Importance of GMAT Percentiles

As we have seen so far, the GMAT percentile means the percentage of students who scored below you among all the GMAT candidates of the last three years. Therefore, the more GMAT percentile you get the better it is. Every business school desires that students with high GMAT percentile should join their schools. The top business schools are always sought after by the GMAT students from all over the world. Therefore, these schools have very high cut offs for GMAT percentiles. For example, the average GMAT score for students admitted to the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2006 was 720. Similarly, at Wharton Business School the average GMAT score for batch of 2008 is 713; with 80 percent of the class having scores ranging from 660 to 760. This shows how important it is to achieve a high GMAT percentile.

How Schools Use GMAT Scores?

The business schools look at your GMAT percentile as a measure of your abilities to do well in your MBA program. The candidates seeking admissions to business schools are from across the world. These candidates are from different socioeconomic backgrounds and would have undergone different graduate syllabi. The GMAT helps these schools measure all these candidates on same platform. The GMAT sections are specially designed to test the candidates for the skills required during your MBA program. Sometimes, a business school may like to check your scores in the individual sections also. Some schools may not stress upon high scores in the AWA or Verbal section. Business schools also use the GMAT percentile while deciding on scholarships to be granted to the candidates depending on their background and their place of residence.

Average GMAT Scores

There is no average GMAT score as such. However, every business school has a certain trend in terms of the GMAT scores that their candidates have achieved. It is therefore necessary to find out the expectations of the business school that you wish to join. The relation between the GMAT scores and the GMAT percentiles is roughly as follows:

  • 96-99th percentile- 720
  • 79-90th percentile- 630
  • 61-75th percentile- 570
  • 37-50th percentile- 500

This shows that if you can achieve a score of 720 or more then you can easily cross the 96th GMAT percentile.

Knowing the GMAT Percentile

The GMAT percentile is your relative performance in the Verbal and the Quantitative section of the exam. At the end of the exam you are shown your total GMAT scores. You are given the option of retaining these scores. If you choose to keep the scores then you are shown the scores in the individual sections. The AWA scores are finalized only after the human reader submits his scores. Your GMAT percentile comes only with your score card. The GMAT percentile is the combination of your scores in both the Verbal and the Quantitative sections. However, one can see his percentile in the individual sections also. The Verbal section percentile is always lower than the Quantitative section percentiles.

Go to page: Gmat Numbers and Percentile - Page 1 : Gmat Percentiles - Page 2

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