addition.

Advance registration

Since test centers and GMAT dates are quickly applied for and filled, it is best to be fast in your approach. If you are slow to act, you might find that your options have reduced.

Handy tips

  • Take full advantage of the flexibility you get with the online format. It is no longer 'just an option of Saturday mornings'. You can now take the test any weekday, and can start at different times from 8.30 am to 1.00pm. Let the test squeeze into your life, rather than your life being squeezed according to the test.
  • Early tests might be a good option for most people, but if you are not a morning person, it is best to schedule it on a later time. Selecting the right time according to your daily energy cycle is very important.
  • To find out the best time for you, prepare for the test at different times during the day. When you find out your peak time, schedule your test at that time.
  • And then there is a factor of weekdays vs. weekends. If you prefer giving the test on a weekend, then Saturday would be the right option for you, otherwise you can give it on a weekday.

GMAT dates have a significant impact on your score. Do not pick GMAT dates in haste. Figure out the right time and date depending upon the options that are available and the deadlines given by your university. With the right kind of preparation and the right schedule, you can easily score well with GMAT.

All the best!


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