Details About the GMAT Percentile Table





All you need to know about GMAT Percentile

Just as GMAT is an individual talent based exam, so is its score. A comparative look at how you fared vis-à-vis the other test takers in the past three years is important and the percentile scores show this. And because it is a comparative representation of how you have fared in relation to others, it becomes more than crucial for you to understand the percentile table.

Many aspirants get confused that, when the Quantitative and Verbal results are marked out of 51, how does this double digit score somehow miraculously turn into a triple digit one (somewhere between 200 and 800) when the final official score is out? Well, it is pretty simple; that’s because these double-digit scores correspond to a percentile weighting, which is part of the percentile table prepared by the Graduate Management Aptitude Committee. For a better understanding have a look at it at http://www.mba.com/the-gmat/gmat-scores-and-score-reports/what-your-percentile-ranking-means.aspx

What the Percentile Table for GMAT means

Although the GMAC does not give this information on its website, it is a known fact that to compute the scaled score of each section, GMAC uses an algorithm which takes into account many factors. This then represents itself in the shape of a percentile table. The factors that the algorithm takes into account are:

  • a. Time taken to answer a question
  • b. Number of questions answered correctly
  • c. Difficulty level of the questions

These when taken into account become part of the algorithm used to scale scores for GMAT. The percentile chart can also be understood in terms of individual sections with the help of various websites which offer their services. Have a look at them at http://www.gmatcat.com/Percentiles.html and http://gmat-strategies.com/gmat-basics/quantitative-raw-scaled-score/ . These often are a big help to aspirants who want to interpret their practice scores and better understand how they should improve their weaker sections.

The Scores vis-à-vis the GMAT Percentile Table

After the completion of the exam you will receive the raw score which will comprise of three scores, namely, the Verbal score, the Quantitative score and the Total score which, as the name suggests is a total of both the sections. The AWA scores reach you with the official test report three weeks later. These scores correspond to a percentile score, which can be better understood by viewing the table. The GMAT official website also offers explanation on how aspirants should interpret their scores in each section. This score report will also have your scores of the tests taken in the last 5 years and the final score that you receive for a particular exam which is an indicator of the percentage of examinees that scored below you in the past three year period. To gain a better understanding, the official website has a section called Understanding your score report. This can prove beneficial to aspirants who want an insight into GMAT scoring. You can have a look at it at http://www.mba.com/the-gmat/gmat-scores-and-score-reports/understanding-your-score-report.aspx

The official test report will have 4 scores, namely, Verbal, Quantitative, Analytical and Total score. As you are aware the Verbal and Quantitative scores range from 0-60 and this score then corresponds to a particular percentile, as devised by the GMAC and this is your final Verbal and Quantitative score. Similarly with the Analytical score, marked from 0-6, a corresponding percentile score is reported. The percentile table on the website also gives individual score representations for each section so that aspirants get a broader view of this system of scores. You can see it at http://www.mba.com/the-gmat/gmat-scores-and-score-reports/what-your-percentile-ranking-means.aspx

What you should know about the GMAT Percentile Table

The interesting thing about GMAT scores is that their scaling is so indirect in approach that it makes it almost impossible for an aspirant to guess on how he is performing during the exam. Moreover, you should focus more on the exam rather than on the score. The aspirant should be aware of the fact that, the percentile table of GMAT  corresponds to a weighting score and even though he may answer a question correctly, its weighting as opposed to another one maybe different even when their score is the same. A tougher question, for example, may have more weighting over the easier question because it will take more time to answer. Yes, time as we read earlier is also taken into account as part of the algorithm that the GMAC uses to scale the scores.

Lastly, aspirants should not fret much over this table and take things coolly and in a relaxed manner. You should focus much of your energy over the preparation rather than deciphering percentile tables and algorithms.