The Average GMAT Score

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Often, someone asks me what constitutes a "good," "bad," or "average" GMAT score. Without a whole lot more context, that's a tough question to answer.

The average GMAT score for all test-takers usually hovers around 540. Whether you're scoring a 340, 540, or 740, that "average" 540 probably doesn't mean very much to you.

More important is the average GMAT score of accepted students at your school of choice. If you're headed to Harvard or Stanford, the "average" score is suddenly 710 or 720. Plenty of schools have average scores in the high 600s. And many, many programs have average scores down in the 400s and 500s.

But even the school-wide average isn't all that pertinent to you.

At your target school, are you an "average" candidate? (Probably not!) If you are, you might need that average GMAT score to get in. If your background is particularly impressive, your GMAT score doesn't matter as much. After all, half of accepted students are below their school's median GMAT score.

On the flip side, if your work experience or undergraduate GPA isn't up to a school's standards, your GMAT score may need to be much higher than the average.

For part-time and executive MBA programs, "average" means even less. In these cases, admissions committees generally look more at a candidate's resume than at numerical indicators. The GMAT isn't meaningless, but it's a secondary factor.

So, what about "average?" It all depends on your goals. Everyone is different; you'll have to do some research to find out what would be a good, bad, or average GMAT score for you.



About the author: Jeff Sackmann has written many GMAT preparation books, including the popular Total GMAT Math, Total GMAT Verbal, and GMAT 111. He has also created explanations for problems in The Official Guide, as well as 1,800 practice GMAT math questions.

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