Reinstating GMAT Scores

GMAT Score Reinstatement Policies

Students who wish to reinstate previously cancelled scores can only do so if they have taken the GMAT on or after January 1, 2014 (scores for tests taken before that date are not eligible for reinstatement). GMAC's revised policies on score reinstatement took effect on March 10, 2016. Under the new policy, cancelled scores are valid for almost as long a period as reported scores, and they can be reinstated up to four years and 11 months after the test date (one month is necessary for processing). Reinstated GMAT scores are subject to the same reporting procedures as all other scores (schools to receive scores must be named before taking the test, or the standard fee for additional score reports of $28 each applies).Test-takers are allowed to cancel and reinstate GMAT scores multiple times, but they must pay all fees associated with each cancellation and reinstatement. Reports for reinstated scores do not show any previous cancellations or reinstatements, and appear identical to standard score reports when viewed by business schools. All of the above policies apply only to voluntarily cancelled scores; involuntarily cancelled scores may not be reinstated.

How to Reinstate GMAT Scores

GMAT score reinstatement is completed online or by phone. Test-takers can either log on to their mba.com accounts, or call the GMAC customer service office for their particular region. Online score reinstatement costs $50, and phone reinstatement is $60. Credit card is the only form of payment accepted for the reinstatement of GMAT scores. Reinstated scores are usually available within five to seven days of request submission, but request processing may take up to 20 days.

Should I Reinstate My GMAT Scores?

GMAT score reinstatement is appropriate for students whose business school plans were delayed, and who do not wish to take the GMAT again. Some test-takers who plan to attend business school immediately may realize that they cancelled their scores hastily, and they may wish to pursue the option of score reinstatement to avoid additional costs (assuming those scores are sufficient for their chosen programs). Business school applicants sometimes revise their list of preferred programs, and in these instances, initial GMAT scores may be high enough to warrant reinstatement. All students must understand that it is relatively common for GMAT retakes to result in score drops. According to GMAC data, 25% of students who retake the GMAT receive a lower score on the second test attempt. Students in this category can always fall back on their initial scores via reinstatement. Though scores from all test attempts in the last five years are reported, business schools usually ask applicants to designate a single test for admissions purposes. This means that score cancellation is often unnecessary, which renders score reinstatement irrelevant.

New Cancellation and Reinstatement Policies are More Student-Friendly than Former Procedures

GMAC's new policies on score cancellation and reinstatement are much more favorable for the test-taker than older procedures. Before 2011, students could only cancel GMAT scores at the test center, and this was without being able to first view unofficial scores. This forced students to rely on their own estimates of their performance when deciding whether or not to cancel scores. Score reinstatement was only available for 60 days after the test date. Cancelled scores previously appeared on score reports with the designation "C." The 2016 score cancellation/reinstatement procedures give test-takers a much greater range of informed options with respect to score reporting, and these changes have been favorably received.

Score Cancellation/Reinstatement and Score Inflation

GMAC's current policies on GMAT score cancellation and reinstatement are too recent to draw any conclusions about their effect on GMAT scores. However, it is certainly possible if not likely that they will contribute to a continuing trend of GMAT score inflation. In 2004, a total score of 720 was in the 99th percentile. A test-taker must now score a 760 to receive the same percentile ranking. In 2003, the average GMAT score for students accepted to Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business was 655; by 2016, the mean GMAT score at McDonough had gone up to 692 and the median to 700. Average GMAT scores at Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management have increased from 670 in 2003 to 700 in 2016. With the current GMAT cancellation and reinstatement policies, students are much more easily able to suppress low scores, and are given every opportunity to improve their performance. These factors will probably help future GMAT scores increase even further. This trend may be especially pronounced at the most elite business schools, where competition for the top students is at its highest.