What is a Good GMAT Score & How is it Calculated?

By Subhashri Roy Updated On - Mar 23, 2021 03:50 PM

Is scoring between 700 and 800 in the GMAT good enough? While many may ask what a "good" GMAT score is, the answer to the question is not so simple. Find out what actually is a "good" GMAT score and how it is calculated.

Applying to foreign b-schools? With 2020 having witnessed a spike in MBA applications, GMAT test-takers around the world are looking for ways to increase their odds to get into a top b-school and eventually have an edge over other potential candidates. While doing so, most candidates want to figure out the answer to this very common question: “What is a good GMAT score?”

You may often hear people say that there is no ONE “good” GMAT score and that it depends particularly on your objective of taking the GMAT. That said, it is not as simple as it sounds. A number of details factor in when you want to determine a “good” GMAT score for you. 

What is also crucial is how much you understand what GMAT scores mean and how they are calculated or scored. This is because your testing computer will display your test results on test day and will have only two minutes to decide if you want to report your scores to business schools or to cancel them. To help you put things in perspective, here’s all you need to know about a good GMAT score and how it is calculated. 

What is the GMAT Exam?

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized exam specifically designed for admission to business and management programs at the postgraduate level. It has been the path for more than 60 years for leaders across the world who want to begin their academic journey in the field of business and management. Over 7,000 graduate business programs across over 2,300 schools use GMAT scores to select students for admission.

Structure of the GMAT Exam

The GMAT comprises a total of four sections that are timed separately. At the start of the exam, you are given an option to choose three section orders for their exam delivery, in which you can take optional eight-minute breaks during the exam. The total duration of the exam is more than 3 hours. The table mentioned below will give you an overview of the GMAT exam structure:

Section

Time Allocated

Number of Questions

Types of Questions

Integrated Reasoning

30

12

  • Table analysis

  • Multi-source reasoning

  • Two-part analysis

  • Graphics interpretation

Verbal Reasoning

65

36

  • Critical reasoning

  • Reading comprehension

  • Sentence correction   

Quantitative Reasoning

62

31

  • Problem solving

  • Data sufficiency

Analytical Writing Assessment

30

1

  • Analysis of an argument

What is a Good GMAT Score?

There is no “good” GMAT score as such. It is more about your target score and destination that the actual score.  A target GMAT score will help you get into the b-school of your choice. However, it can be tricky to understand what a “good” GMAT actually means. Read on to have a clear understanding of the same:

  • A good GMAT score is not absolute

Your GMAT score will depend on a number of factors such as the university you are applying to, your career goals, the business program and so on. The score that you might consider could be a below-average score for your peer. But, if your score gets you into the university of your choice, then it is considered a “good” GMAT score for you. 

Moreover, GMAT scores are not the only criteria for selection. Almost every university evaluates applicants on the basis of other factors including work experience, educational qualifications, skills, employability, statement of purpose, letter(s) of recommendation, performance in interview.

  • Determine your target GMAT score

While there is no “good” GMAT score, you need to find out what the ideal GMAT score/score range for you would be. Once you have figured that out, you can prepare for the test accordingly. The best way to learn your target GMAT score would be to first be realistic, then shortlist the programs you want to study, talk to alumni or students to determine your goal. 

  • Make a note of average GMAT scores

A “good” GMAT score is better achieved when you have a clear idea of the average GMAT scores of the universities/programs you are applying for. You can do so by visiting the university websites and finding out the GMAT score ranges of students who enrolled in your program of choice. This would help you determine what you should achieve in order to get into the university.

  • Get a gist of how universities weigh GMAT scores

Universities across the world weigh the scores of every section of GMAT differently.  While almost every school will look at your total score, some may also look at your section-wise scores and define their cutoff for each section. Once you have learned, you can prepare for a section more to score higher in the section that the university will look more closely at or put emphasis on.

