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GMAT Score Percentiles

This post has been updated to include GMAC’s most recently published GMAT score percentiles, which represent a sample of over 750,000 students who took the GMAT from 2013-2015.

There’s a lot to take in when assessing your GMAT scores and decoding your GMAT score report. First off, you’ve got a raw score in both in the Verbal and Quantitative sections. Those are scored on a scale of 0 to 51 and 0 to 60 respectively. Then there’s the ever confusing Integrated Reasoning score, which is on a scale of 1 to 8. Then, you’ve got an Analytical Writing score on a scale of 0 to 6. And, if you’re still with me, there’s the Total Score, coming out of left field on a scale of 200 to 800. Okay, the 200 to 800 score range is a pretty common one in standardized testing. Still, it’s hard to keep your brain from seeping out your ears when trying get a handle of your score report.

The good news is what really matters to admissions committees is where you stand in the field, that is your percentile ranks. That just means how you stack up against other test takers, which is pretty useful for admissions committees.

The Basics of GMAT Score Percentiles

Your total GMAT score ranges from 200-800, and your section scores have their own score scales as well. How can you turn test scores and section scores into GMAT score percentiles? Simple! You’re in the 75th percentile if 75% of students scored lower than you, the 90th percentile if 90% of test takers have lower scores, and so on.

In other words, the higher your percentile number is, the better. At the 99th percentile, only 1% of students got a better score than you, and the 100th percentile place you at the very top among all GMAT test-takers. In contrast, if you’re at the 50th or 60th percentile, you’re not that competitive. And once drop below the 50th percentile, your score is quite poor, and you may need to retake the GMAT (and, unfortunately, pay the GMAT exam fee once more).

Knowing the percentiles lets them know if you’ve merely achieved an average GMAT score, or if you’ve shot through the roof with your scores. GMAC produces this information on GMAT score percentiles (in fact, they just updated it on July 1, 2014), and for your convenience, I’ve reproduced it below.

Total GMAT Score Percentiles

PercentileScorePercentileScore
99%760-80034%520
98%75032%510
97%74030%500
96%73027%490
94%72025%480
91%71023%470
89%70020%460
86%69019%450
84%68017%440
82%67015%430
79%66014%420
76%65013%410
71%64011%400
69%63010%390
66%6209%380
62%6108%370
59%6007%360
56%5906%340-350
52%5805%330
49%5704%310-320
46%5603%280-300
43%5502%250-270
40%5401%220-240
36%5300%200-210

Scaled Score Percentiles

Quant PercentileQuant Scaled ScoreVerbal PercentileVerbal Scaled Score
97%5199%51
87%5099%50
77%4999%49
71%4899%48
65%4799%47
62%4699%46
59%4599%45
54%4498%44
52%4396%43
47%4296%42
45%4194%41
43%4091%40
39%3989%39
38%3885%38
36%3783%37
33%3681%36
29%3576%35
28%3472%34
26%3369%33
24%3267%32
21%3162%31
20%3060%30
18%2957%29
17%2852%28
14%2747%27
13%2644%26
12%2540%25
11%2437%24
10%2333%23
8%2231%22
8%2127%21
7%2023%20
6%1920%19
6%1818%18
4%1715%17
4%1613%16
3%1510%15
3%149%14
3%137%13
2%125%12
2%114%11
2%103%10
1%92%9
1%81%8
1%71%7
0%60%6

AWA and IR Percentiles

AWA PercentileAWA ScoreIR PercentileIR Score
90%692%8
81%5.582%7
57%569%6
43%4.554%5
20%440%4
13%3.527%3
6%313%2
5%2.50%1
3%1.0-2.0
0%0-0.5

There you have it! Of course, you’ll have to do research on your program to make your own determinations about what is a good GMAT score, and gauge how hard you think the GMAT is. But then, you’ll be well on your way. 🙂

 

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