If you want to attend business school and earn an MBA, chances are high that you will need to take the GMAT. Not only do 2,100 schools and programs require scores from this test, but they tend to place significant emphasis on the results. Timing is everything when you're applying for graduate school, so make sure you know when scores will arrive at your target schools and more about this important exam.
If you select schools to receive your scores before your test, it will take up to 20 calendar days for the institutions to see your scores. Then you can add more schools, which takes an additional five business days.
Select Schools to Receive Your Scores
When you register for the GMAT, you can select up to five schools to receive your scores for no additional charge. Consider choosing at least one "safety school" in addition to several target and dream schools. If you have your eyes on more than five potential graduate programs, you can add more schools to this initial list for $28 each.
Cancel or Accept Your Unofficial Scores
At the end of your computerized exam, you will receive an unofficial score that gives you a good idea of your performance. The organization has not weighed the unofficial scores, and they will not include the writing portion. When you see your unofficial scores, you can choose whether to cancel your scores or accept them.
If you cancel your scores, nobody else will see them, and you will not see official scores. Even the schools you selected will never see the results. If you accept the scores, the GMAC will weigh your test and send official results to you and the schools you chose.
Before you take your exam, decide on a minimum score you will accept and allow schools to see. You can use school averages at your target schools to make this determination. If your unofficial scores dip below that number, you can feel confident in your decision to cancel the scores and try again later.
How Long Does it Take to Get GMAT Test Results Back?
Many students wonder, "How long does it take to get GMAT scores?" Official results, including the analytical writing section, will become available online within 20 days of your test.
In some rare cases, the official report will have different scores than the unofficial result. However, it's more likely that your scores will be the same.
When you have access to your scores, so do the schools that you selected. The schools automatically receive the scores, so you do not have to do anything else.
Understanding Your Score Report
Your GMAT score report that you and the admissions officers see includes five different scores:
- Total (a combination of verbal and quantitative)
- Integrated Reasoning (IR)
- Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
The verbal and quantitative sections each score between 0 and 60. The total score does not just add these two sections together. Instead, GMAC weighs the sections and gives learners scores between 200 and 800, which is what most people refer to when they ask for your GMAT score.
The IR section gets scores between one and eight, and you can earn between zero and six on the AWA portion. The score also includes a percentile rank, which tells you how well you did relative to other testers and answers questions like, "What percentile is a 700 on the GMAT?" For example, someone in the fifth percentile did better than 95 percent of test takers.
Select Additional Schools
After seeing your official scores, you can choose to have GMAC send them to additional schools for $28 each. It takes about five business days from the day you submit the request for the schools to see the scores. You cannot request new schools in the 20 days between taking the test and getting your results.
Mackenzie attended Texas Tech University, where she worked in the residence halls for three years. She also volunteered for school event committees and move-in welcome teams. These experiences fueled her passion for higher education and helping college students. Today, she uses her writing to help prospective college students find the right institutions for their needs. She writes for sites like The Best Schools, Nursing.org, Best Colleges, Nurse Journal, and PublicHealth.org.