The GMAT is the gateway to some of the top MBA colleges in the world. It’s a unique computer-based exam (CAT) accepted by 2,300 business schools and nearly 7,000 individual degree programmes around the world. The Graduate Management Admission Test is administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), based in the United States.
It’s also important to know that the GMAT exam is a computer adaptive test and not a computer-based test. This means that the candidate will get one question at a time and depending on the accuracy of the previous answer, the difficulty level of the next question will be ascertained.
The fees for GMAT is a bit hefty, approx. $250 and rescheduling the test or changing the centre costs $50 extra.
Since all the B schools accepting GMAT scores require working experience of minimum 2 years, most GMAT takers are working in corporates, hence cancelling or rescheduling is pretty common. Since not only is it difficult to find time to study for the GMAT, but also difficult to take out time for the test. Some students also tend to get nervous due to lack of preparation and hence think that rescheduling the test for a later date will help them get better scores.
Many students also don’t know the process and extra fees involved in rescheduling the GMAT, hence aren’t sure of what to do. Which is why we at EDUopinions thought it’s a good idea to detail the exact process of rescheduling the GMAT exam.
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Know More About the GMAT
The GMAT is offered all through the year and there is no fixed timetable involved. A student can register for the GMAT anywhere between six months to 24 hours before the exam date. However, there are a few limitations for taking the test, namely:
- You can only take the GMAT 5 times per year
- Each attempt must be 16 days apart from the last
Therefore, the best time to take the GMAT is when you feel like you are fully prepared to take it. However, GMAT recommends the candidates to register 2-3 months prior to taking the exam so that he/she may not need to reschedule or cancel it as nearer the date.
The registration process is simple as you just have to create an account, pay $250, and select your time slot and centre to take the exam. A confirmation letter is mailed to the candidate after successful registration. This letter is to be treated as the admit card.
The GMAT test scores are valid for 5 years, so you have a wide scope of time to consider how to use those 5 annual attempts. Usually, the first round of business school applications begin around September and the second round is around January. So, it is important to take the application timings of your desired business school into consideration before applying for the GMAT. Make sure to give yourself enough time to take the GMAT twice before the application is due, so you can give yourself at least a second chance.
From 2018, The Graduate Management Admission Council has shortened the GMAT exam by 30 minutes. So the new timings of the exam will be 3 hours and 30 minutes including test instructions and breaks. The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative sections are shortened by 13 and 10 minutes respectively. The Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment along with the Score Preview and the optional break time will remain the same.
Though there are no strict rules about the eligibility criteria set by GMAC, however, one should always meet the eligibility criteria set by the university/college one aspires to get into after giving the GMAT.
Some criteria that all the students must fulfil before applying for GMAT are:
– The candidate must be at least 18 years of age
– There is no upper age limit of the candidate
– If the candidate is between 13 to 17 years old, they should have permission in writing from their parents or legal guardian
– GMAC has not announced any official statement regarding qualification required to apply for GMAT
– Candidates who wish to enrol for an MBA programme should possess a graduate degree in any discipline from a recognised university
Rescheduling the GMAT
If you want to reschedule GMAT because of some unforeseen circumstances, then it is better to reschedule 7 days before the exam to reduce the penalty on rescheduling the test. You can reschedule the time, date and even the location to any one of the centres throughout the world. Though the officials are pretty generous and offer a 6-month time to register for a GMAT test, which often leaves room for developments that may cut into your MBA application planning. Most likely, health, last- minute deadlines, official work and official travel dates are some reasons applicants cancel.
Some students also tend to miscalculate their exam prep and set a date only three months away, which might be less than what they needed for preparation. Low mock test scores and such lack of preparation are some of the common reasons why students reschedule.
Be mindful of the rescheduling fees that is applicable whenever you wish to schedule. The sooner you reschedule, the less your fees will be. If you reschedule the GMAT exam 7 days prior to the earlier scheduled date and time, you need to pay an additional fee of USD50 only (each time you reschedule the test). The rescheduling fee can be paid by credit card or online banking. However, if you’re really late in rescheduling your GMAT exam within 7 calendar days before the scheduled test date it will cost you $250 extra. And if you reschedule over the phone, then it will cost you $10 extra! So, try to save yourself from paying such extensive amounts by planning early. However, the good news is that there is no limit to rescheduling the exam. You can choose to reschedule the test as many times as you want, however, the date should be within six months of the original test date which you paid for.
