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GRE vs. GMAT

Video Courtesy of (site-affiliate) Kaplan GMAT prep.

You’ll receive five GMAT scores:

  • Quantitative scaled sub score, ranging from 0 to 60 (effectively 51 is the max score)
  • Verbal scaled sub score, ranging from 0 to 60 (effectively 51 is the max score)
  • Overall scaled score, ranging from 200 to 800. This is an overall score that is a combination of your 0 to 60 Math and Verbal scores (hence, the name 800score: an 800 is a perfect score). The 200 to 800 cumulative score is what business schools primarily use.
  • Analytical Writing Assessment score, ranging from 0 to 6. This is a separate score that is less important than the 200 to 800 cumulative score.
  • Integrated Reasoning score from 0 to 8

Video Courtesy of (site-affiliate) Kaplan GMAT prep.

The test is graded on a preset curve so that your scaled score will correspond to a certain percentile. An overall score of 630, for example, corresponds approximately to the 90th percentile, meaning that 90 percent of test takers scored at or below this level.

Sample approximate percentiles within the score range of 200-800. Percentiles may vary from year to year.

Video Courtesy of (site-affiliate) Kaplan GMAT prep.

Rising Average GMAT Scores

Those six-figure starting salaries have had an impact on MBA admissions… everyone wants one. In the early nineties, the average GMAT score of accepted students at New York University (Stern) Business School was 610. Twenty years later, the average GMAT test score had jumped 89 points to 699. Getting a high score on the GMAT is crucial because the business schools are getting flooded with applicants.

The 690 figure is deceptive because its average includes many students who were accepted for favorable traits (diversity, unusual accomplishment or success, etc.) that allow them to gain acceptance with a lower score. If you do not possess any of these types of traits, then you probably need to break 720 (that’s over the 99th percentile) to have a good chance at a top-ten school.

The average * GMAT score at Harvard is 707.

Average GMAT scores of major MBA programs (2019)

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