Should I Retake The GMAT?
So you’re considering retaking the GMAT. Maybe you weren’t satisfied with how you did the first time around, or perhaps your prospective schools have given you some indication that your score isn’t quite what it should be. Before you commit to a redo, consider these questions:
Question 1: How prepared were you for the GMAT the first time around?
If you prepared thoroughly and did the best you could, you may not see a significant increase in your score. If you didn’t spend much time studying, or were surprised or overwhelmed on the day of the test despite your preparation, you can probably improve your score by putting in additional study time.
Question 2: What is the range of scores for admitted students at the schools you are considering?
It may not make sense to spend the time and money to retake the test if you are within the range, even if you’re a little below average. You may be better off focusing your efforts on the rest of your application. If the other parts of your application are un-fixable (a poor GPA, for example), then retaking the test will probably be in your best interest.
Question 3: Are you serious about preparing for the test?
Be honest with yourself. If you don’t have the time or the inclination to prepare, taking the test again probably won’t result in a higher score. The exception to this is if you did feel prepared and just had a bad day. Then, by all means, review your material and head back to the testing center.
If you do decide to retake, be sure you’ve worked out the kinks in your test-taking strategy. And keep in mind that you can only take the GMAT once per calendar month. In addition, you can take the test no more than five times per year—though why anybody would want to take the test five times is completely beyond us. Your three most recent valid (within five years) scores will be reported on your score report.
Question 4: How do the schools you are considering view a retake?
Many business schools do not mind students who retake the GMAT as they will consider their highest score. On the other hand, some schools may average the scores (depending on how many retakes) so it may not be in your best interest. Contact your school directly to find out their stance.
Question 5: Do you really need a perfect score (if you broke 700 already)?
The reality is that very few people get a perfect score (less than .025%). Thus while you may be exceptionally capable, the odds are against your achieving a perfect score. Also if you are within the range, it makes more sense to work on other parts of your application that you can make you a stronger candidate. The extra 20-30 points on the GMAT (in this range) are not as important as well crafted essays.
I hope this helps with your decision process.