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How is the GMAT Scored?

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a four-part exam that measures test takers' readiness for graduate-level business programs. Learn how each section of the test is scored, what the official scoring report entails, and how to interpret GMAT scores.

Understanding GMAT Scores

Each of the GMAT's four sections (verbal, quantitative, integrated reasoning, and analytical writing assessment) are scored individually. Test takers also receive a total score. This is a scaled score derived from combined results on the verbal and quantitative sections. The total score ranges from 200-800 points.

GMAT Scoring at a Glance

Test Section Question Types Scoring Range
Quantitative 37 questions measuring mathematical and quantitative reasoning skills 0-60
Verbal 41 questions measuring reading, writing, and reasoning skills 0-60
Integrated Reasoning 12 questions measuring data analysis and interpretation skills 1-8
Analytical Writing Assessment 1 essay written to demonstrate critical-thinking skills and ability to critique an argument 0-6

Score Reports

Immediately after taking the 3.5-hour GMAT, students may preview their scoring results and decide whether to accept or cancel their scores. If they accept their scores, an official test report will be sent approximately 20 days later to the business programs they selected prior to the exam. GMAT scores are valid for five years. The official score report includes:

  • Scores for each section of the exam
  • Scores from previous GMAT exams taken within the last five years
  • A student's percentile ranking (how their scores rank compared to all other test takers' GMAT scores) for each GMAT exam

Interpreting Total Scores

The Graduate Management Admission Council reports that the majority of test takers receive scores ranging from 400 to 600 points. Schools with the highest GMAT scores among incoming students in 2014 saw average scores of 715 to 732, according to U.S. News & World Report.

However, average GMAT scores accepted by business schools vary widely. Students are advised to research admissions requirements at their school of choice prior to taking the GMAT and to utilize practice tests and study courses to help them achieve their desired scoring range. Study.com's GMAT Test: Online Prep and Review course, for example, is an online resource that includes video lessons and practice quizzes to help test takers hone their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills and improve their GMAT scores on all sections of the exam.

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