Today we are featuring a guest post by Nupur Gupta from Crack The MBA.
F1GMAT: When you compare GMAT and GPA, which statistic is more important from an applicant’s perspective?
Please note that the response to this question is relative. Both GMAT and GPA are important. However, between the two, I believe GMAT is more important due to the following reasons.
- Comparing apples to apples
- Impact on rankings
- More recent statistic
- Applicant’s self-belief
Comparing Apples to Apples
GMAT score is a common, objective benchmark that leaves no room for ambiguity when comparing two candidates from different schools, regions, or majors. The same cannot be said for GPA.
For example, some...
GMAT is an integral part of MBA Admissions. An excellent score in itself will not guarantee a place in Harvard, Wharton, Stanford or other top schools but a 700-720+ score will ensure that your applications will be read with the same seriousness as that of other competitive applicants. Here are some useful tips on improving your GMAT score.
1) Learn Fundamentals
Quite often test takers start focusing on improving speed before mastering the fundamental concepts of GMAT Quant and Verbal. When you compare the topics in GMAT that are tested, it is very limited compared to high school math. But what makes GMAT challenging and interesting is the manner in which the questions are created. The test creators want to make sure that you have understood the concepts comprehensively. This does not mean that you have to learn about advanced theories. You should have tried all types of questions that come under a simple Concept. More importantly, you should understand why certain rules are applied.
2) Study Regularly
Taking a break from GMAT Preparation can be fatal. It can demotivate and break the flow that you have created in your schedule. After you have...
GMAT Scores are valid for Five Years, and are an integral part of MBA Application Process. Although you might have heard of stories of applicants making into top schools with below average scores: 550-600. It is an exception and not a rule. Don’t develop your strategy based on an exception. When you consider Essays, Recommendation Letter, GMAT score and Admission Interviews, GMAT Score is the only part of the MBA Application that is set into a comparable scale like percentile ranking and overall score.
Which GMAT Score should be compared?
GMAT Scores are divided into section scores, total scores and percentile ranking. The total scores range between 200 and 800, the section scores for Verbal and Quant range from 0 to 60. The Score for AWA range from 0 to 6, and Integrated Reasoning range from 1 to 8.
What are the best GMAT Scores?
When you talk about section scores, any score above 45 for Quant and above 40 for Verbal is an excellent score. For AWA, most above average applicants get scores in the 5-6 range. For Integrated reasoning, good scores are in the 7 to 8 range.
What is a good Total GMAT Score?
You have worked hard for the GMAT for the past 3-4 Months and finally received the official GMAT score. Let us look at how to compare your score against the School’s GMAT data.
Most Business Schools will have three data points when it comes to GMAT Score – Average GMAT Score, Median GMAT Score and Middle 80% GMAT Score.
Middle 80% GMAT Score
When the GMAT scores in a class is represented by a Bell-Curve, the middle 80% is the area in the middle section that excludes the 10% area on the left and the 10% on the right. In short, it represents the range of scores represented by the majority of the class.
Case 1: GMAT Score = 680 (Columbia MBA Aspirant)
When you look at the Middle 80% GMAT Range, a range of 680-760 represents the latest Columbia MBA Class. Although you don’t have the lowest GMAT score compared to the latest class, the score falls in the lowest range among the majority of students.
Median GMAT Score
When you arrange the GMAT score of the class from lowest to highest, the score in the absolute middle represent the Median...
The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test where your score is calculated by an algorithm that provides you with harder questions (and higher score returns) when you answer previous questions correctly, and with easier questions (and lower returns) when you’ve answered previous questions incorrectly.
Through this method, the GMAT can determine your ability level in a relatively short period – 37 math and 41 verbal questions – and provide you with an immediate score upon completion of the test. To save you the stress of trying to figure out the secrets of the algorithm, here are some important things you should know about GMAT scoring:
1) Good news: You can get a lot of questions wrong and still do well!
The job of the GMAT scoring algorithm is to determine your ability level by asking you questions that begin to close in on it. Think of how you’d play a game of 20 Questions as you attempt to zero in on the historical figure that your “opponent” has selected:
Was this person famous in the era BC? (No – too early)
Was this person famous before the Middle Ages? (No – still too early)
Was this person famous before the...
The CNNMoney Post about how AdCom (Rotman School of Mangement) makes decisions gives us insight on the factors that the admission team value before making a ding or accepted decision.
