Retaking the GMAT is a personal decision, and quite often an emotional one. The sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach as you see your score appear on the screen is enough to convince you whether retaking GMAT exam will help improve your score or not. However, we suggest taking a step back and taking a more informed decision.

If you have not done as well as you’d hoped to, or if you think you could’ve done better, then retaking the GMAT is a good idea. However, this isn’t the only reason you’d want to consider retaking GMAT exam. If you are interested in knowing when is the ideal situation to retake the GMAT, then here are a few points that will help you decide whether or not to retake the GMAT.

Factors to Consider Before Retaking the GMAT

When deciding to retake the GMAT, there are several factors you should take into account such as time, cost and effort. Whether you want to retake GMAT in one month from your first attempt or sooner, here are a few points to consider.

  • Have you scored enough?

If you have scored at least 10 or 20 points more than the average score required at your target business school(s), then you are safe and you probably shouldn’t waste your time preparing for a retest. While the GMAT score is a significant part of the admission’s criteria, it is only a part of the admission requirement and not the sole deciding factor in the admission process. A higher score may not significantly improve your chances of getting through the admissions, but strengthening your profile certainly will have its long-term benefits. Instead of preparing for a pointless retest, you could spend that time building a stronger application with better essays, stronger letters of recommendation and some extracurricular activities such as community service. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the GMAT score you receive will be better than the one you already have. Hence, avoid the opportunity cost and risk associated with retaking GMAT online or offline.

  • Your score is high, but you feel you could have scored higher

Not should have, but rather could have! Probably, this wasn’t a true reflection of your potential and you know exactly where you lost a few additional marks that were yours for the scoring. Alternatively, if you scored less than what you had scored in your mock tests then ask yourself – what difference would an additional twenty to thirty marks make? Would it give you a shot at a business school you can’t apply to with your current scores? Only if the answer to the question is yes, you should consider retaking the test. Since the retake GMAT exam fees remain the same – $250 – you may want to consider skipping a retake of the test altogether.

  • A middling score

If your score is below 680 and you’re applying to one of the top 30 programs anywhere in the world, you should consider retaking to improve your chances. The rule of thumb is to be at least 20 points ahead of the average score at the school you are applying to. That’s what classifies as a safe score, which essentially means that if you are still rejected by your target B-school, it will not be solely due to a lower score.

Going for a retest should not be a reluctant or half-hearted decision, given the opportunity and economic cost involved. Prepping for one involves time, effort and money, resources that should be invested wisely. Moreover, you will need a retaking GMAT study plan in place to improve your score, since you don’t want to end up with the same or, worse, a lower score after retaking the test. If your decision is still yes, then you might probably want to check out this article.

Now that you know what are the factors to consider before retaking GMAT exam, you’re better aware of making a decision that suits your higher education goals.


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