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The 5 GMAT Scores On Your Report | GMAT ScoringThe 5 GMAT Scores On Your Report | GMAT ScoringThe 5 GMAT Scores On Your Report | GMAT Scoring

Updated GMAT Score Percentiles (2014)

Business schools actually take a look at all 4 scores on your score report, not just the single score on the 800 scale.

GMAT Scoring

First, let’s identify all the scores that will show up on your score report and that bschools will see:

1) Quant Score (out of 51 and percentile)
2) Verbal Score (out of 51 and percentile)
3) Overall Score (out of 800 and percentile)
4) Essay (AWA) Score (out of 6.0, increments of .5 and percentile)

gmat scoring

What is the relationship between all the different scores?

Business schools pay more attention to the first 3 scores. For example, someone might score a 650 (35V, 44M). This translates into an overal percentile score of 80% which means he/she scored better than 80% of GMAT test takers. The writing score has NO IMPACT on your overall score. It’s like a side score that is treated separately.

The “650″ is the overall score and translates into the 80th percentile.
The “35V” is the verbal raw score out of 51 that has already been weighted by difficulty of questions and # correct. A 35V is at the 75th percentile.
The “”44M” is the quant score also out of 51 and is at the 90th percentile.

Schools see all of these scores so they can assess whether you are strong/weak in a particular section.   For example, a PhD in Physics is expected to have a high quant score. Schools will probably pay more attention to this applicant’s verbal score to see how well-rounded he/she is. If you are aiming to be considered by a Top 20 business school, you should aim to be above the 80th percentile mark for both subjects (36V and 40M).

It is important to note that the “raw score” is NOT the same as the number of questions anwered correctly. In fact, there are 41 verbal questions and only 37 quantitative questions yet the raw score for both sections is out of 51. The raw score takes into account the level of difficulty of your questions as the computer adapts to your performance on the exam.





Note that this table shows that the GMAT is biased towards stronger performance in the Verbal section. Far fewer people score in the top percentile for verbal than for quant. Therefore, they are rewarded with a high score for a strong verbal performance. See my post on The Easiest Way to Raise Your Score (NOT math).

The Analytical Writing Assessment Score will NOT be given to you at the end of your exam. It is graded by both a person and a computer program, so the results will come later in the mail.

You WILL receive your overall score at the end of your exam. However, you will not receive your writing score until after the exam by mail or email, whichever option you chose during registration. Essays are scored by an automated essay-scoring engine and one human being. If the two ratings differ by more than 1 point on a scale from 0 to 6, then another expert reader resolves the discrepancy.

Here is the format of the exam:

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Business schools actually take a look at all 4 scores on your score report, not just the single score on the 800 scale.

GMAT Scoring

First, let’s identify all the scores that will show up on your score report and that bschools will see:

1) Quant Score (out of 51 and percentile)
2) Verbal Score (out of 51 and percentile)
3) Overall Score (out of 800 and percentile)
4) Essay (AWA) Score (out of 6.0, increments of .5 and percentile)
5) Integrated Reasoning (out of 8, increments of 1)

What does the GMAT Score Report Look Like?

Here’s a copy of a GMAT score report from one of our students who did very well. Of course, he cropped out all the private information and only showed the portion that mattered.

I don’t see a GMAT Score for Writing (AWA) or for Integrated Reasoning. Where is it?

Note that on the day of your exam, you will NOT receive your AWA score nor your integrated reasoning score after your exam. You will only receive your overall Q/V score out of 800. The AWA and Integrated Reasoning scores will come in the mail later with your official score report.

I understand I will get a verbal raw score and a quant raw score. But how is my overall 800 score determined?

You can refer to this table below as a rough estimate. Note that the general target zone of top MBA applicants is in the 700 zone – so that corresponds with roughly an 80th percentile in each of the Quant and Verbal categories. In terms of actual raw score, that translates to a 36 or 37 on the Verbal and a 47 on the Quant.

