Should You Retake the GMAT? Tips to Nail Your GMAT Retake

by Maximilian Claessens
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Should You Retake the GMAT - Tips to Nail Your GMAT Retake

Multiple GMAT attempts are not unusual for applicants. It is a challenging test, and students frequently discover that some intangible variables can ruin what they thought would be the best test-day experience. GMAT retaking is not an ideal case scenario. Both time and money need to be spent on it. Schools do not, however, view retakes negatively. So, taking the GMAT again could be beneficial for you. We will in the following answer in detail whether you should retake the GMAT. Read on to learn tips and tricks to nail your GMAT retake, so you make sure you get it right on the second attempt.

What is the GMAT Retake Policy?

The GMAT exam can be taken one time every 16 days, but not more than five times in a straight 12-month period or more than eight times overall.

Retakes of the GMAT can only be done online once, and they must adhere to the same scheduling requirements as the in-person test. Therefore, if you take the online test, for instance, on June 1, you won’t be able to take it again until June 17. After that, you will have to take the GMAT in person if you need to repeat it. Naturally, all three of those examinations will score toward your GMAT restrictions for the 12-month and lifetime periods.

Now, you DO NOT have to wait 16 days between examinations if you took the in-person GMAT and wish to transfer to the virtual GMAT for your second attempt (or vice versa). There is no waiting period while switching from the in-person to the online GMAT (or vice versa).

Basically, you may take the GMAT online or in-person in any sequence you desire and swing between the two, but you can only take the GMAT online a maximum of two times in your lifetime. Additionally, you must wait 16 days between tests unless you’re switching test formats.

Common Reasons to Retake the GMAT

If you’ve been wondering whether you should retake the GMAT, the answer is usually YES. Of course, there are some exceptions, which we’ll go into later, but for the most part, taking the GMAT again in order to improve your score is a smart move. In other words, you probably need a GMAT repeat if you feel like you do.

Let’s examine some typical situations when it makes sense to retake the GMAT as early as you can.

Anxiety Took Over on Test Day

Even with thorough preparation for the GMAT, anxiety might still get the better of you on test day. The worst thing is that having a dry mouth makes it difficult to think effectively, the feeling of the heart bursting from the chest, and you are perspiring. It’s very usual to have test anxiety, and it might negatively impact your GMAT result.

The smartest thing you can do is mount the horse again if you believe that anxiety, worry, or the burden of the exam prevented you from getting your best mark. It goes without saying that you don’t want to have the same problems when taking the exam again. Therefore, it’s crucial that you practice certain tactics for reducing anxiety and regaining attention on test day and throughout the exam before you take the test again.

Disturbance at the Test Centre

You can only exert so much influence to show how the test center atmosphere will impact your GMAT performance, even though you should always try to simulate test-day settings while taking practice tests. It may have been the cold conditions in the exam room or the patient whose desk was next to yours constantly clearing his throat or drumming his fingers on the desk. Perhaps a fire alarm went off during your test, your computer had a problem that needed the proctor’s help, or your markers were running out of ink.

Your GMAT performance might be hampered by a variety of test-center tragedies, but that is no excuse to quit! The best course of action is to remind yourself that it won’t happen again and plan your GMAT redo for as early as possible.

You Had a Bad Day

Even the most prepared GMAT student may have a bad day. Perhaps you feel like you’re coming down with a cold the morning of your exam, or perhaps you had a poor night’s sleep prior to your GMAT. You may have experienced automobile difficulty on test day, a longer than anticipated travel, or a feeling of urgency when you finally got to the test site. Maybe, because of whatever purpose, you just felt “off,” and this affected how well you did on the test.

Even professional athletes occasionally fail. However, they continue to play despite having a poor day. If test day ends up being a poor day, the best thing you can do is try not to berate yourself for it. The next time you take the GMAT, promise yourself you are going to have a terrific day since you got yourself an awful day out of the way. You probably will!

You Received a Conditional Acceptance

Sometimes, business schools will ask applicants to provide better GMAT scores or will grant an applicant a “conditional” acceptance contingent upon a higher GMAT score. If a school wants a higher score from you, why not do all in your power to provide it? That is, assuming you haven’t already been admitted to another school you’d want to attend.

If you can wait longer than 16 days to retake the exam, you might wish to do so in order to allow yourself enough time to review your material and raise your score. Of course, you will need to take into consideration any deadlines the school sets for handing in your revised score.

