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GMAT Retake Strategy: How to Ace your Next Attempt?

Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

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If you couldn’t score well in your recent GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test), you don't have to be disheartened! Statistics show that in 2022, approximately 50,000 students re-took the GMAT exam. Qualifying for the GMAT in one go can be tricky if students do not get the right resources, guidance, and strategy. This is why students are provided with an option to retake the GMAT exams to pursue another chance of getting admission to their preferred MBA program. Read more about the GMAT retake strategy steps and other key pointers to succeed in retaking the GMAT.

Retaking The GMAT

GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a vital source of academic assessment done as a part of the admission process for business schools and management programs, precisely to obtain a degree in MBA. Statistics show that GMAT scores are submitted by 7 out of 10 applicants who apply at the top B-Schools and management programs. The GMAT includes four parts: Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Verbal, and Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA). 

Students can retake the GMATs if they fail to obtain a good score on their first attempt. An applicant is permitted to retake the GMAT exam 8 times in a lifetime. Moreover, an applicant can only retake the GMAT exams 5 times a year and have to wait 16 days after taking their first GMAT exam. 

Who Can Retake the GMAT Exam?

Typically, candidates who are not satisfied with their previous GMAT score or couldn't qualify for a college of their own choice are eligible to retake the GMAT. 

There are several eligibility criteria an applicant must adhere to take a GMAT exam in the first place. The eligibility criteria for GMAT are listed below:

  • Age Limit: Applicants above the age of 13 years are eligible to take the GMAT; however, minors need a signed permission letter from their legal guardians to take the GMAT successfully.
  • Work experience/Academic Scores: There are no minimum requirements for previous years’ educational qualifications or work experiences. However, each university has its own preferred academic and work achievements. 
  • Number of Attempts: As mentioned earlier, candidates can take the GMATs 8 times.

If you wonder if it is worth repeating the entire process and retaking the test, you need not think much. It is certainly worth the time and effort to invest in retaking the GMAT, as candidates are already familiar with the process through their previous attempts. Giving the exam again may yield a better result and a better chance of getting into the university of the applicant's choice.

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GMAT Retake Strategy: Important Things to Know

Retaking a GMAT can be stressful; therefore, applicants need to set a clear strategy to obtain better scores than their previous attempts. Following are some essential tips and techniques that can help the candidates get a head start for their next GMAT exams:

  • Analyze Your Previous Shortcomings: Make a note of your mistakes in your previous GMAT attempt and try to overcome those by working on those targets. The candidates must assess their Enhanced Score Report (ESR) and analyze their performance.
  • Establish Your Target Score: The candidates must decide their target scores and work towards that goal. They must establish their weak sections and focus more on those parts while also brushing up on their strong points to improve their chances of achieving the set target score. 
  • Process of Elimination: The candidates must answer questions smartly while taking the test. Focusing on numbers will not bring better results, but narrowing down the options can increase the chance of working on the right questions. 
  • Mock Tests: Retaking the exam does not guarantee the familiarity that comes with them. Therefore, sample tests are the way to go. Mock tests provide a certain sense of confidence and self-assurance to the candidates. It also makes them analyze their recurring mistakes and shortcomings to avoid repeating them in the main exam.
  • Time Management: Candidates are advised not to leave the preparation at the last minute. A well-managed routine results in discipline and yields results more effectively. 


A good MBA degree from a prestigious university can make your career and bring about fruitful changes in your future. A second chance at the exam improves your chances of scoring better and being selected for your preferred university. Hence, reaping the benefits of the opportunity given to applicants to retake the exam is crucial.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a GMAT exam last?

The GMAT lasts 3 hours and 7 minutes. Besides this, candidates are also provided with 2 (optional) breaks of 8 minutes.

What is the GMAT format?

The GMAT is divided into 4 sections: Analytical Writing Assessments, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning.

How many GMATs can you take?

Applicants are allowed to take the GMAT a total of 8 times. Furthermore, applicants can only retake the GMAT exams 5 times a year and have to wait 16 days after taking their first GMAT exam.

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.