GMAT score chart: how to use it and what is a good score?

Are you required to take a GMAT exam for your MBA studies? If so, it might be helpful to familiarize yourself with the GMAT score chart, as this will allow you to develop an efficient study plan. Luckily, Stuvia has developed a short guide to help you learn how to use it. Stop stabbing in the dark and get to work with that GMAT score chart!

What is measured in the GMAT exam?

Truth is, there is not a simple answer to that. Whereas other tests might simply measure x and y, the GMAT is unique in the sense that it measures certain skills and those skills all weigh differently in your total score. Say whaaaat. The GMAT is specifically designed to measure higher-order reasoning skills, such as Verbal, Quantitative, Analytical Writing and Integrated Reasoning. Though that may sound intimidating, it has proven to be valid in predicting success in the first year of college.

The different question types

During the GMAT exam you will have to tackle different areas that all stem from the overarching Verbal, Quantitative and Integrated Reasoning sections. You will also need to do an Analytical Writing assessment. The sections consist of different areas such as reading comprehension, problem solving and geometry. You can read in more detail more about the different areas in our blog ‘Everything you need to know about the GMAT’.

What is a good GMAT score?

In order to determine what contributes to your GMAT score, or GMAT percentiles, we first need to establish what a good score is. Overall, a good GMAT score ranges between 650 and 690. Are you scoring 700 or higher? You don’t need to go to school, you’re a genius (just kidding).

However, if we look more closely, the minimum score that needs to be obtained depends per school and individual. If your goal is to get into Harvard, you will seriously need to get your study groove on. You can read more about which GMAT score is required for Ivy League business schools in this blog.

On the part of the individual, schools will look at the representation of certain groups in particular fields. There is an overrepresentation of white males in finance and an overwhelming amount of Indian men in tech, for example. So if you’re applying as a white male for a finance program, you might need to get 30 points more on average in your GMAT score in order to get accepted.

How to interpret your score

And this is where it gets complicated: the sections don’t contribute equally to your overall GMAT score. Your Quantitative percentile doesn’t need to be sky-high to win admission, whereas a high score on the Verbal section might not raise your grand total as much as you’d hoped for.  

Buttttt, it might be strategic to focus on your Verbal score, instead of improving your Quant percentile. After all, schools care most about your total score. Though it needs to be said that some schools will: if you have a very low Quant percentile it might be a high risk for your application. A way around this would be to submit multiple test scores, if that’s allowed at the school you’re applying for that is. In this way the school will see that you’re qualified and use the highest score for publication. For this reason it might be useful to set up a strategic study plan, before you start losing your blood, sweat and tears over the wrong section.  

Get that enhanced score report

Have you already taken the GMAT and would you like to improve your score? It’s possible to purchase enhanced score reports so that you can get an insight into your scaled percentiles. You’ll also be able to break down your correct and incorrect answers by questions type, so that you can focus on your weaker areas for your next take.

You can never over prepare, that’s why our sellers offer a bunch of useful GMAT summaries, notes, study guides etc. Head over to our GMAT collection and check it out!