GMAT score is the first milestone on the road to your dream business school. A good GMAT score is an indicator of the student’s ability to cope with the demanding MBA curriculum. It assures business schools that you can not only ‘get in’ but also ‘get through’ their MBA program. The GMAT scores range between 200 and 800, with 800 being the highest score possible. Generally, a good GMAT score is between 700-740. Another important aspect that comes up is “GMAT score percentile” – How do the scores translate to the percentiles, and what it their significance? All these questions are answered in this article.
As the GMAT score is a key component of your application process, I am sure each one of you has wondered about one of the following aspects:
- What is the GMAT score distribution?
- What does your GMAT score percentile mean?
- GMAT percentile ranking – what is it?
- What is the average GMAT quantitative and verbal score?
- How is the GMAT score calculated?
What should be my target GMAT score?
Before you proceed, it’s important to set a realistic target score that aligns with your goals and abilities. To help you with this, we’ve created a quick and easy quiz that will provide you with personalized recommendations on what your target GMAT score should be. So, take a few minutes to complete the quiz and gain valuable insights that will help you achieve success on the GMAT!
- What should be my target GMAT score?
- GMAT Scoring System – A general overview
- What is the Average GMAT Score?
- What is a good GMAT score?
- GMAT percentile- How to convert your score into percentile ranking?
- GMAT scores and percentiles 2023 || GMAT Score chart
- How is GMAT scored?
- GMAT score Chart – Is there a GMAT score Chart calculator I can use?
- Understanding GMAT Score Reports and GMAT Enhanced Score Report (ESR)
- GMAT Scores and Percentiles – Takeaways
Thinking about taking the GMAT? The first step is to assess your current level – Get your baseline score (along with sub-sectional scores and percentiles) by taking a free mock test and understand the various nuances of the GMAT.
Now that you know what should be your target GMAT score, let us understand the various nuances of GMAT percentiles, scores, how they are calculated, and what is the GMAT score distribution in 2023-24.
GMAT Scoring System – A general overview
This section will cover common queries related to the GMAT score range, total score, highest score, and GMAT average score. You can also watch this video to understand how the GMAT quantitative and verbal score translates to a percentile ranking:
What is the GMAT Score range ?
The GMAT score range between 200 and 800, with 800 being the highest GMAT score possible. GMAT is scored in increments of 10. (for example – 700, 710, 720, and so on). GMAT assesses certain analytical, writing, quantitative, and verbal skills that are critical for admission to a graduate management program, such as an MBA. About 60% of the test takers score between 400 and 650.
There are four sections in the GMAT i.e., Quant or Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning (IR), and Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA). You get a scaled score for each of the sections. Note that the GMAT Total Score is calculated using the scores of Quant and Verbal sections only. Here is the table with GMAT score breakdown:
|GMAT Section||Scaled Score|
|Integrated Reasoning score||1-8|
|Analytical Writing Assessment score||0-6|
Attention test takers! GMAC has announced a new version of the GMAT test called the GMAT Focus edition. This new test will start from November 7, 2023, while the current version of the test will be available till at least early 2024.
Also, watch the following video to learn all about the GMAT Focus edition and also understand how to decide which version of the exam to take- The current version or the GMAT Focus edition.
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What is the Average GMAT Score?
This is an interesting aspect to cover. According to the GMAC, over 100,000 unique students took the GMAT test in 2022. If we include the repeat attempts, this number translates to a total of approximately 150,000 test attempts.
Of these, only 13% of the students score 700 or more, only 1% score 760 or more, and 87% usually fail to get what is considered a good GMAT Score.
According to GMAC, here is the average GMAT score based on test-takers between the period of January 2019 to December 2022:
- The average GMAT score is 574.51
- The average GMAT Verbal score is 27.51
- The average GMAT Quant score is 41.3
- The average GMAT AWA score is 4.43
- The average GMAT IR score is 4.65
In contrast, when we look at the top 10 business schools, like Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, and Yale, we have an average GMAT score of 730 — which is in the 96th percentile. Here are 5 key steps to score 700+ on the GMAT:
What is a good GMAT score?
