What’s a good GMAT score? When considering your GMAT score goal, it’s always wise to look at the averages for the schools to which you’re applying, especially in 2019’s competitive admissions cycle. There are great resources like U.S. News and World Report where you can search for averages at a wide variety of schools. For starters, though, here is what you need to know about your GMAT score:
These scores will put you in the top 10% of all test takers
TOTAL SCORE: 710 – 800
QUANTITATIVE SUBSCORE: 51+
VERBAL SUBSCORE: 40+
INTEGRATED REASONING: 8
These scores will put you in a highly competitive place in admissions (top 25% of all test takers) TOTAL SCORE: 650 – 700 QUANTITATIVE SUBSCORE: 48-50 VERBAL SUBSCORE: 35-39 INTEGRATED REASONING: 7 ESSAY: 5.5
These scores will put you in a highly competitive place in admissions (top 25% of all test takers)
TOTAL SCORE: 650 – 700
QUANTITATIVE SUBSCORE: 48-50
VERBAL SUBSCORE: 35-39
INTEGRATED REASONING: 7
These scores put you ahead of the pack (50%+), but won’t be as advantageous when applying to highly competitive programs TOTAL SCORE: 550 – 640 QUANTITATIVE SUBSCORE: 38-47 VERBAL SUBSCORE: 28-34 INTEGRATED REASONING: 5-6 ESSAY: 4.5-5
These scores put you ahead of the pack (50%+), but won’t be as advantageous when applying to highly competitive programs
TOTAL SCORE: 550 – 640
QUANTITATIVE SUBSCORE: 38-47
VERBAL SUBSCORE: 28-34
INTEGRATED REASONING: 5-6
These scores may be enough to get into a wide variety of college programs, but will be below average compared to the testing population TOTAL SCORE: below a 550 QUANTITATIVE SUBSCORE: 37 or lower VERBAL SUBSCORE: 27 or lower INTEGRATED REASONING: 4 or lower ESSAY: 4 or lower
These scores may be enough to get into a wide variety of college programs, but will be below average compared to the testing population
TOTAL SCORE: below a 550
QUANTITATIVE SUBSCORE: 37 or lower
VERBAL SUBSCORE: 27 or lower
INTEGRATED REASONING: 4 or lower
ESSAY: 4 or lower
On the GMAT, you will actually receive five scores:
- A total score, ranging from 200-800
- A math subscore, ranging from 0-60
- A verbal subscore, ranging from 0-60
- A score for your AWA, ranging from 0-6
- An Integrated Reasoning subscore, ranging from 1-8
While what’s a good GMAT score may vary by MBA program, according to Kaplan Test Prep’s most recent survey of business school admissions factor, doing poorly on the exam can severely damage your chances of getting in. According to the over 150 admissions officers we spoke with in 2018 at top business schools across the United States, 41 percent say a low GMAT score is “the biggest application dealbreaker”; a low undergraduate GPA was named by 31 percent.
Additionally, over 95 percent say it is important in helping them determine if a prospective student can succeed in their program.
Your Percentile Score
Each of the above scores will be accompanied by a percentile rank. The percentile rank highlights what proportion of test takers scored lower than you on the test. The higher the percentile rank, the better you did. For example, if you received a rank of 70, you did better than 70% of test takers. This number shows business schools exactly where you fell with respect to other candidates who took the test.
Your Essay Score
Your essay will be given a separate score on a 0-6 scale by two different graders—a human and a computer called the “e-rater.” Your essay is graded holistically, taking into account content, writing style, and grammar. If the two grades agree, that score will be assigned. If they are markedly different, a third grader, a person, will read the essay to determine the grade.
Your Integrated Reasoning Score
Your IR section will be given a separate score on a 1-8 scale. Most Integrated Reasoning questions require more than one response, and there is no partial credit given.
Top Business School Statistics
|School||Avg GMAT Score||Avg GPA|
|University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)||725||3.60|
|University of Chicago (Booth)||723||3.58|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)||713||3.58|
|Northwestern University (Kellogg)||713||3.54|
|University of California — Berkeley (Haas)||714||3.60|
|Dartmouth College (Tuck)||718||3.53|
|New York University (Stern)||721||3.51|
Keep in mind that your GMAT score does not stand alone. Whether or not you are admitted to an MBA program (and whether or not you receive scholarship money) depends on several factors. In addition to focusing on getting the best GMAT score possible, you should also work on earning the best GPA possible, writing a very strong application essay, securing outstanding letters of recommendation, and rounding out your resume. Here’s how to plan for your target score:
Here are some guidelines on how to set a good GMAT score goal for yourself:
- Do your research. This is extremely important. What is the average GMAT score of accepted students at the schools you’re interested in? What do the admissions departments have to say about required minimum scores? The best place to look is on the school’s website. If the information isn’t there, try sending an email or placing a call. Be polite but persistent. Most schools will provide you with a minimum score requirement or an average score range for admitted students. Once you’ve done your research, use these numbers in your goal-setting process.
- Set specific goals, and prep with them in mind. Are you working to balance out a lower than average GPA, or aiming to earn financial aid? Then you’ll definitely want to aim for a higher than average GMAT score. Once you’ve done your research and gotten concrete numbers from your MBA programs of choice, you’ll be able to set very specific score goals for yourself and strive to hit them.
- Know that the GMAT is a standardized test that you can study for and, with enough practice, conquer. The GMAT asks the same types of questions on each administration of the test, so if you know the content and have methods to tackle the material, you can see significant improvement. Take a diagnostic test as you begin your studies. If that diagnostic test places you within a couple of points of your goal score, you may be good to continue studying on your own. If you have a number of points to gain, consider signing up for a prep course.