GMAT Test Day FAQs Part 1
This week, we will be doing a FAQ series on the GMAT Test day. Should you have any other questions, there is a link to further FAQs at the end of this post. If your question is still not answered, visit our forum.
1. What is the registration process for taking the test?
Popular testing days fill up in advance, so if your schedule requires you to take the test on a certain day, be on top of it and sign up early. You need to pay the fee with a major credit card.
2. Can I cancel my score, or have it not be reported?
You can cancel your score, but you must do so before you see it. Once you see it, it must be reported; you do not have the option of withholding it. We do not recommend canceling a score unless you were tested under adverse circumstances, like illness. If you do poorly and still report your score, it is not the end of the world. An improvement between two test scores may be highly regarded by your school of choice. If you cancel, the cancellation is still reported to the schools.
3. How many times can I take the GMAT?
There is technically no limit but we do not recommend taking the test more than three times. Taking the test many times may look bad. Plan on taking the test twice and reporting both scores (unless of course you do very well the first time). The admissions committee will take the best score of all your tests but will take a look at the history of the tests as well.
4. Are there any rules regarding how often I can take the GMAT in a certain number of days?
You can take the GMAT five times every year (12-month period). Within that year, you must wait 31 days between tests, regardless of score cancellations.
5. Is it common to retake the GMAT? If so, what kinds of results are common?
It is less common than you might think. Studies show that approximately 21% of the exams are taken by those who are retesting. Of those re-testers, it is uncommon that they take the test more than 3 times in a given year. Regarding results, the average increase between tests is 30 points on the total score. It is not unheard of that scores can go down with repeat testing. Your increase will depend on how much preparation you do in between. If you prepare well enough, odds are you won’t be compelled to retest!
6. What should I do if I don’t feel well on the day of the test?
If you don’t feel well, you should not take the test. You should be healthy and prepared when you take the GMAT. It will be an ordeal to sit through a 4-hour test while you are not at your best. You may end up canceling the score anyway. So do not get hung up on the rescheduling fee (US$50 if you reschedule before 7 calendar days of the test date or you will lose the entire US$250 test fee). Your bad score might become an anchoring point later on hindering your progress and hurting your self-confidence. Meantime, a bad score gets reported to schools as all your scores in the last five years will be shown. However, if you are sure that you can achieve a high score based on your prior practice tests, you should take the test even when you don’t feel well. That way you don’t waste the test fee and have a chance to experience the real test while having the option to cancel it at the end.
7. Should I arrive early at the test center?
Yes. Make sure you find out in advance where the test center is, and get there at least 30 minutes early because there is a check-in procedure. If you are more than 15 minutes late, the test administrators may not let you take your test and your US$250 test fee could be forfeited.
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