MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Well, I Had My Chance on the GMAT

You finally took the GMAT, and though your score was not bad, it was not what you had hoped—not your ideal score, but certainly not so low that you unquestionably need to try again. So, when you have a score that is just below where you think you should be, should you retake the test? The truth is that you risk very little in taking the GMAT a second—or even a third—time in pursuit of a better outcome.

Simply put, you do not need to worry if you do worse on your second try. Your target school will not average your score down or consider only your lower score. In fact, no matter how you perform the second or third) time you take the exam, your target program will consider only your highest score. This essentially eliminates any risk to you or your candidacy in taking the GMAT more than once. So, if you score a 700 on your first test and a 670 on your second, you are better off than if you had scored a 690 on both.

Dartmouth Tuck, for one, tacitly encourages multiple attempts at the GMAT by allowing applicants to report all valid scores from the previous five years. Tuck will consider an applicant’s best performance on each section of the GMAT (Verbal and Quant), even if the individual scores are from different tests, but will not combine scores to consider a new total score.

So, relax and take the test again if you have time and—more importantly—feel that you can do better. However, if you do not believe you would improve your score, retaking the test, especially more than twice, is pointless.

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