GMAT Score Range
GMAT Score Averages and Ranges
Over 1500 institutions of higher learning use the GMAT as part of their selection criteria. As far as average scores go, the numbers are varied. The past few years have shown a worldwide average of 570. In general, there is no passing or failing score, but among the top business schools the admission GMAT score range is, not surprisingly, higher. For example, the top 50 schools have an average of around 660, but the best-of-the-best schools (Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, etc.) carry an average of 710-720. Middle to upper tier programs usually have scores in the mid to upper 600’s.
Tip 1: Familiarize yourself with the GMAT
The GMAT is divided into three sections: Essays (2 of them, 30 min. each), Math (75 min.) and Verbal (75 min.). The math is no more challenging than the 10th grade level, and the grammar is pretty basic. But the questions are designed to be tricky. Remember, half of the challenge is simply understanding how the test and its questions are structured. The computerized version of the GMAT requires that you answer before moving on to the next question. So learn how to make calculated guesses by narrowing down the possibilities as much as possible.
HINT: One essay will require you to write the analysis of an argument. You task here is to evaluate the argument presented, NOT take a side and defend it. In the other essay (analysis of an issue) you WILL be required to defend a position.
Tip 2: Book or Preparatory Course?
It depends. Perhaps it’s been a while since you have been actively using your math and grammar skills. If you feel particularly unprepared a course is your best bet. There are many courses and books available that help you to get familiarized with the GMAT, and it is highly recommended that you take advantage of these. They will help you focus on the specific type of questions included in the test. Get started well before the test date (4-6 months) so you can work on any weaknesses you find.
Tip 3: Practice makes perfect
Take as many practice tests you can get your hands on. This will help you get comfortable with the way questions are worded and also help you with GMAT test timing. Do your best to duplicate testing conditions as closely as possible (no internet chatting while testing!). Check your answers and learn why you made mistakes.
Tip 4: Focus
Don’t include a lot of other activities while planning to take the GMAT. Keep your life as simple as possible to minimize distraction and maximize comprehension. Regular exercise helps keep the mind clear. The last week before the test go easy on the preparation. If you find yourself cramming a few nights before the test you probably didn’t start preparing early enough. Before test day relax and get a good night’s sleep. On the day of the GMAT get up with plenty of time for a good breakfast. While taking the test, stay calm. Don’t brood too much over any one question. If you don’t know the answer, make your best guess and move on.
With solid preparation and knowing some of the tricks, you will be on your way to scoring well on the GMAT and entering into your chosen business school with confidence.