When to take the GMAT
While the GMAT may be offered every day, there are a few times of the year when you may run into scheduling snags. Most locations will only offer the test Monday through Saturday. Sunday tests are available at some locations, but you will have to scout the site ahead of time to check if that option is available at the particular location that you have your eye on. Additionally, the GMAT has a peak season between September and December. These dates coincide with most of the common business school deadlines for US applications. During these times, it can be significantly harder to find a convenient testing location. This busy season does not just apply to US testers either. If you live in a country where lots of candidates apply for American schools, be prepared to run into calendar delays. Additionally, be sure to keep an eye on the common business school deadlines for your home country as local testing sites are likely to become busy during these months as well.
Another factor to keep in mind is that many testing sites to not cater solely to the GMAT. This means that there may be proctors administering a variety of other exams on any given day. Although certain measures are taken to keep testing rooms free from outside noise, I can personally attest that some locations are far from soundproof. When in doubt, the best approach is to call the testing center ahead of time to ask when their most busy time of year is. I have found most locations to be very friendly and receptive to questions.
Fortunately, with a little planning you can avoid the crowd and land a seat at a location and time that is convenient for you. One of the nice things about the GMAT is that there is little need for a physical proctor outside of the initial setup. This means that dates to take the test are plentiful and times are flexible. Are you not a morning person? No problem! Simply schedule an afternoon or evening exam. GMAC releases appointment dates 6 months in advance and their website keeps you updated on available seats in realtime. If you do not see a time you like, check back later for an updated list. It has never been easier to schedule an exam!
There are numerous considerations to make when deciding upon when and where to take the GMAT. Ideally, you want to find a time that coincides perfectly with the end of your study regiment and allows you to take the test in a quiet, comfortable setting. With all of the stress that the GMAT places on you, it is nice to know that finding a location and time is a fairly straightforward process. Remember to schedule early and you will be fine.