If you are serious about getting to business school, the GMAT exam is a must. As well as proving your English language skills, it’s also seen by top schools as a way of predicting how well you would do on a course like an MBA.
It does this by measuring your critical thinking and reasoning skills as well as your commitment and motivation to succeed. This is why more than 200,000 people take the test every year in more than 100 countries around the world.
More than 7,700 programs at over 2,400 schools use the GMAT as part of their application process. So the only question should be ‘how does GMAT registration work?’ rather than ‘should I apply?’
Here’s everything you need to know about the GMAT registration process:
How to register for the GMAT
The first issue is when you should register for a GMAT exam. They recommend doing so two to three months before your preferred test date, though it’s possible to do so up to six months in advance.
This is because you need to make sure you’re well-prepared to take the test, which is so much more than simply an English language exam. That preparation starts with the registration process - even before you register.
GMAT recommends gathering this information to help you decide:
- The application dates for the courses you want to try and attend.
- Any specific regulations for your location.
- Any special requirements you need if you have a disability.
- How long you expect to need to prepare.
- Where your nearest test centres and what their availability is.
Once you’ve got this information, you can build a timeline that will be useful when registering. Don’t forget to add in time if you’re registering by mail or planning to pay by cheque or money order rather than doing it online. The same applies if you are requesting accommodations be made at the test centre.
Now you should have some dates in mind for when the ideal time to take your test would be. You should leave some time between your test and the final application date in case you want or need to take a retest to improve your score. There needs to be a 16 day window between tests, so you’ll need to factor that in too.
To schedule your exam, you can either call GMAT Customer Service on the phone (for an additional fee) or create an account at the MBA website. Registering gives you access to the official GMAT prep resources as well as managing your appointments.
The exam fees are $250 and this can be paid via credit and debit cards or through cashier’s cheques, money orders and personal cheques.
The last, crucial, step of registering is to double-check every detail on your confirmation email. It all needs to exactly match what’s on the form of identification you’ll be taking, otherwise your ID will be rejected. Also make sure your test date and venue are correct so there’s no mix-ups at the worst possible moment.
Who is eligible for GMAT registration?
Something to check before you register for the GMAT exam is whether you’re eligible or not. Luckily GMAC (the administering body) doesn’t have any set criteria for it, but you still need to make sure you’re eligible for the courses you’re applying for. After all, if you get the right score on the GMAT but aren’t eligible to apply, it will have been a lot of time, effort and money for no reward.
The only reason you might not be eligible for the GMAT is if you have attempted it eight times in total already or more than five times in one year. If you’ve taken a test recently, you need to wait until at least 16 days have passed before you can try again. And finally, if you have scored the perfect 800 score, you need to wait five years before you can take the test again.
How to manage your appointments
After you’ve registered what happens if you need to cancel or reschedule your exam? Even with the best of preparations, it’s possible this might happen. You can reschedule or cancel by phone or online, but there are fees involved with this.
The fees are as follows:
|GMAT product or service||Fee (US$)|
|Reschedule more than 60 days before appointment||$50|
|Reschedule 15-60 days before appointment||$100|
|Reschedule 14 days and less before appointment||$150|
|Cancel more than 60 days before appointment||$100 refund|
|Cancel 15-60 days before appointment||$75 refund|
|Cancel 14 days and less before appointment||$50 refund|
There is an additional $10 fee if you request to reschedule or cancel by phone.
If you for some reason miss your appointment without cancelling or rescheduling, you don’t need to wait the usual 16 days to rebook. However, you will have to schedule by phone and pay the full fee again, with no refund for the one you missed.
What happens when you arrive to take your test
Once you’ve completed the GMAT registration you’re ready to focus on preparing for the exam itself. But what happens when you actually arrive at the test centre? And what do you need to take with you?
It’s important not to forget this stage while practicing to take the test, otherwise you could find yourself unable to do so. Here’s what to expect - and what to bring.
|Stage of check-in||Explanation|
|Presenting your ID|
The ID must be:
|Read the rules and agreements||Make sure you’re familiar with anything you could do that might risk getting your results cancelled.|
Frequently Asked Questions
What can you take with you into the test room?
You are only allowed to take:
- Your ID
- Prescription glasses
- A light sweater or jacket
- Any items pre-agreed as part of special accommodations
- The locker key where you’ve stored the rest of your items
What forms of identification are acceptable when registering?
The best form of identification you could use would be an international travel passport, which has to be current. An Aadhar Card is acceptable only for online tests and cannot be used at a test centre. The following forms of identification are not acceptable:
- Expired identification
- Credit cards
- Social security cards
- Letters from your university or college
- Draft classification cards
- Passport cards
- Employee or student IDs
- IDs with physical descriptions in place of photos