What Is a Good GMAT Score? Everything You Need to Know

Many MBA programs look for high GMAT scores when making admission decisions. Learn what a good GMAT score is and how to find your target score today.

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Updated August 15, 2022

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What Is a Good GMAT Score? Everything You Need to Know
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Many business schools and MBA programs use the GMAT to help them make admission decisions. While a GMAT score isn't the only factor admissions officers look at, a strong result can significantly influence whether or not you get accepted into your dream school.

With the right preparation and knowledge, you can maximize your score and your chances of getting into business school. Read on to learn more about what constitutes a strong GMAT score.

www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to start your journey?

What Is a Good GMAT Score Overall?

In general, a 650, or a score around the 75th percentile, can be considered a strong GMAT score. This score should make you a competitive applicant for many MBA and graduate business and finance programs.

That said, more selective programs typically want higher scores in the 700s, or the top 10% of test-takers.

If you're applying to less competitive business schools, consider aiming for the median score of 590. Earning a GMAT score in the 50th percentile means you outperformed most test-takers.

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which designs and administers the GMAT, calculates your total score on a scale of 200-800 by combining your scores on the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections.

The following table shows GMAT score percentiles for tests taken between 2018 and 2020 and how these correspond to GMAT scores.

GMAT Total Score Percentiles, Jan. 2018-Dec. 2020
Percentile Total Score
99 760-800
95 720-730
91 710
85 690
80 670
76 (good) 660
49 (median) 590

Source: GMAC

What Is a Good GMAT Integrated Reasoning Score?

Most consider a good Integrated Reasoning score a 6 or higher. Earning a 6 would put you in the 64th percentile, meaning you outperformed about two-thirds of test-takers.

A 7 would put you in the top 20% of test-takers, and a perfect 8 would put you in the top 10%.

The Integrated Reasoning section, which is scored on a scale of 1-8, asks you to use data to solve problems. This data can take the form of text, numbers, and graphs. Often, you'll need to integrate data from multiple sources.

Some questions consist of multiple parts, and you must answer each part correctly to get credit for that question.

While Integrated Reasoning scores aren't usually considered as important as your total GMAT score, business schools value being able to use large amounts of disparate data to solve problems and make decisions. A high Integrated Reasoning score indicates strength in those areas.

GMAT Integrated Reasoning Score Percentiles, Jan. 2018-Dec. 2020
Percentile Integrated Reasoning Score
90 8
79 7
64 (good) 6
48 (median) 5

Source: GMAC

What Is a Good GMAT Analytical Writing Score?

A good GMAT score on the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) is generally considered to be around a 5.0 or higher. This would mean you performed better than around 60% of test-takers. A score of 5.5 — just a half-point more — would put you in the top 20% of test-takers.

The AWA section is scored by both human graders and a machine algorithm. You'll get an AWA score on a scale of 1-6 in half-point increments.

This section asks test-takers to write an essay that analyzes a business-related argument. The AWA showcases your critical thinking skills and your ability to clearly and cogently communicate ideas. You'll have 30 minutes to write your essay.

Like Integrated Reasoning results, AWA scores are important because they measure your critical thinking skills. For most business schools, however, these scores will not be nearly as important as your total GMAT score.

GMAT AWA Score Percentiles, Jan. 2018-Dec. 2020
Percentile Analytical Writing Score
88 6.0
81 5.5
57 (good) 5.0
47 (median) 4.5

Source: GMAC

Average GMAT Scores for 20 Popular Business Schools

The average GMAT score is 568.21, but that doesn't mean such a score will cut it for most MBA programs. The following table shows the average GMAT scores for incoming students in 20 popular full-time MBA programs around the U.S.

Business School Average GMAT Score
Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business 691
Columbia Business School 729
Cornell University SC Johnson College of Business 710*
Georgetown University McDonough School of Business 705
Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business 682
Harvard Business School 730*
Indiana University Bloomington Kelley School of Business 679
MIT Sloan School of Management 730*
Stanford Graduate School of Business 738
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania 733
UC Davis Graduate School of Management 671
University of Arizona Eller College of Management 666
University of Chicago Booth School of Business 732
University of Michigan Ross School of Business 722
University of Southern California Marshall School of Business 716
University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business 708
University of Virginia Darden School of Business 715
University of Washington Foster School of Business 704
University of Wisconsin, Madison, School of Business 646
Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management 690

*Indicates median GMAT score

What Is a Good GMAT Score Based on Your Programs?

When trying to determine what a good GMAT score is, it's easy to get caught up in percentiles. Instead, you should think about your own individual goals and circumstances.

For example, if you don't plan to apply to Harvard Business School, you probably don't need to try to earn a super-high GMAT score of 730.

Consider which business schools you want to apply to, and then find the average GMAT score of enrolled students for that program. You can typically find this data on schools' class profile pages. Alternatively, you can consult the table above.

After researching prospective programs' average GMAT scores, develop a target score based on the most competitive program you're applying to. This score will ultimately be a good GMAT score for you. If you can hit this, you raise your chances of getting admitted to all programs you're applying to.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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