As of July 2015, the GMAC has changed its policies around GMAT score cancelations. The contents of this post have *not* been updated to reflect the new process (however here is a more recent post from September 2015 on a similar topic).
As we mentioned on the blahg yesterday, the GMAT is changing today.
As of Friday, June 27th, all test takers will have a new, previously-unheard-of opportunity to take action in real time upon conclusion of their tests.
The GMAC is giving you Brave Supplicants control.
Specifically: The GMAT now will give you a score preview when you’re done with the test. Your score on the quant, verbal, and IR will be displayed at the end – with a two-minute window for you to decide what to do. You must accept the score in order for it to become an official part of your testing record – or, you can choose to cancel it.
The GMAT test has always had two-minute window within which to cancel at the end, but they used to offer that WITHOUT showing you the score. If you canceled, you never actually knew how bad (or possibly good) it was. You had to do so based only on how you felt you did on the questions along the way.
This seems like it should be a positive change – yet there are real consequences. In fact, we’re not sure that it’s something that most people should take advantage of.
Starting today, you have three possible choices at the end of your GMAT session when they show you the scores:
- Accept the test – the scores will be recorded and will be automatically sent to your selected schools, and you’ll be given the unofficial score report upon departure from the test center.
- Cancel the test – this prevents the scores from being sent to the schools you selected at the beginning of the exam.
Note that the test attempt will still show up on your score report and be marked as “canceled” – it does NOT erase the fact that you tested that day.UPDATE 6/26/15: As of July 2015, the GMAC is changing this – canceled scores will NOT show up on official test reports sent to schools. Here’s their FAQ on the change. Also, our understanding is that you will NOT get the printout of the unofficial score, since the test itself is being canceled. This means you will walk out of the exam room with the scores in your head, but no documentation whatsoever of your performance.
- Change your mind after canceling and reinstate – within 60 days, you’ll be able to reinstate a canceled exam upon payment of a $100 fee. You cannot change your mind about accepting a test and then decide to cancel it later.
The basics of how this strategy will affect test-takers are explained in this blog post from the GMAC .
This is seemingly the most applicant-friendly change we’ve seen coming out of the GMAC in years – like, since they moved to a test-anytime process (used to be, you could only take the GMAT a handful of days a year, it was administered like the LSAT still is). We applaud the flexibility of this change and the small attempt to give some control over to test-takers. It will likely reduce stress at least a bit, knowing that you have this option at the end of your test – or, it may increase the stress by an order of magnitude. EssaySnark is not convinced that it’s a smart move to ever cancel your scores after seeing them. AS OF JUNE 2015, THIS ADVICE IS OUTDATED – NOW IT IS LESS OF A CONCERN SINCE THE SCHOOLS WILL NOT SEE THE SCORE.
We’re going to be digging into the ramifications of this change to the GMAT over the next few days. (Here’s the next post, it went up 6/30/14.) If you’ve already taken the test and are happy with your score, feel free to skip your daily visit to the EssaySnark blahg for awhile. We may bore you with the slicing and dicing of how this GMAT score preview/cancel option plays out for not-yet-tested candidates.
For a preview of what we’re going to say:
You must have a strategy going in. And you must be able to maintain your wits about you to execute that strategy at the end. And you need to be aware of what a self-canceled score will be communicating to the adcoms.
NOTE: If you’re taking the GMAT today or this weekend, CONTACT US (please send a verification of your GMAT test appointment) and we’ll help you out with some strategy advice in advance of the posts that will go up about this next week.
Next post in this series:
Tell us what you think.