Understanding Your GMAT Score: Result, How to Check, Validity & More

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Shireen Parhee

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GMAT scores are an important step in any student’s study abroad journey. Your GMAT scorecard is a powerful document that determines whether you’ll get into your dream university. To help you understand how the exam is score and what your score means, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide. So, Iif you’re about to begin your preparations for GMAT, or are awaiting your GMAT scorecard, read on.

What is GMAT?

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a universally recognized exam. It is conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) and used in admissions for graduate business programs across 110 countries. 

Traditional GMAT vs GMAT Focus Edition

Before we understand GMAT results, it is important to understand the recent changes. 

On 7 November 2023, GMAC launched the GMAT Focus Edition. The new version simplifies aptitude assessment for students and institutions. 

Let’s see how these two versions differ.

This GMAT traditional version, offered until February 2024, had four sections: 

  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Integrated Reasoning
  • Analytical Writing Assessment 

The traditional GMAT scorecard mentioned your score on a 200 – 800 scale. So earlier, the max GMAT score was 800.

However,  the GMAT Focus Edition introduces a revamped scoring format. 

The new GMAT score range extends from 205 to 805. This means now the max GMAT score is 805. The updated format evaluates your skills more precisely, focusing on three key sections:

  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Data Insights

The new GMAT scorecard shows your total as well as sectional scores. Let’s understand each of these scores in detail.

Note: Both versions are offered at official testing centers and online.

Breaking down your GMAT scorecard 

Below is a sample GMAT scorecard.

As you can see, it has various sections. There’s an overall score as well as sectional scores and GMAT score percentiles

Let’s understand each of these sections in detail.

A. Understanding your GMAT total score

Your total score in the GMAT Focus Edition is derived from the average of your section scores. This GMAT total score (between 205 and 805) gives a holistic view of your performance across all sections. 

It reflects your overall aptitude in:

  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Data literacy 

You also get your GMAT score percentiles along with your total score. The GMAT score percentiles indicate the percentage of test-takers you outperformed. 

For example, 80th percentile means you performed better than 80% of the candidates. 

This provides valuable context for your performance.

B. Interpreting section scores

Each section is scored independently on a scale from 60 to 90.

  • Quantitative Reasoning

This section evaluates your problem-solving skills. It assesses your ability to interpret and analyze quantitative data. 

  • Verbal Reasoning

This section focuses on reading comprehension and critical reasoning. It measures your ability to understand written material, draw inferences, and evaluate arguments.

  1. Data Insights 

This section emphasizes data analysis and interpretation skills. It evaluates your ability to extract meaningful insights from datasets, interpret graphs and charts, and make informed decisions based on data-driven evidence.

Detailed subscores within each section report provide additional granularity. This offers insights into your strengths and areas of improvement. 

Check out a sample of how sectional GMAT results are shown.

Sectional scores are not mandatory for all university applications. However, they provide valuable feedback for targeted skill development.

Average GMAT scores

To help you better understand your GMAT result, here are the average GMAT scores:

Section Average GMAT scores (Classic edition)
Verbal 27.51
Quant 41.3
AWA 4.43
IR 4.65
Total 574.51

Source

Top universities across the globe require average GMAT scores upwards of 720. 

Remember to check the latest GMAT score range requirements for your preferred university before starting your GMAT prep.

Important note on negative marking

Leaving questions unanswered results in a GMAT score penalty. If you don’t complete a section within the allotted time, your score will reflect the negative marks allocated to the unanswered questions. 

So aim to answer all questions within the time limit for the best score.

Important note on score cancellation

Before your scores are released, you have the option to cancel them at the test center. However, this is a permanent decision. Once canceled, your scores cannot be retrieved.  

Carefully consider your performance before canceling. Many business schools might still accept your score report even if it’s not your best attempt.

Understanding school-specific score requirements

What is a good GMAT score varies depending on the institution you are applying to. So, it is important to research the average GMAT score range for your target school. Some schools might have a strict cutoff score, while others only consider the GMAT score as one of the many factors used to evaluate your candidature.   

Preparing to get your target GMAT score 

Based on your preferred university’s GMAT score requirements, you can set yourself a GMAT score target. Start your preparation well in time, and begin with GMAC’s official test resources to get a sense of the difficulty of the exam. In fact, the official GMAC website offers several free and paid prep resources that you can use.

Important: A high GMAT score elevates your profile for lenders as well, which means you can expect better offers and loan terms with a good GMAT score.  

Another way to get the best possible education loan offer is to use FundRight. All you have to do is to create a profile with your academic details (including your GMAT score). Once done, you can access loan offers specially created for your profile by 15+ top lenders. From these offers, you can choose the most suitable one, with the help of a dedicated financial expert from FundRight. Then, upload your documents securely from your home and get your loan approved and disbursed in as little as 10 days.  

Join the 60,000 students who found their best loan with FundRight. Check your offers.

FAQs

How to check your GMAT score?

Your GMAT score is available on the official GMAT website. You can check your score 3-5 days after taking the GMAT. 

Step 1: Log in to your mba.com account.
Step 2: Navigate to the GMAT Exams section.
Step 3: Locate the specific test date you’re interested in.
Step 4: Click “View and Send Score.” 

This will display your official score report including your total and individual section scores.

What is the GMAT unofficial score?

After finishing your GMAT, you’ll see a quick preview of your scores on screen. That’s your unofficial score – a temporary estimate. You cannot save, screenshot or print this score. 

The official score report, with your final results and GMAT score percentiles, will arrive within a few days via email. You can only use your official score for business school applications. 

How long are GMAT scores valid?

Your GMAT score validity lasts for five years from your test date. This GMAT score validity time frame reflects the belief that your core reasoning abilities remain relatively stable within that window. Make sure your scores remain valid during your application window. 

Can I get scholarships based on my GMAT score?

Yes, a strong GMAT score can significantly boost your chances of landing scholarships for MBA programs. 

Many business schools offer merit-based scholarships that consider your GMAT score as a key factor.  The higher your GMAT total score, the better your prospects of getting scholarships.   

Can I compare GMAT Focus Edition scores with previous versions of GMAT?

Comparing GMAT Focus Edition scores directly with scores from previous GMAT versions isn’t recommended.

This is because:

  • The score scales are different. 
  • The distribution of scores has also shifted. 

GMAT score percentiles are a good way to compare the scores on different versions. You can also use the concordance table published by GMAC for reference. 

Check out the complete table here.

Picture of Shireen Parhee

Shireen Parhee

A creative producer turned content marketeer, Shireen has a flair for weaving words into compelling stories and bringing them to life through captivating videos. A vivacious leader, she naturally inspires her team, driving them to surpass expectations with her positive energy and insightful feedback. Boasting over a decade of experience across different forms of media, she is on a mission to create memorable content that will leave a lasting impact for years to come.

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