What Should Be A Good GMAT Percentile for MBA Or Higher Studies?

An impressive GMAT score serves as one clear indicator of a student’s capabilities to manage the hectic MBA course curriculum. And since GMAT is a mandatory business school admission test for respective students, getting good GMAT  score percentiles is their first milestone to enrolling into the chosen top school or Business College.

Even though the average GMAT score is roughly 560, as per the US News and World Guide, the total score range for GMAT test takers for 10 best business programs is around 720. Those business programs exclusively include Harvard, Wharton, Booth, and Stanford. So, you can clearly understand that the competition among test taker(s) is very intense. To give you a better idea, a score of 720 translates into the 94th percentile ranking.

In this post, we will discuss more on GMAT score percentiles and what good score should you aim for.

So continue reading.


When figuring out GMAT score percentiles, you need to remember that the most important score is its total score. This ranges from 200 to 800. Typically, this is the GMAT score margin which most business schools or colleges aim at.

However, since most students tend to score around the mean score range.  And almost 50% of them scoring within 100 -550, your aim should be to pull away from this standard cluster or score distribution.  It is important as it will distinguish your application (and your GMAT score) when enrolling into your favourite business school or college.

That said, if you wish to get admission into revered business colleges, then you will have to work hard as they rarely accept students with a GMAT score below 720- 94th score percentile.

Explaining How All Sections in GMAT Are Scored?

Ideally, there are 4 main sections in GMAT. They are – Integrated Reasoning (IR), Quantitative and Verbal Section(s), and Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA). For every section; you get a total score.

Here’s a Load down on how The GMAT Score is calculated

  • Quant And Verbal Scores for both are 6.51 respectively
  • Analytical Writing Assessment – 0-6
  • And Integrated Reasoning – 1-8

And The Average Score For GMAT

Each year, there are roughly 150,000 students taking up the GMAT. This also includes a fair proportion of students taking repeat attempts. And that makes the approximate estimate to over 250,000 attempts.

Also, reports reveal that only 9-10% of students manage to procure a score of 700 or more. And roughly 1-2% of test-takers score more than 760 or more. However, getting the desired score is something most students fail. In fact, reports estimate over 90% of students failing to get a good GMAT score.

Another report which presents the average score for all sections of the GMAT by taking into account the performance of 695,794 test takers is as follows-

  • The overall GMAT median score is around 564.94
  • The GMAT median verbal score is 27.11
  • The average Quantitative score is 40.34
  • And the median GMAT score for AWA and IR are 4.51 and 4.45 respectively

Besides these, the most crucial aspect about GMAT score percentiles is its adaptive test. The questions keep changing in their difficulty level depending on your performance. In simple terms- if you keep answering the questions correctly, the GMAT will continue to raise the difficulty level in the following questions.

All this is merely to test your skills and problem-solving ability. And a student who manages to answer all the difficult questions correctly will be seen as a more competent individual in comparison to one who can’t answer them correctly.

So, it is safe to establish that your GMAT score percentiles will depend on the following two factors.

  • Firstly, the total number of questions you were able to answer correctly
  • Secondly, the difficulty level of questions which you were able to tackle correctly

The GMAT doesn’t let you skip questions. This means you will need to attempt all of them regardless of whether you know the answer or not. The wise move would be to not waste time on a question you don’t have an answer and move over to the next by marking them on your hunch. Fortunately for you, the GMAT doesn’t have any negative marking.


To be honest, the answer to the question is more subjective than a mere number. Ideally, if you score over 700, that will be taken as a good GMAT score. But then again, GMAT score percentile requirements vary from one Business College to another.

So, perhaps the rational explanation to this is scoring at least 20 points more than the average GMAT score.

You Should Follow This Table Which Presents An Idea About GMAT TOTAL SCORE & ITS PERCENTILE.

(Table Copied)

800       99%      490       25%

790       99%      480       23%

780       99%      470       21%

770       99%      460       18%

760       99%      450       17%

750       98%      440       15%

740       97%      430       14%

730       95%      420       12%

720       94%      410       11%

710       90%      400       10%

700       88%      390       9%

690       85%      380       8%

680       82%      370       7%

670       80%      360       7%

660       77%      350       6%

650       73%      340       5%

640       68%      330       4%

630       66%      320       4%

620       63%      310       3%

610       59%      300       3%

600       56%      290       3%

590       52%      280       2%

580       49%      270       2%

570       46%      260       2%

560       42%      250       2%

550       39%      240       1%

540       37%      230       1%

530       33%      220       1%

520       31%      210       0%

510       29%      200       0%

500       27%      200       0%

Another thing to remember here is that if you are not looking for a top-level college for your business course degree, then a score between the 80th percentile and the 90th percentile is quite impressive.

Contrarily, if you dream to enrol into top-Business colleges like Harvard, Stanford and so on, then a score between the 90th percentile and the 99th percentile should be your aim.

(You can check the score reports from the above table and accordingly prepare to procure that score).


There you have it- everything you need to know about your GMAT score percentiles. Also remember to work hard, work with those practice test papers and study materials available both online and offline.

A good GMAT score will make your MBA (or any other higher business study) application competitive. Plus, they will also vary depending on the course profile in focus. So, to determine the right score, you need to sort out which course and college you want to enrol into. They will have their specific GMAT score for its candidates to achieve. And depending on that GMAT score; you develop a study plan, procure all quality study materials available along with practice papers and kick start your preparation.

You can also seek help from professional online GMAT tutors around who know a thing or two about helping students successfully achieve the score they seek. And they will most certainly want to help you out too!

This exam is tough, but by no means impossible. All it takes is some smart study planning, the right tutoring and study materials for self-prep and self-confidence.

So, What Are You Waiting For? Get Started With Your GMAT Prep ASAP!













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