What Is a Good GMAT Score? (2022)

Closeup of foosball table representing competition for good GMAT scores
The short answer? A good GMAT score is 650+. A great GMAT score is 720+.

This makes strong GMAT prep essential and worth the time and energy; a good GMAT score is essential if you want to get into a top MBA program. And a great score will make you stand out!

However, a good score is not necessarily the same for every person. In this post, we’ll cover GMAT score percentiles, good GMAT scores for top business schools, how to improve your score, and how to find a good GMAT score for your goals.


Table of Contents


Understanding GMAT Scoring

Why is it so crucial to get a good GMAT score on test day? The bottom line is, a great score shows admissions committees that you’re ready to take on the academic work that an MBA requires.

While your grades may be great, different schools (not to mention different teachers) can use different grading scales and curricula, so the GMAT is a way of leveling the playing field in one sense.

What makes a good GMAT score varies a ton according to different factors. Here are a few to take into consideration (and how you should account for them in setting your goal score):

  • Your target school
    • Research the programs you’re interested in attending and make a list of the business schools you plan to apply to.
  • The program’s rankings
    • GMAT score ranges can vary widely from one program to another. Top 10 schools will require a truly impressive GMAT score (think 720+). On the other hand, lower-ranked programs don’t typically require high scores.
  • Scores of recently admitted students
    • Most business schools will openly state the average GMAT score of their recently admitted class on their admissions website. Some even offer GMAT score percentile ranges for the most recent class. Start there. Next, Google “school name average gmat score” to find a range. Finally, you can always subscribe to US News & World Report to get more information if you can’t find it for free.
  • Demographics
    • If you are from an underrepresented population (as defined by the GMAC), GMAT scores are de-emphasized in favor of other factors, such as the strength of your personal statement or recommendations. While it’s still recommended to aim to score around your school’s average, it’s good to keep in mind that MBA programs understand that a GMAT score is not the most equitable measure of your ability to succeed in business school.

As you can see, there are many factors that make a “good” score—it’s not about just trying to get the highest GMAT score possible. In the words of Bhavin Parik, MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley (as well as CEO/Founder of Magoosh!):

While scoring a 700+ GMAT score is often considered quite good, there’s actually no such thing as a universally good GMAT score. Different schools have different admissions criteria and ultimately a good score is one that puts you in a position to increase the odds of acceptance at your target school. Do your research and aim to score above the average for your target program.

For even more information about GMAT scores, definitely check out this video by Magoosh expert, Kevin!

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Average GMAT Score

The current average combined GMAT score is 568.21 (source: GMAC).

We can also break the mean scores down by section:

SectionMean Score
Integrated Reasoning (IR)4.6
Total Score568.21
Sample Size: 555,174
Standard Deviation: 114.73
Data Period: January 2018 – December 2020

Average GMAT Scores for the “Best Business Schools”

Name of MBA Program/Business SchoolAverage GMAT ScoreRank
Stanford University7331 844
University of Pennsylvania

University of Chicago (Booth)7243 1,229
Northwestern University (Kellogg)72741,378
Harvard Business School7275 (tie)1,538
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
N/A5 (tie)N/A
Columbia Business School7327 (tie)1,310
University of California-Berkeley
7277 (tie)627
Yale University7209692
Darthmouth College (Tuck)72010 (tie)569
New York University (Stern)72310 (tie)668

You need a top score to stand out at a top business school. At the top 10 business schools in America, you need a score of at least 720 to be competitive. Still, even in these top programs, some applicants are accepted with scores lower than 720. And a school’s own stated GMAT score preferences can change from year to year.

Each year, US News & World Report ranks the “Best Business Schools”, and if you sign up with them, you can get the full information for these schools (tuition, enrollment figures, average GMAT scores, average undergraduate GPA, acceptance rates, and percent of students employed at graduation). University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) and Stanford University (Booth) top the list.

The 2020 average GMAT scores at these two universities is 733. Remember, those are average GMAT scores, which means that individual scores at each of those schools can be either above or below those numbers.

