How Does GMAT Scoring System Works?


At the end of the GMAT Exam, test takers can see their unofficial Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal section scores, as well as their GMAT total score… They will only have two minutes to decide whether or not to accept the 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 and phone reinstatement is $60.

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 the GMAT score within 72 hours of the completion of your GMAT exam. The fee to cancel the scores later is $25.


GMAT Score Selection – Accept or Reject?

Here’s what we suggest how to decide whether you accept or reject your score. Arrive at a cut off score for cancelling GMAT 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 safe, competitive, and reach schools.
  • Be aware that some schools place more emphasis on one particular GMAT section, for example, giving more weightage to the Quant score than the Verbal score. It, also, depends on the course you are applying for. If that is the case for your preferred schools, make sure you know those numbers.


Knowing the Scores that will Make you a Competitive Candidate

  • 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 GMAT unofficial scores screen on your test.


The GMAT: Low Scores, Retaking and Strategies for Success

If you are an MBA aspirant anywhere in the world, GMAT is probably the most important test for you. More than 200,000 students take the test annually. Sometimes you might get disappointing results, or you think you can do even better. Second attempts are real and completely possible.

If you are someone who has felt all that written in the above paragraph, you are not alone. GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) allows 5 attempts per year (with a 16-day gap) and 8 attempts altogether. Research suggests that one-fifth of applicants are those who have given the test before.

Think about the positive aspects of your last GMAT attempt. You have already taken the test, at least once. So, you already know what to expect in your GMAT retake. You just have to plan well for your GMAT retake and implement your strategy to achieve your target score.


Does It Affect Your Admission Application

No. It makes absolutely no difference. You can simply choose to attach your most successful result and get that considered.

Second Attempts Work: It’s natural to have concerns about second attempts. Will retaking the exam make any difference? Will you get the college you have dreamed of, or is it a waste of time?

Research suggests that results significantly improve for the applicants who got less than 600 as their GMAT score. For those who got higher than 600, improvement happens, just at a lower average. All you have to do is proceed with a strategy. We are going to tell you how!


Things to Remember When Retaking GMAT

Clean State

Start with a fresh perspective. The previous approach might have brought you 500, but can it take you further? We doubt it. Go through the updated GMAT syllabus, and then Micro-analyse your performance on the last GMAT attempt. Then bring strategic changes to your plan. Sometimes you might come across weaknesses in your strength areas, work on them too.

Create a Study Plan

At this point, you need to decide – Which section to study first – Quant or Verbal and what sequence to follow within a section? Where to spend time within Quant and in Verbal? And, frequency to track improvement and how?

Surround Yourself with Quality

Do not drown in the pile of endless GMAT practice tests and GMAT Preparation material. Select where you get your information from, according to what your strategic plan needs. Not everyone can benefit from the same tests, therefore, choose wisely. GMAT question papers from previous years are available at some online resources.

Time Management

It does not have to be a specific weakness, it can also be a general weakness that is keeping you from your dream. Chief among those can be time management. If you have taken GMAT classes from a reliable institute, you will know the importance of time management during a high-pressure test.

Schedule the Test Well

Spending more than 8 weeks on a reattempt is bound to make you less efficient. Calculate how much preparation time you need and ideally schedule the next test within 6-8 weeks of your last attempt.


GMAT Retake Strategy

Now that you know that this 5 step GMAT retake strategy works, start applying this process for your GMAT retake. You would have noticed that in this process, we only talk about planning. That is the power of planning and setting up a process to achieve your desired GMAT score.

Once you have a rock-solid plan, the implementation part becomes easy. Therefore, we highly recommend that you apply the strategies learned in this blog to your GMAT Retake Strategy and increase your chances of achieving your desired GMAT score.

What else? Put your plan in place and hustle. Need more GMAT help? Check out our GMAT online prep or regular classroom resource pages which are loaded with GMAT advice, tips and more!


Should you Retake the GMAT Exam?

If you want to get into a top B-School, well written MBA application essays, a good GMAT score, and a unique experience profile can set your application apart. Though a great GMAT score is not the only factor in your B-School application, it does play an important role.

Sometimes, it may be necessary to retake the GMAT if you have scored less or if your B-School asks you to do so. People who scored 600 or less in their first attempt usually see the maximum improvement in their scores when they retake the GMAT exam. If you have scored higher than 600 in your first attempt, strategic and focused efforts would be needed for significant score improvement. If you decide to retake the test, here are some strategies that you can use to get your dream score.


