Canceling and Rescheduling Your GMAT Exam: What to Know Before You Cancel

After signing up for the GMAT, you should dedicate two or three months to make sure you have enough time to study and review the content covered on and skills required by the exam, as well as prepare for the rigors of the actual test itself. But as test day approaches, many students wonder: what happens if a situation arises that is going to prevent them from taking the test at the date and time for which they registered? Fortunately, it’s possible to cancel your GMAT test appointment and reschedule the exam to a new date. Check out the important details that go along with GMAT cancellations and rescheduling before you decide what to do.

Common Reasons Why People Need to Cancel or Reschedule Their GMAT Appointments
Some people have to cancel or reschedule their appointment to take the GMAT due to family obligations that come up – perhaps they have to attend a funeral or a family member unexpectedly goes into the hospital. Others cancel or reschedule their test date because they don’t feel they are as well-prepared to take the GMAT as they’d like to be. These are just a few of the numerous reasons why people choose the GMAT cancellation or GMAT reschedule option. No matter the reason, there are steps to take when canceling or rescheduling your appointment that may help you minimize the cancellation or reschedule fee you have to pay.

Steps to Take for GMAT Cancellation
The first step to take in the GMAT cancellation process is to go to the official GMAT website. When you signed up to take the GMAT, you opened an account that provides you with a lot of helpful information. You are able to cancel as well as reschedule GMAT appointments through your account, and canceling or rescheduling your GMAT this way will save you time (and money, in the event of a GMAT reschedule).

The cost of taking the GMAT is $250 – if you cancel seven days or more before your previously-scheduled test date and time, you’ll receive a refund of $80 and eat the cost of the remaining $170. However, if you cancel within seven days of your test day, you will not receive any money back. Furthermore, if you’re a no-show on test day, you will not receive any type of refund, and the test date will be displayed as no-show in the dashboard of your MBA.com account (fortunately, any schools in which you’re interested do not have access to this information because it will not appear on any future GMAT score reports you choose to send to them). So if you’ve decided on a GMAT cancellation as the best course of action for you, cancel as early as you possibly can in order to get at least a portion of your money back.

How to Reschedule Your Test
The process of rescheduling the GMAT is a lot like signing up for your original exam appointment. You have to choose the date, time, and location that are best for you and your schedule. Since you already have an account on the official GMAT website, it should take a little less time to reschedule than it did to make the original exam appointment.

Details on the GMAT Reschedule Fee
Once again, timing plays an important role when you want to reschedule GMAT appointments. If you reschedule more than seven days before the original date for the test, then there is a GMAT reschedule fee of $60 (with an additional charge of $10 if you choose to call GMAC for your GMAT reschedule. Use your MBA.com student account!). However, if you need to reschedule within seven days of the original test date and time, there is a $250 fee, meaning that you’re essentially forfeiting your initial fee and paying to schedule a new GMAT appointment. Note that you can’t reschedule within 24 hours of the test (and if you don’t show up, you’ll have the same outcome as in the GMAT cancellation section above).

Ensuring That You’re Ready to Take the Test
If you’re thinking about a GMAT cancelation or reschedule because you don’t feel fully prepared, there are things you can do to remedy the situation. At Veritas Prep, we have a GMAT curriculum that reveals what the creators of the test are really looking for. Of course, you must have knowledge of geometry, algebra, reading comprehension, among many other areas of content, but you must also approach the test as if you were a business executive. In short, you have to use your higher-order thinking skills and reasoning ability to tackle each section of the GMAT efficiently and effectively.

In our prep courses, we teach you to think like the test-maker so you will use the right kinds of skills on this challenging exam. Our thorough program of study covers each section and topic on the GMAT, enabling you to walk into the testing location with a sense of confidence on test day.