GMAT Scores for PhD Programs

Few doctoral programs will explicitly require a GMAT score. Instead, they’ll often accept either the GMAT or the GRE if the field of study is business. Submitting GMAT scores for PhD programs is relatively rare, but we’ve put together a sampling of average GMAT scores for PhD programs that are considered pretty prestigious:

How to Compare Your GMAT Score to the Average

After you calculate your GMAT score and it comes out to, say, 740, then it would be above-average for every business school in the world.

For the other “top ten” schools, the average GMAT scores are between 721 and 734. If you score above 720, your score is in the territory of the elite schools, and if you score anywhere above 750, your GMAT score is stratospherically high. We’ll go over how a high GMAT score can help or hinder you in the next section.

For more information on the GMAT scores needed for top business schools, I highly recommend taking a look at our GMAT Scores for Top Business Schools infographic.

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According to GMAC, the folks who create the GMAT, the GMAT score percentiles reveal the link between GMAT score and percentile rank of everyone who takes the GMAT.

What does this mean for you and your scores? Check out how GMAT percentiles work. (If you’re not sure about your score, check out Magoosh’s GMAT score calculator first, then check out what this means for percentiles!)

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Your Total, Verbal, and Quantitative Scores

On your official score report, here are the scores you’ll see and their ranges:

SectionNumber of points
AWAHalf-integers from 0 to 6
IRIntegers from 1 to 8
Quant subscoreIntegers from 0 to 60
Verbal subscoreIntegers from 0 to 60
Total GMAT score (composed of quant + verbal)Integers from 200 to 800

(Note that this is different from your initial report; find out more about types of GMAT score reports !)

So which scores matter to schools? You’ll find that adcoms are most focused on your total score, your quant score, and your verbal score.

The GMAT exam total score, ranging from 200 to 800, is certainly the most important number here, and for some test-takers and some folks in adcom, this is the only number that matters at all. According to at least some sources though, Integrated Reasoning scores may be gaining traction as an admission tool.

The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) score is arguably the least important score on the GMAT score report.

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How the GMAT Is Scored

On the GMAT, you’ll answer questions in four sections: Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, and the AWA.

The number of questions you answered correctly in Verbal and Quant is then turned into a score of 0-60 in each section.

Finally, these 0-60 scores are combined and scaled to give you your overall score on a 200-800 scale.

Everything except the essay is graded immediately by the computer: as soon as you are done with your IR, your Quant, or your Verbal sections, the computer already knows your score. (Thankfully, it doesn’t share any of this score information with you until you are done with your test.)

At the end of your exam, you will see your initial GMAT score report and every subscore except the essay.

The essay takes longer to grade. It is graded once by a computer program (don’t ask us how this happens!) and once by a human grader. If those two are the same or close, that’s your AWA score.

If the human and the computer disagree, a second human adjudicates and decides the AWA score. You will find out your AWA subscore when you receive your official GMAT score report, about 20 days after the test.

The IR questions have a few unique features. The 30-minute IR section consists of 12 “questions,” but each “question” is really a computer screen, many of which have multiple questions. One such IR screen contains what I call multiple dichotomous choice questions (DMCQs). The screen with DMCQs will present some information, and then a box: each row will have a statement or question, and buttons to select in two columns. The columns may be “Yes/No,” “True/False,” or some other kind of simple binary choice, and your job will be to decide, for each statement or question, which button to select.

Now, here’s the kicker about how IR is scored: there’s no partial credit on IR. If there are two or three separate tasks or separate questions on a single screen, you must get every single thing correct on the screen to get credit for that screen. See the link in the previous paragraph for some of the strategies that this challenging condition implies.

The Quant and Verbal sections share many features. These two are the only two sections that count in the total GMAT score. They both last 75 minutes. They both consist exclusively of 5-choice multiple-choice questions—assuming that you recognize Data Sufficiency as a modified kind of 5-choice multiple-choice question!

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Computer Adaptive Testing

Both the Quant and Verbal employ Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT). The CAT changes the difficulty, question by question, as you move through the section. As a general pattern, if you are getting questions right, the CAT gives you harder questions, and if you are struggling, the CAT will give you easier questions.

That’s the overall trend, although this highly complex algorithm also does sweeps through different difficulties: for example, you may get an easy question out of the blue even if you did nothing wrong. The grading for the CAT does NOT depend on simply the number of questions you answer correctly or incorrectly: instead, the score depends on the difficulty of the questions.