Various different combinations of verbal raw scores and quant raw scores can lead to the same overall 800 score. But do note that the admissions committee members do see the breakdown of your quant and verbal score. Preferably, they would rather see a balanced score than a highly unbalanced score.

So that means if your quant is off the charts, but your verbal is seriously lagging – well, you should strive to even out that balance.

gmat scoring

What is the relationship between all the different GMAT scores?

Business schools pay more attention to the first 3 scores. For example, someone might score a 650 (35V, 44M). This translates into an overal percentile score of 80% which means he/she scored better than 80% of GMAT test takers. The writing score has NO IMPACT on your overall score. It’s like a side score that is treated separately.

The “650″ is the overall score and translates into the 80th percentile.
The “35V” is the verbal raw score out of 51 that has already been weighted by difficulty of questions and # correct. A 35V is at the 75th percentile.
The “”44M” is the quant score also out of 51 and is at the 90th percentile.

Schools see all of these scores so they can assess whether you are strong/weak in a particular section.   For example, a PhD in Physics is expected to have a high quant score. Schools will probably pay more attention to this applicant’s verbal score to see how well-rounded he/she is. If you are aiming to be considered by a Top 20 business school, you should aim to be above the 80th percentile mark for both subjects (36V and 40M).

It is important to note that the “raw score” is NOT the same as the number of questions anwered correctly. In fact, there are 41 verbal questions and only 37 quantitative questions yet the raw score for both sections is out of 51. The raw score takes into account the level of difficulty of your questions as the computer adapts to your performance on the exam.





Note that this table shows that the GMAT is biased towards stronger performance in the Verbal section. Far fewer people score in the top percentile for verbal than for quant. Therefore, they are rewarded with a high score for a strong verbal performance. See my post on The Easiest Way to Raise Your Score (NOT math).

The Analytical Writing Assessment Score will NOT be given to you at the end of your exam. It is graded by both a person and a computer program, so the results will come later in the mail.

You WILL receive your overall score at the end of your exam. However, you will not receive your writing score until after the exam by mail or email, whichever option you chose during registration. Essays are scored by an automated essay-scoring engine and one human being. If the two ratings differ by more than 1 point on a scale from 0 to 6, then another expert reader resolves the discrepancy.

What is the format of the GMAT exam?

Here is the format of the exam:

1) Essay (30 minutes) - Note that the GMAT test starts of with an essay. You will be asked to analyze an argument and will be given 30 minutes to complete this essay. There used to be a second essay – but the GMAC folks are now replacing that second essay with the new, and more difficult, integrated reasoning section.

2) Integrated Reasoning (30 minutes) - You’ll see 4 types of questions here: Two-part analysis, graphics interpretation, multi-source reasoning, and table analysis. There’s 12 questions total and the tricky thing about this section is that you do NOT get partial credit. Some of these questions have 3 subparts. If you get 2 subparts right, but get the 3rd one wrong – well, guess what? You don’t get ANY credit for that question.

To adjust for scoring, the GMAC folks let you get 2 or 3 out of the 12 entire questions wrong and still get a perfect 8 score for this section. But as mentioned before, it’s not so easy to get full credit for any one question since you can’t get any part of a question wrong.

This part of the exam is NOT adaptive. So unlike the quant and verbal part, the questions will not change in level of difficulty as you progress through each question.

3) Quant (75 minutes) - You’ll get 75 minutes to do the GMAT quant section. This quant section consists of both data sufficiency and problem solving questions. Data sufficiency questions dont’ require you to actually solve the math question. Rather, your job is to figure out if certain statements provide enough information to definitively answer the question at hand. It is in the problem solving section that you actually solve math problems. The split here is roughly 40% data sufficiency and 60% problem solving.

4) Verbal (75 minutes) - This is perhaps the most important part of the exam. The GMAT folks tend to weight your verbal a little bit more towards your total 800 score than they weight the quant part – especially in the higher levels above 700. So make sure you save your mental stamina for the very end. Reading comprehension, in particular, carries the most weight. Of course, you should solidify your sentence correction skills so you can free up time for the more thought-intensive questions of critical reasoning and reading comporehension.

