When Should You Retake the GMAT?
When Should You Retake the GMAT or how do you know when you have a high enough score for the most competitive schools?
When it comes to applying to top MBA programs, a high GMAT score can make all the difference. The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized test that evaluates a candidate’s quantitative, analytical, and verbal skills. Many business schools, including those ranked in the top ten, require a high GMAT score for admission. But what happens when a student’s score falls short of the mark? When should they consider retaking the GMAT?
The decision to retake the GMAT is not one to be taken lightly. There are several factors to consider before signing up for another test date:
- First, it’s important to understand the average GMAT scores for the programs you’re interested in. For example, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which is consistently ranked in the top three MBA programs, has an average GMAT score of 732. Harvard Business School, ranked number one by US News & World Report, has an average score of 730. If your score falls significantly below these averages, it may be worth considering a retake.
- Another factor to consider is your overall application profile. While a high GMAT score is important, it is just one piece of the puzzle. Admissions committees also consider factors such as work experience, leadership potential, and extracurricular activities. If you have a strong application profile in other areas, a slightly lower GMAT score may not be as big of a concern.
- Timing is also important when considering a retake. MBA programs typically have multiple application rounds throughout the year, and it’s important to know when these deadlines are. If you plan to retake the GMAT, you’ll need to give yourself enough time to study and prepare for the test. Ideally, you should aim to take the GMAT at least a few months before your application deadline.
One important thing to keep in mind however, is that some business schools have a limit on the number of times you can take the GMAT. For example, Harvard Business School states on their website that “there is no limit on the number of times you can take the GMAT or GRE, however, we strongly recommend that you limit yourself to no more than five tests in a twelve-month period.” Other schools may have different policies, so it’s important to check with each program individually.
If you do decide to retake the GMAT, it’s important to have a plan in place.
You’ll need to assess your strengths and weaknesses and develop a study plan that focuses on areas where you need improvement. There are many resources available to help you prepare for the GMAT, including online courses, study guides, and private tutors. It’s important to find a study method that works best for you and stick to it.
When it comes to top MBA programs, a high GMAT score can be the difference between acceptance and rejection. But if your score falls short of the mark, it’s not necessarily the end of the road. By carefully considering your options and developing a solid study plan, you can increase your chances of success on a retake.
In addition to Wharton and Harvard, there are several other top MBA programs to consider when deciding whether to retake the GMAT. Stanford Graduate School of Business, for example, has an average GMAT score of 733. The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University has an average score of 728. The Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago has an average score of 727. Each of these programs has a highly competitive applicant pool, and a high GMAT score is often necessary to stand out.
It’s worth noting that some business schools, such as the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, have recently moved away from requiring the GMAT or GRE altogether. Instead, they are placing greater emphasis on applicants’ work experience and other factors. However, the majority of top MBA programs still require the GMAT or GRE, making it an important factor to consider when applying.