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GMAT Scoring Algorithm

The complexity of the GMAT scoring algorithm means that it relies on this CAT model.

Therefore, the person who gets a 450 and the person who gets a 750 might have gotten about the same number of questions right and wrong, but the difficulties were in very different zones.

The complexity of the algorithm is such that it is impossible to suggest any strategy to profit from it. The only meaningful strategy on the CAT is to do your best with each and every question. Once again, CAT is employed only on the Quant & Verbal sections, not on IR and, of course, not on the AWA.

You may be curious about how the GMAT determines the difficulty level of questions. In general, this is a sophisticated topic known as Item Response Theory. GMAC gathers a vast amount of information about individual questions before they are ever used as GMAT questions. As a general rule, I don’t think it’s helpful to worry too much about the “level” of an individual practice question.
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The CAT and Strategies

The computer-adaptive format of the GMAT can be intimidating at first if you haven’t taken an adaptive test before. But the more you prepare, the easier it’ll be on test day!

In short, here’s how GMAT scoring works:

Correct answers x difficulty level = score

What this means for the questions you’ll see is that the difficulty adapts as you go.

In terms of your strategy, first things first: you definitely need one to get a high GMAT score! Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  • Don’t guess on a bunch of answers in a row.
  • Skipping questions is generally bad.
  • Develop a pacing strategy.

As you work on perfecting your pacing, here’s what to keep in mind:

  • You have 2 minutes for each Quant question
  • You have 1 minute 48 seconds for each Verbal question
  • With that said, different questions types will take you less or more time; take a look at GMAT timing strategies to prepare.
  • The at-home GMAT is the same in terms of timing for MC questions on the CAT, so take that into consideration as you plan.

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What matters in the business school application?

When you apply for an MBA, admissions committees (adcoms) look at many factors in combination. GMAC, the test-maker, polled business schools to find which factors they considered most strongly.

Chief among these? You’d be surprised—it’s not GMAT scores, though they came in a close second! It’s how you perform on your interviews.

However, not everybody gets an interview. And the way to get one? Have stellar materials. GMAT scores are one factor adcoms use to determine who gets an interview. Overall, they weight these scores nearly as much as the interview itself.

This means that in terms of approaching your applications, GMAT scores are incredibly important.

From there, in descending order of importance, adcoms consider:

  • Undergraduate transcripts
  • Resume
  • Essays
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Student bio
  • Short-answer questions

Out of all the factors you can still control, your GMAT scores are far and away the most important to MBA programs.
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How long to study for the highest GMAT score?

The short answer is that you should plan for 2-3 months of intensive GMAT study. However, this can vary depending on other factors. Take Magoosh’s quiz to find out how long you should study for the GMAT based on your personal circumstances!
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Score Takeaways

The best question to ask as you start your GMAT prep is not “what’s a good GMAT score” but “what does a good GMAT score mean to me?” This will depend on your baseline score, your goals, your target programs, and other application factors. However, once you know what you’re aiming for, you’ll be able to craft a plan to get there. Picking a goal score isn’t an easy task, but it’s well worth the payoff!

Ready to start studying for the exam? Get your free GMAT study schedule here!

Ready to get an awesome GMAT score? Start here.

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  • Mike MᶜGarry

    Mike served as a GMAT Expert at Magoosh, helping create hundreds of lesson videos and practice questions to help guide GMAT students to success. He was also featured as "member of the month" for over two years at GMAT Club. Mike holds an A.B. in Physics (graduating magna cum laude) and an M.T.S. in Religions of the World, both from Harvard. Beyond standardized testing, Mike has over 20 years of both private and public high school teaching experience specializing in math and physics. In his free time, Mike likes smashing foosballs into orbit, and despite having no obvious cranial deficiency, he insists on rooting for the NY Mets. Learn more about the GMAT through Mike's Youtube video explanations and resources like What is a Good GMAT Score? and the GMAT Diagnostic Test.

51 Responses to What Is a Good GMAT Score? (2022)

  1. Ashutosh Kumar Ojha December 9, 2018 at 1:47 am #

    Is there any chance of getting admission in top US Bschool having GMAT score of 770 and Indian CGPA of 9??

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 9, 2018 at 3:58 pm #

      Hi Ashutosh!