Given below is a table that will help you understand within which score range your “good” GMAT score may fall:

 

Best GMAT Scores

Better GMAT Scores

Good GMAT Scores

Below Average GMAT Scores

Total Score

710-800

650-700

550-640

Below 550

Quantitative Reasoning

51+

48-50

38-47

37 or lower

Verbal Reasoning

40+

35-39

28-34

27 or lower

Integrated Reasoning

8

7

5-6

4 or lower

Analytical Writing Assessment

6

5.5

4.5-5

4 or lower

Also Read: Canada or USA? Which is Better for Pursuing MBA

Average GMAT Scores At The Top 25 B-Schools

Here is a list of the top 25 universities offering the most popular business and management programs and their average class average GMAT scores in 2020, 2019 and 2018:

Name of B-school

2020 Class Average GMAT

2019 Class Average GMAT

2018 Class Average GMAT

Stanford University

732

734

732

University of Pennsylvania

732

732

732

The University of Chicago (Booth)

731

730

731

Northwestern University

727

730

730

Harvard University

730

730

728

Columbia University

726

727

732

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

728

727

726

UC-Berkeley (Haas)

727

725

722

Dartmouth College (Tuck)

722

723

724

Yale School of Management

720

721

717

New York University (NYU)

717

721

720

University of Michigan

720

721

719

UCLA

719

719

718

University of Virginia

718

719

706

Rice University

689

713

705

University of Southern California

708

710

704

Duke University

704

708

703

The University of Texas at Austin

702

705

699

Cornell University 

699

704

703

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

80% between 660-720

697

694

University of Washington

687

695

693

Georgetown University

693

694

693

Carnegie Mellon University

680

687

690

Emory University

80% between 640–740

684

685

How is the GMAT Scored?

Having a hard time understanding GMAT scores? Hey, we are with you! Your GMAT official score report includes five exam scores based on a fixed scale and the same is sent to the designated score recipients/b-schools. Here’s all you need to know about the GMAT score report and how it is scored.

Section

Scoring

How it is Scored

Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning

6-51

Both sections are adaptive and are based on the following factors:

  • If your answers are correct

  • Number of questions you attempt

  • Difficult along with other parameters of the questions you attempted

The more questions you answer, the higher your score. The chances of scoring higher increases when you have more correct answers and more of them are of a higher difficulty level. 

The standard error of GMAT score measurement is 3 points and they are reported in intervals of 1.

Analytical Writing Assessment

0.0-6.0

This section is scored through professional essay raters along with a machine algorithm.

The score is reported in intervals of 0.5.

Integrated Reasoning

1-8

This section is scored based on the number of questions you managed to answer correctly. 

For questions that have multiple parts, you must answer all their parts to receive credit.

The score is reported in intervals of 1.

Total

200-800

Total GMAT scores are based on the calculated performance before evaluating the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections. The same calculation is converted to a number within 200-800. 

The score is reported in intervals of 10 and the standard error of GMAT score measurement is 40 points.

Also Read: Study MS or MBA Abroad - Which is a Better Option after B.E/B.Tech?

What is GMAT Percentile Ranking?

GMAT scores also comprise a percentile ranking which refers to the percentage of candidates you scored higher than. For instance, a percentile ranking of 75% indicates that 25% of GMAT candidates obtained the same score or performed better than you. One amazing thing about GMAT percentile ranking is that it may change, unlike your GMAT score. This is because rankings are recalculated every summer with the exam data from the last three years.

Total Score:

GMAT Score

Percentile Ranking

800

99%

750

98%

700

88%

650

73%

600

54%

550

38%

500

25%

450

15%

400

9%

350

5%

300

3%

250

1%

200

0%

Integrated Reasoning:

Score

Percentile Ranking

8

91%

7

81%

6

66%

5

50%

4

33%

3

19%

2

9%

1

0%

Verbal Reasoning:

Score

Percentile Ranking

51

99%

46

99%

40

90%

35

76%

30

58%

25

38%

20

22%

15

10%

10

2%

Quantitive Reasoning:

Score

Percentile Ranking

51

97%

46

57%

41

38%

36

26%

31

17%

26

10%

21

6%

16

3%

10

1%

Analytical Writing Assessment:

Score

Percentile Ranking

6

88%

5

56%

4

18%

3

4%

2

1%

1

1%

0

0%

Note: Above figures are based on data collected between January 2017 and December 2019.

Still have doubts about GMAT scores? Drop your queries at abroad@collegedekho.com or call us at 785 9990 990. Our team will be happy to answer all your questions and also guide you through the business school admission process.

Stay tuned to keep yourself updated on pursuing an MBA abroad.

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