GMAT Test Dates | 2021, 2022, 2023 and Beyond!

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With the COVID-19 still a concern in 2021, in-person GMAT test dates are limited, but at-home options are available—and will be permanently available going forward. In this post, we’ve covered some more vital information about the GMAT test dates for 2021—read on to find out more!

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GMAT Test Dates (2021, 2022, 2023)

So just when are GMAT test dates available this year? There are a number of in-person options, but you also have a huge variety of online, at-home GMAT testing options. Meanwhile, the GMAC (test-maker) began to offer the remote GMAT in April 2020; it’s offered every day, with multiple time slots.

However, popular days and times can still fill up—the remote proctor aspect of the testing means that there are still limits to how many test-takers can sign up for the exam at a given time.

With all of these GMAT test dates to choose from, should you just throw a dart at a calendar? No! You’ll ned to be strategic about picking your test date, because you’ll need your score for whatever MBA application round you choose. We’ll talk more about this later i the post!

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The 3 Steps to Scheduling Your GMAT Test Date

There are three basic steps test-takers need to complete in order to select and set GMAT dates. I’ll outline each step below in brief.

Step 1: Register for the GMAT

Before you consider GMAT test dates, the very first thing you should do is register for the GMAT. This will get you into the system so that you have the ability to look at your choices for GMAT exam dates and GMAT test centers, if you’re planing on taking the exam in person.

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So how do you register for the GMAT? First, you’ll need to create an account with the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), the company that makes the GMAT exam. You can go to GMAC’s “Create Your Account” page to get started. Once that’s done, you’ll have the ability to browse and see your options for GMAT dates (and locations, if applicable).

Step 2a: Find a test center with available GMAT dates 

Once you’ve registered with GMAC and have the ability to look at GMAT exam dates, the next step is to find a GMAT test center. For in-person dates, look under “Future GMAT Test Center Exams” and click “Register Now” or “Register as a Test Taker with Disabilities.” Each of these buttons will take you to options for your location.

Remember, the farther in advance you book your GMAT, the more options you’ll have for both GMAT locations and GMAT dates.

Step 2b : Pick a date for the online GMAT

Because the online GMAT is available every day, the key to picking a GMAT test date online is finding the day and time that work best for you.

To find test dates for a remote GMAT, select “Register for the GMAT Online Exam” under “Future GMAT Online Exams” on your “My Account” page. Click on dates to see available time options.

Step 3: Schedule Your Exam

Once you know which test format you want to take and are registered to take the GMAT, you’re ready to actually select your GMAT test date. Follow the on-screen instructions within your GMAT account.

Of course, there’s a lot more to registering for the GMAT and choosing your test date than just accessing and navigating the official GMAT website. Timing is a crucial consideration too. Below, we’ll look at when to register, and how to select the GMAT test date that’s right for you.

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MBA Application Dates

These timelines will help guide you as you start planning your preparation calendar and considering GMAT exam dates for the next year. These timelines are based on the most common deadlines for rounds of applications at top MBA programs. Most top schools set MBA application deadlines three times a year, in three rounds. Check with specific schools for exact deadlines for Round 1, Round 2, and Round 3. And check out this article for help figuring out which round you should apply in. As you can imagine dates for MBA application rounds have a lot of implications for GMAT dates.

MBA Applications Round 1

Dec. - Feb.MarchApril - MayJuneJuly - AugustSept. - Oct.
StudyTake GMAT: CANCELLED in many locations in 2021, but online, home-based GMAT testing is available now.StudyRetake GMATEssays, etc...Round 1 due

MBA Applications Round 2

March - MayJuneJuly - AugustSept.Oct.-Nov.Dec. - Jan.
StudyTake GMATStudyRetake GMATEssays, etc...Round 2 due

MBA Applications Round 3

June - AugustSept.Oct. - Nov.Dec.Jan. - Feb.March - April
StudyTake GMATStudyRetake GMATEssays, etc...Round 3 due

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When do I need to register for the GMAT?

You can register for the test anywhere between six months to 24 hours in advance of your GMAT test date (or GMAT test dates if you are retaking the test; remember you need to allow for a 16-day window between test days!). 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. For complete, in-depth details about how to register for the GMAT, check out our comprehensive guide on all things related to the GMAT examination.

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When should I plan on taking the GMAT?

If you’re like most typical GMAT preppers, you should start prepping 7-8 months before your application deadline, and take your test 4-5 months before you apply.

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Consider your GMAT study timeline

By giving you this advice, I am assuming the following:

  • You will take 3 months to study before the exam
  • You will spend 15-20 hours a week studying
  • You will retake the test if you are not happy with your score, and allow yourself a month or two for possible retake studies
  • 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.)
  • You will prepare for those other non-GMAT aspects on the “home stretch” of your B-school admissions journey, in the last several weeks before your final application deadline

Consider how long it will take to receive and send your GMAT scores

So that’s 3 months of initial GMAT study, plus 1-2 months that are kept free in case you need a retake, followed by 2 months of other application activities. That should be 6-7 month GMAT/application process timeline, right? So, where did I get the 7-8 month estimate? By factoring in the amount of time it may take for your GMAT scores to arrive at the schools you’ve applied to.

Keep in mind that the GMAC says it can take up to 20 days for your test to be reported to schools. That could actually mean 21 days, depending on whether your test day scores get transmitted from the test center to GMAT central the same day you take the test or the next day. There’s also a small chance that for some reason there could be unexpected delays in the GMAC sending our scores. So, beyond GMAT exam dates, you should consider the dates of arrival for your GMAT exam report.

To be safe, you’ll want to book your GMAT date 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. Giving yourself a few extra days beyond the 21 can’t hurt either. So really, there’s an extra month in there. That’s why I recommend taking your GMAT 7-8 months before your deadline instead of just 6-7.

Adjust the recommended GMAT application timeline to your personal needs

Of course, your mileage may vary, in terms of how much time you really need and when you should register for the GMAT. If you have more than 20 hours a week to study or have higher-than-average GMAT skills, you may need less time to prepare for your exam or a possible retake. Conversely, if you have fewer hours of spare time per week or lower baseline skills for the exam, you may need to reserve more prep time before you actually take the test.

Also, while it isn’t as common, some students get all of the soul searching, university visits, reference letter gathering and so on out of the way before they tackle the GMAT. If this sounds like you, then your GMAT prep time and GMAT exam date will take a different position in your overall timetable for admissions.

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