The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business reported that the average GMAT score for its incoming class of MBAs this year has risen two points to a new record high of 726, a score in the 95th percentile of all test takers. It is at least the 13th year in a row in which Booth has boosted its GMAT scores from 687 in 2002. Booth said the average undergraduate grade point average for the newest class is 3.59, unchanged from last year.
Booth disclosed the GMAT increase just after Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management released its new class profile which showed an unusual eight-point rise in the average score to 724, which had matched Booth’s average of last year. It’s just more evidence that schools are putting greater attention on GMAT scores as a recent survey of MBA admission consultants by Poets&Quants confirms.
Admission officials at many business schools have been under increasing pressure to increase their reported GMAT scores largely because they are a key metric in U.S. News’ MBA ranking methodology. GMATs account for slightly more than 16% of U.S. News’ ranking, more than any other single metric with the exception of the magazine’s opinion poll of deans and MBA program directors, which are weighed 25%. Booth was ranked fourth best this year in U.S. News’ ranking, up from ninth place in 2002 when its average GMAT score was only 687.
Aside from Wharton, no other top business school has more aggressively sought to increase its average GMAT scores in the past five years. Before this latest two-point rise, Chicago has increased its average scores by nine points, second only to Wharton’s ten-point increase during the same five-year timeframe. Last year, Wharton’s average GMAT score of 728 surpassed that of Harvard Business School for the first time. Wharton has yet to release its Class of 2017 profile.
RECORD NUMBER OF WOMEN AT BOOTH AS WELL
Booth also said that it will enroll a record percentage of women in its new class, 41%, up five percentage points from only 36% last year. Booth failed to eclipse Kellogg on this measure, an admissions priority in recent years among the top business schools. Kellogg this week said that 43% of the incoming class this fall will be female, up five full percentage points from last year’s 38% total.
Of the 585 students expected to enroll in Booth’s two-year MBA program this fall, some 35% are international, representing 55 countries, down from 36% a year earlier. Some 23% are U.S. minority, also down a single percentage point from last year. The average work experience for the new class is five years, slightly older than the 4.6 year average a year earlier.
Booth said the largest single group of new students at Booth are coming into the program from consulting. Last year, 20% of the class hailed from consulting, the largest single sector as well. Booth did not disclose further details on its new class because it has yet to publish its full profile for the Class of 2017 on its website.