GMAT Retake Strategy

Perseverance is shown when one makes an effort to raise their score, which is a positive attribute. As far as you can, try to put your prior GMAT experience behind you. Your previous performance cannot make you apprehensive. Think about the advantages: Since you’ve already taken the exam, you know precisely what to anticipate from the testing facility, where to find the test center it, how the test works etc.. Most of the content is already known to you if you have studied effectively. There shouldn’t be many persistent anxiety attacks related to the future. Find a preparation strategy and study plan that works for you if your research was haphazard and you employed a variety of sources without a clear pedagogical framework to follow. Your learning will be streamlined, and your confidence will increase.

Practice all of the test’s components. Pay attention to your flaws, but also work on your strengths. Take a number of simulation tests in actual circumstances, ideally at the same time of day. Do exactly what you did to succeed on the practice exams on exam day. Organize your time better. This is a crucial component of the GMAT. Stay assured. You’ve already put in the time; all you need to do is tighten up. Now that you know what’s coming go ahead and try it again!

Retaking the GMAT: 5 Steps to Nail Your GMAT Retake

After you have decided that you should retake the GMAT, the following five steps will help you to improve your GMAT scores.

Step 1 – Determine Gaps Based on Your Desired GMAT Score

The first and most crucial step is this one. You must now choose whether to put your attention on maximising your strong area or on strengthening your weaker section. Additionally, you specify the extent of the improvement.

You must choose whatever Quant-Verbal score combination to aim for in order to get your target score of 750, for instance, if your previous GMAT score was 670. Determine the gaps after choosing your desired Quant Verbal score combination. Examine your sub-section percentiles to reach this.

Step 2 – Evaluate your Enhanced Score Report (ESR)

The Enhanced Score Report gives you useful details about how you did on your previous GMAT test. You may find the area or sub-segment with poor ability level using ESR analysis. Keep in mind that we have used the word “ability” here rather than “accuracy”.

Step 3 – Calculate the Time Required for Preparation

The next step is to calculate an estimate of the time needed to attain your objective ability level now that you are aware of your present performance and the target score. Online classes are more stimulating and offer interactive feedback, which is why it is advisable to prepare through online preparation means than books.

Step 4 – Formulate a GMAT Study Plan

You must now choose:

  1. Which portion to study first, Verbal or Quantitative, and which order to follow within each section.
  2. Where should you concentrate my time in Quant and Verbal?
  3. How often should improvements be monitored?

Step 5 – Track Your Improvement

Practice exams are the most effective technique to monitor progress. The greatest part: in addition to giving a trustworthy assessment of your abilities, practice exams also offer insightful information on the areas you should concentrate on to advance your abilities.

Does Retaking the GMAT “Look Bad”?

Retaking the GMAT does not “look bad” to business schools to give a succinct response to the question. You won’t lose points for taking the GMAT more than once since, as was said at the beginning of this post, MBA aspirants frequently take the exam again. Therefore, if you are thinking whether you should retake the GMAT or not, this shouldn’t be any concern.

Having said that, you should make sure that each time you repeat the GMAT, your score is getting better. The secret to retaking the GMAT successfully is to approach it in a different manner the second (or third, etc.) time. You will continue to obtain the same (or comparable) outcomes if you consistently employ the same tactics. And MBA admissions panels may, in fact, be concerned about a candidate who took the GMAT five times and didn’t significantly improve from test one to test five.

However, if a candidate takes the GMAT twice and exhibits a considerable improvement from the first exam to the second, admissions officers may find them highly appealing. Retaking the GMAT might show admissions committees that you have the tenacity, persistence, self-awareness, and sound judgement that are all highly coveted qualities for MBA students and future corporate leaders.

Don’t join the group of students that accumulate GMAT scores, then! Retaking the GMAT repeatedly with little progress may be unpleasant and discouraging, not to mention a significant time waster, in addition to perhaps raising eyebrows in admissions.

Closing Words

So, should you retake the GMAT? It really depends on your situation. In most cases, if you are very worried and not sure if your score is sufficient to get into that MBA you have been dreaming off, a GMAT retake may be a good idea. Most importantly, once you have decided to retake the GMAT, make sure that you have a sound study plan and ample time for preparation to improve on your retake.

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