      First of all: Congratulations on your score! That is an excellent GMAT score, and I hope that you are able to celebrate a bit before stressing about applications 🙂 With that said, our expertise is in test prep, not admissions advice, so I’m afraid that we aren’t the best people to answer this question. A GMAT score of 770 puts you in the range of elite business schools, which means that you will have a lot of options. I recommend that you use this post to identify a few schools, and then do some research to see which ones best fit your interests and career goals. Good luck!

    • James April 3, 2019 at 5:31 am #

      Would you say this still applied? I just got a 720 q50v38 and would like to apply to Wharton and the Chicago universities. Would you consider a retake to aim for a 740 or would it be more important at this stage to focus on the essays?


      • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
        Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 3, 2019 at 7:13 pm #

        Hi James!

        First of all: Congratulations on your score! That is an excellent GMAT score, and I hope that you are able to celebrate a bit before stressing about applications 🙂 Remember, there is more on an application than just your GMAT score.

        With that said, our expertise is in test prep, not admissions advice, so I’m afraid that we aren’t the best people to answer this question. I recommend that you use this post to identify a few schools, and then contact their admissions offices for the best information. Good luck!

  2. Saurav Ray August 28, 2018 at 3:39 pm #

    Hi ,

    I just appeared for my GMAT last Friday .
    Sore –> 760 ( Q49,V44.IR7,AWA 5.5)

    I am a Computer Engineer ( B.tech ) . with 7 years work experience ( 2 years USA work ex and currently working in US ) .

    Which schools should I aim for ?


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 31, 2018 at 9:51 am #

      Hi Saurav,

      First of all: WOW and congratulations! That is an excellent GMAT score, and I hope that you are able to celebrate a bit before stressing about applications 🙂 Our expertise is in test prep, not admissions advice, so I’m afraid that we aren’t the best people to answer this question. A GMAT score of 760 puts you in the range of elite business schools, which means that you will have a lot of options. I recommend that you use this post to identify a few schools, and then do some research to see which ones best fit your interests and career goals. Good luck!

  3. Gaurangi Agrawal July 24, 2018 at 12:27 am #


    I’m an CS branch engineering student from India. Presently I’m in my third year. I got trained for 10 days in a Digital Marketing company this summer. I have knowledge of Java & C++ but no experience in the field. Next year I’ll be doing a technical internship (mandatory in the B.Tech course).

    I’m planning to prepare for GMAT. Is it too early to start preparing since I’ll have no work experience and only these two internships in my hand by the time I’ll apply for GMAT (December 2019)?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 25, 2018 at 7:07 am #

      I’d say it’s not too early. For one thing, an internship does count as work experience in the eyes of some B-schools. Not only that, but you also don’t need work experience to take the GMAT itself, and some MBA programs don’t strictly require work experience. And even if you do decide you want to get some additional work experience so that you’ll have a better chance at top B-schools with stricter requirements, GMAT scores don’t expire for 5 years. So it definitely doesn’t hurt to take the GMAT early on.

  4. Lasse Kröger February 13, 2018 at 10:55 am #

    Hi Mike

    Really likes the article. I scored 700 on my first try. From your artcile it suggest retaking the Gmat for a top 10 business school if you have 710 is useless, could the same be said about 700? Or should I go for it again?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 16, 2018 at 6:55 am #

      Hi Lasse,

      First of all, congrats on getting such a stellar GMAT score on your first try! That’s amazing!

      Our expertise is in test prep, not admissions advice, so keep that in mind as you read my answer. A 700 score is very uncertain territory for top 10 business schools–you have proven your ability to manage the academic work at the institution, but you will be competing against students with higher scores. If you have a stellar application–good GPA, excellent references, relevant work experience, etc–then you have a fighting chance at admissions to these schools. If your GMAT score needs to make up for other weaknesses in your application, then you may need to consider a retake.

      It’s worth noting that all of this is basically speculation–only the admissions committee really knows all of the metrics used in considering applicants! If possible, I recommend trying to contact admissions counselors and students at these schools to see what insight they can provide.

      Congrats again on your excellent score, and good luck in the admissions process!

