Over 247,000 students around the world take the GMAT every year as they prepare to apply to business school. If you’re planning to be one of those students, how do you register for this important test?
This guide will lead you through the full GMAT registration process, step by step, so you don’t make any mistakes for this important test.
When Should You Register for the GMAT?
You can register for the GMAT anywhere from six months to 24 hours before your selected test date if you’re signing up online or by phone. If you prefer to register by mail, then your scheduling form and check must arrive at least 10 days before your chosen test date.
The earlier you register for the GMAT the better. Spots can fill up fast, so you should sign up early so you get your preferred test date, location, and time of day. A general rule of thumb is to sign up at least two to three months before your test date.
Not only will you find greater availability, but you’ll also benefit from setting a hard deadline for your prep. When you know your test is around the corner, you’ll feel a boost in your commitment to studying.
What information will you provide when you register for the GMAT?
What Do You Need to Register for the GMAT?
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) collects certain data when you sign up for the GMAT. Some of this information is required, while some of it is optional.
The data required to sign up for the GMAT includes your
- Full legal name
- Date of birth
- Country of citizenship (U.S. test-takers must also indicate their ethnicity)
- Payment data
If you’re signing up online or by phone, then this payment data will come from your credit card or debit card. If you’re paying by mail, then you can use a credit card, debit card, cashier’s check, personal check, or money order. The registration fee for the GMAT is $250.
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In addition to this required data, GMAC also asks you for some optional information. It’s completely up to you whether you want to provide this data. It can help you get in touch with business schools, but a lot of it is for the benefit of GMAC. With this data, they gain a clearer sense of who is taking their business school test.
The optional GMAT registration information includes your
- Fax number
- Native language
- Education history
- Work history
- Opt-in information, like surveys and other services
Before you start registering for the test, you should make sure that you have all of the required information on hand. As long as you have everything you need, you can complete the registration process in just about 20 minutes.
There are three ways you can sign up for the GMAT. Read on to see what they are.
How Do You Register for the GMAT? 3 Options
There are three ways you can sign up for the GMAT: online, by phone, or by mail. The vast majority of students sign up online, as it’s a fast and free way of going through the process. Plus, you’ll be able to sign into your GMAT account about 20 days after you take the test to see your official score report.
It’s also possible to register by phone, but GMAC seems to discourage this. How do they do that? They issue a $10 service charge for every transaction made over the phone. Those same transactions have no service charge when you make them online.
Finally, you can register by mail by sending the official GMAT scheduling form and payment method of your choice. Your registration request must arrive at least 10 days before your selected test date so GMAC has time to process your request.
Given that most people register online, let’s start there. Read on for the full online GMAT sign up process, step by step.
How to Register for the GMAT Online
The online GMAT sign up is a relatively straightforward process that you can complete in about 20 minutes on MBA.com. We have screenshots of the website so you can see exactly what to expect. Check out the full GMAT registration process below in eight steps.
Step 1: Create an Account With MBA.com
First, you should head to MBA.com. The website will automatically adjust to your location. For instance, when I go to MBA.com, it automatically takes me to MBA.com/us, because I’m based in the United States.
If you already have an account, you can login with your email and password. Otherwise, you should create an account. All you need to do is enter your first and last name, email, and a password.
You can also choose whether or not you want to be put on email lists for business schools and communication from GMAC. The boxes will be checked automatically, so you’ll have to uncheck them if you want to remain absent from these email lists.
Once you’ve filled out this form, you should write down your password to make sure you can log back in in the future (without having to go through the tedious “Forgot my password” rigmarole). Once you’ve recorded your login info, you’re ready to create your MBA account.
Step 2: Begin the Registration Process
Once you’ve created your MBA account, you should click on “Register Today,” as in the image below.
The next screen will show you options to schedule your exam, find a test center, cancel your exam, etc. You can click on “Find a test center” to familiarize yourself with the location options of test centers in your area if you wish. You’ll also be able to do this later in the registration process.
For now, let’s assume you go straight to “Schedule a GMAT Exam.”
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Step 3: Complete Your Personal Profile
The next screen will ask you to fill in personal details, like your name, address, phone number, date of birth, sex, and country of citizenship.
At this point, you’ll be asked again if you want to receive emails, calls, or texts from graduate business schools, scholarship organizations, or other partners of GMAC. Note that you can always change your preferences later by logging into your account.
