Contributor: Dana Coggio
Date: September 28, 2021
You’ve studied countless hours, canceled plans with numerous friends, and even changed your diet and caffeine consumption to fuel your brain as best as possible. And yet, after all that, your final score result is just a 650. Not bad, but also not perfect. This score can get you into most Business School programs, but can it get you into that elite ‘top’ school you are aiming for? If you have the resume and top-notch essay responses to back up your GMAT score, then you may feel comfortable applying to your dream Business School with that score.
But what if you are still unsure? Is it worth spending the hundreds of dollars, and continuing the stringent study plan you had just spent months trudging through to try again? Perhaps a second attempt means you will bump up your score to a 700+, or maybe your second attempt will land you with a score of equal or – gulp – lesser value! After going through the cost-benefit analysis of such an undertaking, you may have decided on the undertaking of retaking the GMAT.
But how do you study for the GMAT the second time to guarantee a higher score? You are not alone in asking this question, and, unfortunately, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer or study plan that can guarantee a higher score and make the retake worthwhile financially and timewise. However, there are some things you can begin doing now which can help you embark on your GMAT retake journey.
Book the retake sooner rather than later
Deciding on ‘when’ to retake the GMAT can have a huge effect on your ability to succeed in the test. We suggest booking the retake sooner rather than later. This will help set a definite timeline of how long you must study and how you can expect to structure the coming weeks. Additionally, don’t wait months to retake the GMAT. Once you have decided that you will retake the exam, be sure to schedule it a couple of weeks after the last test you took. While it may seem to be a time crunch, this is because you are not starting from scratch when studying for your retake. You already have a whole host of wealth stuck in your head! It will hang around for a few weeks, requiring only brief reviews and refreshers to keep the knowledge up to date.
Focus on your weaknesses
So, you have taken your first GMAT test. You now know how you test under time pressure, and you can adjust your studying accordingly. Did you find that you struggled with the time constraints? We suggest focusing on different studying methods which will help you feel more comfortable under the time constraints. During the test you may realize that you did not study enough for certain quantitative-type questions, or your GMAT vocabulary was lacking. In this case, spend time before your retake focusing on the areas you found most challenging. By no means does this mean ‘ignoring’ your strengths, rather, spend the most time on your weaknesses, being sure to set aside a few hours a week to review and rehash the parts of the exam you feel most comfortable with.
Consult with your network
Whether you recognize it or not, the people around you are important to your mental health and wellbeing. Because studying for the GMAT is a mentally draining venture, relying on your network can help you get through the most difficult aspects of studying for the GMAT. As you already experienced over the last few months of studying, an effective student may opt for moments of quiet study rather than social events with friends and family. This doesn’t change your second time around taking the test.
However, your friends and family may be disappointed to hear that you are extending your absences from events further to study for your second round. It is important, then, to confer with them. Let them know what you are doing and why. Perhaps someone in your network had a similar experience and they can offer you advice and tips on how to rock your second round. Additionally, do not be shy to let them know how you are feeling and how they can best support you during your studying. This can help alleviate any further stress you may accumulate during the time you sequester away over the books.
Get a private tutor
It may seem obvious but hiring a private tutor who specializes in the GMAT can help push you to the next level. Often, your struggles with the GMAT can be alleviated by the unique perspectives and solution paths a private tutor can give you. Our GMAT tutors at ApexGMAT specialize in working with students who want to achieve an elite score and are looking to develop the skills to do just that. We invite all interested potential clients to sign-up HERE for a complimentary consultation call where we can discuss your GMAT and Business School goals. Our tutors are happy to work with an array of clients. Whether it is their first or fifth time taking the GMAT and whether they have 6 months to prepare or just a few weeks, we can work within your time frame and skill level to help you achieve your goals.
Finally, deciding to retake the GMAT means countless more hours of hard work. Deciding whether it is worth it is up to you. However, being prepared for the process of retaking the GMAT can help alleviate the stress of the decision.