Harvard | Mr. Healthcare Fanatic
GMAT 770, GPA 3.46
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Multimedia
GRE 308, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. Sovereign Wealth Fund
GMAT 730, GPA 3.55
Harvard | Mr. Smart Operations
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Darden | Mr. Strategy Manager
GRE 321, GPA 3.5
Ross | Mr. Airline Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.73
Stanford GSB | Mr. Corporate VC Hustler
GMAT 780, GPA 3.17
Wharton | Mr. Marketing Director
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Ross | Ms. Healthcare Startup
GRE 321, GPA 3.51
Kellogg | Mr. Real Estate Finance
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Georgetown McDonough | Ms. Air Force
GMAT 610, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. JD To MBA
GRE 326, GPA 3.01
Harvard | Mr. MacGruber
GRE 313, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Poet At Heart
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Yale | Mr. Ukrainian Biz Man
GRE 310, GPA 4.75 out of 5
Darden | Mr. Former Scientist
GMAT 680, GPA 3.65
Stanford GSB | Mr. Sustainable Business
GRE 331, GPA 3.86
Wharton | Mr. Microsoft Consultant
GMAT N/A, GPA 2.31
Yale | Ms. Impact Investing
GRE 323, GPA 3.8
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Food Waste Warrior
GMAT Not written yet (around 680), GPA 3.27
Stanford GSB | Ms. Future Tech Exec
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Kellogg | Mr. Finance To Education
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Rice Jones | Mr. Back To School
GRE 315, GPA 3.0
Columbia | Mr. Aussie Military Man
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0 (rough conversion from Weighted Average Mark)
Harvard | Mr. Hopeful Philanthropist
GMAT 710, GPA 3.74
Stanford GSB | Mr. FinTech
GMAT Not Taken Yet, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Analytics Man
GMAT 740, GPA 3.1

Ten GMAT Points = $3,000 in MBA Pay?

Every 10-point decline in a GMAT score will cost a graduating MBA roughly $3,000 in starting salary and potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars over a career, according to a new analysis of GMAT score and job placement data by test prep firm Knewton.

A study by the company found what founder and CEO Jose Ferreira calls “an incredibly tight correlation” between pay and GMAT scores. The link plays out in business school rankings that largely show that schools with higher median GMAT scores and higher starting compensation tend to rank highest in most lists of the best business schools.

“Basically, every ten point (increase) on the GMAT correlates to a $3,000 improvement in average starting salary,” said Ferreira in a video on Knewton’s website. “So if you get 100 points better on the test, the difference between a 600 and a 700 GMAT, that’s $30,000 and that’s just for the first year alone. And that number, of course, widens over time. If you are making $30,000 more in your first year, you are probably making $33,000 more in your second year. Over the course of your career, that 100-point gap could end up being millions of dollars.”

Of course, the study merely plotted the median GMAT scores of highly ranked schools against the reported income freshly minted MBAs made from those same schools. If an applicant fails to get into a higher ranked school with a higher GMAT, all bets are off. Also, the study fails to take into account job performance or advancement over a career so that it’s an over simplification to state that a higher or lower GMAT score could affect one’s earnings over a lifetime.

Nonetheless, Ferreira said he found that three factors tend to correlate to a school’s high ranking—and the compensation its graduates will eventually receive: GMAT score, average starting salary of graduates, and the percentage of grads employed at commencement.

“There’s an almost perfect correlation between those three things,” he said. As to rankings, “there is no dispute whatsoever among your peers once you get into business school. The way business school students judge it, is who’s got the top starting salaries at graduation. And those numbers don’t ever change. That is probably the single best way to rank schools.

“That correlates almost perfectly to GMAT score,” Ferreira said. “There is virtually no day light between who’s got the highest starting salary and who’s got the highest GMAT score all the way down the list (of schools on a ranking) “


About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.