Despite many hours preparing to take your standardized test, you may have scores lower than you anticipated. In a previous blog post, we gave some advice about taking the GMAT or GRE more than once. Let's say you decided to take the GMAT or the GRE again. How do we view multiple test scores from a single applicant? Here are three things we consider:
1) We consider your highest total composite score - we will not create a score using the highest individual scores from multiple tests.
2) We look at your performance on individual scores to see where you might have grown - for example, if your overall score the first time was ok, but you were not satisfied with your performance on the quantitiative section, we look for improvement on that section.
3) We DO look at the Analytical Writing (GMAT/GRE) and the Integrated Reasoning sections (GMAT), so don't ignore these. According to the Graduate Management Admissions Council, 70% of business school students indicate that the skills tested on the Integrated Reasoning section "are either relevant or very relevant to both graduate management education and the corporate environment."
4) There is a strong likelihood that you will achieve a score very close to your first score if you retake the exam. The average increase on the GMAT is 30 points. These tests have high reliability and validity. What does this mean? Maybe they had personal issues the day of the test - they were sick, there was an accident, etc. Or, those who took the test blindly just to see how they did (we do not recommend doing this, by the way. There are free practice tests for this purpose!)
We look at your test score in the context of your larger application. It is just one component we consider, but it is an important one. We recognize that these tests are not inexpensive and they do take time. If you are thinking about a retake, review or previous post for additional advice.