Applying to MBA Programs – Step 3: Take the GMAT

The GMAT is good for 5 years from the time you take the test.  That’s why it is a good idea to get this test out of the way as soon as possible.  After you complete the test, you will immediately get your verbal, quantitative and total score.  You won’t get your AWA score until a few weeks later in the mail.

Another good reason to take the GMAT as soon as possible is you might not be satisfied with your score. You are allowed to take the GMAT again after 30 days. If you aren’t satisfied with your score, you should study for another 30 days and take the GMAT again.  This is exactly what I did. I took the GMAT the first time and scored a 690 with a 4.5 AWA.  I wasn’t satisfied with this score and took it again 30 days later and score a 710 with a 5.0 on the AWA.

Tips for test Day:

  1. I suggest that you go visit the testing center prior to taking the GMAT.  You don’t want to get lost on your way to the testing center. If you know where you are going, this is just one less thing to be stressed about on test day.
  2. Bring food! This a long test and you will need some food to keep your body and mind going!  Personally, I brought 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a banana.
  3. Go early!  Even if you visited the testing center prior to taking the test, you should still go early.  You will need to fill out a few forms and have your thumb print and palm print taken prior to the test.
  4. Try to follow your normal routine the day of the exam.  Don’t change things or eat something different that might upset your stomach.  You want the exam day to be normal and relaxed so you don’t get stressed.
  5. Don’t drink a lot of water during your breaks and go to the bathroom on your break!  You don’t want to have to go to the bathroom while you are taking the exam. If you do, I doubt that you will be able to complete the section you are working on.

This post is part of a series of posts discussing the steps one should take to apply to MBA programs. You can find the first two steps below:

Step 1: Why MBA?
Step 2: Prepare for GMAT

Edwin C

Edwin is a marketer, social media influencer and head writer here at Money In The 20's. He manages a large network of high quality finance blogs and social media accounts. You can connect with him via email here.

6 thoughts on “Applying to MBA Programs – Step 3: Take the GMAT

  • June 22, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Great tips. Thankfully I don’t need to take this test.I graduated with my masters a few weeks ago and very happy to close the books for a while. It’s great that they let you take the test more than once. That must take some pressure off.

  • June 22, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Good tips and advice for things that some test-takers might not consider ahead of time. These test centers might be a new experience for some, and it’s a bit of a strange atmosphere in there with unfamiliar rules, too.

  • June 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Good tips Dave and congrats on breaking 700 on the gmat. I’m planning on getting my MBA further down the road as well and have enjoyed your mba and gmat prep posts.

  • June 26, 2011 at 10:52 am

    The nice thing about the 5 year window on the GMAT is that if you need a couple more years of work experience to be a more attractive candidate, you can get the GMAT done years ahead.

  • June 26, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    @Hunter – Congrats on graduating! Yeah, it is nice to be able to take the GMAT multiple times, but taking it more than 3 times can be frowned upon by admission committees.

    @Jeff – You are right! It was a very different experience for me and that made me extra nervous on my first attempt.

    @CK – If you aren’t too far removed from school, I would recommend getting the GMAT done now. Even if you don’t get your MBA for 4 more years, at least you won’t have to worry about the GMAT when you apply.

    @Super Frugalette- I completely agree! You can get the GMAT done and then get 3 or 4 years of work experience before actually applying to MBA programs.

    @Robert – Yeah, if you aren’t motivated enough to put in an hour or two each night studying for this test for a few months, then it is best to take a class. It is a beast of a test.


Leave a Reply to Jeffrey Trull Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *