When applying to business school, the GMAT is often inevitability. Most top-tier business schools require students to take the exam. While many programs claim that they do not have a GMAT minimum for admissions, it is important to aim for a score that lands you in a top GMAT percentile. Achieving a top score may not guarantee admission, however, it will offer you a better shot at getting into the school of your dreams. 

GMAT Percentile Rankings

Below is a chart of recent GMAT percentiles (Collected between 2018-2020). When looking at potential MBA programs, take a look at previous admissions statistics. Knowing the average GMAT score of previously admitted students can give you a baseline to aim for. Striving for the average, means you have a better likelihood of getting a score above or around this. Giving you a higher chance at admissions.

GMAT percentile rankings

GMAT Percentiles Interpretation 

Interpreting the GMAT percentiles requires knowing how the GMAT is scored. The total score comprises the Verbal and Quantitative sections. These two scores show the admissions committee your higher-order reasoning skills. These scores are able to predict a student’s successes in graduate school. The scores range from 200 to 800, with the majority of test-takers (about two-thirds) testing between 400 and 600. When comparing your score to other test-takers, it is important to look at percentile rankings.

When reading a percentile ranking chart, find your score on the chart. Let us assume you scored a 650 on the exam. This lands you in the 70nd percentile, meaning your score is higher than 70% of test-takers. Those scoring an 800, for example, are in the 99th percentile. This means that they achieved a score higher than 99% of all test takers. It is important to remember that percentile rankings change each year. This is because as more and more students take the exam, the total scores achieved change and your percentile ranking changes with it.

Contributor: Dana Coggio