What’s a good score on the GMAT

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The first question that generally pops up into the mind of any MBA aspirant is “what is a good score on the GMAT?”. What sort of a score will help me get admission into the B-school of my choice? What is a great score that will safely get me admission into a top B-school?

The answer to this question is very tricky as all B-schools are different. Their criteria of selection vary and the way they use GMAT scores and other scores is also different. A high GMAT score does not in itself guarantee admission into the B-school of your choice but a low score will definitely keep you out of the race. Essentially, a good GMAT score is a ticket which will let you enter into the race for admission into respectable Business Schools.

To understand it further, let’s take a look at the percentile ranking chart.

800 99%
750 98%
700 88%
650 72%
600 53%
550 36%
500 24%
450 14%
400 9%
350 5%
300 2%
250 1%
200 0%


MEAN SCORE: 568.21

Sample Size: 555174

Standard Deviation: 114.73

Data Period: January 2018 – December 2020

Source: mba.com

You will get to see Percentile ranking along with the GMAT scores in the Official Score Report. Your score will not change but your percentile ranking may change because rankings are recalculated every summer based on the data collected from the prior three years. A ranking of 80% means that you did better than the 80% of the test-takers.

From the mean score of 568.21, it is evident that you will be considered better than the majority of the test-takers if you score above 600 on the GMAT and if you score above 650, your probability of getting admission into a respectable B-school will increase. But, if you are setting your eyes on the elite or top B-schools, you must get a 700+ score. This score would put you in the 88th percentile of all the test-takers. Rest depends on your application, work experience, essays, interview, and LORs.

Here is a tip – Do thorough research on different B-schools in the area you want to apply. Look for the B-schools which suit your profile, career growth, lifestyle, budget, and environment. Environment is very important as extreme weather conditions may or may not suit your health. You must start your research at least 6-8 months before application deadlines. Be realistic. Not everyone can get admission into Harvard or Stanford. These come under Dream schools. In fact, a GMAT score of 800 also won’t ensure admission into top 10 B-schools if you lack in the other areas. Divide the schools of your choice into three categories – Safe, Reach, and Dream. Then aim for the score which is higher than the average of the GMAT scores of these schools. Lastly, always remember that a GMAT score is a part of your admission application, but it is an important part. So, make a plan and start prepping up for it right now.

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