GMAT Score Validity – How Long are GMAT Scores Valid?

by Maximilian Claessens
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GMAT Score Validity – How Long are GMAT Scores Valid

Many people wonder how long GMAT scores are valid. This question becomes particularly important when applying for business school with a GMAT score that has been achieved several years ago. In this article, we will explain how long the GMAT score is valid and what the conditions and exceptions for GMAT score validity are. Read on to learn more.

GMAT Score Validity

Let’s start with the straight answer to the question how long GMAT scores are valid. The applicability of the GMAT score is five years, and it can be recorded for up to ten years. GMAC thinks that your reasoning skills won’t dramatically decrease over the course of five years; thus, it uses that time frame. However, business schools may have their own guidelines regarding the legitimacy of the GMAT and the scores they accept. So, before applying, be sure to check with the college or university of your choosing.

After ten years, your score is no longer valid and will not be accepted by any institution. The GMAT frequently changes itself to be current with the most current standards of graduate schools. As a result, if anybody took the GMAT today, the abilities and current trends would likewise be slightly different. Consequently, it gets out of date.

Impact of GMAT Scores Five Years Later

While the GMAT score is valid for 5 years, this does not say anything yet about the impact of GMAT scores after 5 years. The test history or Official Score Report won’t include your GMAT score once its validity has passed after five years. It implies that no business school will take that score into account. However, candidates may seek special access to their previous score reports. To view scores up to 10 years ago, you can contact GMAC customer care and pay a charge to acquire an old score report. However, GMAT score validity is definitely not unlimited. Even with a specific request, scores older than 10 years are not available.

Cancellation of GMAT Scores

You get immediate access to your unofficial GMAT results after finishing the test. You now have the option of accepting or rejecting your unofficial results. You should definitely set a GMAT target score because you only have two minutes to acknowledge the unofficial results. In these two minutes, you need to decide whether the score you have achieved is sufficient or whether you should go for a GMAT retake. Your GMAT unofficial results will be cancelled if you don’t accept them in two minutes. In that case, GMAT score validity is void. The scores won’t be delivered to the institutions you’ve specified once they’ve been cancelled.

Your official score report will also be withheld, and you won’t get your unverified score report at the test centre. The GMAT test must also be retaken after an additional 16-day delay. However, you have 72 hours to do so if you decide to change your mind after accepting your unofficial test results at the testing centre. However, once you leave the testing facility, there will be an extra price for you to cancel your results.

Reinstatement of GMAT Scores 

Your GMAT scores can be restored if you decide to do so after having them cancelled. For your GMAT results to be reinstated, you will have to pay a fee. Within 4 years and 11 months of the test date, you can restore your GMAT results. This time frame is determined by taking into account the 5-year GMAT score validity restriction. Your GMAT results will be sent to the colleges you’ve specified if your GMAT scores are reinstated. You will not be permitted to add further colleges to this list, though. In this situation, you can buy more score reports. You should budget $35 for each score report.

The test-taker will benefit greatly from the new GMAC policy on score cancellation and restoration compared to earlier practices. Before, students could only change their GMAT scores in person without first having the chance to see their unofficial results. This made it necessary for students to base their decisions on whether or not to cancel scores on their own assessments of their performance. Only 60 days following the exam date was the window of opportunity for score restoration. The letter “C” is used to denote cancelled scores on score reports. The 2016 score cancellation/reinstatement processes have garnered positive feedback since they allow test-takers a far wider variety of informed alternatives with regard to score reporting.

Validity of GMAT Scores After Cancellation

After we have discussed how long GMAT scores are valid, it should be clear that a GMAT score is technically acceptable as long as the exam date is within the 5-year range. Naturally, if you cancel a GMAT score, it won’t appear in the Official Score Report given to institutions or in any Additional Score Reports you submit. However, you will be able to see your cancelled score in your online score history and have the choice to reinstate it at any point within its five-year validity period. So, for example, if you immediately after your test cancel your GMAT score and repeat the exam twice again that year, the score report you send to schools will only contain the results of your two retakes (provided you keep both those scores).

