GMAT Exam Fees Rise 10 Percent: Is It Still Worth Taking the Test? |

GMAT Exam Fees Rise 10 Percent: Is It Still Worth Taking the Test?

By Linda Mohamed

Updated February 18, 2020 Updated February 18, 2020

For the first time since 2005, the cost of the GMAT test has increased in North America, from US$250 (£191.81) to US$275 (£211).

A spokesperson from the GMAT said: “The GMAT fee increase in the United States and Canada enables GMAC’s ability to continue making investments and enhancements toward the quality and integrity of the GMAT exam, while delivering a streamlined testing experience that empowers test takers to perform at their personal best on exam day.

“GMAC will continue to provide free resources for candidates to confidently prepare for their graduate business school journey while creating the best test-taker experience possible.”

The increase in price only concerns the cost of taking the exam. Other potential costs – such as reschedules, cancellations and additional score report requests – will remain the same.

With over 250,000 attempting the GMAT every year, it is seen as a test with a high potential candidate pool.  

And participants are eager to put in the additional prep time (and funding) to ace the exam. In 2019 alone, Americans spent US$1bn (£768m) in test prep hoping to get ahead of the competition. An unsurprising fact when you take into account that a degree from a top MBA program is guaranteed to boost one’s salary. People have gone as far as paying over US$5,500 (£4,224) for in-person classes at top prep schools, while individual tutors can get away with charging US$500 (£384) per hourly session.

Even though some schools have dropped the GMAT from their application requirements and test prices have increased, hundreds of thousands of people keep taking the test – why? Is the GMAT still worth it?

Here’s three reasons why it is.

It’s accepted by all business schools

If you’re planning on applying to top b-schools, the GMAT is a viable option and investment, as it’s accepted by all business schools and is sure to open doors – especially if final scores are high.

25 percent of business schools said submitting a GMAT test score over a GRE result gives applicants an advantage as opposed to a miniscule 2 percent favoring the latter test score.

This is likely because admissions departments are more familiar with the GMAT, making it easier for them to gather information about candidates from their submissions.

It makes you stand out in the application process

The GMAT is one of the most, if not the most important factor in the business school admissions process.

As Noah Teitelbaum, executive director of pre-business programs at Manhattan Prep, told TopMBA: “A low GMAT score is the ‘biggest application deal breaker’, according to our sister company Kaplan Test Prep’s annual business school admissions officers survey. You can’t hope to get into a top program with a middling score.

“If you can get into a high enough range, then the admissions committee will consider the rest of your application — and the committee will use the rest of the information to make their decision.”

Moreover, taking the GMAT shows you’re more committed to pursuing a career in business than candidates with a GRE, as the latter isn’t exclusive to b-schools and it could send give the impression to the admissions committee that you’re open to other avenues, not just an MBA or business degree.

It tests what you need for the business world

Many business schools feel that the GMAT tests skills directly related to b-school courses which of course will be associated with a high-pressure managerial career in the business world.

The Quantitative and Integrated Reasoning sections of the GMAT allow you to demonstrate an ability to perform calculations and interpret data, attributes you’ll need to do well in b-school.

There are also a number of other soft skills you will develop while studying for your GMAT, which will help you impress recruiters and convince them you’d be a good fit – skills including critical thinking, time management and decision making.

This article was originally published in February 2020 .

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Written by

Linda is Content Writer at TopMBA, creating content about students, courses, universities and businesses. She recently graduated in Journalism & Creative Writing with Politics and International Relations, and now enjoys writing for a student audience. 

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