  5. Collin Breitman December 16, 2017 at 12:27 pm #


    I took the GMAT twice first 700 Q49V36 second 710 Q47 V40 both had IR 8 and AWA 6. I have a BS in chemical engineering GPA 3.89 and MS bioengineer 3.96. I work in nuclear power as a senior reactor operator and want to pivot to consulting. Looking at Yale SOM, HBS, Wharton, Sloan. I am pretty much done my apps but I am really worried about my GMAT 710. Combining my scores I could be at a Q49 V40 which is a 730. Will going for it one last time for a 730 be worth or am I GMAT obsessed and I should just drop it.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 19, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

      Hi Collin,

      This is a difficult question, and many students would love to know the answer to it! I’m afraid that I can’t be of much help here–our expertise is in test prep, not admissions advice, so I can’t give you concrete advice one way or the other. I’m sorry about that–I know it’s nerve-wracking to make a decision like this! If you look at the average GMAT scores for top schools, your scores fall a bit low–but these are just averages! These schools are looking at your entire resume, which sounds quite impressive, and your score won’t automatically drop you out of consideration. I recommend trying to get in touch with an admissions counselor or even some current students to get a better idea of what these schools are really looking for in an applicant–the GMAT is only one part of the application, after all, and schools want well-rounded students. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful, but I wish you the best of luck!

  6. Adithi December 11, 2017 at 2:51 am #

    Hi Mike,

    Great blog! I just took my GMAT today and got an unofficial score of 750 (Q49, V42, IR5). As you can see, my IR score is really low, mainly because I was exhausted by the end of the exam and felt defeated as I thought I didn’t perform as expected. I answered the IR questions without being able to comprehend most of it coz i was freaking out internally. Worst thing to happen during an exams. Do you think i should retake the exam again and improve my IR score?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 12, 2017 at 10:00 am #

      Hi Adithi,

      Thanks for reaching out! First of all, CONGRATS on such an amazing GMAT score! This is a difficult question to answer, because it depends on the school and they are not always super forthcoming about how they consider IR scores in their overall application. This blog post and this GMAT Club thread might be helpful in your decision. You may also want to contact the admissions department directly to ask them. You have such a strong overalls core that a lower IR section may not be a big deal, especially if you have a strong overall application, but some more competitive schools might see that as a red flag. You should also consider the time and expense of a retake and whether your energies would be better spent crafting a strong application. I’m sorry there’s no simple answer here–I encourage you to do some research and see what you can find!

  7. Ayush kumar Garg September 29, 2017 at 4:07 pm #

    can we get admission in top b school with good gmat score and nothing good at any other things .

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 30, 2017 at 8:40 pm #

      Hi Ayush,

      No, unfortunately just the GMAT score is not going to be enough to guarantee admission.

  8. Arijit Bose March 18, 2017 at 11:28 pm #

    Hi Mike,

    First of all, I must mention that I really enjoyed reading your article – it was informative throughout to say the least. I will like to talk to you about my scenario. My GMAT score is 710 (Q50,V37,AWA6,IR8) on my first attempt. I aim to get into any of the top B schools in Europe. However, I am not sure if my application will be strong enough because I am from an over-represented community (Read, Indian).

    I have over 6 years of experience in IT, with significant international exposure of more than 2 years (In US). Do you think retaking the GMAT is a good idea or should I rather work on crafting my application in a proper form?


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 19, 2017 at 11:32 pm #

      Hi Arijit,

      First off, congratulations on your 710. That’s a very respectable GMAT score. This should put you above average for most b-schools in Europe, including the top ones. Your work experience gives you a good chance of acceptance too, especially because you have experience in a native English speaking country.

      The over-representation of Indian students could be a factor on some campuses. But in truth, most universities don’t really look at national quotas. Instead they look at test scores, academic records, experience, and so on.

      To me, it sounds like you have a pretty good chance at acceptance, and shouldn’t need to retake the exam. Of course, policies at individual schools can vary. To be 100% sure you don’t need a retake, it wouldn’t hurt to ask advice from admissions representatives at schools you’re particularly interested in.

  9. Robert Slack February 26, 2017 at 10:50 am #

    Hi Mike

    Many years ago (1973) I took the old` ATGSB and scored 629 which was at the 93%ile.

