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Updated: May 10

Written by Trinav Rattan

The best time to give the GMAT is when you're fully prepared and can schedule the exam to coincide with your application timeline, personal obligations, and work commitments. Remember, the objective is to excel, so pick a timeframe conducive to your success on the GMAT and your overall business school application journey.

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a critical component of the application process for many business schools around the world. It assesses analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative, and verbal skills. Here’s a detailed exploration to help you decide the best timing for you: 1. Understand Application Deadlines

Most business schools have multiple rounds of application deadlines, typically in the fall and winter. It’s crucial to work backward from these deadlines. Ideally, you should take the GMAT at least one to two months before your earliest application deadline. This timing allows you to receive your scores (which takes about three weeks) and still have time to retake the exam if necessary.

2. Choosing Your Preferred Business Schools

Before setting a GMAT date, identify the business schools you aspire to attend. Different institutions may have varying GMAT score requirements or preferences, which can influence your preparation strategy and desired score.

3. Consider Preparation Time

Adequate preparation, including GMAT classes and engaging a GMAT tutor, is key to achieving a good score. Most test-takers spend two to six months in comprehensive GMAT prep, depending on their initial proficiency and target score. Assess your starting point by taking a practice test and plan your study schedule accordingly, considering online GMAT classes to accommodate your learning style.

4. Personal and Professional Considerations

Examine your personal and professional calendar. If you’re working, studying, or have significant commitments, it’s important to choose a period when you can dedicate sufficient time to preparation without overwhelming stress. Avoid scheduling your exam during busy periods at work or school, and consider your personal life events.

5. Time for Other MBA Application Elements

Crafting a strong MBA application involves more than just taking the GMAT. Consider the time needed for essays, recommendation letters, and refining your resume. All these components require thoughtful preparation and should be factored into your timeline.

6. Testing Environment Preferences

The GMAT is offered year-round at test centers and online, catering to different preferences. Some test takers find online GMAT training to be more flexible and accommodating. Decide early and book your test date accordingly.

7. Health and Well-being

Your physical and mental health can significantly impact your test performance. Schedule the exam for a time when you’re likely to be well-rested, healthy, and relatively stress-free.

8. Availability of GMAT Test Slots

Finally, the availability of test dates at your preferred test center or for online testing can influence when you can take the GMAT. Slots can fill up quickly, especially during peak application seasons, so it’s advisable to book your test date early once you have a plan in place. SUMMARY

By considering these factors, you can strategically plan your GMAT test date to align with your overall application timeline, ensuring that you are well-prepared and maximizing your chances of admission to your desired business schools. 

Round 1 dates ends in September. 

Round 2 dates ends up in January. 

Round 1 are the most preferred to apply for the base schools. For round 1 you should be done with your GMAT exam by July end. (30th July). This is ideal time to get done with GMAT for Round 1 considering you will have ample time for your applications.

As a basic guideline, it's advisable to schedule your GMAT at least two months prior to your first application deadline. This ensures there's sufficient time for the schools to receive your scores. For instance, if the deadline for your initial application is on January 1, aim to have your GMAT completed by November 1 to ensure your scores are processed and reported in time.

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