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How long does it take to get GMAT scores?

gmat score report

Great question!  The short answer is that you get most of your GMAT score right away, as soon as you are done with your test, and the rest, the whole kit-and-caboodle, about 20 days later.  Before we can clarify that answer with greater detail, we need to discuss a couple other questions.

What are the sections on the GMAT?

As you may know, after you walk in to the Pearson testing facility and get settled at a computer, your official GMAT consists of four sections, in this order:

1) The Analytical Writing Assessment section (AWA, 30 minutes)

2) The Integrated Reasoning section (IR, 30 minutes)

3) The Quantitative Section (62 minutes)

4) The Verbal Section (65 minutes)

Once you begin, you will be allowed an optional 8-minute break between #2 and #3, and another between #3 and #4.

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See also: Introduction to the GMAT

What is contained in a GMAT score report?

Basically, you get a kind of “score” for each of the four separate sections, as well as an overall GMAT score.  Thus, the score report contains:

1) your AWA score (half-integers from 0 to 6), with percentile

2) your IR score (integer from 1 to 8), with percentile

3) your Quant subscore (0 – 60) with percentile

4) your Verbal subscore (0 – 60) with percentile

5) Your total GMAT Score (200 – 800), with percentile

The total GMAT Score is derived from #3 and #4, from the Quant & Verbal subscores only; the AWA score and IR score have absolutely no effect on the total GMAT score.  The total GMAT score is certainly the most important number here, and for some test-takers and some folks in adcom, this is the only number that matters at all.  According to at least some sources, the IR section may be gaining traction as an admission tool.  The AWA score is arguably the least important score on the GMAT score report.

See also: How to Calculate GMAT Scores

So, you get what when?

Now that we have discussed exactly what’s in the score report, when do you get each piece?

First, as soon as you press “submit” for your last question on the GMAT, when you are emotionally exhausted and in a highly vulnerable state, the the computer will give you a preview of your overall GMAT score and ask you if you want to cancel your score.  This is the very first time you will see the most important number.  Obviously, it’s extremely important to be strategic and to have worked out in your mind well beforehand for what kind of score you would cancel the whole GMAT.

If you choose to cancel your score at that moment, you don’t see anything else.  You can choose to re-instate this GMAT within 60 days, to the tune of $100.  Essentially, that’s a financial penalty you would pay for not thinking strategically enough and carefully enough beforehand.

Let’s assume that you don’t cancel your score.  After you are done with the computer, you raise your hand, and some Pearson person will lead you out of the hermetically-sealed testing room.  Immediately outside that door is a desk, and someone at that desk will magically hand you a print-out: your initial GMAT score report.  This will have everything except the AWA score, because it takes time to grade the essay.  Thus, moments after your GMAT is done, your will be holding a sheet of paper with your total GMAT score, your Quant & Verbal subscores, and your IR scores, all with percentiles.  Technically, that piece of paper is unofficial for legal purposes.

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About 20 days later, you will receive the full GMAT score report, everything including the AWA score, either by snail mail or electronically (you will have told GMAC before the test how you want the official report mailed to you).  Once you have this, you can tell GMAC to send copies to any business schools you want—of course, for a fee for each report.

More about the GMAT score report

The official GMAT score report, with those five numbers, is what GMAC automatically supplies to each and every GMAT taker.  That information is free (i.e. included in the cost of the GMAT itself).  If you want a more detailed analysis—for example if this was a first GMAT and you decide you want to analyze this one to plan strategically for a retake—then you choose to purchase the Enhanced Score Report.   This data-rich document will show you your breakdowns, percentiles, and time spent in each question formats.  Thus, you can see if you’re much stronger or much quicker on, say, Sentence Correction than on Critical Reasoning.   Having this information might inform how you structure your studies for a retake.


Many of the linked articles in this blog will provide more information about these topics.  If there is something about this topic that we haven’t addressed, or if you have had unusual experiences acquiring your score report, please let us know in the comments section.



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