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Average GMAT Scores

This post was updated in October 2017 to reflect the most recent data.

Snapshot (Just the Facts):

The current average combined GMAT score is a 556.04. 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 725—which is in the 95th percentile. We can also break the mean scores down by section:

  • Integrated Reasoning: 4.23
  • Quantitative Section: 39.4
  • Verbal Section: 26.86
  • Analytical Writing Assessment: 4.44

 

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 2017 (we updated this post y’all!) GMAT score, of all test takers:

556.04

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 2017 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.

RankingSchoolAverage GMAT ScorePercentile
1 (tie)Harvard Unviersity72996th
1 (tie)University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)73096th
3University of Chicago (Booth)72695th
4 (tie)Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)72494th
4 (tie)Northwestern University (Kellogg)72896th
4 (tie)Stanford University73797th
7University of California - Berkeley71793rd
8Dartmouth College (Tuck)71793rd
9 (tie)Columbia University72094th
9 (tie)Yale University72595th
Average Scores for MBA Programs Ranked #1-1072595th
#11-2569588th
#26-5066881st
#51-10062868th

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 pretty unlikely to gain acceptance at elite programs like HBS, Stanford, Wharton, or Sloan. In fact, there probably won’t be too much room 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!

By the way, sign up for our 1 Week Free Trial to try out Magoosh GMAT Prep!

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