Retaking the GMAT: Everything You Need to Know

If you're considering retaking the GMAT, this article has everything you need to know.

Posted May 24, 2023

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If you're considering retaking the GMAT, you're not alone. Many people retake the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) in the hopes of achieving a higher score and improving their chances of getting into their desired business school or MBA program. In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about retaking the GMAT, from why you should consider retaking to how to prepare effectively.

Why Retake the GMAT?

There are many reasons why you might want to retake the GMAT. Perhaps you didn't perform as well as you had hoped on your first attempt, or maybe you've gained more experience since then and feel more prepared. Whatever the reason, the good news is that retaking the GMAT is a viable option for anyone looking to improve their score.

Retaking the GMAT can also be beneficial if you are applying to multiple business schools. Each school has its own set of admission requirements, and a higher GMAT score can increase your chances of being accepted into your top choice schools. Additionally, some schools may offer scholarships or financial aid to students with higher GMAT scores, so retaking the exam could potentially save you money in the long run.

Understanding GMAT Scoring

Before you begin preparing for your retake, it's important to understand how the GMAT is scored. The GMAT is computer adaptive, which means that the difficulty of the questions you receive depends on how well you've answered previous questions. Your final score is based on your performance on the Quantitative and Verbal sections of the exam, with each section receiving a score between 0 and 60. Your overall score, known as the Total GMAT score, ranges from 200 to 800.

It's important to note that the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) and Integrated Reasoning (IR) sections of the GMAT are scored separately from the Quantitative and Verbal sections. The AWA section is scored on a scale of 0 to 6, in half-point increments, and the IR section is scored on a scale of 1 to 8, in one-point increments. While these scores do not contribute to your Total GMAT score, they are still important to consider as some business schools may have minimum score requirements for these sections.

Analyzing Your Previous GMAT Performance

Before you can begin preparing for your retake, you'll need to analyze your previous GMAT performance and identify areas where you need to improve. It's important to understand why you didn't achieve your desired score the first time around and what you can do differently to improve.

One way to analyze your previous GMAT performance is to review your score report. This report will provide you with a breakdown of your performance in each section of the exam, including your strengths and weaknesses. Use this information to identify the areas where you need to focus your study efforts.

Another important factor to consider when analyzing your previous GMAT performance is your test-taking strategy. Did you manage your time effectively during the exam? Did you answer all of the questions in each section? Did you guess on questions or leave them blank? Evaluating your test-taking strategy can help you identify areas where you can improve your approach to the exam.

Creating a Study Plan for Retaking the GMAT

Once you've analyzed your previous GMAT performance, it's time to create a study plan for your retake. This should include a timeline for when you plan to take the GMAT again, as well as specific goals and targets for improving your score. You should also consider what study materials and resources you'll need to succeed, such as textbooks, practice exams, and tutoring or coaching services.

Another important aspect to consider when creating a study plan for retaking the GMAT is to identify your weaknesses and focus on improving them. This can be done by reviewing your previous GMAT score report and identifying the areas where you scored the lowest. You can then allocate more time and resources to studying those areas, such as by taking additional practice exams or seeking out specialized study materials.

It's also important to stay motivated and disciplined throughout the study process. This can be achieved by setting small, achievable goals for each study session and tracking your progress over time. Additionally, finding a study partner or joining a study group can provide accountability and support as you work towards your GMAT retake goals.

Tips for Effective GMAT Test-Taking Strategies

When it comes to taking the GMAT, there are many strategies you can use to improve your performance. For example, you might consider skipping difficult questions and coming back to them later, or focusing more on your strongest subject area to maximize your score. Other effective strategies include using process of elimination, guessing strategically, and managing your time wisely.

How to Manage Time During the GMAT Exam

Managing your time effectively is critical when taking the GMAT. You'll have a limited amount of time to complete each section, so it's important to have a plan for how you'll spend your time. This might involve breaking down your study sessions into smaller chunks, prioritizing the questions or sections that are most important to you, and taking frequent breaks to avoid burnout.

Techniques for Improving Your Verbal Score on the GMAT

The Verbal section of the GMAT can be challenging for many test-takers, but there are many techniques you can use to improve your score. For example, you might consider working on your reading comprehension skills, studying grammar concepts, or practicing with sample questions and answers. Other effective strategies include listening to podcasts or audiobooks in English, and practicing your speaking and writing skills.

Strategies for Boosting Your Quantitative Score on the GMAT

The Quantitative section of the GMAT can also be challenging, but there are many strategies you can use to improve your score. For example, you might consider studying the basic concepts of algebra, geometry, and probability, or practicing with GMAT-specific question types. Other effective strategies include working with a tutor or coach to identify areas where you need improvement and practicing with timed mock exams.

How to Utilize Practice Tests and Mock Exams for Optimum Results

One of the best ways to prepare for your GMAT retake is to take full-length practice tests and mock exams. These will help you identify areas where you need to improve and give you a sense of what to expect on test day. When taking practice tests, be sure to simulate the actual testing conditions as closely as possible, including taking breaks when required.

Overcoming Test Anxiety and Stress During the GMAT Exam

It's normal to experience some test anxiety and stress when taking the GMAT, but it's important to manage these feelings as effectively as possible. Some strategies for overcoming test anxiety and stress include deep breathing exercises, visualization techniques, and physical exercise. It's also important to give yourself plenty of time to prepare and get plenty of rest leading up to the exam.

The Pros and Cons of Retaking the GMAT Multiple Times

While it's certainly possible to retake the GMAT multiple times, there are pros and cons to doing so. On the one hand, retaking the exam can give you more opportunities to improve your score and achieve your goals. On the other hand, retaking the exam too many times can be time-consuming and expensive, and may neglect other important aspects of your application, such as your work experience or extracurricular activities.

Understanding GMAT Score Reports: What They Mean and How to Interpret Them

After you take the GMAT, you'll receive a score report that shows your Quantitative, Verbal, and Total scores, as well as your percentile rankings. It's important to understand how to interpret these scores and what they mean for your business school or MBA application. For example, some schools may place more emphasis on one section of the exam than another, or may prioritize applicants with higher Total scores.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Test Date

Choosing the right test date is critical when retaking the GMAT. You'll need to balance your own schedule and availability with the availability of testing centers and the application deadlines for your desired programs. It's also important to give yourself plenty of time to prepare, both mentally and physically, leading up to the exam.

Preparing for the AWA Section of the GMAT

Finally, it's important to prepare for the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section of the GMAT, which measures your ability to analyze an argument and communicate your ideas effectively. To prepare for this section, you might consider practicing with sample essay prompts, studying grammar and composition concepts, or working with a tutor or coach to improve your writing skills.

Resources and Tools to Help You Succeed in Retaking the GMAT

There are many resources and tools available to help you succeed in your GMAT retake, from textbooks and study guides to online forums and tutoring services. Some popular resources include the Official Guide for GMAT Review, Kaplan GMAT Prep, and Manhattan Prep GMAT.

In conclusion, retaking the GMAT can be a worthwhile endeavor for anyone looking to improve their score and increase their chances of acceptance into a top business school or MBA program. With the right preparation, time management, and test-taking strategies, you can achieve your goals and succeed on test day.

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