After filling out your required personal details, you’ll move onto a screen that asks for optional information.
Step 4: Move On to Optional Information
This next screen is entirely optional, so you can skip it if you want. It asks for your educational information, like where you went to college, when you graduated, and your work experience. You’ll also be asked about your future plans, like when and where you plan to apply for graduate business school.
This page will mainly be useful if you want to put yourself on email lists for graduate programs and scholarship organizations. It can help personalize your account so you get more relevant communications. It also helps GMAC learn more about the people who are taking the GMAT.
Step 5: Verify Your Profile
After you fill everything out, you’ll see a summary of your profile. You’ll be asked to verify that all of the information is accurate. This step is very important, as your name, date of birth, and citizenship must match your ID exactly.
There’s a lot of security around the GMAT, and you’ll only be able to take the test as long as everything matches up on test day. Look over everything carefully and make sure there are no errors before you hit “Save Profile.”
Step 6: Choose a Test Center
Once you’ve saved your profile, you’ll choose a place to take the test. The website will show you test centers near the address that you entered on the previous page. If you’re taking the test elsewhere, you can also put in a new address to see your options.
You’ll see all the test centers in the surrounding area with a list of their address and their locations on a handy map. First, you’ll select a test center. Then, you’ll pick a date.
Step 7: Pick a Date
Once you’ve chosen your test center, you’ll go on to select a date. You can either search for availability around a specific date, or if you’re registering last minute, you can look for the next available test.
After you make your choice, you’ll see a calendar featuring two months. Available dates show up in green. You can also navigate ahead to see future available test dates.
Once you choose your date, you will choose the time of day, morning or afternoon, that you want to take the test. A date will show up as available as long as it has at least one time available.
Let’s say you pick November 10, but it only has space in the morning. If you know that you’ll do a better job taking the test in the afternoon, then you could click on November 14 or search in December to find a test date with an available afternoon option.
Once you’ve chosen your location, date, and time, you’ll head to the final screen of the GMAT registration process.
Step 8: Check Out
To finalize your GMAT registration, you need to pay the $250 registration free. You’ll be asked again at this point to verify all of your information — GMAC really wants to make sure everything is accurate.
You’ll see your test in your checkout cart, as well as GMAC’s free GMAT PrepSoftware. You can remove this software if you’re not ready to download it quite yet. You’ll also see some optional add-ons for GMAT prep books and products.
You’ll have to check one last box before paying. This box says that you agree to the GMAT policies as described in the official handbook. You can find all of the policies in the GMAT handbook here.
Finally, it’s time to pay. Make sure to have your credit or debit card handy! GMAC accepts Visa, MasterCard, JCB, or American Express.
Once you’ve entered your payment info and hit submit, you’re all set! You’ll get an email confirming your GMAT registration, and you can also see the confirmation in your MBA account.
As you can see, the process of registering is pretty straightforward, but it does require you to keep a careful eye on your information to make sure all is accurate. Is there anything else you can do to make sure the GMAT registration process goes as smoothly as possible?
Tips for Registering for the GMAT Online
There are a few ways you can prepare before you start the online GMAT sign up process. Consider these five tips to make your registration successful.
#1: Read the GMAT Handbook
A useful first step is reading through the official GMAT handbook so you have a clear sense of all of the rules and regulations. You’ll have to agree to the handbook’s policies before you complete your registration, so it’s good to know what you’re agreeing to. Plus, you’ll learn some useful details about test day and what the test-taking experience will be like.
#2: Think Carefully About Testing Location and Time
Think carefully about the best location, date, and time of day for you to take the GMAT. Do you have transportation to the test center? Will you have to sit through rush hour traffic and show up feeling stressed out? Do you have any competing commitments in your schedule? Are you able to focus better in the morning or afternoon?
Ask yourself all of these questions before committing to a test center, date, and time of day. Making changes to your GMAT registration is costly, so you want to get it right the first time and set yourself up for success.
#3: Have Your Credit Card Handy
When you’re ready to register, you should set aside about half an hour to complete the process. Make sure you have your credit card or debit card handy and that your mode of payment will be accepted (remember — MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or JCB).
#4: Record Your Login Info
When you create your MBA account, you should write down the email and password you use and store this record in a safe place. That way, you’ll be able to easily log back into your account in the future. You’ll need to use this account to see your official score report, make any changes to your registration, or schedule a retake test.
