Let the battle begin!
The battle for the highest GMAT score in the world, that is.
If you took the GMAT test in 2014, then you weren’t just competing against those in your test center–you were also competing with every other test taker in the world (how’s that for some high stakes? Cue suspenseful music!). Your score was combined with the GMAT score of every other test taker in your nation and then compared to the average GMAT score of every other nation in the world.
Which country do you think came out on top? India, Iran, the U.S., Spain? Maybe none of the above? Read on to find out!
Who has the highest GMAT score in the world?
I was also very curious about this question. My initial guess was–surprise, surprise–the U.S.! But before I got too carried away, our designer Mark used the GMAC’s Citizenship Report for 2014 to put together an interactive map that solved the mystery.
Scroll over the map below to see if your guess was also wrong or right! You’ll find information on the average GMAT score for each country, the average age of all test takers in that country, and the total number of people in that country who took the GMAT in 2014.
Countries with the highest and lowest GMAT test scores
And the award for highest GMAT score in the world goes to…New Zealand! The same land that gave us Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit takes the crown when it comes to GMAT scores. With a whopping average score of 608, New Zealand was also one of the only 3 other nations that broke the 600 score range (Australia and Singapore are in that group as well, with average scores of 605 and 603 respectively).
Bringing in the rear with the lowest GMAT scores in the world, we find Sierra Leone with 317, the Republic of Congo with 314, and Saudi Arabia with 307.
My pick for highest score, the United States, came in at 47th place on the list with an average score of 537. So my prediction was so very wrong–but that’s alright, America. There’s always 2015!
What does your country’s average GMAT score mean?
So what should we do with all this information? Well for starters, is anyone in favor of moving to New Zealand with me? We’d improve our GMAT scores and enjoy living among lots of sheep.
But on a more serious note, it’s hard to say exactly how much we can conclude about a country’s academic level based on this average test score data. For one, some of the disparity in scores can be explained by the differing cultural views of standardized tests which we’d find in each country. In the U.S., for example, many approach the GMAT as a sort of decision maker–they take the exam in an effort to figure out of business school is really right for them. But in another country, the approach to the GMAT would be very different. Especially since many top ranked b-schools are in the U.S., test takers from other countries would likely be the cream of the crop in their countries. They would have already committed to a b-school track and would be taking the test to compete for a spot at a top ranked U.S. school.
Another explanation for this test score disparity is that each country also differs in its ability to provide a climate conducive to higher education and effective test preparation. So one could argue that a better and fairer method of comparing GMAT scores around the world would involve bracketing test scores from countries that have similar resources and environments and then determining the highest and lowest scoring nations in those brackets. That way, we’d be able to make more accurate statements about the academic level of people in a given nation.
But until then, congrats, New Zealand!
If you’ve got any thoughts on this GMAT test score distribution, or if have predictions about how things might change in 2015, please leave us a comment below!