Test Prep Insight is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

How Many Times Can You Take The GMAT?
By Griffin Quick Updated on February 21, 2024
John Ross, JD, CPA John Ross, JD, CPA

How Many Times Can You Take The GMAT?

Whether you were disappointed with your score on the first attempt or you simply think you can beat it, students often wonder how often you can take the GMAT Focus

The GMAT Focus is a tough exam, and students often don’t get the score they wanted. Fortunately, the GMAT can be taken multiple times in the hopes of improving your score. In this guide, we discuss time limitations for retaking the GMAT Focus, as well overall restrictions on how many times you can take the exam.

Magoosh GMAT – Resource
Top GMAT Prep Course 15% OFF ➔ Use Code: TPI15

How Many Times Can You Take The GMAT?

If you’re unhappy with your score, it’s important to consider how you plan to improve prior to testing again. Currently, the GMAT costs over $275, and allows for score reporting to five schools of your choice. This means that each time you take the test, there’s a hefty price tag attached.

How Many Times GMAT

The GMAT Focus can be taken no more than five times in a year. That means five attempts in 12 rolling months.

In addition to this restriction, students can only take the GMAT a total of eight times in a lifetime. Although it may be tempting to retake the exam as soon as you get a score you’re unhappy with, it’s important to consider a course of measures to improve your score.

It is suggested that for 50 hours of studying, a 50-point improvement can be achieved. Similarly, 100 hours of studying could relate to a 100-point improvement, and so on. That is just a rule of thumb though.

How Frequently Can You Take The GMAT?

The GMAT can be taken once every 16 days, as long as it doesn’t exceed 5 times per year or 8 times in a lifetime. If you intend to take the GMAT again, plan to make every effort to significantly improve your score.

Give yourself ample time to study before your next attempt. You might want to seek the help of a tutor or take advantage of a review course. At any rate, have a good strategy for studying so you are prepared and ready to improve your score.

Downsides To Taking The GMAT Multiple Times

It is important to consider your target school’s average GMAT score for acceptance. If you’ve scored higher than this, it is not necessary to retake the GMAT Focus. If you’re in a situation where you’ve scored lower than your target school’s ideal score, it’s a good idea to retake the exam after allowing yourself adequate study time to ensure that a score improvement is warranted.

One reason that you might consider retaking the GMAT is if you received a low Quant score, despite being strong in college math classes. For one, this might be an easy chance to up your score without much work, and two, this low score might cause business schools to worry that the curriculum may be too rigorous for you.

Secondly, if your verbal score is low and you’re not a native English speaker, schools could potentially worry about classroom participation and recruiting. Finally, if you’re looking to apply to a top-15 MBA school, and you know you can improve your score by at least 20 points, retaking the exam would reflect positively on your application.

Realistically, business schools are looking for the highest scores. However, that doesn’t mean that seeing that a student that took the GMAT Focus more than once is negative. Ensure that you’re planning on retaking the exam for a valid reason, due to the fact that schools might see retaking the exam three times and getting the same score as a negative factor.

Another important aspect is that some schools will be looking at your highest scores for each section, so be sure to brush up on what your target school’s practices are before making a plan to retake the GMAT.

Overall, schools want to see a candidate that can take the assessment and achieve their target score. Whether this takes one try, or three, the majority of business programs will look only at the highest score, with testing history not holding much weight.

Overview Of The GMAT Focus

The Graduate Management Admission Test, also known as the GMAT, is a piece of your business school application that is of utmost importance. The standardized, computer-adaptive exam is required on the majority of business school applications.

The exam shows business schools how prepared students are to complete graduate level work. Overall, scoring high on this assessment can show MBA programs that you’re a serious and prepared candidate, and could boost your application to the next level.

The GMAT contains three sections that test an applicant’s critical thinking and analysis skills. These are the primary focus of the exam, because these are the skills that are most often used during MBA graduate-level coursework, and beyond.

The three sections are Data Insights, Quantitative, and Verbal. Each section is designed to test different skills, but overall assess critical thinking and problem solving as a whole.


Data Insights offers 20 questions in just 45 minutes. Within this section, students will see multi-source reasoning, table analysis, graphics interpretation and two-part analysis questions. Each of these question types deal with conceptually interpreting and synthesizing information from different formats.

The Quant section of the GMAT boasts 21 questions, and provides 45 minutes. This section encompasses the mathematics problem solving skills, computation and data interpretation.

Lastly, the Verbal section asks participants to complete reading comprehension questions, and critical reasoning problems. There are 45 minutes allowed and 23 questions total.

The total time length of the assessment is 2 hours and 15 minutes. The time limits for each section are one of the most difficult obstacles of this exam.

The GMAT Is Adaptive

The GMAT Focus is an interesting assessment because it is an adaptive test. This means that based on your responses to questions, future questions are generated from performance. Your GMAT Focus score will fall somewhere between 205 to 805.

For all the sections on the exam, a score is given on a scale of 60 to 90.

Directly following your assessment, you’ll be able to see your score and decide whether you want to keep it, or cancel it. The average total score on the GMAT is 552. Although raw scores are generated for each section, the total score is what the majority of business schools will pay attention to.


How many times can you take the GMAT?

You can take the GMAT up to 5 times during a rolling 12-month period, or 8 times total in your life. Now matter how many times you take it though, you have to wait 16 days between attempts.

Should I take the GMAT or GRE?

Though many people argue the GRE is easier than the GMAT, the GMAT carries more weight than the GRE with business schools. Admissions officers won’t admit as much, but if you’re eyeing a top-25 MBA program, take the GMAT.

Should I retake the GMAT?

Whether you should retake the GMAT depends on a few factors. If you have a legitimate chance to score higher the second time because you previously scored higher on practice tests, have an opportunity to study more, or had a test day breakdown, then retake it. Otherwise, think twice.