Right. So you attempted the GMAT either to understand your current capabilities on the test or without proper preparation. Either way, you saw your scores take a turn for the worse. Those numbers, along with the circumstances under which you gave the GMAT, successfully paved the way for fear, forcing you to take a break before resuming preparation once again. No matter the reason, you’re still nervous, and we at GMATWhiz get it. For this reason, we’ve decided to address your concern about attempting the GMAT after a break and guiding you through a strategy that’ll account for success. Before reading through the blog, stop to answer a few questions listed below to understand target areas to help build your plan:

  • What was the score breakdown of your official GMAT?
  • Do you have a deadline?
  • On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate your previous preparation?

It is essential to answer these questions honestly to provide you with the best possible solution. Lucky enough, we at GMATWhiz have cracked the code to retaking the GMAT after a break, successfully coming up with a plan that sticks. We’ll begin by answering each of these issues, the first being your score breakdown.

Analyzing Your Previous GMAT Score:

Your previous GMAT scorecard holds the key to a successful future attempt. Have a good look at your score breakdown and note down problem areas that caused your score to take a tumble. For example, if you didn’t score well in the Verbal and IR sections of the test, note those scores down. Once you note down all your scores, it’s time to analyze and understand the GMAT Enhanced Score Report structure. Several students miss out on achieving their target scores simply because they skim through their scorecard without absorbing vital information. You can do this in two simple steps.

Analyze your previous GMAT scores for the following:

  1. Overall
  2. Verbal
  3. Quant

Remember to compare these scores to your target scores to determine how close you are to your target GMAT score and how much effort you would require in each section and subsection to reach your goal.

Read more: How to Calculate GMAT Scores.

The 3 Categories You Must Highlight.

In the GMAT ESR, you will find the three categories of data highlighting performance by subsection, fundamental skills, progression, and the path to your target score. While you do this, you must also remember to evaluate your pacing through the GMAT test. Remember to answer questions such as:

  • Were you able to answer all questions with sufficient time on hand, or did you rush as you reached the end?
  • How were you paced in each section and sub-section?
  • Did your timing strategy helping you maximize your score?

Suppose your answer to the questions mentioned above is a no or a maybe, device a strategy that will help you sail through the sections. To obtain the most information to assess your abilities, study a single section (for example, the Verbal section) and take a good look at your subsectional performance. Note down the subsectional percentiles and check whether it is a true representation of your ability or not. A true representation conveys an accurate skill level of your percentile per subsection.

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Approaching Deadlines:

The best way to approach the GMAT preparation is to utilize the data obtained in the section above to meet your goal. GMATWhiz advocates this data-driven approach to analyze and derive meaningful insights to estimate your preparation needs accurately, thus helping you determine the right time to take the GMAT. We consider the following points when helping you narrow down the right time to give the GMAT:

  1. Deciding Target Business Schools
  2. Application Deadlines of Target Business Schools
  3. Number of Hours of Preparation Required
  4. Including Time for a GMAT Retake
  5. Other Factor of your MBA Application
  6. Time Required to Take Other Tests
  7. Test Center Availability

You are to report your scores to five business schools on the test day, the cost of which is included in your application fees. Finalizing your target schools helps you stick to application deadlines for each school, which gives you at least three months in advance to obtain your GMAT score. Also, most business schools have multiple application rounds; therefore, you must determine the application round you are applying to and its application dates.

Also read: How to start preparing for GMAT

Your GMAT Score isn’t the only thing that counts.

While picking schools and jotting down deadlines may seem a little less daunting, a test-taker should also consider the preparation time required to guarantee a score that qualifies for all their desired schools. This formula depends on the skill levels you wish to improve per section of the GMAT, keeping the target and previous GMAT scores and confidence-building time factors in mind. It is wise to also reconsider the possibility of another attempt, so spare yourself enough time to pencil in another retake of the GMAT.

However, your focus shouldn’t only lie on your GMAT preparation but also cover other aspects of your endless application list. Business schools require you to prepare a long list of requirements, including your statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, compelling essays, and business school interviews. Once you’re done with that, the paperwork, processing time, and visa formalities swoop into the picture.

Rating Previous Preparation:

Even if you performed poorly on the GMAT, it showcases the success and failure of your previous strategy. The GMAT isn’t a competitive exam; it requires a strategic plan to propel you to your desired score range. Listing down your strengths and weaknesses from your GMAT ESR helps you map your beginning. Your preparation for the last test you attended may not have focused entirely on either of the four sections present on the test, causing your score to gradually dip. Practice isn’t the only factor that matters in an admission test like the GMAT; applying a strategy that works for you holds the key to your success.


Retaking to the GMAT after a long break can be daunting and scary. However, with the right approach for a future attempt, you can easily sail through your preparation and test day jitters. All you need is a personalized strategic plan that adapts and teaches you the most from each given topic. GMATWhiz offers you an AI-driven tool applied to all its lessons and assessments that’ll help you reach your target score.

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