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Is Your GMAT Good Enough for a Top MBA Program?

November 20, 2021 :: Admissionado Team

If you are thinking about your future college studies you are likely to have already heard about the famous GMAT or the Graduate Management Admission Test. GMAT is everywhere when you do your research on application requirements. Students with already acquired GMAT scores are eager to know where their scores can take them. If we had a dollar for every person who asked us what schools they can get into based on their GMAT score, well, we’d be answering that question from our 200-foot yacht while the staff brought us cocktails and fanned us with palms. 

MBA admissions consulting specialists guide students with these uncertainties and help them to clarify doubts. Future students’ questions go further than this. 

  • Is my score high enough to enter the top 20 or top 10?
  • What is a good GMAT score?
  • Is HBS possible?

The truth is, no one can answer all these questions with 100% certainty. As you know, or as you should know, there’s a whole lot more that goes into this process. If the MBA adcom only cared about your GMAT score, the application would take a LOT less work. But, of course, your GMAT score is an important part of the process, and the best place to start when evaluating where you stand is in the MBA admissions world. So let’s break it all down.

What Is a Good GMAT Score?

In 2019 MBA experts announced that a GMAT score in between 650 and 700 is already a good achievement. Above 700 it is considered an excellent score. However, these statements are very relative, all the results depend on where the student wants to apply and what requirements this educational establishment has.

In 2020 the Harvard Business School admission average range of GMAT was 730. Thus you will feel comfortable applying for HBS if your score is higher than 730. This will be what we call a good GMAT score for Harvard. Harvard offers average rates for the 2022 admissions and the advised GMAT score is in between 620 – 790. 

Yes, graduate and MBA programs in the US have envious GMAT score requirements, nevertheless, the admission is not only based on these test results. 

In other words and to make it clear, to enter certain universities you need to see the requirements of these educational establishments, each one has its unique prerequisites. 

Some Business Schools care about your GMAT score because this is the indicator to see if you will be able to sustain their program. Some of these schools just have a look at the final scores, others enter into details and want to see your scores by sections. This test is the most popular one by which colleges get a general idea about your overall level.

The highest score you can get on the GMAT

GMAT has two sections that are tested verbal and quantitative. GMAT is a computerized adaptive test. What does this mean? This means that It is not possible to know how many answers you have to get right to reach the maximum score of this test. When an average of the difficult questions are answered poorly by the student, the system automatically changes these questions to easier ones and in the opposite case, when the student hits the level of the questions that the system has asked, the tasks are made a little more difficult and in this way, the student’s level is calculated. 

Nevertheless, we have the numeric highest score of GMAT which is 800. Obtaining an 800 in this test will make you stand out but it will not be a guarantee to enter universities or MBA programs because it is not the only requirement to continue your studies at the colleges. A good GMAT score is what the University rage asks for and not necessarily the highest one. Once your GMAT is accepted other requisites will be observed.  

What GMAT score do you need to get into a top MBA program?

Most MBA programs require GMAT. Depending on the MBA condition of qualification can be one or another. If you have an average score that the university and the MBA program require you know where to apply and where to get your MBAScroll down for some statistics on how much you need to accomplish to have the opportunity for a certain MBA program. 

Good GMAT scores for MBA:

  • Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) – 740
  • Stanford University – 733
  • Columbia Business School (CBS), Columbia University – 730
  • Harvard – 730
  • The University of California, Berkeley – Haas School of Business – 727
  • Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University – 727

These are some Universities with higher GMAT score demands. Things work in the opposite direction for minority candidates, or other candidates whom schools actively seek out to create a diverse community with a variety of perspectives, opinions, experiences. (That can be actual minority applicants or people with military or other non-traditional backgrounds, for example.) To get that diversity and create a more interesting class, the adcom is willing to forgo a few points on the GMAT. So if this applies to you, and your GMAT score is 20-30 points lower than the last incoming class’ mean, don’t discount yourself just yet.

MBA is a good professional boost, but it is quite expensive. However, as it is not considered to be a new career it can be tax-deductible. The tax attorney Robert W. Wood  insists on : “… the general rule is that education expenses are deductible if they maintain or improve skills required in your business or employment, or if your employer (or law) requires you to do it to keep your job or your current status with your employer.” You need to fit the condition of your MBA to be tax deductible.

European Universities and GMAT 

European colleges also require the GMAT and have their cut offs. In comparison with the US programs, European universities are not so scrupulous about the test results. Here are some average scores of GMAT to enter European MBA programs.

  • INSEAD  is ranked among the best MBA programs in the world and requires an average of 710 on the GMAT. Even though, among its students, it counts with the scores of 750.  This is a 10-month program and the top 2 according to the Forbes and Financial Times ranking. 
  • London Business School  – 710
  • Cambridge – 693

These top European MBA Programs are of high professional quality and have a strong network with each other. In general, all the institutions take into account your best score and it does not matter if you have achieved it by repeating the exam several times. They will not consider low scores obtained before the one you present to them. GMAT is the aptitude portrayal of the student, it is your academic performance.

MD/MBA Programs and GMAT

What is an MD/MBA program? Medical Doctor and Master Business Administration is a dual program. Students of medical studies, who are also interested in management and financial training in the health care area can be interested in MD/MBA programs. In general, students are enrolled in a medical care program for several years and the last one or two years they combine business specialization with their studies. 

If you are interested in the administrative position at healthcare centres like hospital administrator or this program can help you stand out. 

The question is: do we require the GMAT to enter these dual degrees? It depends. Before applying you should read carefully the conditions of each institution. Some of them like Harvard Business School that offers this dual degree has two different admission forms for each of them. Meanwhile, an MD application does not require GMAT results, MBA will consider those.

How to improve your GMAT score

You can take the GMAT more than once. You’d rather study for the exam than take it without previous preparation. There are different ways to get ready for the GMAT or to improve your score. 

  • Do mock tests, review practice questions.
  • Manage your time – Timing is essential in these types of exams. Time yourself doing a mock exam and try to fit the limits. 
  • Math concepts – GMAT includes trigonometry and algebra, geometry and probability. Review some important notions before taking the exam. This is the way you can avoid surprises. 
  • Read texts of different typologies – During the exam you will be exposed to different types of texts of different lengths to read, analyse and comprehend. If you read different texts before the exam you will not be an amateur during the test.
  • Go through the essays – Review mock exams’ essays. practice these topics and make sure you are familiarised with the types of essays. 

These are some tips to achieve higher marks in your GMAT tests.

Final thoughts and curiosities

Life is about challenges. Deciding where to study is probably one of the trials you face while you choose your future study plan. GMAT is the most popular testing system that most of the universities have as a requirement to apply. It is an overall level of the student and has different sections of testing. Some curiosities about the GMAT:

  • Only about 30 students per year score the highest grade of 800.  
  • It is an adaptive test (it adapts to the level of the student). 
  • You need to pay for the GMAT. 
  • There must be 16 calendar days between the two GMAT tests.
  • You can only take 5 GMATS per year.

The outcome of all this should be one: FACE THE CHALLENGE AND ENJOY YOUR STUDIES!

Looking for more GMAT resources? Look no further!