    Comparing that with the %ile data you show makes me think ATGSB & GMAT scores are not directly comparable (though it may be due to changes in the clientele mix) . Is there a “magic formula” for conversion from one score to the other please?

    Any help will be very much appreciated

    Kindest Regards


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 27, 2017 at 8:33 am #

      I’ll be honest; there really isn’t any good way to convert one score to the other, in the case of these two tests. Standardized testing has changed A LOT across the board since 1973, and there’s just no comparing any exam from the early 70s to any modern exam. Even a 1973 GMAT couldn’t really be converted to the scoring scale of a present-day GMAT. Sorry I can’t be of more help. 🙁

      • Rob Slack September 23, 2018 at 2:08 pm #

        Thank you for replying. Sorry my reply is so late (I didn’t realise you had replied).



  10. Gaurav February 25, 2017 at 11:06 pm #

    Hi Mike

    My Gmat score is currently 650 (77 percentile) and I am planning to apply to Bschools in canada.Should I go for a retake?

    Colleges to which I am applying has an average Gmat score of around 620-670

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 26, 2017 at 2:33 am #

      Hi Gaurav,

      While you are comfortably in that range provided, being on the high end or exceeding the range suggested is a surefire way to get noticed on that dimension of your application. If you feel that you can improve your score and get higher, it may be worth a retake. If you think your entire application is strong, your 650 should be more than sufficient, though. 🙂

  11. Arpit November 30, 2016 at 3:54 pm #

    Thanks for another great post. I took my test yesterday and got a 730 (Q49, V 40). Kinda disappointed, I was targeted 780 and was achieving 750 on the gmat prep, but, bygones are bygones. I bombed the IR though, a weak 5 (54%).
    While your post is great in general, but I heard the schools have separate cut offs depending on nationalities. So, while a 730 may be a great score, but owing to the large applications from let’s say India, 730 isn’t a great score. After all, to keep the class diverse, there’s only as many people from the samw nationalities you can admit. Is it true, and does this indicate I need to retake the test to get those extra 30points?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 30, 2016 at 6:43 pm #

      Hi Arpit,

      Congrats on the great score, and I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the post! So, most schools will not have (or at least will never state that they have) an explicit cutoff or quota for nationality or any other criteria. However, you are correct that they want to have a diverse class, so they may be more selective for students with similar backgrounds. That being said, remember that the GMAT is just one piece to your application. Diversity goes beyond just the score. With a 730, you are competitive and sometimes the other pieces of your application will make the difference. At the same time, obviously having a higher score may make you feel more comfortable. At the end of the day, it becomes a personal decision. How do you think you can most strengthen your application. Will retaking the exam and getting a 760 do the trick, or will time be better spent focusing on your essays? Good luck!

  12. Ray April 9, 2014 at 2:07 pm #


    I just finished taking the GMAT and received an unofficial score of 740. I did not study a whole lot for it because I was confident that I would test well. When I entered the test, I was completely unprepared for the AWA, and I definitely bombed it (wrote very little and did not finish my arguments or provide good examples.) If i have a solid score otherwise, but a very weak AWA, is it worth retaking the exam just to improve this less important score?


    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike April 9, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

      Dear Ray,
      Congratulations on a fantastic GMAT score. NO, do NOT retake. I would say: just make sure your personal statement to B-school is a masterpiece, so that they know you can write.
      Mike 🙂

  13. Jyoty April 9, 2014 at 6:20 am #

    Dear Mike,
    Thanks for the great post. Kindly advice me further pl.
    I have a 730 Q50 and V38 (Well, I scored better in GMATprep (750,760) though, however reading the post above and other such advice I feel retaking is no good,What do you say?)
    IR score is 8.Awaiting my AWA scores.
    I have 2 years of experience as of now and since I am trying for class of 2017, it would add up to almost 3 yrs by then.
    By GPA at Undergrad is 9.1 on a scale of 10. Academics have been fairly good overall.
    I have some good enough leadership experience in college.
    Can you advise me as to in which schools do I have a better chance of admission? As I aim for a career in Strategy, I would love the top notches (H/S/W). I also really like CBS.Kellogg and Booth also seem good. Kindly suggest some qualified admission consultants in India.
    Cheers 🙂 Have a great day!

