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The GMAT contains 4 sections:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
  • Integrated Reasoning (IR)
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning

The Total score range for GMAT is, according to experts, between 200-800. In reality, candidates generally score around 400-750. Anything over 750 will put you above the 99th percentile.

Here’s a quick summary of these 4 sections and how they are scored:

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

Score Range: 0.0 - 6.0 (in intervals of 0.5)

This section is about writing an essay on a simple, argumentative topic. It tests your command of the English language.

It is a fail-safe to ensure that you will understand the questions asked in the other sections.

They will rate your essay from 0 – 6 in half-point increments. Thus, unless you completely skip this section, they will score you anywhere between 0.5 and 6.

As long as you don’t score below 3.5, you will be fine. And let us assure you that it is quite easy for even non-native/ESL students to go beyond that threshold.

Both human professionals and a computer-generated algorithm will check your essay. If there is a discrepancy between these two entities, then a higher human authority will determine the outcome.

Integrated Reasoning (IR)

Score Range: 1 - 8 (in intervals of 1)

This section is all about reasoning out the most viable solutions to complicated problems based on the available data.

Each question may have more than one answer. You need to record all possible answers to receive credit for that question. Partial credits are NOT given out.

Scoring is from 1-8 in one-point increments. A 5+ score is acceptable for most schools.

While IR wasn’t a critical component a few years ago, top schools will pay attention to this part today. Your application won’t be considered at such schools if you don’t have a minimum score of 7.

Quantitative Reasoning (QR) and Verbal Reasoning (VR)

Score Range: 0 - 60 (in intervals of 1)

Quantitative Reasoning judges your capability to reason out possible conclusions to the given situation by assessing the available data.

Verbal reasoning is more like the Comprehension section in a school examination on the English language. You need to read and understand the given write-up, detail the required arguments, and make the necessary edits to it.

The scoring here is from 0-60. Unless you have no knowledge whatsoever of the English language, you won’t score lower than 6. And unless you are a top-level, genius wordsmith, you won’t go beyond 51.

GMAT Score Reporting & Longevity

When you complete your exam, you will be shown your unofficial GMAT scores (Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, and Total).

The GMAC will then make your GMAT score available only to the schools that you designate as recipients either on the test day or, for a fee, after the test day.

After completing the GMAT, you will be given the opportunity to Report or Cancel your scores. Your test fee entitles you to request that scores be sent to as many as five schools at no additional cost.

GMAT scores are valid for five years, and are available for reporting for up to 10 years.

GMAT Score Percentile

Your GMAT score includes a percentile ranking that compares your skill level with other test takers from the past three years. Here’s how each score range correspond to the score percentile:

  • Score: 710 – 800  | Percentile: 92 – 99
  • Score: 610 – 700  | Percentile: 64 – 89
  • Score: 510 – 600  | Percentile: 34 – 61
  • Score: 410 – 500  | Percentile: 13 -31
  • Score: 310 – 400  | Percentile: 4 – 12
  • Score: 210 – 300  | Percentile: 0 – 3
  • Score: 200  | Percentile: 0

What is a Good GMAT Score?

A good GMAT score varies from country to country. For example, GMAT is far more competitive in China and India than in other nations.

Hence, if you are from either of those countries, then you should aim to score above 750 (99 percentile) to get selected in a reputable management school.

Singapore residents need a score in the range of 720-740 to qualify in a good enough school.

Students from countries like Croatia and Kazakstan can make do with an average GMAT score of around 620.

Management schools in the UK need a score of around 700 or more. Schools in the US usually ask for more than 730.

That said, the top-rated MBA institutions around the world need a GMAT score of more than 740.

How Does a Computer-Adaptive Test Affect Your Score?

The Computer-Adaptive Test (CAT) is exclusive to only the Quantitative Analysis and Verbal Reasoning sections of the GMAT. In short, it is an algorithm that will adapt to your ability to tackle a series of questions.

For instance, answering a hard question correctly will lead you to an even harder question. But answering it incorrectly will bring you down to an easier question.

Easier questions are worth very few points, whereas harder ones are worth a lot more.

Correctly answering an easy question won’t change your score much. But answer it wrong, and your score will drop considerably.

Conversely, get a hard question right, and your score will take a big leap upward. Get it wrong, and it won’t affect your score much.


In essence, you should keep climbing up the ladder. Answer as many harder questions right as you can to score well in the Quantitative and Verbal reasoning sections.

An important point to note – only the Quantitative Analysis and Verbal Reasoning sections contribute to your total GMAT score – out of 800. The IR and AWA sections are separately marked.

GMAT Score At Top Business Schools

Here are some sample GMAT scores requirement at top business schools around the world.

  • Harvard Business School: 730
  • Stanford Business School: 732
  • University of Pennsylvania Wharton: 710-750
  • Columbia Business School: 680–760
  • MIT Sloan School of Management: 730
  • Kellogg School of Management: 717
  • Chicago Booth School of Business: 724
  • Berkeley HAAS School of Business: 680-750
  • Yale School of Management: 680-760
  • Michigan Ross School of Business: 650–750
  • NYU Stern School of Business: 680-760
  • Duke Fuqua School of Business: 640-750
  • UVA Darden School of Business: 706
  • Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management: 700
  • INSEAD: 650-740
  • London Business School: 700
  • HEC Paris: 690
  • IESE Business School: 681
  • IMD Business School: 680
  • Oxford Saïd Business School: 692
  • Cambridge Judge Business School: 680
  • China-Europe International Business School (CEIBS): 692
  • Singapore Management University, Chian School of Business: 660
  • National University of Singapore, NUS Business School: 672
  • Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business: 687
  • University of California Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management: 680-750
  • University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School: 640-750
  • Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business: 670-750
  • University of Maryland, Smith School of Business: 600 – 710
  • Emory University, Goizueta Business School: 620-730
  • University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business: 640-730
  • University of Texas Austin, McCombs School of Business: 690
  • Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business: 640-730
  • Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business: 676
  • Queen’s University, Queen’s Business School: 650
  • Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School: 699
  • University of Washington, Foster School of Business: 630-720
  • University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business: 687
  • Western University, Ivey School of Business: 656
  • University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management: 672

Free GMAT Consultation

With a team of veteran GMAT trainers whose scores are in the 99th percentile (750 and above), Prep Zone Academy is proud to be the #1 GMAT training team in Singapore. Our GMAT course syllabus is designed from the ground up to help busy candidates identify their weaknesses and achieve their desired results in any available time frame. We have helped many working professionals to score 750 only after 2-3 weeks of dedicated lessons.

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  • And much more!

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