The Tuesday Q&A: Should I Retake the GMAT?

QUESTION:

I have a good GMAT score…but not a great one.  I have applied for Round 1, but I will probably apply for R2 also.  Should I retake the GMAT?  Or should I just focus on my essays at this stage?

ANSWER:

This is a great question, and one that we are asked frequently, especially at the end of the Round 1 cycle. And we all have hopes and dream of raising our scores; I know I’ve never met anyone who got an 800, have you?  There is always room to improve, right?

So, here is the way that we look at it.  Ask yourself one question: did you do abooouut as well as you’d expected on the GMAT?  If yes, then leave it alone!  There is NO reason to waste a ton of your time and energy trying to improve your score if at the end of the day there is a good chance that your score WON’T go up.  Only retake the GMAT if you truly believe that retaking it will likely RAISE your score.

If you have a 650 and you honestly think that theres a shot that you can get a 700, then retake the test.  That is a good use of your time and will improve your overall application.  If, however,  you have studied a lot and 650 is the best you’ve ever done…then leave it alone.  Focus on OTHER aspects of your application – perfect your essays, get GLOWING recommendations, make that resume SING.  Do not waste your time on retaking the GMAT.  The key is, only retake the test if you think you have a REAL shot – a GOOD shot – 0f improving your score.  Otherwise, dont waste your money or your time.

Good luck in Round 2!

MBA News You Can Use: B-School Doesn’t Teach You Everything