If you’re really not sure of your exam preparedness then you have the option to altogether cancel as well, which is cheaper and you also get refunded back a solid $80.
How To Reschedule
Just log in to your GMAC account from where you registered and find a “Reschedule” button.
You can also call, but that’s not necessary unless you change your location to a different country. You will also be charged $10 if you call.
The specific area phone numbers are available on their official website.
Most people tend to reschedule due to cold feet, however, a good GMAT score is a subjective parameter based on your perception of what you can achieve. Most candidates decide their ideal score based on mock tests, exam preparations, time given to GMAT preparations and the average, or minimum, score gathered from the business schools they are interested in.
However, taking the test is the only way to know how much will you actually score. Mindless rescheduling will just cost your pocket and you might develop an under-confidence to eventually take the exam altogether. It makes more sense to actually take the test and re-take it if you don’t get your desired score. Since most business schools take note of your best scores anyway. Remember that retaking the GMAT twice is preferred to rescheduling it for no apparent reason.
Preparation for GMAT and the GMAT Course
The GMAT is a three and a half hour test with a maximum score of 800 points. The entire GMAT Exam syllabus is divided into four sections. Here’s more info:
GMAT Analytical Writing section
The analytical writing section has topics on which the candidate will have to write, or a passage may be given on which questions will be asked. The candidate will have to read the passage carefully and then answer. The questions are mostly analytical. The syllabus for this section is vast and varied as the topic of the passage could be any topic of interest. The idea of this test is to focus on the structure of the answer. It is a test of writing style, so it’s better to stick to a neutral opinion.
GMAT Quantitative Section
This section is made up of two sections; Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving. The Data Sufficiency section has 18 questions and there are 18 questions in the Problem Solving section as well. The questions will be objective type and will have multiple choice answers. The questions are usually around:
- Elementary Algebra
- Ratio Proportions
- Properties of Integers
- Permutation and combinations
- Exponents and roots
- Linear equations etc.
GMAT Verbal Skills Section
The Verbal Skills section has 36 questions which are multiple choice. This section is divided into Critical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and Sentence Correction. This section tests the candidates on their ability to comprehend the written material, read and understand the logical relationship between the points mentioned in the passage and concepts.
Areas covered in this section are:
- Critical reasoning
- Rhetorical construction of the sentences
- Sentence correction related to finding error or omission
- Reading unseen passages
- Subject verb agreement
- Misplace modifiers
- Countable Vs Uncountable
GMAT Integrated Reasoning section
This is the newest integration into the GMAT syllabus and tests the candidate’s ability to evaluate the data presented in graph or table format. This section has 12 questions of the following type:
- Table analysis
- Graphics interpretation
- Multi-source reasoning
- Two-part analysis
GMAT Scores and Results
After taking the GMAT test you will get five scores: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal, and Total. Your total GMAT score is based on your Verbal and Quantitative scores. Your Analytical Writing Assessment and Integrated Reasoning scores do not affect the GMAT total score.
Keep in mind that you will get a percentile score which tells you how you have scored comparatively to every 100 candidates taking the GMAT. For example, if your score in the Verbal section is 90 percentile, it means that for every 100 candidates attempting the GMAT 2019, you are ahead of 90 candidates.
The best part of GMAT is that you can see your scores as soon as your exam is over. At the end of the exam, you will have an option of accepting or rejecting the non-official score. The official GMAT Exam result 2019 can be downloaded after 20 days from your account on the GMAT website.
Around twenty years ago, the average GMAT scores were around 600. In the present time, however, the demand of the MBA course has increased dramatically. As a result, many more applicants are applying to these schools, which means, the average GMAT acceptance scores are increasing every year.
However, do take note that some of the top colleges don’t only take into consideration the GMAT scores but also the overall favourable traits like diversity, unusual accomplishments or success, etc. These factors allow many students to gain acceptance with a lower GMAT score.
If you have none of these types of traits, then you probably need to break 730 (that’s the 99th percentile) to have a good chance at a business school ranked in the top ten. The average GMAT scores in the top business schools is somewhere around 700-730 range.
So, make sure to do your research about which business school you want to go to, how much time will you take to study for GMAT and then only apply for the GMAT exam. EDUopinions wishes you all the best!