Maybe some of you have been there: You didn’t quite break the score you were hoping to break; your quant or verbal is lower than you expected, or maybe your composite score falls below your target school’s range. Should you retake the GMAT?
For some, it may not be a tough decision. If your score is dramatically lower than you expected, and you’re very confident that you can do better, do not hesitate to take the test again. Schools commend applicants who boost their scores, and admissions officers do not penalize candidates who have taken the test more than once. They do, however, always prefer to see improvement. Think of your GMAT score as a data point. If there are two data points, and your second test score is higher than your first, admissions will conclude that you’re capable of that higher score. If they see two data points in descending order, then they may conclude that the first test score is a good indication of your best effort.
Sometimes, of course, a decision isn’t so black and white. If your score isn’t a homerun but it’s not a total disappointment either, you may be on the fence about retaking the GMAT. Here are a few important things to consider when making the decision.
Are your quant and verbal scores unbalanced? If so, take a holistic look at your application. If quant is low, do you have the undergraduate courses and/or a rigorous quant professional background to compensate? If verbal is low, can you say the same? If you can’t back up a low quant or verbal score with A+ experience or undergraduate work, you may want to consider retaking the exam to prove your fluency.
Ask yourself how confident you are that you can increase your score. If your composite score falls just outside a school’s GMAT range (10-30 points is a rough rule of thumb), this is a critical question. Only you can really gauge the answer. You should also take into consideration what else is going on in your life. If work or personal matters demand nearly all of your attention, and you won’t be able to put in as much study time as you’d like, retaking the test may jeopardize you if your score goes down. Take all variables into account when you determine whether or not you think you can increase your score.
If you’d like professional guidance, consider setting up time to chat with a Veritas Prep consultant. We’re not exaggerating when we say that we’ve seen it all here at Veritas Prep! Our consultants have worked one-on-one with many students and have a wealth of knowledge to share and experience to pull from. If you’re really struggling with a decision, give us a call at 1-800-925-7737. We’d love to help.
Today’s post comes from Veritas Prep MBA admissions consultant Lauren Thaler. Lauren received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Brown University and started working for The Advisory Board Company in Washington D.C. shortly after graduation. She worked in Business Development, Account Management and Marketing, and Business Intelligence Delivery. After a few years she decided to go to Wharton to pursue her MBA, and has since worked with dozens of business school applicants and founded her own business, Punchwell Press.