#5: Proofread Your Profile
Finally, you should make sure to look over all of your information to make sure it’s accurate. As you saw above, the website has a couple of checks where you’ll have to pause and verify your info.
It should match your ID exactly. If you do end up making a mistake or need to make a change, you can only do so by calling customer service. GMAC may charge $10 for this phone call.
Now that you know how to register online for the GMAT, let’s take a look at the other two options, registering by phone or by mail.
How to Register for the GMAT by Phone
If you choose to register for the GMAT by phone, you’ll go through a similar process as you would registering online. The difference will be that you’ll tell the customer service representative your information, rather than type it into your online profile.
You’ll still be asked for all of the same details – like your name, address, email, and date of birth – as well as optional information about your educational history and future plans.
To start the process, you should call the phone number for your region. Here are the phone numbers for each region, along with their hours of operation.
|Americas Region||(toll-free): +1 (800) 717-GMAT (4628) or +1 (952) 681-3680||7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT|
|Asia-Pacific Region||+852-3077-4926; In India: +91 120-439-7830||9 a.m. to 6 p.m. AEST; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Indian Standard Time|
|China||+86-10-82345675||8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. China Standard Time|
|Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) Region||+44 (0) 161 855 7219||9 a.m. to 5 p.m. GMT|
Typically, GMAC charges a service fee of $10 for every phone call. It will tack this on to the $250 GMAT registration fee. If you choose to register this way, you’ll choose a test center, test date, and time of day, and then provide your credit card information over the phone.
Read on for a few tips for anyone choosing to register for the GMAT by phone.
Tips for GMAT Registration by Phone
When registering for the GMAT by phone, you should heed all of the advice mentioned above — look over the GMAT handbook, choose your test center and date carefully, and have your credit card handy. You should also write down your test center, date, and time of day, so that you remember exactly where and when you’ll be taking the GMAT.
Since your information must match your ID, make sure to check that the person you’re speaking to has entered your name, citizenship, and date of birth correctly. If you have any other questions about the GMAT, try to ask them all during this phone call. Otherwise, you may have to pay the $10 service fee for all additional phone calls.
Now let’s take a look at the last option for GMAT registration, sending your scheduling form in by mail.
How to Register for GMAT by Mail
When you register for the GMAT by mail, you’ll have to fill out and send in the GMAT Appointment Scheduling Form. You’ll fill in your personal details and indicate two test center choices and five test dates, in order of first choice to last choice.
You’ll also fill in your credit card information or enclose a cashier’s check, money order, or personal check made out to Pearson VUE-GMAT. If you pay by check, it must be payable in U.S. dollars and draw on a U.S. bank. If for any reason your check doesn’t clear, GMAC will charge an additional $20 fee.
You’ll send all of your materials to this address:
Attention: GMAT Program
PO Box 581907
Minneapolis, MN 55458-1907
If you plan to mail your registration, is there anything else you need to know?
Tips for Registering for the GMAT by Mail
If you register for the GMAT by mail, then your materials need to arrive at least 10 days before your preferred test date. Since test centers and dates fill up months in advance, you should probably mail your registration at least three or four months in advance. Keep in mind that mail from some countries takes a long time to arrive in Minnesota — as many as eight weeks from some places!
You should also be thoughtful about all of your five listed test dates and two test centers. You might not get your first choice, so you should only list options that work for you.
Students from all over the world take the GMAT, and most sign up for this MBA test online. Given that the GMAT is an international test, are there any differences for registrants in certain countries?
Registering for the GMAT: Country-Specific Regulations
By and large, the process of registering for the GMAT is the same for students across the world. Everyone can register online at MBA.com, and everyone has to pay the same registration fee of $250. Additional taxes will vary by country.
The GMAT handbook notes one potential difficulty for registrants in India around payment. They say that some banks in India don’t allow debit cards to be used online without a pin number. GMAC doesn’t participate in this program, so anyone that runs into this issue should contact her bank for assistance. These registrants may get a one-time use card or have the pin restriction lifted for the GMAC website.
Apart from this issue with payment, most people sign up for the GMAT in pretty much the same way. The main differences in country-specific regulations have to do with test center rules. Some countries, for instance, require that your ID document is a passport, while other places allow more options.
As you read a few times in this guide, you should be careful that you enter your information accurately and that it matches the details on your ID. Once you submit everything, can you make any changes to your GMAT registration?
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Can You Make Changes to Your GMAT Registration?
