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Average GMAT Scores: GMAT Test Results

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GMAT Test Result - Keeping the Customer Satisfied

Officially, the GMAT is design to achieve two main goals:

  • provide business schools with user-friendly, quantified means of comparing individuals from widely differing educational backgrounds
  • statistically predict an individual's changes of success during the rigorous first year of an MBA program, i.e. indicate to what degree you possess the intellectual skills considered central to success in an MBA program

In terms of your overall dossier, admissions directors tend to consider the GMAT in conjunction with your academic record, lumping the two together to comprise the major components of the criterion of "academic potential". If your university education is atypical - you didn't study business or engineering, or you attended a school no one has ever heard of - or you have been out of school for more than five years, the GMAT takes on added importance.

Unofficially, the GMAT score is also often used as part of the "first look" that admissions officers give applications. Imagine you work in the Stanford admissions office and you have to evaluate 6,000 applications a year (probably half of which arrive the week before the final deadline). You're going to need a fast way to prioritize them. A quick peek at that handy three digit GMAT score, and you will know which files go in the "highly interested" stack, the "somewhat interested" pile, or the "to be recycled" pile.

Top programs are sensitive to GMAT test results in one final way. Their presage is partly based on the excellence of their student body and the rigor of the admissions process. One of the easiest, most widely-recognized ways to ensure both is to demand high GMAT scores. In fact, many of the rankings conducted by newspapers and business magazines use a program's average GMAT score as a factor in their calculations. And so prestige-minded programs (aren't they all) are given even greater incentive to value and demand high GMAT scores.

The average GMAT score keeps increasing

The pool of applicants has responded remarkably well to such demands. As more and more talented professional choose to pursue an MBA, and thus prepare vigorously for the GMAT, we've witnessed a sharp increase in the average incoming GMAT scores reported by the top programs. For example, only four years ago, INSEAD's reported average was about 650 (or the top ten percent) and some applicants with strong professional background were gaining admission with scores as low as 590. Today, INSEAD's reported GMAT score average is 685 (about the top five percent) and even the most highly qualified candidates are expected to post very strong scores.

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