All too often, applicants receive disappointing GMAT scores and are left wondering if they should retake the test.

We generally recommend re-applicants use the last spring and early summer months to get their GMAT scores squared away. For candidates trying to get a jump-start on the upcoming fall admissions season, taking the GMAT ahead of time, and working towards your highest possible score, is a very wise investment of your time.

Keep in mind that your applications will become very time-consuming later in the year, when you’re up against an immediate deadline. That’s especially true because the ‘repetition factor’ for many applications – by which we mean different schools asking the same or similar questions, allowing you to rework or recycle the same material for several schools – is diminishing. That means you will have less time to study for and retake the GMAT when it gets down to the wire. It’s smart to focus on the GMAT now, while you have more control over your time.

Should you re-take the GMAT? If the GMAT score you’re planning on sending with your applications is not as competitive for your target school as it could be, then answer is YES, take it again the summer – and don’t wait until the last minute to do so. And for those of you who have already taken the GMAT multiple times and are still not satisfied with your score, the summer would be a good time build an alternate transcript. You can mitigate a low GMAT score and demonstrate your quantitative skills by taking a class in statistics, accounting, or calculus. If you take a summer course, you’ll have the transcript ready to send in with your application in the fall.

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