Privacy for Those Who Cancel a GMAT Score Introduced |

Privacy for Those Who Cancel a GMAT Score Introduced

By Tim Dhoul

Updated August 11, 2016 Updated August 11, 2016

There might be any number of reasons as to why you would want to cancel a GMAT score – not necessarily just because you feel you may have flunked it.

The test’s governing body, GMAC, has now recognized this and will remove all trace of a big ‘C’ for ‘Cancelled’ showing up on a prospective MBA student’s official score report when sent off to business school.

Change designed to empower the prospective MBA student

“This new change in GMAC's score cancellation process will help candidates gain more control and confidence over their GMAT experience by allowing them to cancel their scores without the cancellation appearing in score reports,” said GMAC’s vice president for product management, Ashok Sarathy, in a press release, adding that the change can be applied retrospectively to any score reports not already sent out to business schools.

GMAC says the change is based on applicant feedback, with 85% of 3,000 survey respondents voting in favor of removing a cancelled GMAT score from public view. However, it has been suggested that the move merely seeks to counter an advantage that the GRE already offers. Matching the GRE in this respect could conceivably be seen as recognition, on the part of GMAC, that the GRE is increasingly accepted by business schools as an alternative to the GMAT (although the GMAT is still leagues in front in terms of candidate popularity).

Even so, it seems fairly obvious that most applicants will be happy about this change. It takes the pressure off an individual test day as well as removing any fear as to how hitting ‘cancel’ might be construed by a business school, should you wish to do so. Perhaps there will be a few who feel any competitive advantage they might have gained by nailing a high GMAT score on their first attempt will now be lost. Having said that, some schools place value in seeing a prospective MBA student make the effort to raise their GMAT score by retaking – this, of course, only applies to those with the audacity to leave their first attempt(s) on full display, without a cancel.

GMAC narrows retake window

The decision to allow a cancelled GMAT score to be nobody’s business but the test takers themselves is one of three changes to the paper, all of which will come into force from July 19 2015.

The second change relates to retakes. Up until now, applicants had to wait at least 31 days before they could sit their next GMAT. This window will now be halved to 16 days in an effort to ease any inconvenience waiting longer may cause to a prospective MBA student’s professional and/or study schedules - not to mention those all-important application deadlines. For example, if you absolutely have to get the GMAT done and dusted in July, it is now possible to sit the exam twice in a single calendar month. Applicants will continue to be limited to taking a maximum of five GMAT papers in the space of 12 months.   

The third change sees GMAC wave goodbye to authentication codes. Instead of being presented with one of these each time you sit the GMAT to access your official score report online thereafter, this will now be done simply by entering your date of birth – which, hopefully, any prospective MBA student can recall with consummate ease!

This article was originally published in July 2015 . It was last updated in August 2016

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Written by

Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).

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