GMAT Non-Standard Test Accommodations
You don't need to be Charlie Manson-crazy to get extra time on the GMAT. (Although it would help.)
Most people don't know that they can get extra time on the GMAT to compensate for a medical condition; and it doesn't have to be a debilitating condition. In fact, most test takers who get significant accommodations have run-of-the-mill medical issues.
The most common conditions include dyslexia, ADHD, diabetes, epilepsy and clinical test anxiety. But even something as mundane as a bad back can do the trick. I've known people who have gotten extra time because of recent elective surgeries that had completely healed by the time test day rolled around.
How Do I get Non-Standard Accommodations?
Start by downloading the form at the MBA.com Web site. Search the site for "non-standard accommodations." You'll get a PDF document for you and another for your doctor. On the form you'll list your condition and request an accommodation to compensate for it. Your doctor will confirm your condition and attest that the accommodation you requested is appropriate.
What Accommodations Can I Ask For?
Whatever is reasonable given your condition. Of course, that leaves a lot of room for interpretation.
The three most common accommodations are double time, time and a half, and extra break time. It's obviously best to ask for double time, but be prepared to trade down. Test takers are often asked to settle for a lesser accommodation. If doing so is inappropriate for your condition, appeal the decision. It's not uncommon to win the appeal, though you may have to submit extra documentation and wait longer.
How Long Does It Take?
Forever! The MBA.com Web site states that it can take up to six weeks to get approval for non-standard accommodations, but I have often seen it take significantly longer. I have no idea why they can't read the submitted forms and give test takers a decision in a single day. I guess it's just another example of how bad customer service can be when you're working with a monopoly.
Makes me wonder how long it takes to be approved for non-standard accommodations for the GRE.
Is It Worth the Effort?
Definitely. It's not uncommon for a test taker who receives a significant accommodation to jump 100 points on the GMAT. I've seen it many times. So if you qualify, go through the trouble of filling out the forms and waiting for approval. It will be worth the effort.
75 minutes of math; 75 minutes of verbal; 2 essays
That's all that stands between you and 21 months in Palo Alto.
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Some Advice: OK, I'm clearly biased because I teach the GMAT exam, but take a GMAT prep class. If nothing else, sitting in a classroom with other test takers will motivate you to study harder.