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Key Guidelines for When to Take the GMAT

when to take the gmatI remember when I was young and would ask my dad a question, more often than not he would respond, “Would you like the short answer or the long answer?” It didn’t matter which option I chose, because at some point he would inevitably launch into the long answer. And while I hated it at the time, looking back, there were always some great nuggets of wisdom in the nuances of his long answer.

So in the spirit of my dad’s sage example, I present to you the short answer — and the long answer! — to the question, “When should I take the GMAT?”

The Short Answer

You should take the GMAT any time that you have 2-3 months, or approximately 80-100 hours, to adequately prepare for it.

Remember that your GMAT score is good for five (5) years, so you can take the GMAT whenever you’re ready — even if you don’t plan on applying to business school for another year or two. Why not get it out of the way early?

Now, why do I say that you’ll want to devote 80-100 hours studying for the GMAT? Because statistically, that’s how many hours students study to score above average on the GMAT. You can read my full article about how long you should expect to study for the GMAT by clicking here.

The Long Answer

Telling you to take the GMAT whenever you want, which is essentially what I’ve done in my short answer, may seem like a bit of a cop-out to you. At the very least, it’s still pretty vague. So let me dive deeper and give you three additional guiding principles for when you should consider taking the GMAT… (get the rest over at accepted.com).

Note: This is a guest article I wrote for Accepted.com and was published on their blog on 2/5/15. Click HERE to read the full article and get the rest of the “long answer” to this important question.