Retaking the GMAT?

Gauri Khatri

Gauri Khatri

Founder, Pegasus Global Consultants

So, you are planning to retake the GMAT after a previous attempt in which you did not get a good score. Now what is a good GMAT score?


A good GMAT score is subjective based on what is GMAT score required for? A GMAT score of 700 is decent enough to get an ISB admit, however, the same score will not make the cut for Harvard or MIT. If you have taken the GMAT expecting a certain score and the result is not according to your expectations, you might reconsider taking it again to better your score.


Retaking the GMAT is definitely a good idea, however, retaking a test that costs $250 requires proper planning and execution. In this blog we will discuss three major factors in planning a systematic approach to retake GMAT:


1. Reasons for a low score

2. Retaking GMAT based on current scores

3. GMAT Myths

1. Reasons for a low score

· Ignoring Basics

· Application of Concepts

· Incorrect Selection Order of Sections

· Nervousness


GMAT is an adaptive test and requires a thorough brush up of basic, unfortunately a lot of people ignore basics and this mistake costs them dearly. Another aspect of GMAT is application of concepts. There are people adept at learning a concept, however, fail to apply the concept to the GMAT questions. If you are not referring to the official guide for solving questions it is possible you may pick a question to attempt first without thinking how an exhaustive section can give you less time to concentrate on the other sections or vice versa. A nervous state of mind is the most ignored aspect of taking a competitive exam, pressure of performing can at times make you choose the wrong option in multiple choice questions. Before you decide to retake the exam, focus on the above-mentioned points and accept the fact that mental strength is essential when attempting GMAT.


2. Retaking GMAT based on Current Scores

Let us discuss this section by discussing GMAT scores and percentiles


Retaking a GMAT at 750 will not really help, it will push your score from existing 98 to 99 percentile. A rise in single percentile is not worth the time and money. Instead work on other aspects of your application such as, essays. If your score is between 650-700, you are in the most represented category of GMAT takers, if you are aiming at schools with an average score of 710 than it is a good idea to retake it, however, keep in mind GMAT is one aspect of the MBA application there are many other aspects you can enhance to cover the GMAT deficit. A score of 600-650 is the idle band to retake the exam in case you feel your scores do not reflect your expectations or your aim is schools such as, ISB, IIM-A etc. An improvement in score will improve your chances of getting into some good business schools. A band of 500-600 is the one in which there is maximum scope of making an improvement. If you analyse your weak points and work hard to strengthen them, you can make a significant improvement from your last attempt.


The pointers discussed can help you adopt the right strategy for retaking GMAT.


GMAT Myths

GMAT has fair share of myths associated with it. Let’s clarify some common ones

Geographical Location: GMAT questions all over the world are same and any change in location will not make it easier or harder for you, neither does the percentile rank changes because of the country.

Time of the year GMAT is attempted: GMAT works on the adaptive algorithm and unlike the linear approach, the score gets computed after every question. So, answering correct is a tick and answering wrong immediately penalises you. GMAT is adaptive to your performance and not the exam schedule.

Section Scores are Interlinked: As discussed, GMAT is a computer adaptive test and each section is disconnected from the other. There is no manual correction, so, there is no way of doing well in one section and expecting that to take care of the other sections.


Hope this article was useful in helping you with pros and cons of retaking the GMAT.

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