Strategy for Retaking GMAT

It is very common for management candidates to retake the GMAT. You may feel test-day anxiety or you may have not prepared as thoroughly as you should have. Whatever be the reason, there is mostly feeling of giving GMAT exam again after you have attempted it.

Because most programs consider only your top scores, retaking the GMAT may be in your best interest if you aren't happy with your first score. If you do retake the GMAT, make sure you take the process and test seriously. You should show improvement in the score. A college will be much more impressed with a rising score than a falling one.

Official GMAT reports contain scores for every time you take the test. So if you take the GMAT twice, both scores appear on your report. It is up to the business program to decide how to use those scores. Some may take the higher score and some may take the average.

Objective of Retaking GMAT

Everyone has same purpose to retake the test: to get a higher GMAT score and make your application to business school stronger. But everyone has different reasons on why you want to retake GMAT. It maybe because you have scored below your expectations.

1. Identify Your Reasons Why You Got Low Score

The reasons could be out of your control (you were unwell before the exam) or completely in your control (you didn't complete your preparation).

2. Analyze Your Weak Areas

It is important to know your weak areas first (verbal or quant or reasoning) before you can work out on how you can improve.

3. Re-plan Your Study Schedule

Give more time to practice your weak areas. For example, when you started studying for the GMAT, your strong point was Verbal and you enjoyed solving these problems a lot. You spent more time on Verbal than on Quant. Now you need to reverse the situation.

When not to Retake GMAT

1. You proudly overshot the 80-80 hurdle

If your scores in total and in the individual sections of the GMAT are well above the average scores for the schools you are aiming for, then you don’t need to retake the GMAT. Ideally, you should have close to or above the 80th percentile on both verbal and quant.

Schools use the GMAT as a screening tool. One thing they want to be sure about is your ability to handle the academic program. With these high scores, you have demonstrated this. Use your time and effort working on the other areas of your application.

2. You have already taken GMAT More than 3 times

Many b-schools are happy to see a student take the GMAT two or three times, especially if your score increases each time. However, taking it more than that may serve as a red flag to the schools and show a lack of judgement or an obsessive preoccupation with the exam.