Rescheduling the GMAT – What are Your Options?

by Maximilian Claessens
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Rescheduling the GMAT - What are Your Options?

It’s a simple fact of life that sometimes, things don’t go to plan. Sometimes life gets in the way, and things need to be canceled, postponed or otherwise rescheduled. The GMAT is no different, and although rescheduling the GMAT is not ideal (or, even, canceling it altogether), it is doable.

Here’s what to do if you need to reschedule the GMAT.

Why Rescheduling the GMAT Can Be a Great Decision

Your GMAT result is going to be your entry ticket to the MBA program of your dreams – at least, that is what it should be. So taking it should be your priority. But sometimes, things don’t go to plan, or the plan wasn’t right in the first place. In that case, rescheduling the GMAT may be a great decision!

Firstly, students frequently underestimate the time required for adequate GMAT preparation. We recommend at least one month of intense preparation, although most test-takers prepare for two months or three months, some even for six months. With less than 30 days of prep, you may have a hard time. Getting a bad result will not get you far – so rescheduling the GMAT may be the better option.

Secondly, the original study plan you may have intended to follow may not have worked out. Maybe you had a busy time at work, or just couldn’t find any motivation. After all, the GMAT can be a hard nut to crack. In that case, if you still have some time left before the application deadline, it may be better to use that time for solid preparation before taking the test.

An alternative to rescheduling the GMAT is to just take it. Provided you have enough time afterwards, you may use the initial test results as an indication of where you stand and what you still need to work on. In that case, you should opt for retaking the GMAT instead.

How to Reschedule the GMAT

The good news is that the GMAT is incredibly easy to reschedule; the whole process is handled quickly and smoothly online. Here are the steps you need to complete for rescheduling the GMAT:

How to reschedule the GMAT

Log into Your MBA Account

First off, head over to your mba.com account. It is here that your details, along with the details of any of your booked tests, are stored.

Find and Select the GMAT Test You Wish to Reschedule

Head to the ‘My Account’ section. Under here you’ll see a subheading named ‘Exams’. Click on that and find the GMAT you wish to reschedule.

There are two buttons under the exam – ‘reschedule’ and ‘cancel’. If you’re in a hurry it would be easy to click on the wrong one, so make sure you’re hitting ‘reschedule’ (the top one).

Reschedule the GMAT by Choosing a New Date and Time

Once you hit ‘reschedule’, you’ll be taken to a new page with details of the test center (which will be the same one as before) a calendar, and any available times.

By default, your test center will not change. If, for any reason, you’d like to change it, you can do so by clicking on the ‘change test center’ button.

Agree to the GMAC Policy

Before finalizing your new test date and time, you’ll need to agree to the GMAC policy on rescheduling and no-shows. Read through the policy and hit ‘agree’ in order to continue.

Review Your Details

Before you finalize your rescheduled test, you’ll have a final opportunity to review all of the details, including the date, time and test center. Ensure that all details are correct before hitting ‘complete reschedule’.

Pay your GMAT Reschedule Fees

Unfortunately, there is a GMAT reschedule fee applicable if you decide to change the date of your exam. How much you pay depends on how much notice you give the GMAC.

  • More than 60 days before the original exam date: $55 (test center appointment) or $60 (online appointment) 
  • 15-60 days before the original exam date: $110 (test center) or $120 (online) 
  • 1-14 days before the original exam date: $165 (test center) or $180 (online)

As you can see, the less notice that’s given, the more it will cost. Try to ensure that you give as much notice as possible!

How to Cancel Your GMAT

If the worst happens and you’re not even in a position to reschedule, then it is possible to cancel altogether. The process is similar to how you might reschedule:

Log into Your MBA Account

As before, simply use your credentials to access your mba.com account.

Find the Test You Wish to Cancel

Again, the test can be found under ‘My Account>Exams’.

Cancel the Test Using the Lower Button

As we previously mentioned, there are two buttons next to each test. The lower button is the one you want, which clearly states ‘cancel’.

Check Your Details and Confirm

You’ll be presented with a summary of your personal details, test details and refund amount. Check everything is in order, check the box that affirms that you understand all of the details, and hit ‘cancel’.

Cancellation Refund

When canceling, you are entitled to a partial refund of your GMAT fee. How much you are entitled to depends on how far in advance you cancel (much like rescheduling).

  • More than 60 days prior to your test: $110 (for a test center exam) or $120 (online)
  • 15-60 days prior to the test date: $80 (test center) or $90 (online)
  • 14 or fewer days prior to the test date: $55 (test center) or $60 (online)

Rescheduling or Canceling your GMAT within 24 Hours of Your Appointment

Unfortunately, it is not possible to change anything about your test appointment if it’s less than 24 hours before the start of your test. Similarly, it cannot be canceled at such short notice. In that case, your only option left is to take the GMAT and opt for a retake if needed.

Missing your GMAT Appointment

If you simply do not turn up for your allotted test date, you forfeit the test fee you’ve already paid and are not entitled to a refund. Beyond this, there are no negative repercussions; the fact that you didn’t show up will not be reflected in any future GMAT results that you obtain, so you do not need to worry about a GMAT no-show reflecting badly upon you with employers or business schools.

Canceling or Rescheduling Your GMAT Appointment by Phone

If, for whatever reason, you cannot (or do not wish to) cancel or reschedule online, it’s possible to call GMAT customer service and cancel that way. Do note, however, that this will cost an extra $10.

