As elite MBA aspirants, you all have thought a fair deal about your GMAT scores. You know that the top global MBAs demand a high GMAT score. But every now and then you come across some facts – someone with a high GMAT score rejected by a school or someone with a so-so GMAT score accepted! If all this leaves you confused, you have come to the right place to seek your answers.
At Manya, after helping thousands of students get into their dream MBAs abroad, we have developed good insights about what GMAT score gets students into top programs. Let us put things in the right perspective for you in this article.
Understand How GMAT Scores Are Used
GMAT is an exam specially designed for MBA programs. Why? Because, unlike the GRE or other standardized tests, GMAT is more heavily based on logical decision making, a key skill in the business world. Hence, business schools screen candidates with high GMAT scores to be certain that they are well suited for the competitive business landscape. This, coupled with the fact that there are thousands of applicants for a few hundred seats in every program, there emerges a ‘preferred GMAT score’ for every MBA program. Some programs give preference to certain scores on particular sections – Verbal, Quantitative, IR, or AWA – as well. No one can know the exact way in which GMAT scores are used, but one thing is certain – the higher the score, the better your chances.
The Average Scores Of Top MBA Programs
Let’s have a look at the average GMAT scores of some elite MBA programs across the globe. A study revealed the average scores of the top US MBA as follows. The top European programs demonstrate a similar picture.
Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management 728
University of Chicago – Booth School of Business 726
Harvard Business School 729
University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School 730
Stanford University – Graduate School of Business 737
UCLA – UCLA Anderson School of Management 715
University of California at Berkeley – Haas School of Business 717
Dartmouth College – Tuck School of Business 717
Columbia Business School 718
University of Virginia – Darden School of Business 712
The key takeaway here is that most premier MBAs are looking for GMAT scores that hover around the coveted 720 points. For scholarships though, the scores would be higher – around 750.
BUT, and read this carefully, a 720+ GMAT score does not guarantee admission. It is also important to look at the bigger picture – the median GMAT score and the mid-80% range of scores. This information is available on application sections of all MBA programs and needs a careful review.
A Note For Indian Applicants
Let’s face it. MBA aspirants from India tend to be Engineers by training and hence nail the GMAT Quantitative section more easily than the global average GMAT taker. This means that GMAT scores from India tend to be higher. Further, since Indian students are applying as international students for global MBAs, they tend to compete for fewer seats – roughly 30% of the class is earmarked for international students. This makes the whole game more competitive. Additionally, although you are applying for global programs, you are most likely to be compared to candidates from your country and your background. This is the only practical way for schools to assess competencies in a neutral manner. What all this means is that, like it or not, Indian candidates need a higher GMAT score, about 20 points higher, than the averages stated above.
GMAT Scores in Another Perspective
As MBA admissions committees often state – GMAT is just a component, although a critical component, of the whole process. Your profile carries as much weight as your GMAT score. We have seen that rarely represented profiles are preferred over the typical ones. For example, Indian Army experience with a little lower than average GMAT is likely to be valued more than IT experience with a little more than average GMAT. So, do not delight or despair based purely on your GMAT score. If you have something unique to offer in terms of demographics, professional background, or life experiences, top schools are interested in your story!
So, What GMAT Score Will Get Me Into A Top MBA Program?
To conclude, higher GMAT scores will increase your chances of admission in elite MBAs. Shoot for a 730+ GMAT score for your ambitions to materialize. Lastly, pay attention to other elements of your profile to present a well-rounded application to your dream schools.
Still confused? Manya experts are here to help! Give us a call or drop by in our centers across India and leave your MBA journey in the right hands. Share this blog for others to get clarity on the topic as well.
All the best!