GMAT Tip of the Week

GMAT prep
Only 50 Shopping Days Left ‘Til Applications Are Due

(This is one of a series of GMAT tips that we offer on our blog.)

If you’re reading this on its publication date, Friday, November 27, odds are you’re doing so on your cell phone while waiting in line at a shopping mall on this busiest shopping day of the year. And if that’s the case, you’re certainly no stranger to the stress of a hectic season in which everyone is after the same thing. The good news? You may get to do it all over again soon.

Just as we’re in the busiest shopping season of the year, we’re also in the busiest season for GMAT test takers, as the second-round deadlines for MBA applications at top schools nearly all fall within the month of January (you can view all of the deadlines here). The missing component for most who chose not to apply in October was a competitive GMAT score, so the majority of those applying in Round Two are hopeful to sit for a successful GMAT in November, December, or early January.

As a result of this increased urgency to take the GMAT, test appointments at your local test center are in as high demand as this year’s version of the Cabbage Patch Kid or Tickle Me Elmo. To avoid the GMAT equivalent of a classic sitcom cliche – “it’s Christmas Eve and I need to drive to a mall five hours away in a blizzard to finish my shopping” – you should register now for your test appointment, or run the risk of needing to select a test center a multi-hour drive (or flight – we’ve seen this happen!) away at an inconvenient time.

Note the GMAT “return policy”, as well:

You can reschedule your appointment for a fee of $50, but only if you reschedule more than seven days before your scheduled appointment. If you reschedule inside of seven days, you will forfeit the entire $250 test fee.
Knowing this, if you plan to take the GMAT in order to apply for Round Two deadlines, you should schedule your test soon (you can do so at

If you’re simply not ready a week before your test, you can reschedule it for a future date with a limited penalty – a penalty that, for most, pales in comparison to the risk of not being able to take the exam and needing to wait until Round Three, or even next year.

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