GMAT | Test Day Tip | When in doubt cancel your GMAT score

The title of this video is “When in doubt
cancel your GMAT score”. This is my pet advice to a lot of my students. What does
it mean? You go and write the GMAT test. You spend three and a half hours in the examination
and at the end of completing these four sections, you’ll have a screen
flashing in front of you with your GMAT score. You’ll have scores for three of the
four sections. You’ll have a score on a scale of 1 to 8 for IR and a percentile
corresponding to it. You’ll have a score on a scale of 0 to 60 for
the verbal and the quant sections each and the corresponding percentiles. And
finally, you’ll also see this overall number between 200 to 800 – the “GMAT
score” that all of us talk about and a percentile corresponding to it. You’ll have a two-minute window in the exam centre after you’ve completed the test
to decide whether you want to accept this score or you want to cancel the
score. Let’s say you went in with an idea, your aspiration is to get a score of 700.
You did the test very well that you end up getting a 710 in the GMAT. Obviously,
no questions asked. Accept the score, walk out,
send the scores to the schools of your choice and then get admitted and move on
in life. It’s a very simple straightforward case. You wanted a 700
plus, but you ended up with a 670. Go into the test with a clear idea about “this
score is the least score that I will be accepting”. You’ve set that score as
700 and happy with it. You got a 670. Do not bat an eyelid. Cancel the score. Why
so? Primarily because if you accept the score, then the score stays on record
with GMAC for the next 5 years. And at any point in time, you ask
GMAC to send a score to a school, this score is going to be reported. So let’s
say you got a 670, you accepted the score and you come out and then you prepare for
another month or so and then you retake the GMAT and you get a 720 in that. When
you ask GMAC to send scores to schools with the 720, they are going to
report a 670 and a 720 if you had accepted the score on the day that you
took the 670. Conversely, if you had cancelled it, GMAT will not mention that
you took the test – that 670 test at all and what it is going to report is only
the 720. Why is it so important? Schools actually
give you the benefit of doubt of the higher score. But as test takers, we
always want to present a clean slate. We want to show that we took the GMAT one
time and in that one attempt we got a 720. Nothing harm in presenting a clean slate.
Let’s look at a couple of scenarios to help us understand why
this cancelling is a very good idea. Let’s say you got a 670. You cancel this
score. You come out. You take the GMAT test again and that attempt ended up being a
650. What do you do? Cancel the second attempt and if you want to reinstate the
first one, you can reinstate it. How do you reinstate a cancelled score? The process
is – You go to the official website. You have to pay a fee to
reinstate it. You can do it only once. Once you have reinstated, you cannot
cancel it again. The fee for reinstating is $50. What is
the time window available to you? That is what makes it really sweet. The time
window available is 4 years 11 months from the time you completed the test. The
duration or the validity of a score is 5 years. They’re practically letting you
reinstate this score anytime during this period. You came out with a 670. You
thought you will take the GMAT again. Let’s say you’ve got a beautiful
opportunity to work abroad; you worked abroad came back. 2 years down the line,
you think that you can improve your GMAT score, you open your GMAT books,
everything looks Greek and Latin. And you’ve got more experience – international
experience – you think you’ll apply with a 670. You can reinstate the score with $50.
$50 is no mean sum of money. But think of the freedom of choice that it gives you.
It certainly makes sense to cancel it when in doubt. So, if you have a score
that you’re doubtful about, cancel and come out. You can reinstate it at a later

4 thoughts on “GMAT | Test Day Tip | When in doubt cancel your GMAT score

  • August 4, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Brilliant insight sir. Because it sounds counterintuitive, aspirants tend to accept the scores more often than needed.

  • August 5, 2018 at 2:43 am

    Thanks Bharath. Absolutely. Setting a floor score before taking the test is crucial. It minimises dissonance when accepting our cancelling score after the test.

  • December 2, 2018 at 12:30 am

    Everything make sense! Thank you!!

  • August 30, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    Thank you sir for this explanation!


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