Surely, you take the GMAT with a business school application in mind. The question of when is not so certain, however. Although most individuals apply to business programs right after their GMAT, many things come into play in some other cases.
Taking GMAT in advance could be a strategy. Hence, a delay is intentional. In other instances, unexpected circumstances may delay you from using your GMAT scores for an MBA application.
Whatever is the reason, this probably had you thinking, how long are my GMAT scores valid? Do I need to retake it before I apply for admissions? Will I still be able to send my GMAT scores to schools?
How long are GMAT scores valid?
GMAT scores have a 5-year validity. They are accessible for you through your GMAC account. These scores will be listed in your Official Score Report. Business schools also adopt this five year GMAT validity. Hence, if your GMAT was taken for the last five years, you’re good.
Although your scores that have reached the five-year mark are still available for reporting for up to a decade, you need to make a special request for it. You need to remember though that most schools would not accept GMAT scores that are older than five years.
GMAC sends old scores upon the request of test-takers, along with a caveat for schools to take caution in interpreting GMAT results that are older than five years.
How do we compute the five year GMAT validity?
We start computing the five year GMAT validity from when you took the exam. The starting point of your computation may be quite clear. However, the endpoint is not as universal. Most schools consider the five-year cut-off prior to their admissions deadline. However, some schools may have their own cut-off guidelines.
Hence, to be on the safe side, it would be best to consult the admissions office of the school or schools on your list. You may see this information on the institution’s website. And if they are not, you could always send an email or make a call just to make sure if your existing GMAT made it to their calculations of the GMAT validity.
How long will a reinstated GMAT score be considered valid?
You have the option to accept or cancel your GMAT scores if they do not pass your set targets. However, things come into play and you might want to reinstate your GMAT score. This is also within the 5 year GMAT validity rule. Hence, if you want to reinstate a previously canceled score, you need to do this at least a month before the five-year mark.
Canceled scores could be reinstated up to four years and 11 months from the date of the exam in order to give a one month allowance for your request to be processed. You can do this by logging into your mba.com account (1).
Once released, these reinstated scores will be sent out to the schools that you have chosen during your test day. You cannot modify the list anymore, although you could make another request for additional score reports to be sent out to the other schools that you wish to receive your score.
Do recent GMAT scores give me an edge?
It is true that your GMAT score will remain valid for five years. You might be thinking however whether or not a more recent GMAT would have a greater weight in your admissions application.
Regardless of the date when you have taken the exam, your application will be included for evaluation for as long as your GMAT scores are valid. So far, there is no indication that a more recent score gives you an edge.
Hence, there is no need to retake the GMAT on the basis of recency. Nonetheless, if you are targeting a higher GMAT score to make it to your top pick business school, retake the GMAT by all means if you must.
How long are GMAT scores valid? Your GMAT scores are good for five years. You don’t have to worry about submitting an old GMAT result either. Schools really don’t care whether or not you submitted a recent or older GMAT for as long as it is valid.
Hence, if you are thinking of taking your GMAT during your undergrad years as a strategy, do it, for as long as you plan to apply for admissions before it expires.
If you made an untimely decision to apply for admissions, which would not allow you to take a new exam and the only score at your disposal is an old GMAT result, go send it out, for as long as they make it to the school’s five-year cut-off calculation.
Or, if you are wary of canceling a not-so-good more recent GMAT score until you make sure that you have a valid GMAT score as a fallback, know that your old score is a valid fallback for up to five years.
Did this article help you have a better insight on GMAT and admissions applications? Feel free to share this with other test takers and applicants if you think it would help them too.