Unlike most standardised tests, the GMAT is offered year-round in most locations around the world. Your exam date should be decided with your programs’ admissions deadlines in mind and you should give yourself enough time to prepare for the GMAT.
As previously discussed, the average preparation time for the GMAT has extended to 4.5 months in 2019 for our students (vs. 3 months in 2013). This longer preparation timeline is mostly explained by the steady score increase. Just think that the Kellogg MBA Class of 2014 GMAT average was 713. In 2019, the incoming class GMAT average was 730.
Having said that, preparation time differs from students to students and relies heavily on a candidate’s current performance level and familiarity with the GMAT (which is why we always recommend new student to take our Free GMAT diagnostic test first and foremost). Some students can score well for the GMAT with just a few weeks of preparation, but they are the exceptions, not the norms. Assuming you are an average candidate, your ideal preparation timeline should look like the following: