Harvard | Ms. Female Sales Leader
GMAT 740 (target), GPA 3.45
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Finance
GMAT 750, GPA 3.0
MIT Sloan | Ms. Rocket Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Mr. Maximum Impact
GMAT Waiver, GPA 3.77
Kellogg | Mr. Concrete Angel
GRE 318, GPA 3.33
Chicago Booth | Mr. Healthcare PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
INSEAD | Mr. Product Manager
GMAT 740, GPA 63%
Kellogg | Ms. Sustainable Development
GRE N/A, GPA 3.4
UCLA Anderson | Mr. SME Consulting
GMAT 740, GPA 3.55 (as per WES paid service)
Wharton | Mr. Future Non-Profit
GMAT 720, GPA 8/10
Harvard | Mr. Military Quant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare PE
GRE 340, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63
Kellogg | Ms. Big4 M&A
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Army Aviator
GRE 314, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Ms. Gay Techie
GRE 332, GPA 3.88
INSEAD | Mr. INSEAD Aspirant
GRE 322, GPA 3.5
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Army Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.89
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Salesman
GMAT 700, GPA 3.0
Tuck | Mr. Liberal Arts Military
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Columbia | Mr. Energy Italian
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Quality Assurance
GMAT 770, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. African Energy
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
NYU Stern | Ms. Luxury Retail
GMAT 730, GPA 2.5

What Africans Score On The GMAT Test

Ask MBA talent scouts what new countries in the world are they now targeting for their business schools and nearly everyone has Africa on the list. MBA program recruiters now routinely visit Johannesburg, Nairobi, Lagos and Accra for prospective students and like what they are finding.

Their interest reflects both the present and the future, the belief that an MBA can transform a life in Africa in ways that would be unimaginable in other parts of the world. But it’s also a bet on the region’s future economic prosperity and growing importance in the world.

One thing you don’t go to Africa for are high GMAT scores, though like in any country there is a wide range. This year, for example, one Nigerian with a 750 GMAT scored a big scholarship to go to Yale University’s School of Management. But in only one African country–Mauritania–where just eight tests were taken in 2017 was the average GMAT score higher than the mean of the 250,884 tests taken in testing year 2017 ended on June 30th.


Last year, the average GMAT score for Africans taking the grueling test was 469, with a low of 288 in Liberia (see chart below).

Sangeet Chowfla, CEO of the Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers the GMAT exam, believes a couple of reasons play into the lower scores, from the lack of a test taking culture to flaws in Africa’s educational system. “Many are just walking cold into a GMAT exam with no practice,” says Chowfla. “We tell them you have to practice to do well.”

Even so, business school talent scouts, who routinely roam the world recruiting MBA students for their schools’ programs, have taken a big liking to the candidates they are finding in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, the region’s most populous nation where the most GMAT tests are taken. In 2017, 1,267 GMAT tests were sat for in Nigeria, nearly double the 677 in South Africa, the second most GMAT exam taking country in Africa. All told, African’s prospective business school students took 4,727 GMAT tests in 2017, down from 5,268 a year earlier.


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.