When It’s Worth Retaking The GMAT

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Not reaching your target GMAT score can be devastating, but trying to figure out whether a retake is worth it is just as difficult. Odds are you’re already exhausted from all of that test prep, and the thought of having to start over can seem impossible. The good news is, retaking the GMAT is possible and it can be worth it. You just need to take some time to decide whether it’s the best option for you. To help you decide, here are a few things to ask yourself before scheduling your next test date.

Do you plan on taking your study prep seriously?

After finishing up the exam, every student can begin to have some doubts. No matter how much time you dedicated to your test prep, odds are your head will still be filled with “what if” and “maybe I should have”. Don’t let these doubts be the only thing pushing you to retake the GMAT. Be introspective and assess whether you actually gave your test prep everything you could. If you think that you could have done better and would be more dedicated this next around, then that may be an indicator that you should schedule a retake.

How much do you want to improve your score?

It’s not always worth it to retake the GMAT. If you’re looking to improve your score, then you really need to decide whether your target score is achievable or worth it. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, there is a predictable level of improvement students will reach based on their original score.


For example, if you scored below a 600 you have the best chance at drastically improving your score. This is because the content you need to learn in order to improve your score can be learned relatively easily. You will need to review some basic skills and generalized material, but improvement is possible. So, if this is you, consider finding a GMAT tutor or program to help you organize your study prep for your next test date.


If you scored between 600 and 700, your scope of improvement isn’t as high, but it’s still worth considering that retake. GMAC reports that 70% of students in this range were able to improve their score the next time around. This means if you’re around 50 or more points away from your target score, you should definitely be thinking about scheduling that retake.


On the other hand, if you scored above a 700, a retake is going to be pretty tricky. In order to improve your score, you’re going to have to be able to nail the more complicated questions. These are going to be the questions that require advanced skills that will take more intense study hours to master. If you do want to begin working on these types of questions, consider finding a GMAT tutor to help you out. They’ll have test strategies designed to help you on the advanced questions.

At this range it is worth considering whether a score improvement is worth the extra time and costs. If your target schools require a higher score than what you have, then a retake may be worth it. However, if your score is already competitive then it will be more beneficial to spend that extra time working on your application. A high GMAT score is good, but it is not the only factor when schools decide student admission.

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Michelle Joe

Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs.