The GMAT is unique because it allows you to cancel your scores immediately after taking the test. However, you will NOT be allowed to view your scores before deciding whether or not to cancel them — you must make the blind decision to cancel them or keep them.
Knewton recommends that you only cancel your score if you have left several questions unfinished at the end of either the Verbal or Quantitative sections. In all other cases, you should NOT cancel your score. Here are the three reasons why:
1. Remember: The GMAT is Adaptive
Your score might be much higher than you expect. Since the GMAT is an adaptive test, it feels difficult for every single student. Even students who score in the 700+ range will encounter questions on the GMAT that they do not know how to solve. Merely feeling like the test was difficult is not necessarily an indicator that you scored poorly.
2. You Can Always Retake the GMAT
If you are disappointed with your score, you can always retake the GMAT. Business schools do not look down upon applicants that have taken the GMAT more than once, and they generally only care about your highest score. A lower score on your record is probably less damaging than you believe. Furthermore, if you cancel your score, the fact that you cancelled it will appear on your official score report that business schools see (although no one, including yourself, will ever see your score for that day).
3. Learn from Your GMAT Score
Your score gives you useful feedback. Think about it this way: whether you cancel your score or keep a score that ended up being too low, you will need to retake the GMAT. If you need to retake the GMAT, a detailed score report for the first time you took the GMAT can help you study more effectively and efficiently by allowing you to target the areas where you need to improve. Don’t throw away the information that an official score report gives you.