What is a Good GMAT Score?

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Wondering what GMAT score is good enough for your postgrad application?

 

Why Are Schools Looking so Closely at Your GMAT Score?

The schools are looking at the score for a couple of reasons, so, number one, they are looking at the score as a measure of whether you can do the coursework, but the bar is relatively low on that. Once you pass 700, 710, you can clearly handle the basic finance and economics coursework. 

The schools are instead considering what’s the impact of your GMAT score on the school’s ranking, and to some degree, they may also look at the score in terms of your recruiting opportunities. The schools know very well that firms like McKinsey, Bain, or BCG use the GMAT as one of the indicators for who they want to interview. 

In those regards, managing the rankings and your employability, higher is better with no limit. MBA ranking mechanics mean that statements like “After 740, it doesn’t matter” are never true.

When Do You Need to Improve Your GMAT Score

There are a few clear indicators that you should retake the GMAT

The number one indicator is if you’ve taken an official practice exam and you had a better score than what you got on your live exam, you should probably retake it.

The official practice exams are quite reliable in assessing your progress because they’re based on retired questions from old live exams. 

  1. Number two, if you haven’t spent much time on studying yet and you still got a great score, that’s a sign that if you put some work into it, you could get an even better score. That’s another clear sign you should retake. 
  2. Number three, sometimes there’s a little clue in something else on your profile, so if you did a great SAT performance, but only a mediocre GMAT, or if you’ve just graduated summa cum laude in mathematics, you may have a little more in you than that middling GMAT score, so if you fall into one of these categories, you really should do a retake. 

How to Determine If Your Score Is Good Enough?

As you’d expect, as your score goes up, so do your chances of admission. What this means, you look at your test score and you think, “Well, I could spend my time on increasing my score, I could spend it on networking with the schools, on extra-curricular, writing my applications.” 

You have to think about which one of those is going to give you the most bang for your buck because you’ve got a limited amount of time to spend on all these different things. 

You start with a class profile for the school and we can see the range and the average score for the admitted class.

Then from there, you need to look at what kind of cohort of applicants you fit into. In some cohorts, it’s simply more competitive than others because of how many applicants there are. 

There are a few of the big things that if you are a man rather than a woman, there’s more men applying. They may want a little bit more. 

If you’re an international applicant from a country where there’s a very large number of well-qualified applicants, for example, China or India, the school may have the luxury to demand a score that is significantly higher than the average. Whereas, if you come from an under-represented group where the school is desperate to enroll more people to build the different viewpoints in the class, then you may get away with a little bit less. 

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