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Stanford GSB | Mr. Systems Change
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INSEAD | Mr. Airline Captain
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Stanford GSB | Mr. MBA Class of 2023
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GMATs Jump Six Points At MIT Sloan To 728

MIT Sloan students in class. Courtesy photo. Learn about the MBA M7

MIT Sloan students in class. Courtesy photo

MIT’s Sloan School of Management enrolled a class of MBAs this fall with the highest average GMAT scores in history, a whopping six-point jump in the Class of 2020 average to 728 from 722 last year. On some level, the new average allows Sloan to catch up with some of its peer schools. At Columbia Business School, the latest entering class average GMAT soared eight points to 732 this year–the average at both Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

MIT’s median GMAT score of 730, reflecting a ten-point rise from last year, now equals that of its cross-town rival Harvard Business School. MIT Sloan did not release the full range of GMAT scores for its 409 enrolled MBA students but did publish the middle 80% which is 700 to 760, scores that would likely discourage applicants with sub-700 numbers from applying to Sloan. At HBS this year, GMATs range from a low of 610 to a perfect score of 800, while at Kellogg they range from a bottom score of 590, topping out at 790.

Unlike an increasing number of schools–HBS, Stanford, Wharton, Yale–MIT Sloan chose not to publicize its average GRE numbers in releasing its newest class profile. Sloan does provide GRE ranges for the middle 80% of accepted students who took the GRE. Sloan reported that the 80% quant range was between 158 and 169, while the verbal fell between 154 and 169.


MIT said it received 238 fewer applications for the class, a total of 5,560 compared with 5,798 a year earlier. The school’s acceptance rate remains about 11.5%.

The average GPA dipped a bit to 3.48, from 3.57 for the previous entering class.

Some admission consultants believed that MIT’s sharp rise in the GMAT may indicate that Sloan is emphasizing the GMAT more than it had in the past, though last year GMATs at Sloan slipped two points from the year earlier record of 724 for the Class of 2018. “A six-point jump in the GMAT combined with a small, but not meaningless, drop in the average GPA tells me that MIT Sloan may be weighing the GMAT more heavily than it did previously,” believes Linda Abraham, founder and CEO of, a leading MBA admissions consulting firm. “Since they only provide the GRE ranges and not the average, I also wonder if MIT Sloan is admitting students with less-than-stellar GREs more readily than less-than-stellar GMAT scores.  MIT doesn’t provide the percent of the class that was admitted with the GRE.”

Ironically, international enrollment went up to 38% from 36% at a time when many school are reporting a decline in non-U.S. applicants and students. Women make up 42% of the newest Sloanies, exactly the same percentage as last year. Sloan said the new class hails from 49 countries. Class of 2020 students arrived at Sloan with an average 4.9 years of work experience.


The school did not report on its application volume in the class profile. A year ago, Sloan received 5,798 applications, a slight rise of 91 more applicants, an applicant pool that led to last year’s 404-member class.

As is typical of MIT Sloan, engineers make up the largest undergraduate major (31% of the entering class) Economics (21%) and business (20%) are in second and third place. Humanities and social science majors represent only 14% of the entering class. In contrast, they make up 44% of Stanford’s entering MBA students.

When it comes to pre-MBA work experience, some 21% of the class is composed of consultants, with 19% from financial services nd 18% from technology, media and telecom. Another 14% had racked up their work experience in either the government or public sector, while 8% bring a background in industrials and 7% in the energy industry. Students with resumes that show they worked in the health care and life sciences fields account for 6% of the class, consumer goods and services 5%, and professional services 2%.


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.