This question requires a more subjective answer than just a number. At the outset, a score above 700 might be considered a good score. But it might not help all the test-takers achieve their dream. Therefore, we have answered this crucial question in 2 different contexts:
Question 1 – What is a good GMAT score for MBA Admissions?
Look at the table below for the average GMAT score of the incoming batch of the top 10 business schools. A good GMAT score is something that is at least 20 points higher than the average GMAT score of the incoming batch. For example, if you are targeting Harvard Business School, a good GMAT score would be around 750.
|2021 GMAT||2020 |
|2019 GMAT||2018 GMAT||2017 GMAT||2016 GMAT||2015 GMAT||2014 GMAT|
|The Wharton School||733||733||733||732||732||730||730||732||728|
|Harvard Business School||730||730||730||730||729||729||729||725||726|
|Stanford Graduate School of Business||737||738||738||734||732||737||737||733||732|
|Booth School of Business||729||732||732||730||731||730||726||726||724|
|Kellogg School of Management||729||729||727||730||732||732||728||724||713|
|MIT Sloan School of Management||730||730||730||727||728||722||724||716||713|
|Columbia Business School||729||729||729||727||732||724||720||715||716|
|UC Berkeley (Haas)||729||729||726||725||726||725||717||715||717|
|Yale School of Management||725||726||730||720||724||727||725||721||719|
As you would have noticed, average GMAT scores are increasing yearly for top business schools, and we expect this trend to continue in the coming years.
Question 2 – What is a good GMAT Test Score for MBA Scholarships?
Scholarship committees evaluate many factors before awarding a scholarship and GMAT score is an important factor considered by them.
If you are stressed out about paying for your MBA but have an envious GMAT score, you stand a good chance of getting a business fellowship or scholarship.
As this is an important topic that requires comprehensive information, we’ve written another post covering this topic in detail – What is a good GMAT score for MBA Scholarships 2023?
Question 3 – Which GMAT Score Admission Committees consider if I have taken GMAT multiple times?
It is an important question in the mind of most applicants. The answer to this question is that the Admission Committees (Ad-coms) get a report which includes only those GMAT scores which you have accepted in the last five years. If you have canceled a score, that score will not be shared with the Ad-Coms. Additionally, if you have more than one GMAT score, which you have accepted, most Ad-Coms look at your highest GMAT Score. Because the GMAT score has a high weight-age in the application process, Ad-coms always consider your best GMAT score.
GMAT percentile- How to convert your score into percentile ranking?
Here’s what the GMAC says about GMAT Scores and GMAT percentiles: “GMAT Scores also include a Percentile Ranking. This number indicates the percentage of test-takers that you performed better than.”
They further explain that while your score will not change, the Percentile Ranking may as GMAT Percentiles are recalculated every summer using exam data from the prior three years.
The percentile associated with a GMAT score is the percentage of people whom you have outscored by getting that score.
For example, a GMAT 750 is about the 98th percentile. This means: if you score 750 on the GMAT, you have performed better than 98% of the GMAT test-takers.
Take a look at the table (GMAT Score Chart) below to understand the relation between GMAT Test Scores and GMAT Percentiles.
GMAT scores and percentiles 2023 || GMAT Score chart
The GMAT is scored in the range of 200 to 800 and each score translates to a GMAT percentile figure. The same is the case with scores of Quant, Verbal, IR, and AWA sections. For all these sub-sections, your score will translate into a percentile.
Take a look at the following GMAT score -percentile chart to understand how to convert GMAT scores into percentiles.
This table is the updated Total GMAT score percentiles based on test-takers scores in the recent years:
|GMAT score||GMAT percentile|
GMAT Quantitative Score and Quant Percentiles
|GMAT Quantitative score||GMAT Quant Percentile|
GMAT Verbal score and percentile
|GMAT Verbal score||GMAT Verbal Percentile|
GMAT AWA and IR score and percentile
|GMAT IR score||GMAT IR Percentile|
|GMAT AWA score||GMAT AWA Percentile|
Now, let’s address the next question – How is the GMAT score calculated?