What About Cancelling My Scores After the Test Ends?
The final GMAT cancellation option you have occurs after you have completed the exam and have seen your estimated scores for quantitative, verbal, Integrated Reasoning, and overall. After the scores appear on the computer screen, you have 2 minutes to decide whether to cancel or accept them. If you haven’t made your decision when the time expires, your scores are cancelled automatically. If you decide to keep your scores but later change your mind, you can cancel them up to 72 hours after the completion of your exam, but you will pay a $25 fee to do so. If you decide to cancel your scores but later decide they are worth keeping, you have 4 years and 11 months to do so (conveniently matching the 5-year validity window of your scores), but there is a $50 fee to reinstate your scores after initially cancelling them.

Cancelling your GMAT scores is an option, but the real question is should you? In most cases, no. If it’s your first time taking the exam and you did not achieve your expected performance, think about keeping it as a useful piece of evidence of your perseverance and dedication. Posting a dramatic score increase on your next sitting certainly casts you in a positive light. Schools understand that many students decide to take the exam more than once, so submitting multiple scores will not count against you.

If it’s not your first time taking the GMAT, you should still probably keep your score. Did you improve your score, but not to the extent that you were shooting for? Improvement is still improvement, and even an increase of 20 or 30 points can increase your chances of admission. Did your overall score stay the same? It still might be a better exam performance even if the topline number doesn’t show it. For example, if you know that quantitative skills are a weakness on your application, and your second GMAT sees a solid improvement in your quant score even if the overall score remains constant, it’s still a step in the right direction and will enhance your application.

When is GMAT score cancellation a good idea? If your performance was affected by factors outside of your control (such as illness, extreme work hours recently, or stress from your personal life), and you are certain your next score will be a big improvement even without a ton of additional preparation, go ahead and cancel. Similarly, if you undershot your expected score by a huge margin, cancellation might make sense for you. If your last few practice tests have been consistently in the 700s, for example, and your GMAT score pops up in the mid-500s, cancellation is certainly a valid option for you.

In general, you should not cancel your GMAT score outside of a couple of specific scenarios. If you are working with a Veritas Prep instructor or tutor, feel free to ask them for expert advice about the exam and insight into your individual situation.

Practice With Seasoned GMAT Experts
As with most tests, it’s a smart idea to study the covered subjects and complete practice questions so you know what you’ll encounter on test day. Taking a practice GMAT can be daunting to someone who plans to prepare alone for this exam, but our instructors have achieved scores on the GMAT that place them in the 99th percentile. This means we can look at the results of your practice test and provide you with solid guidance on how you can improve in your weakest subjects. Our instructors know firsthand about the subtleties of the GMAT. Working with Veritas Prep means you get an inside scoop on what you need to do to achieve your best score.

We have a few instructional options for you to choose from when it comes to studying for the GMAT. You can learn the content, skills, and strategies you need to know either online or in person. Contact us today and let us play a part in your GMAT success!

Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTubeGoogle+ and Twitter!

Updated GMAT Score Cancellation and Reinstatement Policies: What This Means For You

GMAT Cancel ScoresGMAC has updated its score cancelation and reinstatement policies for GMAT test-takers. A full description of these changes is included in GMAC’s recently published blog article, but here are some highlights and guidance on what this means for future GMAT test-takers:

What is Changing?
If you took the GMAT and felt like you needed more time to decide whether or not to cancel your score, then you’ll be happy with GMAC’s new policy. Test-takers now have 5 years to reinstate their scores and 3 days to cancel them. Before this, test-takers had to be much more rushed in making their decisions, with only 60 days to reinstate their scores, and a mere 2 minutes to cancel them.

The cost of these actions is also much more forgiving: it is now only $50 to reinstate your score (compared to the previous $100 fee), however you will have to pay a fee of $25 to cancel your score if you choose to do so after leaving the test center.

What is NOT Changing?
GMAC has kept several of its cancelation and reinstatement policies intact. For example, it is still true that if you choose to cancel your score, no one but you will know about it. There is also still no fee to cancel your score at the test center, and the period you must wait to retake the GMAT is still 16 days.

Why Does This Matter?
Why do we even care about this change in the GMAC’s policies? Well for one, it allows for much more flexibility in the test-taking process, as test-takers who choose to cancel their scores now have much more time to prepare for their next test administration. (No more scrambling to prepare for a retest in 16 days!) However, it is still important to remember that the GMAT retest policy still applies, in that you cannot take the GMAT more than 5 times in 12 months, so it is important to build a “buffer” into your prep schedule. If you test too close to an MBA application deadline, you won’t have time to retest.

These changes in policy also just go to show us that nothing in life is free (except canceling at the test center). If you want the convenience and luxury of having extra time to make your decisions, you’d better be ready to pay up for it. To minimize this cost, test-takers should have a target GMAT score in mind as well as a plan going into the test, and then actually stick to that plan upon receiving a final score. Think of this like buying an airline ticket – many airlines will let you hold a ticket for free, but it can cost an additional fee to hold it for up to a week. The same idea applies here. Additional time isn’t going to change your score and it shouldn’t impact what score you’re willing to accept, so have a game plan going into test day and stick to it to avoid unnecessary fees.

It is also worth noting that most business schools will still accept a candidate’s highest GMAT score (after all, it is in the school’s best interests to report having students with high average GMAT scores), so if you take the GMAT and score moderately higher than you did the last time you took the test, it may not be necessary to actually cancel your lower score. Talk to the schools to which you’re applying to understand the programs’ policies, but don’t overthink it. Unless there’s a significant gap between your old and new score (+100 points), or you achieved an extremely low score one of the times you took the test (below 500 points), save your money and keep all of your scores.

Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to follow us on FacebookYouTubeGoogle+, and Twitter!

By Joanna Graham

Should I Cancel My GMAT Score?

We get this question a lot at Veritas Prep HQ, and it usually comes from an applicant who is just days (or hours) away from taking the GMAT. While you will ideally feel 100% confident walking into the test center after doing enough GMAT preparation, the reality is that you will likely face at least some pangs of doubt unless you’re a master test taker.

So, at some point the question will probably run through your head: “If I finish the GMAT and feel that I did terribly, should I just cancel my score on the spot?” Of course, on test day you will be faced with this question before you see your score (I write “of course,” but many applicants actually don’t realize this!), so your decision about whether or not to cancel will be a blind bet on how well you think you did.

Our advice to applicants is this: Unless you’re certain that you bombed the test and scored well below your intended score, you should NOT cancel your score. Why not? Well, for one, you won’t know how you did if you cancel your score. Many applicants have finished the test and felt certain that they did poorly, only to find out (after deciding to report their scores) that they did even better than their target score! This is entirely possible because of the computer-adaptive nature of the test, and its ability to home in on your true level of ability — getting lots of questions that you couldn’t easily solve may simply mean that test test had taken you to the edge of your ability, and so you were struggling with the questions more than you ever did on practice tests. Even if you got more wrong than usual, you may end up with a good score.

In terms of knowing your score, the score report won’t give you a detailed diagnosis of how you did, but you will be able to see your quantitative and verbal score breakdown, so you will at least know (or confirm, if you already knew) where you need to focus your time and energy when you hit the books again.

Also, if you cancel your score, know that business schools will see this on your official report. This isn’t a horrible “black mark” on your report, but it’s there, and doesn’t necessarily look any better than a low score. So, keeping a possibly low score away from MBA admissions officers won’t keep them completely in the dark — they’ll still know that you took the test and probably didn’t do very well.

If you’re worried about how a low score will look on your record, know that admissions officers are forgiving of low scores, and will generally only look at your highest score. If you don’t believe that, consider this: When submitting data to the major publications for their annual business school rankings, it’s in each school’s best interest to only submit its students’ highest scores (to keep the school’s mean/median GMAT score as high as possible). Even with a low score or two on your report, admissions officers will look at your best one.

So, as much as it may pain you to click “submit” and risk sending a terrible score to your target business schools, the pros heavily outweigh the cons. You’re not gaining much by withholding your score, and you’re missing out on a shot that your score was better than you thought!

For more GMAT prep help, take a look at the resources on veritasprep.com, or call us at 800-925-7737 and talk to a GMAT expert today. And, as always, be sure to follow us on Twitter to get up-to-the minute news and advice about the GMAT!