How to make sense of Average, Median and Middle 80% GMAT Score?

GMAT ScoreYou 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 GMAT Score. 

Case 2: GMAT Score= 700 (Harvard MBA Aspirant)

The latest Harvard MBA Class profile shows the median GMAT at 730. The applicant is below the median score by 30 points. Unfortunately, knowing the total GMAT Range would not be useful. Let us assume that the middle 80 % GMAT range is 680-760.  The Harvard MBA Aspirant is above the lower limit of the middle 80% GMAT range by 20 points but below the median by 30 and below the upper limit of the middle 80% GMAT by 60 points. The GMAT score is a weak element for the applicant.

Average GMAT Score

The least useful data from the three is the Average GMAT Score, especially if the GMAT Scores has a wide range. For top Business Schools, students have a close GMAT range. In such case, the average GMAT score would be closer to the median. If a school does not provide the median score but instead publishes the Middle 80% and Average GMAT Score, look at the range of the Middle 80%. It will give an indication whether the average GMAT score is a metric that you can compare along with Middle 80% range.

Golden Rules

a) If you GMAT score falls below the median or mean GMAT by over 30 points, then it is a sign of trouble. Think about retaking the GMAT after you have spent 1 month writing the first draft of the essays. It will also give you a 1-month break to recuperate and come back much stronger.

b) GMAT scores that are equal or higher than the median is a good score.

c) GMAT scores that are higher than the average/mean GMAT score by 10-20 points is a good score.

Top 31 MBA Programs + Analysis of 24 Industries (United States)

We analyze the MBA Curriculum, Class Profile, Total Cost and Post-MBA Salary of Top 31 MBA programs in the US.

+ Industry Trends

+ Future of Aerospace, Agriculture, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Automobile, Clean Tech, Education, Energy, Fashion, Financial Services, Insurance, FinTech, Government, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Military, Manufacturing, Maritime, Media/Advertising, Technology, Tourism, Trade, Transportation and Logistics, Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR).

Pages: 327


"I have not reviewed many books for MBA Admission consulting companies but doing it now to give all applicants a brief idea on what the book covers. The book includes 31 top MBA programs - almost all the top schools you have heard or considering for your MBA application. Each chapter is categorized by US States where there is at least one top MBA program. So you have California and Massachusetts with the most number of MBA programs and several states with one top program (Washington, Minnesota, Washington D.C., Connecticut, Virginia, and Maryland) and other states with two to three MBA programs. The book focuses on four aspects of an MBA program - curriculum, cost, class profile and post-MBA salary. For me, the breakdown of the cost and post-MBA industry was useful to make my decision on selecting the top 5 programs for 2017-18. It is a fascinating read in an industry where consultants overprice for their expertise. I recently bought a 30-page guide for $49. Compared to the obvious observation in that book, the 300+ page, MBA in US - the Ultimate guide is a goldmine of information and analysis." - Verified Purchase (21st June 2017)

"I bought the ultimate guide after a friend recommended it for me. The guide covers a lot of ground on the history of each prominent US states and goes into the reasons why a certain industry emerged from each state. In addition to the analysis of the economy, trends and expected changes in the next 5 years, the book features top MBA programs in each state with an extensive study of its curriculum. Ultimate guide is an essential reference book for MBA Applicants if they want to shortlist MBA programs based on value and cost, and not just ranking. " - Verified Purchase (14th June 2017)

"Should be a required reading before applying for an MBA. School events and MBA Tours are PR events disguised as a Q&A. On the contrary, the book is an unbiased analysis of each Top MBA program in the US supported by a large dataset and historical context on each industry. The guide builds a case for indstries that are likely to emerge as favourite for MBA graduates. Thorough and a valuable book." - Verified Purchase (15th June 2017)

"What I liked: The breadth of the information. Some of my favorite nonfiction books have taken the same approach as the ultimate guide have - cover background information in-depth. In the book, the author uses parallel threads to demonstrate the history of the state and the rise of industries. Will make you think how schools thrive based on the policy set by the state. California's obsession with Technology has revolutionized how we do Business and changed post-MBA trends. Many MBA applicants will be consulting or doing marketing for a Technology company. That is one key finding from the book. The latest development in AI, FinTech, and Automation is an additional context that I found valuable in the book.

Very informative. I would recommend that you read the book at least once in chronological order before using Table of Contents." - Verified Purchase (2nd July 2017)

Download How to Choose the Best MBA in US: The Ultimate Guide
(2018 Entering Class)

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