GMAT Test Rules Overview

GMAT Video: GMAT Test-Taking Tips and Advice at Test Center

GMAT Key Test Related Rules

General Management Admission Council ("GMAC") is the owner of the GMAT and is in charge of setting the standards for the exam itself including format, question types, difficulty levels, adaptive design, etc.

Pearson VUE, not Educational Testing Services ("ETS"), began to administer the GMAT under a new contract with the GMAC in 2006.

We have summarized and prioritized the key rules below.

You can take the GMAT only ONCE every 16 calendar days

Though we generally recommend our students to ace the test on their first try, it is wise to leave yourself some scheduling flexibility for a second attempt if necessary. Schedule your GMAT 5 to 6 weeks prior to your application deadline.

A side note: If you receive a perfect score of 805, you may not retake the exam for 5 years.

Use of Whiteboard or Erasable Laminated Graph Pad

If you take the test online at home or another location of your own choice, you need to purchase your own physical whiteboard or use the on-screen whiteboard.

If you take the test at a testing center, the center will provide each candidate with a pad of 10 pages of yellow erasable laminated legal-size graph paper and a special black-ink pen which resembles a fine point black-ink sharpie marker.  Each page consists of 33 rectangular boxes across and 71 down, with some margins around the border.  Scrap paper is not used.

Page 1 displays a disclaimer and information on how to adjust your chair and pages 2 through 10 are yellow laminated graph paper. The ink is erasable, but the testing center does not provide erasers, therefore if you do fill up the whiteboard, the testing center will provide you with additional pages. Likewise, if the ink of your marker starts to fade or the tip flattens, you may request a new one.

We think using graph paper is a good way to track the alphabetic choices given in a problem, sketch geometrical figures to scale, and keep calculation steps in order. To get yourself familiar with the new instruments, try to practice with laminated graph paper (or just graph paper or just laminated paper) and a sharpie style pen.

You cannot skip any section and must complete the entire test.

You must take the test in its set order and in its entirety, including the integrated reasoning and essay writing section, or your scores will not be processed.

All scores in the past 5 years will be on your score report.

You have the option to cancel your accepted score up to 72 hours after the completion of your exam. All of the scores you received in the last 5 years will be noted on your score report.

Cancelled scores will not be displayed anywhere. We recommend you only cancel your score if you are sure that your performance is not indicative of your normal and true ability, due to unusual reasons such as health, emotions, accident, disturbing testing environment, etc. By canceling the score, you avoid showing an inconsistency of your test performance, which might be a red flag for admissions officers.

Otherwise, you should get your score so that you can get an objective evaluation of what you stand against other GMAT test takers and your strengths and weaknesses. As long as you demonstrate consistent and improved test results, reporting the score is generally preferred over cancellation.

You will receive your official score report online via an email notification 3-5 days after test day. Paper score report will be available via mail upon request only.

You will still receive an unofficial copy of your scores immediately after completing the exam and prior to leaving the testing center. Typically you may fax or bring in a copy of the unofficial GMAT score report to be used to process your MBA application until the official scores arrive from the testing services. MBA programs usually can use the unofficial score report to make a recommendation on an application, but the official GMAT scores must reach the school before an official offer of admission can be made.