Number of Allotted Reschedules 

You can reschedule your GMAT appointment as many times as you like. Do bear in mind that you will have to pay a rescheduling fee each time; it’s also worth noting that you cannot reschedule more than six months beyond the original test date.

Country-specific GMAT Cancelation Policies

Certain countries have their own policies regarding GMAT cancelations.

Mainland China

In China, it’s possible to cancel via phone, email or your GMAT account.

The EU

If you cancel within 14 days of your registration date in the EU, you are entitled to a full refund.

South Africa

If you cancel within 7 days of your registration date in South Africa, you are entitled to a full refund.

When Should You Think About Rescheduling the GMAT?

Beyond unforeseen circumstances necessitating a reschedule of your GMAT (or even an outright cancelation), there is another possibility: that you’re simply not ready for the test.

There’s no shame in that, and it takes a lot of introspection and self-honesty to realize that you’re going to need more time to prep for the GMAT. Sure, it means that you’ll lose a portion of the registration fee – but that’s cheaper than failing and having to re-take the test.

Here’s when it might be time to consider rescheduling the GMAT.

If Your Workload is Interfering with Your Ability to Prep

Most reschedules of the GMAT come from busy young professionals who are working full-time in addition to prepping for the GMAT – and that’s no coincidence.

The reality of the situation is that preparing for such a mentally taxing exam in addition to working a full-time job is extremely difficult, and it’s easy to either start studying without leaving enough time to properly prepare, or come home from work exhausted and decide to blow off your studies for another day.

If you are in this situation, it’s 100% better to make the tough call and reschedule your GMAT appointment. A good rule of thumb is to look at how long you have left until your test date – if it’s coming up to two months and you haven’t started studying yet, it’s probably a good idea to consider postponing. While it is possible to prepare in a month, this is going to be a challenge.

Sooner is Better than Later

As we saw earlier, it can cost quite a lot of money if you reschedule your GMAT only days before the test. Even if it’s within two months, it’s still going to cost a good chunk.

This means it’s important to make a decision at more than 60 days prior to your test. Do not let it creep to 60 days, panic, and cancel the test. Keep an eye on the calendar and mark the 61st day out from the test. That’s the day that you need to make your final decision – are you going to be ready in time? Or do you need to reschedule?

Engage in Some Honest Self-Reflection

All the above is not to say, however, that you definitely should reschedule because you haven’t studied enough. After all, 60 days is still quite a long time. Before you hit that reschedule button, have an honest conversation with yourself. If you push yourself hard and set a study schedule that you can stick to, will you be able to pass the GMAT with a decent score?

If you think that there’s a chance that this is the case, then make sure you come up with a study plan, stick to it, and ace that appointment. There’s no reason to lose money rescheduling if you don’t have to.

Try Not to Reschedule More than Twice

Getting cold feet can, in its own way, become addictive, and the more you hit that ‘reschedule’ button, the more you affirm your lack of self-belief. Soon you may find yourself believing that you’re simply not good enough to pass the GMAT and end up canceling altogether – all without setting foot inside the test center.

It’s important to escape this vicious cycle, if only because of the harm that it can do to your self-confidence. At some point it’s worth sitting the GMAT for three reasons: 

  • You’ll likely find out that it’s not as bad as you think, and even if you fail, you’ll know what to expect next time.
  • If you reschedule for a third time, you’ll be paying more money than if you had just failed and re-sat the test – so you might as well find out what the test is like.
  • You might pass.

For these reasons, it’s best that you do not reschedule more than twice.

Assess Whether Your Desired Score is the Same as Your Required Score

If you’re inclined in any way towards perfectionism (as many in business school are), then there’s a chance that you’re obsessed with getting the best GMAT score possible. If the score that you want is not reflected in your mock scores, then there’s a possibility that you will become fixated upon improving upon that score until you think you’re ready to take the real thing. This can lead to endless rescheduling until you’re happy with your mock score.

This is self-destructive and unhelpful for the same reason that lack of self-confidence is; it wastes time and money on something that might not ever happen. Further to that, it’s worth asking yourself: do you even need that 700+ score you’re so eager to get?

Take a look at the required GMAT scores of your desired business school or company. Are you already hitting that score? Do you need to do better than that, or is it just a case of your perfectionism rearing its head?

In the latter case, stop obsessing over getting the best possible score, and take yes for an answer. Good enough is just that, and there’s no benefit to rescheduling to study for that perfect score (beyond a boost to your ego, in any event).

Remember, too, that each reschedule is costing you money. Just take the GMAT and see how you do. After all, you can always retake it if you’re not happy.

Taking the Test is the Only Way to Grow

Another great reason to stop rescheduling and take the test is the feedback that the actual test provides – feedback that a million mock tests will never give, because they cannot replicate the sensation of sitting in the test center and taking the GMAT.

Even if you happen to fail (and you might not – you are, after all, your own worst critic), you will have invaluable feedback that will help you to get better. Failing tells you where your weaknesses are and what you need to improve for next time. Failing, in short, makes you better equipped to take the GMAT. Rather than beating yourself up over imagined failures and weaknesses, you get to live that experience and find out for sure what really needs improving.

Conclusion

Cancelling or rescheduling the GMAT is a big decision, and it’s ultimately a very personal one. It could be that rescheduling is the right call for you. It could also be that taking the GMAT for the first time is just what you need to jolt you out of toxic, unconstructive self-criticism.

Either way, it’s not a decision that can be made by anyone but you. We hope that we have, at the very least, provided the tools that you need to make that decision.

Whatever you decide, the best of luck, and may you make the right choice for you.

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