GMAT Test Dates

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
Learn when the Graduate Management Admission Test is offered and explore considerations for selecting a test date convenient for your schedule. You can also find out what to expect on test day and discover resources to help you prepare for the exam.

GMAT Test Date and Registration Info

The GMAT is offered year round at more than 600 testing centers throughout the United States and abroad. Once test takers have found a convenient test date and location, they can register for the exam online (

Considerations for Choosing a GMAT Test Date

Though the convenience of the GMAT's rolling test schedule and online registration may lead students to procrastinate scheduling their exam, the Graduate Management Admissions Council, which administers the GMAT, warns that testing appointments, especially on weekends, fill up quickly. Test takers, therefore, are advised to sign up for their desired testing center and test date at least 30 days, if not several months, in advance. Some additional considerations for choosing a test date are listed below:

  • Application Deadlines: GMAT scores are sent to test takers' selected business schools approximately 20 days after the exam, so students must schedule the exam more than 21 days before a program's application deadline.
  • Preparation Time: Test takers should keep in mind that those who obtain high scores on the GMAT usually spend more time preparing for it than most individuals. In 2014, test takers who scored 500-590 spent an average of 98 hours studying, and those who scored 700 or higher studied an average of 121 hours. Preparation may include a variety of practice tests and prep courses. For self-paced online study, explore's GMAT Test: Online Prep and Review course, which features video lessons, quizzes and tests that students can access when their schedule permits.
  • Retesting Regulations: Students may only take the GMAT once within a 31-day window, so test takers who are trying to meet business school application deadlines may want to figure in possible retesting time while determining when to schedule the GMAT.
  • Rescheduling Penalties: There is a $50 fee each time a test taker reschedules the GMAT more than 7 days prior to the test date. Students who reschedule within 7 days of their test date are charged another $250 test fee.

Preparing for Your Test Date

Understanding what to expect on test day and preparing in advance can help test takers avoid any logistical snags that could distract them from test performance. A few things to keep in mind:

  • A valid photo identification is required when checking in at the test center. Valid passports, driver's licenses, government identification cards and military identification cards qualify.
  • Late arrivals (after a scheduled exam time) may be turned away without refund.
  • The GMAT is taken at a computer station. Testing time is 3.5 hours, plus two optional breaks. Food and beverages are not allowed in the testing room.

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