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 2020’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:
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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
- ESSAY: 6
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 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 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
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GMAT Scores You Will Receive
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 GMAT 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.
GRE/GMAT Score Comparison
While it’s impossible to perfectly equate GRE and GMAT scores, since they have different numbers of sections and their scores are reported differently, using your score on one test to predict your score on the other can help you know whether you’re prepared for the graduate programs to which you’re applying.
The GMAT is scored from 200-800, while each GRE section score falls between 130 and 170. Below is our chart of equivalent* GMAT, GRE Verbal, and GRE Quantitative score percentiles. GMAT scores were collected by GMAC between 2015 and 2018. GRE scores were collected by ETS between 2015 and 2018.
|Percentile||GMAT Score||GRE Verbal Score||GRE Quant Score|
*The percentiles and coinciding scores listed above are approximate, as equivalent data on GMAT and GRE scores were unavailable. For more accurate information on each test’s scoring percentiles, visit the test-makers’ websites: GMAC and ETS.
Your GMAT 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 GMAT 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 GMAT 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|
Your GMAT Game Plan
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: