The change, announced today (June 25) by the Graduate Management Admission Council, will take effect on Friday, June 27. Under the change, business schools will still know that a person took the exam and cancelled a score. Roughly a quarter of a million people take the GMAT annually, getting an average score of 546. The test is used by more than 6,100 graduate business and management programs around the world.
A spokesperson for GMAC said the score reporting feature was added after feedback from both test takers and schools. But a competitive test, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), has been gaining ground on the GMAT in recent years, with an increasing percentage of MBA students enrolled at top business schools being admitted with the GRE. The Educational Testing Service, which administers the GRE, has long promoted the fact that its test takers can decide which scores to send to schools even if they take the GRE test more than once, giving that alternative exam a marketing advantage. “Just knowing you have that option will help you feel more confident on test day,” according to the GRE.
‘GIVES TEST TAKERS MORE CERTAINTY AND CONTROL’
GMAC officials sounded a similar message in today’s announcement. “We are pleased to offer this feature as part of our efforts to make preparing for and taking the GMAT exam easier,” said Ashok Sarathy, GMAC vice president, product management, in a statement. “The new score reporting feature gives test takers more certainty and control in the testing process and in how their scores are reported to schools.”
Under the new process, test takers will see their unofficial scores — Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal, and Total — and will be given two minutes to decide whether to accept them at the test center where they sit for the exam. If they do not make a choice, their scores will be canceled. Test takers typically receive their official scores five to six working days after taking the exam.
In addition, test takers who decide to cancel their scores at the test center will be able to reinstate them within 60 days of the test date for a $100 fee. After that, scores will not be retrievable.
ADVICE: KNOW WHAT SCORE YOU ARE WILLING TO ACCEPT
Said Sarathy, “If there were two things I would recommend to test takers to get the most out of this new feature, they would be:
•Know what score you’re willing to accept so that when asked whether your wish to send your scores or cancel them, you have already considered your answer.
•Understand that you have 60 days to reinstate a score you might have canceled but decide later that you want to send.
Analytical Writing Assessment scores are unaffected by the change. They are not included on unofficial score reports available immediately but are reported on official score reports delivered within 20 days.
The score reporting feature is available to all test takers and will take effect at all 600 test centers around the world that administer the GMAT exam beginning on Friday, June 27, 2014.