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike April 9, 2014 at 11:51 am #

      Dear Jyoty,
      I would definitely say: do not, DO NOT, think about retaking the GMAT. As for the rest of what you ask, blog comments are not really the place to get one-on-one counselling, and furthermore, while I am a GMAT expert, I am not an admission consultant. What you ask, about individual schools, are issues you need to bring to a qualified admission consultant. Unfortunately, Magoosh does not recommend any admission consultants, either in the US or abroad.
      Best of luck!
      Mike 🙂

  14. Shahin April 8, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    Hai mike,

    I have started GMAT study in last 18 march. Still now I have completed Kaplan and half-way of Princeton review. But my problem is that some of my friends saying that after finishing the KAPLAN and Princeton Review, I require to start OG. In contrast some of them are saying that I require to start Manhattan. I am in a perplexed situation. Plz give me a suggestion what is the best to do after finishing Kaplan and Princeton review?

  15. Niranjan February 11, 2014 at 6:33 am #

    Dear Mike, I am pursuing my final year engineering in India. My CGPA is 5.7/10 and I plan to do an MBA in the US. Would I be able to fill the gap of my CGPA with the GMAT score and get into a good institution?

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike February 11, 2014 at 9:40 am #

      Dear Niranjan,
      I will share with you my thoughts, but first, I must caution you —- it would be best to consult with a qualified admission consultant. I know tons about the GMAT, but I am less qualified in giving overall admission advice. I would say — since your low CGPA could raise questions, everything else must be very strong: your GMAT score, your recommendations, and your personal statement. All of those must give resounding evidence of your intelligence and talents if you want to place into one of the better business schools. That’s my two cents, although again, it’s important to talk with an admission consultant about your chances at specific places.
      Mike 🙂

  16. Chandni January 19, 2014 at 12:53 am #

    I’ve scored 700 (Q47 V39 AWA 5.0 IR 8) on the GMAT. I’m an undergrad student graduating in Summer 2014. Should I retake the exam?

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike January 19, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

      Dear Chandni,
      No, no, no, no, no, no. You already have an excellent score, good enough to get into any B-school on Earth. Taking the GMAT again would be gratuitous. Focus on making yourself the best B-school candidate in every other way as well.
      Mike 🙂

  17. aparna December 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    Hi Mike,I scored a gmat score of 700 but my IR score is disastrously low,just 2.Should I rewrite the GMAT. Do I have any chance of getting into a top school with this?

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike December 8, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

      Hmmm. That’s a tricky combination — high GMAT but low IR. I’m inclined to recommend not retaking, but I would recommend discussing this unique situation with a qualified admission consultant.
      Mike 🙂

  18. Jayant Patel November 15, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    Hi Mike,

    Whether a score of 690 (47Q 38V) is safe for an Indian male applicant or a quant score of 47 (70th Percentile) in present times necessitates retaking the GMAT. Target is top 10 programs in US.

    Thanks !

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike November 17, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      Dear Jayant,
      Your GMAT score is fine. I don’t believe you need to retake the GMAT I would recommend a consultation with a quality admission consultant. I’m a GMAT expert, but I don’t know everything there is to know about admissions.
      Mike 🙂

  19. Cody August 12, 2013 at 12:48 pm #


    Great post and thank you for your work with Magoosh. Using your three month advanced study guide, which utilized Magoosh, Manhattan GMAT and the Official Guide, I scored a 770.

    Seriously, thank you. I had little to no direction when I began studying and having something to keep myself on track was incredibly helpful.

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike August 12, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

      Thank you for your kind words, and CONGRATULATIONS! Best of luck to you in the future!
      Mike 🙂

  20. Ritayan July 23, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

    Dear Mike,
    Thanks for the great post!! If anyone looks into the GMAT score middle 80%, it will simply reveal that there have to be people getting GMAT score somewhat above 680 and still getting into B Schools. As mentioned by you GMAT only helps you get a SINGLE checkbox ticked in your application portfolio. Moreover, if you have a great under grad GPA, a 700 GMAT is more than enough to suffice. But selection of a school where you fit best, writing the application essays, getting strong recommendations are way too difficult. To get a good GMAT score there are plenty of resources, guidelines adhering to them indeed earns good GMAT score, whereas while shaping up your profile you’ll have to do a great deal of introspection that needs tremendous amount of time. So it’s always better to get into the tougher job of shaping up your profile once you have achieved in the middle 80% GMAT score of your target school.


