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The GMAT Prep Crunch

What GMAT Score Do You Need?

A GMAT score can likely make-or-break your acceptance to B-school, but what exactly separates a good score from a bad score?

Find MBA recently broke down how various schools gauge GMAT scores among applicants.

“The GMAT is one of the few ways we can evaluate the entire pool of candidates with the same measuring stick, as we deal with people from all around the world,” Brandon Kirby, director of MBA admissions at the Rotterdam school, tells Find MBA.

A Breakdown Of The GMAT Score

The GMAT consists of five actual scores, according to Find MBA

  • A total score, ranging from 200-800
  • A math sub-score, ranging from 0-60
  • A verbal sub-score, ranging from 0-60
  • A score for your AWA, ranging from 0-6
  • An Integrated Reasoning sub-score, ranging from 1-8

Additionally, Find MBA also breaks down what scores will put you in the top 10% of all test takers.

  • Total score: 710 – 800
  • Quantitative sub-score: 51+
  • Verbal sub-score: 40+
  • Integrated reasoning: 8
  • Essay: 6

At Rotterdam, Kirby says the verbal score is taken highly into account.

“Because our cohorts are 97% international, it is vital for a student to have a good command of English. First, to be successful in the program, but especially for job placement opportunities afterwards,” Kirby tells Find MBA. “Also, if a score isn’t as high as we’d like it to be, we tend to look really closely at each section. There have been times when we have rejected candidates because of scores in the individual sections – even if the overall score is in line with our acceptance criteria.”

GMAT Scores on the Rise at Top B-Schools

At top B-schools, it seems that GMAT scores are continuously increasing. P&Q found that only seven schools in the top 50 have seen a drop-off over the last five years, while two have remained flat and data for two others data is incomplete.

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which administers the GMAT, the mean GMAT score over the last three years was 556.04. In 767,833 tests taken between 2015 and 2017, no one scored lower than 220.

Dennis Yim, director of academics at Kaplan Test Prep, says prospective applicants should follow a few general guidelines when it comes to looking at GMAT scores.

“Our biggest piece of advice is do your research,” Yim tells Find MBA. “What is the average GMAT score of accepted students at the schools you’re interested in? What do the admissions departments have to say about required minimum scores? Once you’ve done your research, use these numbers in your goal-setting process.”

Russ Morgan, senior associate dean for full-time programs at Duke Fuqua, says that while the GMAT is an important element of the application, it is just one component of many.

“Our admissions team has long had a commitment to looking at a candidate holistically, beyond a test score alone,” he tells P&Q. “Ultimately, our admissions team is most interested in if a candidate’s passions and purpose align with our leadership philosophy and approach. We feel that’s a much stronger predictor of a student’s success at Fuqua and beyond than a test score alone.”

Sources: Find MBA, Poets & Quants, Poets & Quants