At the conclusion of the test, the GMAT test-takers can now see their unofficial Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal sections’ scores along with the total GMAT score… and they will have just two minutes to decide whether to accept those scores. More importantly, please note that the scores are cancelled if the test-taker does not make a decision. Cancelled scores can, however, be reinstated for a $50 fee.
This facility now available to the test taker is obviously both important and, in general, very positive. However, two minutes is not a lot of time. So, you need to have a plan to accept or cancel the scores before you arrive at the test center.
If you have accepted your score after the test, you still have an option to cancel your score within 72 hours of the completion of your GMAT exam. The fee to cancel the scores later is $25.
Arrive at a cut off score for cancelling your scores by doing the following:
Research score requirements well in advance:
- Research the score requirements of the b-schools you are interested in before you take the test. This will also help you have a target score in mind. Learn the average GMAT scores for your safety, competitive and reach schools.
- Be aware that some schools place more emphasis on one particular GMAT section, for example the Quant score than the Verbal score. If that is the case for your preferred schools, make sure you know those numbers.
- In general, a GMAT Total score that is within 30 points of a first-tier school’s reported average makes you a competitive candidate for that school. For example, if a first-tier school reports a total GMAT average score of 720, you are competitive if you score 690 or above. Thus, a test-taker who gets a 700 should keep her score, while a test-taker who gets a 650 may want to cancel.
- For other schools, you are typically a competitive candidate if you score within 50 points of the reported average.
- Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are not a competitive candidate if your GMAT score is a little below a school’s reported average.
As always, the key to success on the test day is preparation. Knowing what score you are willing to accept will go a long way in helping you make a decision about cut-off scores in advance of the test day so that you feel confident and prepared when you reach the unofficial scores screen on your test.