So that’s the total GMAT test structure – a total of 3 hours of 30 minutes.

If I have a really good verbal score in the 99th percentile, but my quant score is in the 50th percentile, is my GMAT score considered a good GMAT score?

In general, this is considered a very good score – though tarnished a little bit with the imbalance between the verbal and quant scores. You can make up for this seeming weakness in quant by demonstrating that you are quantitatively oriented in other areas of your application.

For example, if your job involves a lot of numbers – if you are a financial analyst, investment banker, management consultant, engineer, IT professional – anything involves numbers—this will help your story.

Also, if you have a strong undergraduate engineering degree with a very high GPA, then that would also help offset adcom’s perception of your quant weakness.

But if you don’t have any of these areas to compensate for your low GMAT quant score, we would recommend you retake your GMAT exam. It’s worth it.

You already know your verbal skills are solid – and even if you do a little bit worse on your verbal section, admissions committees members will see through that and still identify you as someone you previously did very well on the GMAT verbal section.

The good thing about retaking the GMAT is that you can now demonstrate your strength in quant. You have a lot of room for improvement. Retaking the test also shows that you take the initiative to address any areas of your application that may be perceived as a weakness. Your ability to take initiative will also be looked upon in a good way by admissions committees members.

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Here’s a copy of an official score report from one of our students:


Here’s another one:

Business schools actually take a look at all 4 scores on your score report, not just the single score on the 800 scale.

GMAT Scoring

First, let’s identify all the scores that will show up on your score report and that bschools will see:

1) Quant Score (out of 51 and percentile)
2) Verbal Score (out of 51 and percentile)
3) Overall Score (out of 800 and percentile)
4) Essay (AWA) Score (out of 6.0, increments of .5 and percentile)

gmat scoring

What is the relationship between all the different scores?

Business schools pay more attention to the first 3 scores. For example, someone might score a 650 (35V, 44M). This translates into an overal percentile score of 80% which means he/she scored better than 80% of GMAT test takers. The writing score has NO IMPACT on your overall score. It’s like a side score that is treated separately.

The “650″ is the overall score and translates into the 80th percentile.
The “35V” is the verbal raw score out of 51 that has already been weighted by difficulty of questions and # correct. A 35V is at the 75th percentile.
The “”44M” is the quant score also out of 51 and is at the 90th percentile.

Schools see all of these scores so they can assess whether you are strong/weak in a particular section.   For example, a PhD in Physics is expected to have a high quant score. Schools will probably pay more attention to this applicant’s verbal score to see how well-rounded he/she is. If you are aiming to be considered by a Top 20 business school, you should aim to be above the 80th percentile mark for both subjects (36V and 40M).

It is important to note that the “raw score” is NOT the same as the number of questions anwered correctly. In fact, there are 41 verbal questions and only 37 quantitative questions yet the raw score for both sections is out of 51. The raw score takes into account the level of difficulty of your questions as the computer adapts to your performance on the exam.





Note that this table shows that the GMAT is biased towards stronger performance in the Verbal section. Far fewer people score in the top percentile for verbal than for quant. Therefore, they are rewarded with a high score for a strong verbal performance. See my post on The Easiest Way to Raise Your Score (NOT math).

The Analytical Writing Assessment Score will NOT be given to you at the end of your exam. It is graded by both a person and a computer program, so the results will come later in the mail.

You WILL receive your overall score at the end of your exam. However, you will not receive your writing score until after the exam by mail or email, whichever option you chose during registration. Essays are scored by an automated essay-scoring engine and one human being. If the two ratings differ by more than 1 point on a scale from 0 to 6, then another expert reader resolves the discrepancy.

Here is the format of the exam:

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

Prepare for the GMAT exam with the GMAT Pill Study Method. Learn core frameworks and how to apply those frameworks to each of the major sections of the GMAT exam.
Visualize Thought Process.
Study Less.
Score More.
Signup Today

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