Business school admission officials often look at GMAT scores in the context of how an applicant compare to others from the same country. But they don’t merely look at a country’s average GMAT score. Instead, they look at the scores they are actualy sent.
There’s often a very big difference between a country’s average GMAT score and the ones being submitted to business schools for entrance into highly ranked MBA programs. In testing year 2017, which ended June 30th, the average score on the GMAT was 564. But the average scores sent to schools for MBA programs was 42 points higher at 606.
All told, 250,884 GMAT tests were taken in 2017, down from 261,248 a year earlier. Those 2017 test takers sent scores to 517,774 business schools, with 63.7% of the scores sent to MBA programs.
In India, the average score in 2017 was 583. But for those who sent their scores in with MBA applications the average rose to 632. In the U.S., the average GMAT test taker had a 553 on the exam, while actually submitting a score that averaged 40 points higher at 593. And in some countries, the difference can be more than 100 points. Consider The Netherlands. The average GMAT score in 2017 was 519. But when test takers sent those results to MBA programs, the average jumped to 623, 104 points higher.
ARGENTINA TEST TAKERS SEND THE HIGHEST SCORES TO MBA PROGRAMS
All this raises a big question: Which country’s testtakers applied to MBA programs with the highest average acores. The results may surprise you. At the very top in 2017 was Argentina where the GMAT was taken by prospective business students 438 times. The average overall score? 610. But many of those scores were apparently tossed because the average sent to MBA programs was 675, the highest average in the world. That’s a score in the 83rd percentile, meaning that only 17% of the world’s GMAT test takers did better.
Many of the top countries have fewer than 1,000 tests taken in a year, though China makes the top ten with 68,905 GMAT exams taken in 2017. That’s the second highest in the world, with 79,862 in the U.S. and 32,514 taken in India.
Here are the top 25: