How Recent GMAT Exam Changes Will Affect You

by on August 5th, 2015

GMAT exam changesThe Graduate Management Admission Council recently announced three changes to the GMAT that will give test takers a little more peace of mind. The changes were made effective July 19.

Here’s how you should (and should not) take advantage of them.

Cancelled scores will no longer appear on GMAT score reports

Test takers were previously wary (and rightfully so) of cancelling a GMAT score, fearing that business schools would consider it a strike against their applicant profile upon seeing the dreaded “C” on their score reports. The biggest change the GMAC announced last month now allows test takers to cancel a score without having it reported to business schools.

While this change will not allow test takers to edit score reports that have already been sent to schools, the GMAC strongly considered the feedback from survey respondents who replied en masse about how strongly they felt about removing cancellations from their reports. This should diffuse any uncertainty around a cancelled GMAT score, but even with this change, test takers should be cautious not to take this as a license to attempt the exam as many times as they’d like. Although this change does give you the ability to wipe a low score from the record, it’s still important to give yourself enough time to prepare thoroughly, rather than attempting the GMAT countless times until you’re comfortable with your score. There’s also a clear logistical issue with approaching the exam with this mindset as well: test takers will still be restricted to five attempts within any 12-month period, so don’t make any plans to take the GMAT a dozen times this year.

GMAT exam retakes will now be allowed after 16 days

To give test takers more flexibility over when retakes can be scheduled, the GMAC will now allow you to schedule another attempt after a 16-day period. This will accommodate students that are racing the clock against school deadlines and allow test takers to schedule their exams around their schedules, study habits and peak performance times.

However, just as we discussed earlier, be careful not to reschedule before you’re ready just because you have the ability to do so. This newfound flexibility over when you take the GMAT is a nice change, but will ultimately not be beneficial to you if you rush into your retakes.

Your date of birth is now your authentication code

In a more administrative capacity, the GMAC has made the decision to make authentication codes and dates of birth synonymous with one another on the GMAT. Test takers will no longer be issued a separate authentication code on test day, which should come as a relief to anyone who has felt as if the GMAT gave them enough to remember on its own.

The benefits here are simple—if you can remember your birthday, you’ll be able to view your GMAT score reports whenever you’d like.

This post appeared first on the Economist GMAT Tutor blog.

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