GMAT, the gateway to top MBA colleges across the world has a unique computer based online examination system that allows you to reschedule it, cancel it and again schedule it whenever you feel so. But the most important point to know is when and why to reschedule it even before taking the exam.
Many a times we see that number of candidates scheduled to appear in GMAT on a particular day and in particular slot are not able to take or do not take the test on the appointed date and time.
Since all the top B schools accepting GMAT scores required working experience of minimum 2 years, most of the GMAT takers are working professionals. Accordingly cancelling and rescheduling the GMAT exam is most common among working professionals aspiring to score high in GMAT.
Given the work load and timing issues, professionals find it difficult to devote sufficient time to their GMAT preparation. The other reason is mere nervousness and lack of preparedness. Students feel they can do better if they give the test on a later date.
One of the GMAT aspirants Mohit (Name changed to protect the identity) who works in an IT firm has raised the query ‘Due to my current work load I won't be able to take time off to take the test at the allotted date. Will I be able to reschedule my test to a later date? I have already registered for the test and paid the fee of $250 to take GMAT, do I also have to pay extra for rescheduling? Is there a limit to the number of times I can reschedule my GMAT exam?’
Such queries are not uncommon and quite a substantial number of candidates raise them while facing such a piquant situation. MBAUniverse.com experts while responding to Mohit’s query have also included some more useful details in regard to rescheduling and cancelling the GMAT exam before appearing in it.
Know the GMAT registration process
The GMAT as we know is an online test. To begin with, we create an account, register and schedule the exam. The candidate planning to register and take the GMAT can register 6 months prior to taking the exam. This is the earliest possible registration date for taking GMAT. However GMAC recommends the candidates to register 2-3 months prior to taking the exam so that he/she may not need to reschedule or cancel it as nearer the date, more decisive the candidate is. The last opportunity to register for GMAT allowed by GMAC is 24 hours before the exam. No candidate can register after that and will have to schedule the exam for the next slot.
After choosing the test date and scheduling the exam you have to pay a registration fee of USD250. A confirmation letter is mailed to the candidate after a successful registration. This letter is to be treated as the admit card.
Lack of preparation: Principal cause of rescheduling
Just like Mohit, a good number of working professionals fail to prepare well for the GMAT. Work load, improper allocation of timings and lack of proper planning and preparation leads a candidate to cancel or reschedule the test.
The flexibility of the GMAT exam allows one to reschedule the test to a later date and give the test according to one’s convenience as and when prepared.
Reschedule GMAT at least 7 days prior to exam
If you wish to reschedule your GMAT exam at any available test center across the world, it is better to reschedule GMAT 7 days before the exam to reduce the penalty on rescheduling the test. You can reschedule the date, time and location of the test anywhere in the world.
A rescheduling fee is applicable depending on when you reschedule. If you reschedule the GMAT exam 7 days prior to the earlier scheduled date and time, you need to pay an additional fee of USD50 only (each time you reschedule the test). The rescheduling fee can be paid by credit card or online banking.
However if you choose to reschedule your GMAT exam within 7 calendar days before the scheduled test date, location or time, you will have to pay an additional fee of USD250 which is equal to the fresh GMAT exam fee.
On the top of it, if you choose to reschedule your GMAT exam over telephone, you will have to pay an additional US$10 apart from above referred GMAT rescheduling fee. So decide judiciously.
To save oneself from paying extra amounts of fine, a GMAT aspirant should try to reschedule the exam before 7 days of the earlier scheduled date.
No Limit to Rescheduling
The good news for GMAT aspirants like Mohit is that there is no limit to rescheduling the exam. You can reschedule the test as many times as you want but the rescheduled test date cannot be more than 6 months beyond the original test date.
Rescheduling not to go into B-school records
Many aspirants worry that rescheduling the exams will go into the bad books of the business schools. There is nothing to worry as rescheduling records are not the concern of the business school. It is the GMAT scores they are concerned about. No matter how many number of times you reschedule and retake the GMAT, official scores of all the tests taken are sent to the schools and the B schools consider the best GMAT scores.
There is no limit to rescheduling but our expert advice is not to reschedule the test more than 2 times. You are not going to lose much except your USD200 if you take GMAT without getting cold feet. You will sure develop more confidence after appearing in the exam. If your scores are not so high as you wanted to score, you can very well appear in the next one after few days with better preparation and greater confidence. It is therefore suggested not to get into the habit of rescheduling the GMAT frequently.
Rescheduling may give you extra time to prepare but be wary about the downside. GMAT preparation is a mentally exhausting process. Frequent rescheduling will lead to over exhaustion and ultimately you may lose interest. Moreover, until and unless you take the test you will not know where you stand. You can always retake the GMAT the second time if needed. Remember that retaking the GMAT twice is preferred to rescheduling it for no apparent reason.
Prepare while working
The typical duration for GMAT preparation is 2-3 months. The GMAT preparation is about proper planning. As GMAT is taken generally by working professionals, majority of test takers prepare for the GMAT during lunch breaks and after work and excel in the exam with high scores.
It is not advisable to quit job for GMAT preparation. There is no need to do so. Taking a long leave will show the business schools how poor you are in multi tasking. Further, once inside the school you have to work triple the amount you are doing right now. MBA abroad is a rigorous study after all.
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