After only a few months of 2012, I can already see increased interest in taking the GMAT before GMAC adds the new Integrated Reasoning section in June. A good percentage of my students (I’ll not try to estimate how many) have said the impending change is the #1 reason they decided to start studying now. Wise move.
As the year trods on, I hope to see more and more people with this brand of forethought. Since GMAT scores are good for five years after Test Day, I implore you: please do not wait to take the test until the year or semester before you plan to start grad school. Even if you are on the fence about whether you’ll even end up going, that is a good enough reason to get the GMAT out of the way now. Load your bases, set your table, tee up your shot... Use whatever metaphor resonates with you, just understand that strategy is about planning for the future and a very smart tactical move is to take the GMAT before June 1, 2012.
How do you factor this into your plan? You need to schedule your GMAT for no later than the end of April. That way, if something does go wrong—for whatever reason—on Test Day, you can set another one before June 1st. One more piece of information for your consideration: in the event you have to take the test again, your official GMAT test days must happen 30 days apart. Study hard and get your top score the first time. However, stress is going to impact your performance. One of your goals during test prep is to identify ways to mitigate that stress so the kind you feel on Test Day is the type that keeps you focused, motivated, and competitive. A good mitigator is knowing you can do it again if you had to.
* Lucas Weingarten has been teaching the GMAT for Kaplan Test Prep since January 2010. He is also a Kaplan certified instructor for both the GRE as well as the LSAT.
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