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Test Day

Mike McGarry
Lesson by Mike McGarry
Magoosh Expert
Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can you change the section order? I thought I heard about that.

A. Yes! In July 2017, MBA.com announced that you now have the ability to select the order of your sections. Read their official post here.

Their new feature "Select Section Order" allows you to choose between three options available to you at the test center:

  • AWA, IR, Quant, Verbal (original order)
  • Verbal, Quant, IR, AWA
  • Quant, Verbal, IR, AWA

We also have a blog post talking about some of the strategy related to this. Read our blog post here.

Q. Are there any fees associated with sending your score reports?

A.  On test day, you can select up to 5 schools to send your Official Score Report to for free.  However, any score report that you request after the test will cost a $28 fee.  For more information, please see this page at MBA.com:

Send Your Scores to Schools

Learn More About Magoosh GMAT
This is a video summarizing what to expect on test day, and everything you should do leading up to test day. So the first thing I'll say is, make an appointment to take the GMAT. Please don't put this off to the last minute because, of course, these slots can fill up. It's a good idea to do this several weeks, even a few months in advance.

Schedule your GMAT, and the way you do that is you go to mba.com, you go to this website. There's a big button, Schedule a GMAT Appointment, you follow the instructions there. So suppose your GMAT date is approaching, here's some suggestions. Number one, not just for one night but for the entire week leading up to the GMAT, get eight hours of sleep every night.

Sleep is very important. It's very important for using the full complement of your intellectual skills, and that's why it's so important not to skimp on sleep as you're moving toward the GMAT. Also very important, eat a big dinner the night before and eat a big breakfast the day of.

Think if you're running a race for example, it'd be very important the night before to have a big dinner. Often athletes carbo-load the night before a big race. Well, on the GMAT, you're gonna be doing what you could call an intellectual marathon. This a gigantic challenge, not a physical challenge, it's a mental challenge, but you're gonna need all your strength, all your stamina, and that's why it's very important to eat.

So, when you go to the test location, first of all, the things that you need to bring, you need to bring proper legal ID. It could be a passport, a driver's license, something like that. It's convenient to bring a list of schools to which you want your scores sent. Now, of course, you can have the scores sent again later, but if you write them in right then, that's just much more convenient, and the schools will get them as soon as possible.

And finally, if they send you any paperwork, when you make your appointment, they often send you something in the mail, any paperwork they send you bring that to the test. That will speed things along. Also, it's a very good idea to bring water and to bring some kind of healthy snacks that you can eat during the test.

By healthy snacks, I mean something full of protein, a protein bar, nuts, something like that. You don't want to bring candy, anything that's gonna create a sugar high and then a sugar crash. You don't want a sugar crash to be part of your GMAT experience. So, that's what you should bring.

What should you not bring? What you should not bring is anything you don't have to bring. Don't bring a lot of valuables. Don't bring big bags. You see, basically, you're gonna have to lock everything in a tiny little locker. And so, if you can leave it at home, if you can leave it in your car, much, much better, so that you walk in with relatively minimal supplies when you walk in to take your GMAT.

So, at the test center, you're gonna take it at a Pearson VUE test center. What happens at this test center? After you sign in, they will scan your palm, and then they will have you lock all your worldly possessions into a locker. So they, they make perfectly sure anything electronic, anything like that, all that goes into the locker.

You must be escorted into and out of the testing room, and each time, they scan your palm on the way out and the way back in. So this is really 1984-ish. These people really have studied, I think, with the people who do airport security. This hyper-secure, all kinds of electronic security to make sure that it is you and only you taking the GMAT.

And if you're not familiar with this, it can be very unnerving. A lot of people, I think, first time they take the GMAT, they weren't expecting any of this. And it really befuddles them so much that it winds up hurting their GMAT performance, so it's really important to be familiar with all of this. So, once they sit you down at the computer, what happens?

Well, there's a brief tutorial, and basically, this is kind of a duh thing. They're explaining, you know, here's how you use your mouse, here's how you, you click a button, and that sort of thing. Once you are done with the brief tutorial, then you write a 30-minute essay. That's part one of the GMAT, the AWA. Immediately after that, as soon as you submit your essay, you have a 30-minute integrated reasoning section.

So that is the beginning of the GMAT, the first two sections. At this point, you get an optional break. Definitely, definitely take the break. They give about eight minutes. So you don't have to take all eight minutes, but definitely get up, leave the room, walk around, drink some water.

Just the process of walking around will get your blood flowing, it will get more oxygen to your brain, and that's exactly what you need. So, even if you don't feel like you need a break, take that break. After that break, you get a 75-minute Quant section. At the end of the Quant section, you get a second optional break. Again, take that second break.

Walk around, get blood flowing, get oxygen to the brain. Then after that, you have the last section, the 75-minute verbal section. Once you're done with that, they'll escort you out and then they'll actually give you, right there, your score. Now, it's not your whole score, but what they will give you is the, the mass scaled score, the verbal scaled score.

They will give you your GMAT score, you know, give you your integrated reasoning score. You will have to wait a couple of weeks to get the essay score. Obviously, someone has to read the essay, so that takes a couple of weeks. So you will get a more formal score report in a few weeks, but you'll actually know your GMAT score right then, as soon as you walk out of the test.



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This is the last lesson of the section

Table of contents


Intro to the GMAT