How Late Can You Take the GMAT/GRE for MBA Applications?

In this article, we outline the exact dates that your GMAT/GRE test date must fall between in order to get your application in on time as well as which schools allow you to update scores after the deadlines have passed.

Posted January 9, 2024

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In a perfect world, you have tons of time to put together your MBA application. However, it’s not a perfect world, and often applicants only have a couple of months to write their essays, polish their resumes, obtain letters of recommendation, and study for and take the standardized test that’s required for most business schools. Additionally, it usually takes a couple of attempts to reach the target score.

With all this in mind, the question frequently arises: How late can I take the GMAT/GRE in order to still submit my application on time? Well, the answer depends on the program. In this short article, we’ll outline what each of the M7 business schools allows and provide some additional resources to help with GMAT/GRE preparation.

GMAT/GRE Deadlines for MBA Applications

Most programs, and all of the M7 schools, allow you to take the GMAT/GRE up to or on the application deadline. Test-takers are provided with an unofficial score on the day that they take the test and this is what can be provided to schools in the application. It’s important to note that acceptance offers are conditional on the verification of this unofficial score with the official score provided by the test provider. In other words, the admissions committee will make a decision that takes into account the score that you provide and will then cross-check it with the official one when it arrives.

Columbia differs slightly in the scores that it accepts as it requires test scores to be sent at least one week before the scores expire. Relatedly, Wharton highly recommends that applicants take the GMAT/GRE no later than two weeks prior to the application deadline.

Here are the dates that your GMAT/GRE test must fall on or between for the M7 MBA programs for the 2023-2024 application cycle:

  • Stanford GSB
    • R1: Sep. 12, 2018 - Sep. 12, 2023
    • R2: Jan. 4, 2019 - Jan. 4, 2024
    • R3: Apr. 9, 2019 - Apr. 9, 2024
  • Harvard Business School
    • R1: Sep. 6, 2018 - Sep. 6, 2023
    • R2: Jan. 3, 2019 - Jan. 3, 2024
    • Deferred: Apr. 25, 2019 - Apr. 25, 2024
  • Chicago Booth
    • R1: Sep. 21, 2018 - Sep. 21, 2023
    • R2: Jan. 4, 2019 - Jan. 4, 2024
    • R3 and Deferred: Apr. 4, 2019 - Apr. 4, 2024
  • University of Pennsylvania Wharton
    • R1: Sep. 6, 2018 - Sep. 6, 2023
    • R2: Jan. 4, 2019 - Jan. 4, 2023
    • R3: Apr. 2, 2019 - Apr. 2, 2024
    • Deferred: Apr. 24, 2019 - Apr. 24, 2024
  • Northwestern Kellogg
    • R1: Sep. 13, 2018 - Sep. 13, 2023
    • R2: Jan. 10, 2019 - Jan. 10, 2024
    • R3: Apr. 3, 2019 - Apr. 3, 2024
    • Deferred: Apr. 26, 2019 - Apr. 26, 2024
  • MIT Sloan
    • R1: Sep. 27, 2018 - Sep. 27, 2023
    • R2: Jan. 17, 2019 - Jan. 17, 2024
    • R3: Apr. 8, 2019 - Apr. 8, 2024
  • Columbia Business School
    • R1 (August + January Entry): Sep. 13, 2018 - Sep. 13, 2023
    • R2 (August Entry): Jan. 5, 2019 - Jan. 5, 2024
    • R3 (August Entry): Apr. 3, 2019 - Apr. 3, 2024

Updating GMAT/GRE Scores After the Application Deadline

Let’s say that you submit an average or below-average GMAT/GRE score in order to get your application on time. But, then you take it again and score better than all the other attempts. Some schools will allow you to update your official score to this new one after your application has already been submitted, but others will not. Here’s where each M7 program stand:

  • Stanford GSB: No updates are allowed.
  • Harvard Business School: No updates are allowed; however, if the applicant is invited to interview, they can let the interviewer know and it may be taken into consideration.
  • Chicago Booth: Updates are allowed, but not in the online portal. Instead, applicants should email their new scores to the admissions committee, using the email that’s associated with the application.
  • University of Pennsylvania Wharton: No updates are allowed.
  • Northwestern Kellogg: Applicants are encouraged to add updated scores and can do so on the “Supplemental Information” page of the “Upload Materials” section in the online application status portal. Note that Kellogg cannot guarantee that any information submitted after the deadline will be reviewed.
  • MIT Sloan: Sloan says that applicants are always welcome to submit updated scores after the deadline; however, like Kellogg, it cannot guarantee that they will be reviewed.
  • Columbia Business School: No updates are allowed.

GMAT/GRE Resources

We know that studying for and taking these standardized tests is a long and arduous process. Here are a couple of other resources that you may find helpful:

For personalized help on your areas of improvement, book time with an expert GMAT/GRE coach. They’ll be able to help you identify weaknesses and learn the foundational skills required to reach your target score.

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