GMAT FAQs

Prepping for and planning to take the GMAT can be a rather daunting process. We know as many of us have gone through it. No wonder you have questions! Put your concerns to rest, as team PythaGURUS cracks the code ‘GMAT’ for you...

How do I register to take the GMAT?

You can register for the GMAT at mba.com. After you create an account, you can select your testing date, time, and location by clicking on “Register for the GMAT” under “The GMAT Exam” on the main page.

When is the GMAT test available?

The GMAT is a computerised test which is available year-round at testing centres globally. You must book an appointment to sit the test. Testing centres operate on individual schedules with some open on weekends, and most have morning and afternoon slots available. See www.mba.com to book your appointment.

What if I need to reschedule my test date?

You can do this via the test appointment booking system on www.mba.com. If you reschedule your appointment at least 7 full days before your original appointment, then you will need to pay a reschedule fee of US$50. If you reschedule less than 7 full days before your original appointment, then you will be charged the full registration amount.

What if I have to cancel my test date?

You can do this via the test appointment booking system. If you cancel at least 7 full days in advance of your appointment you will receive a partial refund. If you cancel less than 7 full days in advance of your appointment you will forfeit your entire registration fee.

I have a disability / I am dyslexic – can I apply for extra time or special accommodations on the GMAT?

Yes. Test takers with documented disabilities, including dyslexia, can apply for special testing accommodations on the GMAT. Accommodations can include additional time on the test, additional rest breaks, a sign language interpreter, a reader or record taker, etc. For full details of how to apply for special testing accommodations, you must download both the GMAT Information Bulletin and the Supplement for Test Takers for Disabilities from www.mba.com. Please note that you must submit your applications early, as decisions regarding special accommodations can take 6 to 8 weeks.

When should I take the GMAT?

You will need to research when the application deadline is for the programmes you want to apply to. Each programme will have their own deadline and this can vary. Also, many schools accept applications in "rounds" that end in September (Round 1) for many competitive programmes and others have application rounds in April or May. Make sure that you take your GMAT with enough time so that the score can be reported by the earliest application deadline. 

How long should I study for the GMAT?

We recommend studying for 1–3 months before you sit the exam. If you want to score in the 90th percentile or higher plan to study for 120 hours or more.

What should I take with me to the testing centre?

You should take personal identification (see www.mba.com for a full list of acceptable forms of ID), the appointment confirmation letter or email you received when booking your test, and the names of the GMAT programmes to which you intend to send your scores.

Can I use a calculator on the GMAT?

No, the use of calculators is not allowed on the GMAT.

Can I skip any of the sections on the GMAT?

No, you must complete every section of the GMAT and cannot skip any section. You must either answer every question of each section or run out of time to complete a section.

Can I choose which order I take the sections?

Yes! You can now choose between three different section orders.

How is the GMAT scored?

You will receive 5 scores on the GMAT: an overall score, a sub-score for the Verbal section, a sub-score for the Quantitative section, and scores for the Analytical Writing Assessment and Integrated Reasoning sections. Your overall score will be from 200 to 800 and the sub-scores will be scored from 0 to 60. For each of your scores, you will also receive a percentile rank, which shows the percentage of examinees who scored below you (based on everyone who has taken the GMAT in the last 3 years). So if you score in the 70th percentile, it means that 70% of test-takers scored lower than you did.

What is the average GMAT score?

The overall GMAT score ranges from 200 to 800. The average GMAT score among test-takers worldwide is 540. Two-thirds of test takers score between 400 and 600.

What is a good GMAT score?

A “good” GMAT score is only relative to the MBA of Masters programmes to which you are applying! You will need to do some research on the schools to which you want to send your scores and set yourself realistic goals based on the average scores accepted by those programmes. Top tier schools will usually be looking for a score in the 90th percentile or above (eg. Wharton has an average GMAT score of 713; Harvard 708; INSEAD 702; and London Business School 680).

Do business schools have a minimum GMAT score requirement?

Most schools will not set a minimum requirement for GMAT scores, although most will publish the average GMAT score of their students. This information is usually readily available on schools’ websites, so do your research and find out the average scores for the schools you want to apply to, and then aim for a minimum of that score.

How do business schools use my GMAT score?

GMAT scores provide admissions teams with a standardised and consistent measure for all applicants, and so will use GMAT scores as a filter for the applications they receive. You may have great essays, but if you do not have a good GMAT score, your application will not be looked on as favourably as that of a candidate who has great essays and a good GMAT score. It is one part of your application, but it’s a vital part.

How long are GMAT scores valid for?

GMAT scores are valid for 5 years. Every time you take the test and send your score to a school, the school will be able to see every GMAT score you have attained in the previous 5 years.

Can I cancel my GMAT score if I feel I have done badly?

If you feel you have not done well on the GMAT, you may cancel your score, but you can only do this immediately after completing the test. You will be able to see your unofficial score before you make the decision to accept or cancel them.  Only you will be able to see if you've cancelled your score.  If you decided to cancel your scores at the test centre, you will have the option to reinstate their scores within 60 days from the date of their exam for a fee of USD $100.

How many times can I take the GMAT?

You can retake the GMAT up to 5 times in any 12-month period, but no more than once in any 16-day period. You can request to GMAC in writing if you want to take it more than that, but applications are only considered after you have actually taken the 5th test. You must have good reason to make the request or it will not be considered. Also, if you score an 800 on the exam, you will not be allowed to retake the test for another 5 years!

I’m not happy with my GMAT score – how soon can I retake the test?

You can only take the test once every 16 calendar days. If you attempt to take the test before that time period has elapsed, your new scores will not be reported and you lose your test administration fee.

If I take the test more than once, will business schools see all my scores?

Yes, they will. Your score report will list all of the scores from every time you have taken the GMAT in the last 5 years. Your scores are valid for 5 years.