    Ritayan B

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike July 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

      Dear Ritayan,
      You are quite welcome. Best of luck to you.
      Mike 🙂

  21. tarot July 7, 2013 at 4:03 am #

    An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague who has been doing a little research on this. And he actually ordered me lunch simply because I found it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk about this issue here on your web page.

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike July 7, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

      Dear Tarot,
      You are quite welcome, and I’m happy for you that you got a meal out of it. Best of luck to you.
      Mike 🙂

  22. BankerHBS June 8, 2013 at 4:17 am #

    Hey Mike,

    Great article! Im struggling with a similar question. I also have a 710 (Q48, V40) – 92 percentile. I have pretty diverse work-experience (investment banking at morgan stanley for 3 years + a startup experience (6 mnths) + non-profit consulting in africa for a year. GPA of 3.74 + a bunch of extra-curricular activities that are pretty cool

    I was just wondering if demographics would alter your hypothesis. Does it hold true for say Indian Male 25-27. Indian kids crack the GMAT far more frequently than other (750+).

    I have 7 months to Round 2 applications and I’m focused on HBS / Wharton / Stanford and Columbia. Do you think it’s worth another shot, given the context?

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike June 8, 2013 at 10:28 am #

      My friend, I don’t believe that demographics are a game-changer in terms of this issue. At least my opinion, FWIW, is that you should stick with the 710, and spend your time crafting an application that demonstrates why your diverse work experience has been the ideal preparation for what you want to do with your MBA. That’s my two-cents.
      Mike 🙂

  23. Bizwiz April 11, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    Great insights, Mike.
    I do have a different point of view, though. I believe in the past scoring above 700 would put you in a very good position at any elite school, but we’ve seen the average gmat score for admitted students at elite schools follow an upward trend in the past few years. As you pointed out, atudents at Harvard and Stanford have an incredible average of almost 730! And this year, I’ve seen waitlisted applicants at a top-10 school, with a score of 710, receive feedback from adcoms that they should consider retaking the test and try to get a higher score. I do know there are a lot of aspects to consider during the application process, but I believe that, to paraphrase an old expression, ‘a 720 is the new 700’. Specially for schools like Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Booth, Tuck and Haas, just to name a few.
    Even though you can get into these schools with a 680+, I believe nowadays the odds are the same only above a 720.
    What do you think?

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike April 12, 2013 at 10:55 am #

      Dear Bizwiz,
      Many of these questions I treat in this related blog:
      As I explain in that blog, there’s a problem fixating on the score alone (American culture tries to turn us all into number-fixators!) A person with a 710 GMAT but not well rounded, not a good fit, will certainly have lower odds. Furthermore, our fast-food culture is all about quick fixes — what is adcom going to say to this not-well-rounded 710 person? Perhaps not all the stuff that would make him a better candidate overall, but simply — get a bigger & better number. Or, perhaps adcom tells him 5 or 6 different things, but the only one the 710 person reports to the rest of the world is, “I need a bigger and better score.” Be aware of this insidious tendency to quantify everything — it’s pervasive, it obscures more than it reveals, and it’s a bias that ultimately limits success.
      By all means, do your absolute best to get a good GMAT score, but if you get one score, think carefully about the cost-benefit before committing to a retake.
      Mike 🙂

      • Ruchit February 4, 2014 at 4:18 am #

        Hey mike,
        I have score 400 in my GMAT exam, can I get admission in any college. I want to do MBA in hotel management. How should I go on further?? Please do reply.

        • Mike MᶜGarry
          Mike February 4, 2014 at 10:39 am #

          Dear Ruchit,
          Here’s what I would say. It will be very hard to get into most business schools with that GMAT score. I would suggest: strengthen you understanding of English. Practice every day: especially read every day. Here are some suggestions about what to read for the GMAT: https://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-reading-list/
          When you can read sources such as the New York Times & Economist magazine with little difficulty, then you will be ready to take the GMAT again. Here’s a study schedule you can follow:
          I hope all this helps.
          Mike 🙂

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