When you sign up for the GMAT online, you’ll get three reminders to double check that your data is accurate. If you do make an error or need to make a change, you can do so by calling customer service at one of the phone numbers on the chart above. Again, the fee for each phone call is $10 — not an unbearable amount, but enough to make you want to get everything right the first time.
If you need to reschedule or cancel your test, you can do so for a fee. If you reschedule your test more than seven days before your test date, you can do so for an additional $50. If you wait until seven or fewer days before, then you won’t get any discount and will have to pay the entire $250 registration fee again.
As for canceling, you can do so more than seven days out and get a refund of $80 (or $150 if you’re in South Korea). If you cancel seven or fewer days before your date, then you’re out of luck. You won’t get any money back.
You can reschedule or cancel the test through your MBA account or over the phone. You can also retake the GMAT if you’re not happy with your scores.
What If You Want to Retake the GMAT?
If you want to retake the GMAT, you can easily reschedule a new exam through your MBA account. Basically, you can skip steps #1 through #3 and go straight to choosing a location and date and paying for the test. You’ll go straight to the “Schedule Your Exam” tab.
You’ll go through the same screens as you did the first time and will choose a test center, date, and time of day. Then you’ll check out and pay the $250 registration fee.
However you choose to register, the steps are pretty similar. Through it all, you should keep the following four tips in mind.
Registering for the GMAT: 4 Key Tips
The GMAT is a very important step on the path to business school, and you want to set yourself up for success. With its relatively steep fee of $250, you want to do all you can to get your GMAT registration right the first time. Consider these four pieces of advice as you prepare to sign up for the exam.
#1: Register Early
First off, you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to sign up for the GMAT. Spots fill up quickly, especially in metropolitan areas. Try to sign up at least two to three months before your selected test date.
As you choose a date, be mindful of your business school application deadlines. You should also leave yourself extra time in case you need to take the test again.
Not only will signing up early ensure that you have your choice of test dates, but it will also help you overcome any test prep procrastination. Having a date set in stone makes the GMAT real. Rather than putting off your prep until the next day, you’ll know you need to spring into action and start studying.
#2: Gather All Necessary Information Before You Register
Before you register, make sure you have everything you need. Required information includes your phone number, email, address, and payment details.
Don’t stress about optional information. There’s no problem if you leave those sections blank. The main benefit would be getting more personalized emails from specific business schools or scholarship organizations.
Gather everything you need ahead of time so you can complete the process efficiently.
#3: Be Thoughtful About the Date, Time of Day, and Location
As you read above, rescheduling or canceling your GMAT test can get expensive. Before you lock yourself in to a test date, think carefully about where and when you should take the test.
Consider any other commitments you have, your work schedule, how you’ll get to the test center, and what days and times you function best. For instance, you might have more energy at the beginning of a work week than you do at the end. Perhaps you’re someone who would handle the GMAT a lot better on a Monday or Tuesday than you would on a Friday afternoon.
By considering all of these factors before you sign up, you can reduce the chance that you’ll have to make any changes and pay the accompanying fees.
#4: Make Any Changes More Than 7 Days Ahead of Time
If anything comes up that interferes with your test date, try to make any changes more than seven days ahead of time. If you wait until seven days or fewer before your date, then you won’t get any money back or any discount for rescheduling your test.
In closing, let’s go over the key points you need to know about GMAT registration.
How to Register for the GMAT: Final Points
Hundreds of thousands of people across the world register for the GMAT every year. Most people sign up online through their MBA.com accounts.
The GMAT sign up process doesn’t take long. The main challenge is choosing a test date, location, and time of day that optimizes your performance. Be thoughtful about when and where you take the test so you can do your best.
As you register, make sure to proofread all of your information for accuracy. Security is high around this important exam, and you’ll need your registration information to match up exactly with your ID document.
As long as you register months in advance, you should be able to get your first choice of test center and date. Once you’ve locked in your test date, you can spend the rest of your time preparing to leap this hurdle along the track to graduate business school.
You know that GMAT registration costs $250, but are there any other fees you need to pay? Check out this full list of GMAT fees, including score cancellation and sending score reports to business schools.
Are you looking to learn more about the test itself? This full GMAT syllabus breaks down the skills and question types in each section, plus you’ll find important tips for your GMAT prep.
How is the GMAT scored? This article breaks down how each section of the GMAT is scored in full detail.