GMAT Exam Schedule

GMAT Exam Schedule and how it Matters to You

MBA aspirants around the globe try to secure admissions in the top most universities like Harvard, Yale, LBS, Cambridge etc.; this is not only a gateway to a great career but also opens up hundreds of opportunities. As you know, the GMAT is a prerequisite for all of these programs. Knowledge about the test and procedures is mandatory to help you prepare and apply in time for the courses that you desire to join.

When is the exam?

The creators of the exam have been conducting it throughout the year for some time now. So the testing schedule isn’t exactly fixed. You have to fix it for yourself, depending on your availability and convenience. The test is conducted throughout the year at various standardized centers, two times a day. It is conducted in almost all major cities around the world.

How to decide?

You can look at the official website ( ) for the schedule in your area of preference. The availability of seats at a particular session will depend on the bookings, so be sure to book your session well in advance. The selection of dates and timings is a highly personal issue, as it is totally up to you and your preparation. If you feel you are ready, then go for it!

The selection of your personalized date and time should be based on the time of admissions of the universities you want to apply to. You should book your dates so that you will have the results ready by the time your applications are to be submitted to the respective universities. Generally the application process starts around July-August for most universities, so better have your results ready before then.

How does it matter?

As already discussed above, your testing date should be determined by the timing of the university you are interested in. Here is a standard procedure followed by most universities, this will give you an idea about the schedule you need to have-

  • You generally get 3-4 chances in a year to apply for an MBA program. They will be around June-July, October-November, January-February and April-May. The notifications on the interview calls will be out in about a month from the time of your application.
  • GMAT scores up to five years older from the date of the application are accepted. Remember that scores are valid for 5 years.
  • Spend some quality time on your application once you have given the test. This is a very important factor in determining your success. So when you plan your test schedule, be sure to leave enough time to work on your application.

Another perspective

Many people who have had some experience with the examination and most of the leading industry experts believe that getting GMAT out of the way as soon as possible is actually the best possible strategy. This means that as soon as you finish your graduation or qualifying degree, you should take the test. You can then start working and carry this score. This will be valid and by the time you apply for the MBA program, you will have gained enough useful experience to write a strong application. This perspective is based on the following points-

  • You are fresh when you finish your graduation and it is the best time for you to prepare for the test.
  • Once you start working in a job, it is difficult for you study simultaneously. Even if you manage to find time to study, you can never really concentrate as much as you should.
  • You will be having a decent amount of mathematical and verbal skills at this point and you can just build them up by joining a proper preparation course. At this stage you will have enough time at your disposal to attend a regular course as opposed to when you are working.
  • Once you get a decent score, you can work without any pressure and concentrate totally on building up a strong application for the future.
  • A big disadvantage of taking the test after you start working is that, if you fail to get a good score in your first attempt, it will take a long time to recover and frankly speaking it is a waste of your time. Practically you have a much better chance of getting an excellent score as a fresher.
  • People have the tendency that, they find it very difficult to study once they start working. This is common problem faced by working professionals. No matter how much you try, it just doesn’t happen. So better take the test while you are still a student instead of forcing yourself to study again later.

This perspective of planning is highly popular among coaching centers and GMAT forums. It eliminates a lot of drawbacks that are present in the view given earlier. If you take this as a basis, then the application procedure remains the same. Only thing you have to take care of is to apply in time to meet the deadlines and also not to extend your working period to more than five years, in which case your application and score will be canceled automatically. So if you are a student aspiring to be in one of the top MBA programs, start your preparation right now!!