As your Test Day approaches, you need to hold what you’ve got; do not try to add to your load during your final week of prep. Shortly before you sit for the GMAT, shift your focus away from strength-building. Some students think, “I’ve spent months building strengths, is it really time to STOP?” Yes.
For months you’ve worked on building your strengths. The strengths list is now longer than the list of areas that need improvement, so your inclination may be to spend the last week or so knocking those last few items off the list. But those last remaining items are not worth losing anything that you’ve already mastered.
Many test-takers would then focus all of their energy on mastering the remaining items on the list of opportunities. However, a Kaplan-trained test-taker knows that moving an item to the strengths list does not mean total mastery. Do not neglect your strengths as Test Day approaches. You need to hold what you’ve got so you have a firm grip on the GMAT.
Canceling Your GMAT Score
This section is an unusual take on landing your best score; let’s look at the ins and outs of canceling a GMAT score.
Will business schools know if I cancel my GMAT score?
On Test Day, you will see your unofficial score as soon as you complete the exam. If you are unhappy with your score and feel that you have the time, motivation, and prep plan to raise your score if you retake the GMAT, you can cancel your score immediately, at no additional charge. Now, canceling a GMAT score erases it from your record entirely. It’s as if you never even took it; business schools do not see any indication that you canceled a score.
If you do not cancel your GMAT score at the test center, but decide within 72 hours of the test start time that you would like to, you can still cancel it, for a small fee.
Also, if you DO cancel (whether at the test center or during the 72 hours after you started the test) and then decide later that you shouldn’t have done so, you have the option of reinstating the canceled score, for another fee.
What are good reasons for cancelling GMAT scores?
Here are some sample scenarios about canceling GMAT scores:
- Janice takes the GMAT, sees her score, and feels confident that with the help of a GMAT On Demand Self-Paced Course, she will be able to improve her score enough to be satisfied. She decided to cancel the score immediately, for no additional charge. Her future score reports show no indication she took the GMAT on this date.
- Robert takes the GMAT, sees his score, and accepts it—although he feels frustrated that it wasn’t higher. The next day he decides he would like to cancel the score. He can do so for a fee, provided he does so within 72 hours of his Test Day appointment time.
- Andrea takes the exam, sees her GMAT score, and cancels it because she is disappointed and feels she can do better. However, she later realizes that she does not have the time to properly prepare to retake the exam and decides to reinstate that canceled score. She can do so, for a fee, at any time within four years and 11 months of her testing date.
Another bonus of the GMAC policy is that schools will not see any indication that you canceled or reinstated one or more scores. This takes a lot of stress off the test-taker and allows schools to only see the GMAT scores you want to share.
If you do not have time, motivation, or a proper prep plan to improve your score, think long and hard about whether you should cancel the score.
Selecting Your GMAT Section Order
Deciding which arrangement of GMAT sections will work for you the best depends on a few factors.
Prioritizing the sections that matter most
Some schools may value your Quant/Verbal composite score more than your Data Insights scores. Therefore, pushing these sections to the end allows you to face the Quant and Verbal sections while you are fresh, or at least fresher than you would be with Data Insights appearing first.
Remember, however, that you should take the actual GMAT in the same order that you practiced. So if you’ve been pleased with your scores on practice tests that use the default arrangement.
Optimizing your strategy to gain points
There may be situations in which changing the order could positively impact your score, and these are worth considering. Do you struggle with remembering formulas? Does math make you panic? If so, choosing Option Quantitative and Data Insights before Verbal might serve you best. You will be able to tackle Quant first, which will let you get that behind you before fatigue sets in.
Do you tend to drift off or lose focus on Verbal topics? Then going with the Verbal section first might be best for you.
There is no best way to order the GMAT sections, and our best advice is to follow the section that you have been using when taking GMAT Practice Tests.