We recently updated this post to include the most up-to-date data from GMAC and the newest data from US News and World Report (2016 rankings). 🙂
Snapshot (Just the Facts):
The 2014 mean combined GMAT score is a 547.35. Keep in mind that this mean score is quite low, and that the top 10 business schools, like Stanford, Harvard, and Yale, have an average GMAT score of 720 – which is in the 94th percentile. We can also break the mean scores down by section:
- Integrated Reasoning: 4.33
- Quantitative Section: 38.03
- Verbal Section: 27.04
- Analytical Writing Assessment: 4.34
Average GMAT Scores
Nothing seems to get MBA applicants’ blood pumping and hearts racing to quite the same degree as a discussion about GMAT scores. Quantifiably comparing your b-school aptitude to your peers seems to be ingrained into the DNA of every future business leader out there. To cut to the chase here’s the average 2014 (we updated this post y’all!) GMAT score, of all test takers:
Underwhelming, I know. But what does that get you? A lot of friends with a similar score, but probably not a stack of acceptance letters. If you’re wondering what GMAT score you’ll need for a top business school, check out this GMAT Scores for Top MBA Programs infographic. To dig further, I pulled the numbers from the US News report on average scores and the GMAT percentiles chart, and then broke them down for you below.
Average GMAT score by ranking
The following data comes from the US News and World Report’s 2016 best business school rankings report. The chart shows the average GMAT scores of full-time students at the top 96 business schools in the US, as well as the current percentile rankings of these average scores.
|Program Rank & Name||Average GMAT Score||Percentile|
|#1: Stanford University||732||96th|
|#2: Harvard University||726||95th|
|#3: University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)||728||95th|
|#4: University of Chicago (Booth)||724||94th|
|#5: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)||713||92nd|
|#6: Northwestern University (Kellogg)||713||92nd|
|#7: University of California, Berkeley (Haas)||717||93rd|
|#8: Columbia University||716||93rd|
|#9: Dartmouth College (Tuck)||716||93rd|
|#10: University of Virginia (Darden)||706||89th|
What does the average GMAT score tell you?
Not much. As you can see from the chart above, an average GMAT score would put you pretty far outside of the top 100 business schools. A 550 score would most likely be hopeless at elite programs like HBS, Stanford, Wharton, or Sloan. In fact, there probably won’t be too much room for you in the top ten, or fifty! Just as an average SAT score couldn’t land you in the Ivies back in those halcyon high school days, an average GMAT score isn’t going to get you into the big dance.
Now that you’ve effectively given yourself a mild heart palpitation in an attempt to compare yourself to other MBA applicants, it’s time to calm down and reflect on what should really matter to you.
Forget the average and target your goal GMAT score
First thing’s first, create goals. You should know what you want out of business school. I’ll wait while you jot those down. OK. Now, spend some time really assessing which schools can help you achieve those goals. Are they top 50 schools? Maybe it’s only a handful of the elite of the elite. No matter what, you can look at the chart above and come up with a good idea of where you need to be. Forget what everyone else is getting and focus on getting a good GMAT score for you. Once you do that, you spend less time trying to figure out what everyone else is doing and more time positioning yourself for the best application possible.
So what’s next?
If you’re still reading, then there’s a good chance you’re hoping to get your scores somewhere near the scores of those listed in the chart above. The good news is that there’s hope! Check out the following posts to help you through your GMAT journey:
Good luck! If you think some programs should be added to the chart above, let me know in the comments below!