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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 nearly 600,000 students who took the GMAT from 2014-2017.

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).

Improve your GMAT score

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 in summer 2017), and for your convenience, I’ve reproduced it below.

Total GMAT Score Percentiles

PercentileScorePercentileScore
99%760-80033%520
98%75031%510
97%74028%500
96%73026%490
94%72024%480
91%71022%470
88%70019%460
86%69018%450
83%68016%440
81%67015%430
78%66014%420
75%65013%410
70%64011%400
68%63010%390
64%6209%380
61%6108%370
57%6007%360
54%5906%350
51%5805%330-340
48%5704%320
44%5603%280-310
41%5502%250-270
39%5401%220-240
34%5300%200-210

Scaled Score Percentiles

Quant PercentileQuant Scaled ScoreVerbal PercentileVerbal Scaled Score
96%5199%51
86%5099%50
75%4999%49
69%4899%48
63%4799%47
60%4699%46
57%4599%45
52%4498%44
50%4396%43
45%4296%42
43%4194%41
41%4091%40
37%3989%39
36%3885%38
34%3783%37
31%3681%36
28%3576%35
26%3471%34
25%3369%33
22%3266%32
20%3162%31
19%3059%30
16%2957%29
15%2852%28
13%2747%27
12%2644%26
11%2540%25
10%2437%24
9%2333%23
8%2231%22
7%2127%21
6%2023%20
6%1920%19
5%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
89%693%8
80%5.582%7
54%570%6
42%4.555%5
18%440%4
12%3.526%3
5%312%2
4%2.50%1
3%1.5-2.0
2%0.5-1
00

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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17 Responses to GMAT Score Percentiles

  1. Michael September 11, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

    Should I work on my verbal or quant to improve score? My math score is a lot higher than my verbal but the percentile is lower in my math vs verbal. Am I better off concentration on verbal or math if I want to see the quickest improvement in the least amount of time.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 12, 2017 at 9:59 am #

      This can be a tough decision to make. One thing to consider is whether you need to learn new academic content (such as vocabulary, geometry, etc…), or whether you simply need to refine your test-related strategies (such as pacing, mental math, elimination and selection for multiple choice and so on).

      Strategies are a “high yield” skill. You can master strategies much more quickly than you can master new academic content, so learning and applying new test strategies is your fastest route to an improved score. In terms of rapid score improvement, it sounds like it may be best to focus on Quant. If you’re already doing well in Quant, you probably know the content. In that case, improving on your strategies could be a fast way to push your Quant score to even higher levels.

      On the other hand, it’s also important to give your schools what they want. Are they looking for higher percentiles, or higher scores? If it’s percentile that the schools want, then a focus on math is a good idea. But if the schools want to see higher scores, than it could be better to focus on boosting our Verbal score, even if your Verbal percentile is already higher than your Quant percentile.

  2. Michael Jones January 8, 2016 at 7:13 pm #

    So I wanted to share my score and story. I focused entirely on quant after scoring a 41 Q and 36V three weeks ago for a 630 overall. My Quant fell to a 40 despite improvement in studying and after multiple diagnostics indicating a 47-50 under time scenarios. Unexpectedly, my verbal rose to a 42 despite no additional study. So in total I got a 680. I can’t help but think if I had achieved my expected quant and near my achieved verbal I’d be in the mid 700s range but I’ll take the 50 point improvement as it puts me squarely ahead of the PT program averages. Thanks Magoosh for your prep help!

  3. Clive September 19, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

    I find the above does not lead to an improvement in understanding the best tactical approach.
    I want a chart that correlates % questions correct in quant + % correct in verbal, versus official GMAT score.
    For instance. I have developed a strategy for some students (I am a GMAT tutor with 10 years experience) which would allow them to achieve 50% as described above. But what will that get as a GMAT official score?

    • Jessica Wan
      Jessica Wan September 21, 2015 at 1:24 am #

      Hi Clive,

      We have another blog post about calculating GMAT scores (we update it regularly with what we hear from students). It may be a useful resource to you.

      All best,
      Jessica

  4. Sarah March 24, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

    I am confused about the whole percentile thing. If I am at a 81 percentile what does that say about me.

    • Rita Neumann
      Rita Kreig March 24, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

      Hi Sarah,

      If your score puts in you the 81st percentile, that means that you scored better than 81% of test-takers, or that only 19% of test-takers scored higher than you on the GMAT. You’re in the top 25% of test-takers, which is very good. You can see which b-schools accept students within this range by checking out this infographic.

      I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any follow-up questions. 🙂

      Best,
      Rita

      • Hasam February 10, 2016 at 11:13 am #

        Better than 81% of test takers in the past 3 years that is, right?

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 11, 2016 at 5:52 am #

          Hi Hasam,

          More or less! Generally the percentile charts will show you a roughly 3-year period for which you are compared. For whatever period is listed, being in the 81st percentile means you are above 81% of test takers in that period. 🙂

  5. well wisher January 22, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    As of late last year, V37 is 82 percentile.

    • Rachel Wisuri
      Rachel January 23, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

      Hi there!

      Thanks for letting us know. 🙂 We’re in the process of updating this post!

  6. Herpal Pabla September 29, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

    Greetings,

    I have a quick question. For each of the Quant and Verbal percentiles. Whichever raw score they entail, do we add them to get our total score? I am not sure if I understand the grading correctly. Hope to hear from you soon.

    Kind Regards,

    Herpal Pabla

    • Kevin Rocci
      Kevin September 29, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

      Great question, Herpal!

      Unfortunately it is not a simple answer. The GMAT is scored using an equating system. Your total score and your score in a each section is calculated based on how many questions you answer correctly, how many you miss, how many you leave blank, and the difficulty level of all those questions. Ultimately, only the people who write the GMAT know how this happens. Everyone else tries to make educated guesses about how to calculate a total score or a scaled score. So there is no easy way to say that if you get 35 questions correct in the Verbal section, you will end up with a certain total score or scaled score. I wish I could be of more help, but this is a tough question to answer.

      Best of luck and happy studying! 😀

  7. Eric July 1, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    I took the GMAT today – the percentiles must have just changed – 49Q was a 79th, 41V was a 94th

    • Rita Neumann
      Rita Kreig July 2, 2014 at 11:16 am #

      Hi Eric,

      Thanks for letting us know! We’ll do some research and then update this post.

      Congrats on your great verbal score, by the way. 🙂

      Cheers,
      Rita

      • Ari K September 24, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

        Took it today. 40V/91st, 42Q/51st, 670/83d

        • Rita Neumann
          Rita Kreig September 24, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

          Hey Ari,

          Thanks for sharing your scores! It looks like they’re still using the score percentile rankings from July 2014, which is very good for us to know. 🙂

          Congrats on that amazing verbal score! I hope you’re relieved that the test is over. Have fun celebrating!

          Cheers,
          Rita


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