GMAT Registration: When Should you Schedule your GMAT?
1. You can register for a GMAT exam 365 days per year (366 on leap year)
2. You can register for more than one GMAT at a time in case you want plan ahead for a GMAT retake
3. You can take the GMAT once every 16 days
4. You can only take the GMAT 5 times in one year
5. You can only take the GMAT 8 times maximum
Provided there is an open time you can register to take a GMAT tomorrow. There’s no wait time unless there’s no availability. One exception: if you’ve just registered for an account there may be a 48hr delay until you can register for a GMAT. During the height of admissions season GMAT availability is scarce so make sure to plan ahead. Again, you can register for more than one GMAT at a time so it may be wise to get two of them on the calendar.
Take a GMAT practice test and make a plan before registering for a GMAT
That said, while it may feel good to get the GMAT date all set it may be better to start by taking a GMAT practice test so that you can take stock of where you are and make an informed decision about how much time it will take to reach your ideal GMAT score. There are two free GMAT practice tests available. You’ll have to register and create an account but it’s worth it since you’ll use this same account to access GMAT study materials and to schedule your GMAT.
It can be painful to sit down for a full practice test. It can also be painful to see your first GMAT score. Don’t worry about it. You have to start somewhere. Maybe its worth knocking out a GRE practice test as well to compare the starting scores. Here’s a GMAT vs GRE discussion. Most people would do better starting with the GMAT but you could be an exception.
Be realistic and give yourself enough time to study
What did you get on your GMAT diagnostic? What is your score goal? If there’s a big gap be thinking 3 months minimum of consistent GMAT studying. Yes, I have seen amazing increases in 6 weeks but in general learning takes time. Be honest about how much time you have to study and how quickly you learn. Don’t worry if you are a slower learner. How quickly you learn has no bearing on what your final GMAT score can be. That is often much more determined by your work ethic and how organized you are with the preparation.
Let’s get that GMAT Scheduled!
Provided that you have taken a practice test and considered how much GMAT studying you may need I am in favor of registering for your GMAT as soon as possible. Why? Registering for a test can help focus your studying. Also, if you schedule in advance you’ll have a better chance of getting the date and time that you want. In busy urban centers (such as NYC) the GMAT appointments fill up quickly. It only costs $60 to reschedule your GMAT so why not secure a date? Don’t panic if your dream test date is not available. Register for the next best option but keep checking back (a few times a day) to see whether your top pick opens up. Other people are re-scheduling and canceling all the time so if you are diligent it’s not unlikely that you’ll be able to register for your ideal time.
Don’t be afraid to give yourself more time
A few extra weeks of GMAT practice tests and solidifying can make a huge difference in your GMAT score. Don’t rush in the end of your GMAT preparation just because you have a GMAT date set. With at least 7 days of notice you can reschedule the GMAT date for a fee of $60. You can change the GMAT date and the test center. Use this option.
If you are just getting started in your GMAT preparation these GMAT Study Schedules might help you get organized. And while you’re at it consider reading Essential GMAT Study Skills. Both articles are helpful for GMAT people just starting out and in need of a little direction. Also, the GMAC GMAT Registration Handbook has good information about GMAT registration, cancellation and re-scheduling amongst a bunch of other helpful tidbits.
GMAT Registration Fees
GMAT Fees: $250
GMAT Rescheduling (with at least 7 days notice): $60
GMAT Rescheduling (inside of 7 days): You will lose your entire $250 GMAT registration fee
GMAT Cancellation: You lose the entire $250 GMAT registration fee
So basically, any changes with less than 7 days notice cost your GMAT registration fee. It’s a rough policy by GMAC.
GMAT Registration Contact
Registration by Internet:
Registration by Phone:
North and South America: Toll-free (U.S. and Canada only) 1-800-717-GMAT | Phone: 1-952-681-3680 | Fax: 1-952-681-3681
China: Phone: 86-10-82345675 | Fax: 86-10-61957800
India: Phone: +91 (0) 120 439 7830 | Fax: +603 8319 1092
Pacific Asia: Phone: +603 8318-9961
Europe/Middle East/Africa: Phone: +44 (0) 161 855 7219 | Fax: +44 (0) 161 855 7301
Registration by Mail:
Complete the GMAT Registration Scheduling Form and mail it to:
Attention: GMAT Program
PO Box 581907
Minneapolis, MN 55458-1907
Unfortunately there’s no longer a link for GMAT registration by mail so you’ll need to contact your local GMAC customer service to get the form.