# What Is an Average GMAT Score?

What is an average GMAT score?

If you’ve decided to apply to business school, you know that you will need to take the GMAT and that you’ll want to earn as high a score as possible.

Your overall GMAT score will range from 200 – 800, with 800 being a “perfect score”.

Why Use the GMAT?

GMAT scores are used to help business schools figure out how well you will perform academically in a business or management program. Think of the GMAT as the MCAT or GRE of business school. GMAT scores estimate your abilities verbally and mathematically. Most business schools consider GMAT scores an “assessment” tool for comparing different business school applicants. Why can’t these schools just use GPA or class rank? The GMAT is a standard test for everyone who takes it, so the scores reflect a genuine comparison of abilities.

Your GMAT score will be transmitted to the schools you indicate so that those schools can look at a picture of your academic abilities. The GMAT is not a replacement for a good application, interview, and letters from professors because the GMAT test does not measure lots of intangible qualities of a student that are so vital for academic success. Remember that admissions decisions are not based on GMAT scores alone, but a complete picture of a student gained through the admissions process.

What Is an Average GMAT Score?

The other factors that go into a business school’s decision are undergraduate GPA, work experience, essays, and recommendations.

The GMAT test itself only recommends that schools use the GMAT scores as an aid to the selection process for grad school applications or to help select students for financial aid programs. Some schools also use GMAT scores to determine a student’s need for course leveling or to enroll a student in an automatic guidance program for academics.

If you really want to know what an average GMAT score is after all that, I can give you the following information from the makers of the GMAT test:

• A score of 720 or better would put you in the 96 – 99th percentile
• A score of 630 up to 720 would put you in the 79-90th percentile
• A score of 570 to 630 would put you in the 61-75th percentile
• A score of 500 to 570 would put you in the 37-50th percentile

And here’s a list of some popular MBA programs and their average GMAT scores in 2008:

• Stanford — 730
• Harvard — 707
• Cornell — 670
• Georgetown — 655
• Pittsburgh — 620

For the top ten business schools, you should shoot for a score of over 700, as they all average at least that.

A good way to prepare for taking the GMAT is to study The Official Guide for GMAT Review, which is available via Amazon. (And if you buy it via our link, we make a small commission, which helps pay for the hosting for our site, among other things.)

This is part of our “average test scores” series of posts: