While it may not be an existential question like “to be or not to be”, it is a fairly important one for GMAT takers and with good reason too. After all, taking the GMAT can be a nerve-wracking experience and it finally boils down to your overall score.
So you think you have done your best before the test and are fairly confident of the results. But the time of reckoning is when you get your GMAT score. Do you cancel it or keep it? Like all other dilemmas regarding the test, this decision has to be made strategically.
Preview the score
You have a huge advantage today or previewing your score, an option not available to your predecessors only a couple of years ago. Yes you are drained after the test but at least you know your score so that you can make an informed decision. Utilize this option to your advantage.
Going back on your decision
One important fact you have to know is that if you decide to cancel your score on the day, you can still ask it to be reinstated within 60 days. But that’s going to cost you $100, which is why you need to be prepared to take this decision with thoughtful consideration.
Expect a change from your practice test scores
A crucial part of your GMAT preparation is going to be practice tests. They not only build you in confidence but can be a fair indication of what to expect in the test, including your score. But don’t go with the practice test results as the final word on the matter.
It’s quite common that your actual GMAT score is going to be lower than your practice test scores. If you turn up with a lower score on the GMAT it might be tempting to retake it. But it would be a mistake to assume that you will do significantly better on the next attempt.
When should you cancel the score?
According to experts, if you are taking the test for the first time and come up with a low score there is no reason to panic. You will be retaking the GMAT anyway. In fact, a big jump in your score after the retake will be seen positively by adcom.
If things go wrong on the test day, like bad health for example, cancelling your score might be a good idea. Otherwise you need to have a strategic baseline score and only if you score below that should you really cancel your GMAT score.