Average GMAT Scores & Percentiles

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
Trying to make sense of your GMAT score report? Or wondering what scores to shoot for when you take your exam? Read on for a breakdown of average GMAT scores and percentiles, an explanation of what they mean, and tips on how to achieve a higher score.

GMAT Average Scores and Percentile Rankings

The GMAT includes five scores: the total score, which reflects performance on the verbal and quantitative sections, and one score for each of the four sections of the exam. Along with each score, you'll receive a percentile ranking, which indicates how well you performed compared to your peers within a three-year window. For example, if you receive a 90% percentile ranking, you performed better than 90% of all students who took the test during the past three years.

Average GMAT Scores

Score Type Scoring Range Average Score
Total Score 200 - 800 547.35
Integrated Reasoningsingle-digit on a scale of 1 to 8 4.33
Analytical Writinghalf-points on a scale of 0 to 64.34
Verbal 0 to 60 27.04
Quantitative 0 to 6038.03

Percentile Rankings

Total score percentile rankings:

ScorePercentile Ranking
800 99%
750 98%
700 89%
650 77%
600 61%
550 45%
500 31%
450 20%
400 12%
350 6%
300 3%
250 2%
200 0%

Integrated Reasoning percentile rankings:

ScorePercentile Ranking
8 92%
7 81%
6 67%
5 52%
4 37%
3 25%
2 12%
1 0%

Analytical Writing percentile rankings:

6 92%
5 60%
4 21%
3 6%
2 3%
1 3%
0 0%

Verbal & Quantitative percentile rankings:

ScoreVerbal Percentile Ranking Quantitative Percentile Ranking
60 99% 97%
55 99% 97%
50 99% 88%
45 99% 63%
40 90% 47%
35 76% 33%
30 58% 22%
25 38% 13%
20 22% 8%
15 10% 4%
10 3% 2%
5 0% 0%
0 0% 0%

Source: Graduate Management Admission Council, statistics for tests taken in 2011-2012 and 2011 - 2013

Why These Numbers Matter

Business schools use GMAT scores and percentile rankings to determine admission eligibility. The minimum score or percentile ranking you'll need depends on the schools to which you plan to apply. At the schools where students have the highest GMAT scores, the average total score is 715 or higher. But for many business schools, the threshold can be lower.

Average GMAT Scores by School

Different schools have varying standards for GMAT scores. Some report average scores while others report median scores. Take a look at the list below to get an idea of these scores for students at various schools throughout the nation:

  • Harvard University: 730 median for class of 2017
  • Stanford University: 733 average for class of 2017
  • University of Chicago: 740 average for new students in 2015-2016
  • Northwestern University: 724 average for class of 2017
  • Georgetown University: 691 average for new students in 2015
  • Indiana University - Bloomington: 668 average for class of 2017
  • Boston College: 664 average for new students in 2015
  • Brigham Young University: 667 average for new students in 2013
  • Columbia University: 715 average for new students in 2015
  • Texas A&M University: 654 average for class of 2017

How to Improve Your Scores

If you are preparing to take your GMAT for the first time, or someone who is considering retaking the exam to improve your results, you can ensure you achieve your best score by using effective study aids and improving your test-taking abilities. For example:

  • A comprehensive GMAT prep course can impact your performance by consolidating your study efforts and concentrating your focus. Study.com's GMAT Help and Review, for example, is an entirely online, self-paced course featuring 24 chapters. The course is broken down into over 250 short, engaging video lessons, so you can first cover all the material you'll need, and then go back and focus on the specific areas with which you need the most help.
  • If you typically do not do well on important exams, you can improve your test-taking performance by reviewing short lessons on overcoming test anxiety, the best strategies for multiple-choice questions, and effective time-management.

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