How Long are GMAT Scores Valid?

How Long are GMAT Scores Valid?

2021-12-15 0 By Robert H. Hernandez

A good score on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) will improve your odds of being accepted at a business school for a graduate business program. To be eligible for the exam, you must have attained 18 years of age, and if you fall between ages 13 and 17, you will be required to submit written permission from your parents or legal guardian.

The GMAT is a business school entrance exam that takes 3.5 hours to complete and consists of four components. An analytic writing assessment measures your critical thinking and communication skills; the integrated reasoning section tests whether you possess the ability to analyze and interpret data, while the quantitative reasoning section tests your numerical literacy.

The verbal reasoning section is also a component of the GMAT exam, and it evaluates your reading comprehension and editing skills. Many students may not be aware that GMAT scores become invalid after some time. It is, therefore, important to understand when you should take the test, what you are required to do, and what is considered a good GMAT score.

Taking the GMAT Exam

A high score on the GMAT will positively impact your business school application. The exam is designed in a unique computer-adaptive format that ensures that you don’t leave any question unanswered no matter how hard you think it is.

Expect to sit for your exam for over 3.5 hours. This time is all-inclusive of the test-taking time and optional breaks. If you choose to take your test from a testing center, make sure you arrive at the center 30 minutes before time to give yourself time to relax and face the test without tension.

Most testing centers will offer the test all year round. It is highly recommended that you register for a preferred GMAT test date earlier enough to give GMAT ample time to process your scores and send them to the MBA programs you will be applying for.

You are not limited to the section to start with. The quantitative and verbal reasoning sections begin with questions of average difficulty. GMAT questions vary in difficulty depending on your accuracy. When you get a question right, a harder one is likely to appear next. If you answer incorrectly, a relatively easy question will show up.

At the end of your test, the computer will tabulate the score based on your ability to respond to tough questions. GMAT scores can gauge if you have the necessary skills to excel in the rigorous business courses, and it works hand in hand with prior academic coursework to give insight into your potential for academic success.

Invalid GMAT Scores

Your GMAT score will be valid for five years. You must take the test at least six months before the application deadline. If you took your test in November 2019, your score would serve you until November 2024.

There are two types of GMAT scores: raw scores and scaled scores. Raw scores are calculated according to the number of questions you would have answered correctly, while scaled scores represent a score range for every GMAT section. Raw scores are converted to scaled scores by calculating the value of the number of questions attempted, questions answered correctly, and the difficulty level of the questions you would have answered.

You will be required to have a higher GMAT score if you intend to join a high-ranking business college. High-ranking business colleges require a GMAT score above 700 for you to secure a business admission. A 700 GMAT score is the 88th percentile, and for you to attain it, you must have an excellent performance in their verbal and quantitative GMAT section.

GMAT score of between 640-690 can secure you a place in more prestigious institutions. GMAT scores typically range in total from 200 to 800. On average, 2/3 of candidates who take the test score between 400 and 600. Immediately after completing your test, you can see your unofficial GMAT score, and you can choose to either accept or cancel the scores.

Canceled scores appear as ‘C’ on your score reports, but such scores cannot be included in the official GMAT score reports sent to the business schools of choice. If you accept the result, you will be able to print out the scores, and if you change your mind after canceling, you can reinstate your scores.

You can use your GMAT scores to apply for admission to business school, university, jobs, or even internships. As long as the score validity lasts, you can continue to list your scores in applications you feel they’ll add value. This can be done up to 10 years after, then the scores become insignificant in applications.

The Ideal Result

The GMAT exam can be challenging. The good news is that the test is skill-based, which means you can learn these skills. You’ll want to spare 1-3 months to study for the test and ensure you choose a test-prep method that matches your learning style. A good method would be taking an online GMAT prep course as it’s convenient and will help you realize what you might need to change if you need to take the exam down the road or aim for a higher score sooner rather than later.