The GMAT test dates are different from many of the other standardized entrance tests out there. Some other tests like the SAT or MCAT are on pre-set days and everyone taking the test takes it on those days. The GMAT on the other hand has a completely flexible date range leaving it open for takers to determine what best fits their schedule. The bottom line is that there are no set dates to take the GMAT test. Your GMAT test dates are yours to choose for yourself. Once you decide that you are ready to take it you can on that day begin the process to do so.
The GMAT test is given at computer testing centers worldwide and selection of a testing center is a first step in the process. Basically whatever are the available times that the testing center is open and has an open seat is your GMAT test date. The time slots that are available change continuously depending on the amount of people that are registering at any given testing center. After registering and making the $250 testing payment then you are all set to take the exam and have your GMAT test date. The payment and registration can be made online.
Once officially registered, the next step is obviously to take the test. There are prep tests, prep books, and even training classes available to help you prepare for the real test and many testers take advantage of these to try to increase their scores and thus their chances of getting into their chosen school. The GMAT test can be taken only one time in a 31 day period and not more than five times in any 12-month timeframe.
If you are just out of undergraduate school and considering graduate business school, some people would consider that to be an advantage and urge taking the test now rather than waiting until later even if the final decision is to wait on graduate school. The reasoning is that the information and study habits are still fresh and will make test taking easier now than after a few years of working. On the other hand, many business schools also like to have some solid work experience in their student bodies, so many people out of school for years are also taking the GMAT and applying for business school. Work experience as well as the GMAT score are just two of many selection criteria used by graduate admission programs, but the GMAT score is one of the most critical factors.