Just about every top MBA applicant obsesses over their standardized test score and that’s because they matter. They really matter, even when admission officials assure you that you will be reviewed holistically. When we last asked admission officials the actual weight of a GMAT score used in admission decisions, the estimate came to just under 16% (see How Important Is Each Part Of Your MBA Application?).
So what’s a good score?
The Graduate Management Admission Council publishes this percentile table based on 414,618 takers of the GMAT from January 2019 to December 2021. It is the very latest data published by GMAC, even though we are well into 2022. If you score a 770 or above on the GMAT, you would now be in the top 1% of all test takers worldwide
What the table tells you is that the average GMAT test taker scores only 574.5 on the exam, well below what you would need to get into a Top 25 business school where the class averages range from a high of 738 at Stanford Graduate School of Business to a low of 679 at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business (see Average GMAT Scores At The Top Business Schools). That means that the typical Stanford MBA class scored in the top 3% of the world’s test takers. That is pretty heady stuff.
HOW TO READ GMAT PERCENTILE RANKINGS
Total GMAT scores range from 200 to 800. GMAC reports that two-thirds of test takers score between 400 and 600. That’s little consolation for test takers who want to get into Stanford and Harvard, or for that matter, Rice or Georgetown. But most schools go by percentile rankings or the percent of test takers that you performed better than. A ranking of 75% means that 25% of test takers performed as well or better than you and 75% did not do as well. Your score will not change, but your Percentile Ranking may change because rankings are recalculated every summer using exam data from the prior three years.