How is GMAT scored?
The most important thing you need to understand is that the GMAT is an adaptive test. This means that the difficulty level of questions keeps changing according to your performance. For example, the test might keep increasing the difficulty level of questions if you keep answering them correctly.
But why does the test adjust the difficulty level of questions?
For one simple reason, it wants to assess your ability level. A person who can answer higher difficulty level questions has a high ability level as compared to one who is not able to answer those questions. Therefore, your GMAT score depends on two factors:
- Number of questions answered correctly
- The average difficulty level of questions answered correctly
GMAT does not allow you to skip questions, so you have to answer all the questions presented to you. Hence, even if you don’t know the answer to a question, you shouldn’t waste your time on them. Mark an answer and move on to the next question. Unlike other tests, there is no negative marking for marking a wrong answer on the GMAT.
GMAT score Chart – Is there a GMAT score Chart calculator I can use?
You’ll find a lot of complicated GMAT Score charts or tables which will explain Quant and Verbal scaled score requirements to achieve a target GMAT Score.
At e-GMAT, we strive to make the students’ life easier at every level and therefore, we have built this fantastic tool called the GMAT Personalized Study Planner. With this tool, you can not only find out the Quant and Verbal Sectional scores but also Sub-sectional scores in Quant (Algebra, Arithmetic, etc.) and Verbal (CR, RC, and SC) to achieve your target Score! Moreover, this tool will craft your very own study plan in 5 minutes. Click on the link below to create your personalized study plan in 5 mins!
Learn how to create a personalized study plan:
Understanding GMAT Score Reports and GMAT Enhanced Score Report (ESR)
There are two types of score reports:
- Unofficial score report – You’ll receive it as soon as you complete the test, and if you choose to accept the score. You’ll get 2 minutes to either accept or cancel your score. You have the option of canceling your score within 72 hours after the scheduled start time of your exam- this can be done online for a nominal fee of $25. This report includes all your test scores except for AWA.
- Official score report – You’ll receive this report within 20 calendar days. It includes scores for all the sections of the GMAT.
GMAT Enhanced Score Report (ESR)
An ESR presents you with the following comprehensive set of post-exam diagnostic information-
- GMAT score and percentile
- Sectional scores and time management
- Sub-sectional scores and time management
- Accuracy level during the test
- The average difficulty level of questions you answered correctly and incorrectly
- Average time per response for both correctly and incorrectly answered questions
This information will help you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and provide additional insight into the skills tested within each section. This report will be highly beneficial in case you want to retake the GMAT. It will help you refine your GMAT test preparation.
GMAT Scores and Percentiles – Takeaways
- A good GMAT test score depends on your target business school and is 20+ points more than the average score of the incoming batch.
- GMAT test score depends on the following factors:
- Number of questions answered correctly
- The average difficulty level of these questions
- Business School Admission committees get access to your accepted GMAT scores only. Out of these scores, they consider the highest score in the MBA application process.
- There are 2 types of score reports – an unofficial report which you receive immediately after the test and an official report which you receive within 20 calendar days.
- GMAT score has the highest weight-age in the MBA application process and is an important factor in getting a scholarship for your dream MBA Program.
Here are some frequently asked questions on GMAT scores and percentile:
Business schools such as Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton, have an average GMAT score of 730. So, if you targeting top business schools then anything above 730 should be a good GMAT score. However, a good GMAT score depends on the average GMAT score of B-school you targeting and your profile.
You can score anywhere between 200 and 800 on the GMAT.
You get a scaled score for GMAT sections and you can score in the following ranges
1. Quantitative: 6-51
2. Verbal: 6-51
3. Integrated Reasoning: 1-8
4. Analytical Writing Assessment: 0-6
Know more about the format of the GMAT in 2023.
You should score 760 or above on the GMAT to get a 99 percentile. Here is Ashray’s story who scored GMAT 760 in 20 days.
GMAT 700 means you have an 88-percentile score.