So, you made up your mind to take the GMAT? An MBA is one of the most important investments people make in their careers. However, before you go out and about with your GMAT preparation, it is always good to check if you pass the GMAT Exam Eligibility Criteria. Why is it important to know if you are eligible? Well, for one, if you are freshly out of college and have not hit the professional world yet, you might need to gain some work experience before you target graduate schools. On the other hand, there are cases when applicants may be overqualified for an MBA and are better off going for an Executive MBA instead. To avoid surprises that might lay ahead, we at GMATWhiz have compiled a list that details the GMAT Exam Eligibility criteria that will state answers to questions that range from nationality to the total number of attempts. Let’s begin!

GMAT Exam Eligibility Criteria

There are multiple questions that students may have before they take the GMAT. Knowing the right factors that make you eligible before you make up your mind can save you both time and efforts. Here is a list of eight factors that will help you determine your eligibility for the GMAT –

  • Nationality
  • Academic Qualification
  • Age
  • Academic scores
  • Total work experience
  • Undergraduate degree
  • Medium of instruction
  • Total No. of attempts

Let’s take up the above-mentioned factors in detail one-by-one:

Criteria 1 – Nationality

how nationality plays as an eligibility criteria for GMAT exam.

The GMAT is not restricted to people from a certain nationality. Anyone, from any nationality can take the GMAT. The rules and guidelines defined by GMAC for GMAT are applied equally to every student and applicant, irrespective of which country they come from. The only difference is of the ID proof that the candidate needs to produce for the verification before the exam, which may vary from country to country. Find more details regarding ID proof here.

Criteria 2 – Academic Qualification

how academic qualification plays a role in the eligibility criteria for GMAT exam.

GMAC has not set any limit on academic qualification for taking the GMAT. The majority of test taking population are final are either final year undergraduate students or a working-professionals. However, this is not the only criteria. You may not belong to any of the two categories and still be eligible to take the GMAT.

Criteria 3 – Age Limit

The minimum age required for students to take the GMAT is 13+ years. While candidates who are 18 years and above can directly register for the GMAT and do not need permission from their parents/legal guardians, the candidates who lie between 13 – 17 age group do need to sign a permission letter from their parents/guardians to allow them to take the test. There is no upper limit on age. In fact, a large number of candidates appearing for the GMAT are 30+ years of age.

Criteria 4 – Academic Scores

Your undergraduate scores, your GPA, and other grades don’t play a role in GMAT. Anyone who wants to take the GMAT can take the test no matter what their academic scores are. However, these scores will be considered by the B-schools you wish to secure your admission in. The adcoms consider a prospective candidate’s past academic records before making a decision on their application.

Criteria 5 – Total Work Experience

GMAT has not set a lower or upper limit on work experience to take the GMAT. You can take the GMAT even if you are still pursuing your undergraduate degree or if you have 15 years of professional work experience under your belt. However, it should be kept into consideration that a majority of B-schools evaluate your work experience and prefer candidates who come with at least 2 years of work experience. Your professional achievements, academic excellence, and the extra curricular you take part in are all taken into consideration.

Criteria 6 – Your Undergraduate Program

Candidates from any undergraduate field or discipline, from any recognized university are eligible to take the GMAT.

Criteria 7 – Medium of Instruction

Your medium of instruction in school or college may or may not be English. However, that does not disqualify you from taking the GMAT. In fact, a large number of candidates who come from non-English academic background have managed to score well on GMAT with consistent practice, dedication, and the correct approach.

Criteria 8 – Total No. of Attempts

GMAC has put an upper limit on the number of attempts you can take at GMAT. Let’s see what those limits are –

  • You can take the GMAT once every 16 calendar days
  • Students can only take 5 attempts on GMAT in one year
  • In a lifetime, a candidate is only eligible to take a total of 8 attempts at GMAT


Also Read: MBA Application Process: An Overview

Wrapping Up

With the above-mentioned criteria, we hope you have clarity of whether you are eligible to take the GMAT or not. If you are eligible, the only next thing you have left to do is know what the GMAT is all about and begin preparing. You can register for the GMAT here. You can take the GMAT year-round at test centres across the world, as per your convenience. Earlier students only had the option to take the GMAT by physically going to one of the test centres. However, now the GMAT is also available online. If you are unhappy with your scores after the first attempt, you can very well go ahead and retake the GMAT, not more than 8 times in a lifetime.

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