Your score report will, however, include all 3 GMAT grades if you want to reinstate your initial GMAT score after a year. You won’t be able to access that score in your scoring record, restore it, or transmit it to schools until five years have gone after you took your first GMAT.

Availability of GMAT Scores to Business Schools

All of your GMAT results, including those from GMAT exam retakes, are listed in the official GMAT score report. The GMAT score you cancel at the testing facility won’t, however, show up on your official score record. Therefore, rest assured that not all of your GMAT results are accessible to the mentioned institutions or business schools. To be able to monitor your improvement with each exam you have taken, several colleges and business schools ask you to put in all of your GMAT results. You will be needed to submit all of your exam results in this situation.

Sending an Expired GMAT Score to Business Schools

We have discussed already that GMAT scores are valid for 5 years. So, once your GMAT score has expired, is there anything you can still do with it to avoid retaking the GMAT? In the same way that you may ask GMAC for an old score report for yourself, you can ask GMAC to send an old score report to colleges (again, for a fee). But bear in mind that most, if not all, business schools will not let you satisfy the GMAT exam requirement of your application by providing a score that is older than five years. In reality, according to GMAC, previous test results are given to schools with the warning that they should be read with care when a test-taker requests that they be forwarded.

If you feel compelled to send a GMAT score that is more than five years old to a school, you should definitely consult with the registrar’s office first to see whether doing so would be beneficial. Views on GMAT score validity differ from school to school. In general, however, older GMAT scores add nothing to an MBA candidate’s application, and it’s likely that schools won’t accept them and will advise you not to trouble providing them.

GMAC Cancelling GMAT Scores

Your scores are subject to suspension or cancellation at any moment by the GMAC. To ensure that all of their applications have an equal chance, this is done. If there is a policy infraction, a problem with the testing, or if your results are incorrect as a result of other causes, the GMAC may withhold or cancel points. A reason code will be present if the GMAC dismisses your scores. The rationale code is a marker, often an alphabet, that shows what error you have made.

When the reason code “T” appears on your score report, it signifies that test-related problems have caused results to be cancelled. Any inaccuracy or irregularity in the test’s administration is referred to as one of these testing difficulties. This signifies that this mistake affects you as well as many other candidates.

If the reason code “P” appears on the score report, frequent policy breaches have resulted in the scores being cancelled. Common policy breaches include using a computer, calculator or other electronic device while taking an exam, having any unauthorized materials in the exam room, and accessing study materials while taking an exam.

When the reason code “S” appears on your score report, it signifies that major policy infractions have caused the results to be withheld. Among these policy infractions are divulging test information, engaging in fraud or other fraudulent behaviour, identity theft, raising a commotion at the testing location, and using any kind of violence that is expressly forbidden.

Consequences of Canceling Your GMAT Score

If your cancelled scores appear on your official score report, don’t panic! Your score report differs from the one that is seen by your schools. Yours has all of your cancelled test scores, but the ones that schools get do not (or any record that a score was cancelled).

You can easily change your GMAT score, and there aren’t many repercussions outside the time, money, and effort you invested in the exam. If it’s your first GMAT, though, consider not cancelling your score and preparing your cancellation method in advance. However, the scenario is a little more intricate than that, and you may always alter your choice later. Your instincts will tell you to maintain a high score and cancel a negative one.

Concluding Thoughts

So, how long are GMAT scores valid? The answer is five years. That means, your scores will be acceptable as long as you submit your application within five years. Sending scores that are a year old as opposed to scores that are three years old doesn’t appear to have noteworthy advantages.

Anyone who wishes to take the GMAT early and then have time to concentrate on the remainder of their management school applications might benefit from knowing about the five-year limit to GMAT score validity. Sending in your GMAT score reports will be wise once you are confident that you meet the standards for business school.

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