Analyze What Went Wrong

Determine What Went Wrong in Your Previous GMAT Preparation

If there were any concepts or question types that you had missed earlier, work to fill in the knowledge gaps. If you had prepared for the GMAT in an unorganized way earlier, using a structured and standardized GMAT online prep course will help you streamline your learning. Manya -The Princeton Review GMAT online prep course provides training in an incremental fashion that will boost your final score.

Determine What Went Wrong on the Exam Day

Ask yourself if you were able to apply the concepts and techniques in the actual exam. At any point during the GMAT exam did you get nervous or lose focus? Better preparation and practicing relaxation techniques like focused breathing can help you overcome avoidable issues on the day of the exam.

Identify Your Weaknesses Based on Your Score

Analyze where you did poorly – was it on one particular section of the GMAT exam or did you do poorly in more than one section? If you decide to buy the ESR from GMAC, use the sectional and subsectional scores to identify the areas where you did poorly. The ESR also provides details such as the time spent on each question type and the accuracy levels for different parts of the exam. Analyzing these details from the ESR can help you make focused efforts to get the maximum score improvement.

Manya – The Princeton Review GMAT online training is provided by expert and experienced GMAT trainers who can work with you to analyze your performance and also guide your efforts towards score improvement.


Make a Plan

Depending on the score improvement you are working towards, be realistic about the amount of effort needed. Allocate the time that you have for prep among the various sections such as Quant, Verbal, IR, and AWA. Devote the majority of your prep time on the section which would have the maximum effect on your score.

Ensure that you make time for full-length practice tests. Taking full-length practice tests will help you replicate exam conditions and also track your progress. If you use a data-driven GMAT prep course, the data analytics provided by the course can help you focus your efforts for maximum score improvement. Manya – The Princeton Review’s GMAT online prep provides an in-depth analysis of your performance, both for practice drills and full-length tests. This will help you make focused efforts to reach your target score faster.


Practice and Review

Any questions you practice should be reviewed immediately. While reviewing, identify the errors that you keep repeating and work to understand the reasons you keep repeating them. Manya – The Princeton Review’s GMAT online prep has interactive score reports that provide an in-depth analysis of your practice. Reviewing the practice questions will also help you understand the pattern of the questions and identify the pattern of incorrect answers quickly.

When you take full-length tests – always take them timed. Attempt all the parts of the GMAT exam including the analytical writing and integrated reasoning sections. Try changing the order in which you attempt sections and decide which order works best for you.

Work on your pacing during the practice. Identify concepts and questions that are your strengths. Practice doing them faster. Make note of any errors that you commit when you attempt to answer questions faster. Be aware of questions that always slow you down and work to reduce the time you spend on them.


Stay Focused

Stay focused on the larger picture – always remember the reason you are taking the GMAT exam. Take the help of your loved ones to stay motivated about your GMAT exam prep. Remember to eat healthily, sleep well, and exercise regularly.
A great GMAT score is always relevant irrespective of the number of attempts. Work smartly and reach your target GMAT full score!

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Can I cancel my GMAT score after 72 hours?

Test takers can also cancel a GMAT score after they leave the testing centre, as long as they do so within 72 hours of the exam’s start time. So, if you took the GMAT at noon on a Tuesday, you must cancel your exam score by noon on Friday.

How can I cancel my GMAT score online?

The online GMAT does not allow you to cancel your score. At the end of the test, you will not be able to preview your score. You cannot also cancel your score after receiving the email with your score.

Should I cancel my GMAT score?

There may be times when you want to cancel your GMAT exam score if you take the exam at a test centre. We recommend that you be prepared to make this decision before your exam. You’ll be able to see your unofficial score after the exam. You will then have two minutes to accept or decline the offer.

What if I reject my GMAT score?

Cancelling a GMAT score now completely removes it from your record. It’s as if you never took it; business schools see no evidence that you cancelled a score.

What if I accept my GMAT score?

You’ll be able to see your unofficial score after the exam. You will then have two minutes to accept or decline the offer. If you do not make a decision, your score will be cancelled automatically. If you accepted your score, you can still cancel it within 72 hours of the exam’s completion.

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