Here is what we have learned from the post
1) GMAT Score is No Guarantee
According to the post: “A 28-year-old software engineer from India with a 710 GMAT will be thrown into the reject pile”
The Applicant was not able to convince the AdCom that he is not the typical software engineer with 700+ score that the admission team has seen hundreds of time.
Why he was not able to convince the AdCom team?
Most essays that we have seen from Indian applicants goes on and on about the technical aspect of the responsibilities without showing the AdCom that he understands the bigger picture of the project and what the...
If you have wondered whether Age influences your ability to score high on GMAT, the 2012 Profile of GMAT Candidates report by GMAC gives some clear clues. We looked at the Mean Total GMAT Score for the past 5 years and here is what we found:
1) Students younger than 20 Years perform the best in GMAT with a mean GMAT Score of 594.4
2) The worst performing group as expected were the 50+ age group that had a mean GMAT score of 462.6
3) There was a steady drop in GMAT Score as age progresses with the exception shown only by three age groups – 24 to 25, 26 to 27 and 28 to 30.
There are many reasons why age impacts GMAT Score, here are a few:
1) Mental Agility
GMAC has released the total mean GMAT score for the past five years (2008-12). Except for the year 2008-09, mean GMAT scores have shown consistent improvement. This can be attributed to the large number of online GMAT prep services that have sprung in the market, post the 2008-09 financial crises. On an average, the total mean GMAT score has increased by 1.5 to 2 points every year, reaching 548.21 during the year 2011-12.
An interesting trend that can be noticed in the 2012 Profile of GMAT Candidates report is the performance of GMAT test takers from various undergraduate degrees. Let us for the sake of argument attribute GMAT scores to have the maximum priority in an MBA application. Here are the observations that we made from the report.
1) Test takers from Physics, Mathematics and Engineering, topped the 5 Year Mean GMAT score with 607.4, 603.4 and 592.8 respectively
2) Marketing and Education undergraduates were at the bottom of the list with mean total GMAT Scores of 493.2 and 485.8.
GMAT plays an important role in the MBA Admission process. It is important that you understand the GMAT Median and Mean score of your target schools. We at F1GMAT have researched and created the GMAT Score list for top 60 MBA programs. If you notice the average GMAT scores of top 20 B-schools, they fall within the range of 700 to 730, with the highest GMAT median score at 730 for Stanford Graduate School of Business and Harvard Business School. An interesting trend seen here is that the average GMAT scores for European, Asian and Australian Business schools tends to be between 600 and 670.
Although the GPA scores for most top B-Schools are not officially published, our research shows that the majority of GPA scores of top 20 MBA programs range between 3.5 and 3.7. There is no minimum GPA score, but if your score falls below 2.7, it becomes extremely difficult to get into a premier Business School. Of course, there are exceptions and the AdCom will look at your application holistically if you have an interesting work experience or extracurricular. One major reason why there is no unified method of mapping International GPA with American GPA is that evaluation criteria differs across...
The average GMAT Score in top Business Schools has jumped from 610 in the early 90s to 690 in mid-2000. The 2012 Average GMAT Score statistics released by GMAC shows that the sweet spot is 700. But don’t blindly follow the 700+ rule. A better strategy would be to aim for the 99th percentile. To convert GMAT Score to percentiles, visit GMAT Percentile page. Although GMAT Score is not the only factor that would decide you chance to get into top Business School, here are the average GMAT Scores of top Business Schools.
Average GMAT Score - Top Business Schools (Class of 2012)
MIT Sloan 718
GMAT provides two ways to measure your score: Scaled Total and Section wise Scores. However, for Business Schools, these scores have very little value unless they can look through a comparative scale. That is where GMAT Score Percentiles help.
You might be aware that there are three GMAT Sections: Analytical Writing/Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal. The result of the Analytical Writing/Integrated Reasoning section will have no impact on your total scaled score. The Quantitative and Verbal sections contribute to the overall score. The total score is measured in a scale from 200 to 800. Each section is measured in a scale from 0 to 60.
Total Score: 200 – 800
Quantitative: 0 - 60
Verbal: 0 - 60
How is GMAT Percentile tracked?
GMAC looks into GMAT test data for the last three years to evaluate your percentile. You should clearly understand the difference between the validity of GMAT test, which is 5 years and the percentile change that can happen if a more...