GMAT Test Dates
Unlike certain tests (such as the LSAT, the law school admissions exam, which is offered 4 times per year), the GMAT does not have specific test dates. Rather, the GMAT, like the GRE, can be taken at any time that you are ready and you are able to reserve a spot at a nearby testing center.
Therefore, the answer to when you should take the GMAT is: you aim to take it when you are fully prepared and in time for the application deadline of the programs you are interested in. The advice of the test makers is to schedule your GMAT for a date that is “at least 21 days prior to your application deadline.”
You can find a testing center near you to test availability or register on this page. Weekend dates tend to fill up quickly as application deadlines approach. Usually, you’ll want to register for the GMAT exam somewhat in advance, or otherwise be prepared to take a day off from work and/or drive some distance to an available date at a testing center.
Rules about Registration, Cancellation and Changing Your Test Date
Keep the following rules in mind as you schedule your GMAT date:
- The registration fee is $250. Sometimes people find the fee shockingly high, but it’s negligible relative to the size of your MBA investment.
- If you reschedule, you can do so, but it’s not free. If you reschedule more than 7 days in advance, you will be charged a $50 fee. If you reschedule within a week, the fee is $250 – and that’s the test fee to take the test, so you are essentially throwing away your initial registration fee.
- You may retake the GMAT exam once every 31 calendar days, but no more than five times in a rolling 12-month period.
- You can read more on this page of the course about how and when your score is reported to schools.
- A complete set of rules and regulations is available in the official GMAT Handbook.
Simple Advice: Schedule in Advance for 1 Month Before Your Deadline
It’s generally best to schedule your GMAT test date far in advance. This way, you’ll have a seat reserved and a target to aim for. The ideal date for your test is a month before your application deadline. This will give you some time (though not a ton) to work on your application essays after the GMAT is complete.
Whether you schedule now or later, you can visit the official website here to register.