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  • GMAT

Should You Retake the GMAT? Exploring the Decision to Retake the Exam


For many individuals aiming to pursue graduate business education, achieving a competitive score on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a crucial step in the admissions process. However, obtaining the desired score on the GMAT is not always easy, and some test-takers may find themselves contemplating whether to retake the exam. In this guide, we will delve into the factors to consider when deciding whether to retake the GMAT. By exploring the benefits, challenges, and strategies associated with retaking the GMAT, you can make an informed decision about your next steps in the admissions journey.

Assessing Your Initial GMAT Performance:

Before deciding whether to retake the GMAT, it's essential to assess your initial performance on the exam objectively. Review your GMAT score report to identify your strengths and weaknesses in each section of the test. Determine whether your score meets the requirements of your target business schools and whether it aligns with the average scores of admitted students. Additionally, consider how your GMAT score compares to your practice test scores and your own performance expectations.

Factors to Consider When Deciding to Retake the GMAT:

Target Schools' Requirements: Research the GMAT score requirements of your target business schools. Determine whether your current score meets the minimum threshold for admission or if it falls below the average score of admitted students.

Score Improvement Potential: Evaluate your potential for score improvement based on your initial performance and areas of weakness identified. Consider whether additional preparation and study time could lead to a significant increase in your GMAT score.

Application Deadlines: Take into account the application deadlines of your target business schools and the time required to retake the GMAT, receive your new score, and update your application accordingly.

Retake Policies: Familiarize yourself with the retake policies of the GMAT exam, including the waiting period between attempts and the total number of times you are allowed to retake the exam within a certain timeframe.

Study Resources and Support: Assess the availability of study resources, such as practice tests, study guides, and tutoring services, to help you prepare for a retake of the GMAT. Consider whether additional support could improve your chances of achieving a higher score.

Cost Considerations: Factor in the financial costs associated with retaking the GMAT, including registration fees, study materials, and potential tutoring expenses. Determine whether the potential benefits of retaking the exam outweigh the financial investment.

Potential Impact on Application: Consider how retaking the GMAT may impact your overall business school application. Determine whether a significant improvement in your GMAT score could strengthen your candidacy and offset other weaknesses in your application.

Strategies for Retaking the GMAT:

If you decide to retake the GMAT, consider implementing the following strategies to maximize your chances of success:

Targeted Preparation: Focus your study efforts on the areas of the GMAT where you need the most improvement. Utilize practice tests, study guides, and targeted practice questions to strengthen your weaknesses.

Study Schedule: Develop a structured study schedule that allows ample time for review, practice, and simulated exam conditions. Dedicate specific blocks of time each day to GMAT preparation and stick to your schedule consistently.

Review Mistakes: Analyze your previous GMAT performance and review your mistakes to understand where you went wrong and how you can improve. Identify patterns in your errors and develop strategies to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

Simulated Exams: Take full-length practice tests under simulated exam conditions to familiarize yourself with the test format, pacing, and endurance required. Use these practice tests to gauge your progress and identify areas for further improvement.

Seek Support: Consider seeking support from GMAT tutors, study groups, or online forums to supplement your individual study efforts. Collaborating with others can provide valuable insights, motivation, and accountability.

Stay Positive: Maintain a positive mindset throughout your GMAT preparation journey and believe in your ability to improve your score. Stay focused on your goals and celebrate small victories along the way.

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