Is my GMAT score good enough?

Do you know what is a good GMAT score?

Last Updated on September 10, 2021 by iSchoolConnect

Aspiring to study in an esteemed business school? Then better focus on getting the best GMAT score possible. But, how do you know if you have scored well? Here is everything you need to know about GMAT and whether your GMAT score is good enough!

A high GMAT test score is essential to get into a top business school. It is a trusted indicator of the student’s academic performance and assures the college about your ability to sail through the rigorous MBA program. If you are an MBA aspirant wondering how the GMAT test will influence your career trajectory or what a good GMAT score looks like, then this article is for you.

But before we get into ‘what is a good GMAT score’ let us first understand what is GMAT and why is it important for you as an MBA aspirant. Let’s get started!

What is GMAT?

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test), also known as the GMAT CAT test, is developed and administered by GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council). It is a standardized online exam designed for MBA aspirants to predict how they will perform academically during an MBA course. The test duration is 3.5-hours and it consists of various sections to assess your analytical skills and quantitative, verbal, and integrated reasoning. 

The validity for a GMAT score is five years, and are available for up to 10 years. Scores over 10 years are not available. The cost forof taking the test is $250.

Who can appear for a GMAT exam?

Appearing for GMAT is imperative if you want to attend a business school. Approximately 2/3 of the 1900 B-Schools demand GMAT scores worldwide. However, several institutions have also started accepting GRE exam scores.

Here are a few basic requirements you need to fulfill to appear for the exam-

  • The applicant should have a basic educational qualification from any recognised university or college. 
  • The applicant should be a minimum of 18 years of age. 
  • If the applicant is below 18, then a ‘no-objection‘ certificate is required from the guardian.
  • The applicant must have a valid passport.
Girl paying the GMAT exam fees and procuring the GMAT exam dates
The GMAT exam fees are US$ 250 and it is ideal to get your GMAT exam dates 2-3 months prior to your preferred test date.

What is the structure of the GMAT exam?

The GMAT exam comprises the following sections to test cognitive skills and abilities-

SectionWhat is itWhat does it consist of
Quantitative Includes mathematical and quantitative problems along with data interpretation.
31 MCQs with a time limit of 62 minutes.
This section tests your ability to read and understand written material, evaluate reasons, express ideas effectively using standard written English. 
36 MCQs and will have 65 minutes to complete. 
Integrated Reasoning This section asks candidates to analyze and interpret data in different formats from various sources. 
12 questions covering 4 question types with a time duration of 30 minutes.
Analytical Writing Assessment This section tests your reasoning skills behind a given argument and curates a logical reason behind it. 
30-minute writing task of an analytical argument.

How is the GMAT exam scored?

There are two types of scores reported on the GMAT test-

  1. Total scores
  2. Segment scores

The total score is determined by the performance in both verbal and quantitative sections and is scored on a scale of 200-800, with 10 points increments. The segment scores are the scores in each section of the exam. Integrated reasoning and analytical writing sections are scored separately on a scale of 1 to 8 and do not contribute to the total score.

There is a penalty for not completing each section of the exam. Since your GMAT score depends highly on the number of questions you answer, it is important that you learn to time yourself to do as many questions as you can. Your score can decrease significantly with each unanswered question.

Quantitative and Verbal

Your score will depend on the number of questions you answer, what you answer correctly, and the difficulty level of the questions you have answered. If you answer more questions that qualify for a certain difficulty level and answer them correctly, then you can attain a high score.

The scoring scale is between 6-51 with 1 point increments.

Integrated Reasoning

This section will be scored separately and is not included on the unofficial score reports. Each question may have multiple parts which you need to answer correctly to earn points for that question.

The scoring scale is between 1-8 with 1 point increments.

Analytical writing

The essay section of the exam is scored using both trained expert raters and a machine algorithm. Your score in this section is based on how you analyze the argument presented.

The scoring scale is between 0.0-6.0 with 0.5 point increments.

The raw scores of each section are converted into percentiles. For example, a 40 in verbal corresponds to a 90 percentile, this means that 90% of all GMAT test-takers scored less than you. Since only verbal and quantitative sections make up your total score, you may feel you should only focus on them. However, the scores on all sections of the exam are important because they help you and the college in identifying your strengths and areas of improvement.

GMAT exam score
Your main aim should be to answer maximum questions and to answer most of them correctly.

What to consider for a good GMAT score?

1. Target at least 20 points higher than the average score of the previous class 

Targeting a score that is at least 20 points higher than the previous year’s average score can be considered a good GMAT score. For instance, if the average score of the last incoming class was  700, then your target score for this year should be over 720.

To get into top business schools, aim for a score of at least 700+. 

2. The level of competition determines the chances of your admission

Your admission to a top business school also depends on the level of competition of the candidate pool. If you are a software engineer aiming to get through GMAT, then your candidate pool is likely to be highly competitive. You will have to score at least 30-40 points higher than the average score of last year. 

3. GMAT scores can influence the scholarship amount

The higher your GMAT score the more eligible you are for a high amount scholarship. Make your target score at least 20 points higher than the median GMAT score of your desired business school.

4. Estimated ROI on the GMAT score

A GMAT score that is more than 720, helps you get through a top business school. A degree from a renowned school will reflect well on your resume and open up opportunities for you. There is also an estimation that the incremental ROI of a 730 + GMAT score is above  500k dollars, which is the highest it has ever been.  

How do you know if your GMAT score is a good enough?

Here 3 ways you can judge if you have scored well in the exam-

1. Assess your score and profile

Start by self-assessing your current GMAT score by comparing it with the average score of your target business school. Then assess your profile based on factors like pre-MBA industry, nationality, gender, GPA, and age.

2. Identify your target business schools

This is the next step to knowing where you stand with your score is identifying business schools that cater to your needs. Keep in mind what your area of interest is and how different schools help you in achieving your goals.

3. Know about your target schools

Do thorough research on your target schools. Check for the average score and class profile of last year’s incoming batch. This will give you a good idea about what you need to improve and what your strengths are.

Top business schools across the world

Harvard University
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

More about preparing and scoring well in GMAT

You might have gotten an idea about what GMAT is and how you can get a good score on it. However, if you want to know more about GMAT or preparing for GMAT, you can find these and more on our blogs.

If you get stuck anywhere or are still unclear about the subject, feel free to reach out or drop a comment below!

See you in the next one. Till then, prep well!

Read more: 50 difficult words with meaning | Words for IELTS, TOEFL, & more.

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