If you are planning to apply to full-time MBA programs next year to start classes in 2017, this is the perfect time to start preparing for the GMAT. Even if you aren’t planning to apply for another few years, it’s not too early to take the test! Test scores are valid for five years so the sooner you can get this test out of the way, the more time you will have to focus on other aspects of your application, and the less stressed out you will be when deadlines start rolling around.
These timelines will help guide you as you start planning your preparation calendar for the next year. Check out this article for help figuring out which round you should apply in.
When do I need to register for the test by?
You can register to the test anywhere between six months to 24 hours in advance of your test date. Unlike the SAT, the GMAT is offered on an ongoing basis, but if you wait too late to register, spots may fill up and you may not get the dates/times you prefer.
When should I plan on taking the test?
- You will take 3 months to study
- You will retake the test if you are not happy with your score
- You will use 2 months to prepare other aspects of your application (writing essays, working with recommenders, doing research and visiting schools, soul-searching, etc.)
Keep in mind that the GMAC recommends that you take the test at least 21 days prior to your application deadline, so that there is ample time for your scores to be processed and sent to your school.
How long do I need to study?
The amount of time you’ll need to study will depend on your strengths and weaknesses, but according to a GMAC survey in 2014, students who scored 700+ prepared for an average of 121 hours. Factoring in your full-time job and real life, this gives you about 3 months of study time. We have super-detailed study schedules that I would highly recommend you take a look at to help you plan.