According to GMAC, the Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers hundreds of thousands of GMAT tests every year, over the last three years the mean score on the test was 556.04. In 767,833 tests taken between 2015 and 2017, no one scored lower than 220.
If you get a low GMAT score, it will make your application harder.
- However 11 of the top 25 schools admitted someone with a GMAT score in the 500s, including four of the top 10 schools.
- At four schools in the top 25, the lowest GMAT score that earned admission was lower than GMAC’s three-year average of 556.
- Of the 20 schools full range of GMAT scores for enrollees in the Class of 2019 (the other five schools provided only the middle 80% range), 13 had low-end scores of 600 or less. That includes the elite of the elite: the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (530), Harvard Business School (580), Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management (600), MIT Sloan School of Management (580), and Columbia Business School (530). The average low score for the 20 schools: 586.5. The average low for the top 10 (all of which provided full-range data): 595.
- 510 was the lowest GMAT score that worked at a top-25 institution; for Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
As one Duke communications person put it to P&Q — in a sentiment echoed by admissions directors at multiple schools — “our admissions team has long had a commitment to looking at a candidate holistically, beyond a test score alone.” Russ Morgan, senior associate dean for full-time programs at Duke Fuqua, explains that the school approaches test scores as just one element in a person’s overall candidacy. Another, he says, is the school’s “25 Random Things” essay question that asks applicants to share a list of personal facts.
- In the fall 2017 intake, three schools in the top 25 admitted applicants with low scores of 530 — the Wharton School, Columbia, and Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
- Another six schools said yes to applicants with scores of 580 (HBS, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern School of Business) or 590 (Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management, University of Texas-Austin McCombs School of Business, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business).
- The high scores in each school’s range continue to be 780-790 for all of the top 10 schools and 16 of the 20 that provided data
- Average GMAT scores continue to climb, led by Stanford Graduate School of Business’ at 737.
- The top 19 schools saw improvement in their scores year-over-year or no change between 2016 and 2017; you have to go all the way down to Emory University’s Goizueta Business School at No. 20 to find a backslide, in this case a 1-point drop from 683 to 682.
- Only one other school had a decrease in mean GMAT scores: No. 24 Notre Dame University’s Mendoza College of Business, which saw a 9-point decline to 674 from 683. Six schools, including pace-setter Stanford, saw no change; the average increase at the 17 others was 4.88 points (heavily weighed by a 21-point jump to 711 at Rice Jones).