The GMAT Scoring Scale

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The Score Report

An official GMAT score report consists of five parts:

  • Verbal Scaled Score (on a scale from 0 to 60)
  • Quantitative Scaled Score (on a scale from 0 to 60)
  • Total Scaled Score (on a scale from 200 to 800)
  • Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) Score (on a scale from 0 to 6)
  • Integrated Reasoning Score (on a scale from 1 to 8)

The total score is a scaled combination of the verbal and quantitative scaled scores, and thus reflects a student’s overall performance on the multiple-choice sections of the test. The AWA and the Integrated Reasoning sections are scored independently; scores for these sections do not affect the 200-800 scaled score.


The Verbal and Quantitative Sections

To compute the scaled score for the Verbal and Quantitative sections, GMAT uses an algorithm that takes the following factors into account:

  • the number of questions answered within the time permitted
  • the number of questions answered correctly
  • the statistical characteristics (including level of difficulty) of the questions answered

At the beginning of each section, the GMAT presents a question in the middle range of difficulty. If the question is answered correctly, the next question will be harder and the test-taker's score will adjust upwards. If the question is answered incorrectly, the next question will be easier, and the test-taker’s score will adjust downwards. (The test taker does not see this adjustment because the score is not revealed until the entire test has been completed.) Thus, the algorithm is constantly recalculating the scaled score as the student progresses through the section.

As a test-taker answers more questions, the algorithm receives more information about his or her skills and is able to calculate an accurate score with greater and greater precision. Consequently, the questions at the beginning of the section are weighted much more heavily than questions near the end of the section. For example, by the time Question 36 appears, the computer has had 35 questions from which to derive the proper score range. So even if Question 36 were answered correctly, the increase in score would be minimal compared to the increase in score if Question 2 had been answered correctly.

Upon completing the GMAT, test-takers must decide whether or not to keep their scores. Those who choose to keep their scores are able to view the total scaled score along with the separate Verbal and Quantitative scaled scores. Those who choose to cancel cannot view any scores.

The real value of a GMAT score is determined by its percentile ranking. A percentile ranking indicates the percentage of test-takers who scored at or below a particular score: the higher the percentile ranking, the more competitive the score. Percentile rankings in the charts below reflect the most current data from the GMAC (through July 2013).

The following table shows the 61 possible GMAT total scaled scores and the percentile rankings assigned to each.

Scaled Score Percentile Scaled Score Percentile
760-800 99 520 37
750 98 510 35
740 97 500 32
730 96 490 30
720 94 480 27
710 92 470 25
700 89 460 22
690 87 450 20
680 85 440 18
670 83 430 17
660 80 420 15
650 77 410 14
640 73 400 12
630 71 390 11
620 68 380 10
610 65 370 9
600 62 360 8
590 58 340-350 6
580 55 330 5
570 52 310-320 4
560 49 280-300 3
550 46 250-270 2
540.4 43 220-240 1
530 39 200-210 0

While total scaled scores range from 200 to 800, approximately half of all test takers score between 400 and 600. A score of 560 places a test-taker in the 49th percentile and therefore represents the median score of the test-taking population.

The verbal and quantitative scaled scores are also assigned percentile rankings. The following table shows the possible verbal and quantitative scaled scores and the percentile rankings assigned to each.

Verbal Quantitative
Scaled Score Percentile Scaled Score Percentile
45-51 99 51-60 97
44 98 50 87
42 96 49 81
41 93 48 76
40 90 47 70
39 88 46 68
38 84 45 66
37 82 44 61
36 80 43 58
35 75 42 54
34 70 41 52
33 68 40 50
32 65 39 46
31 60 38 44
30 57 37 42
29 55 36 38
28 50 36 35
27 45 34 33
26 42 33 31
25 37 32 28
24 35 31 25
23 31 30 24
22 29 29 22
21 25 28 19
20 21 27 17
19 18 26 16
18 17 25 13
17 14 24 12
16 11 23 11
15 9 21-22 9
14 8 20 8
13 7 19 7
12 4 18 6
11 3 17 5
9-10 2 14-16 4
7-8 1 13 3
0-6 0 10-12 2
    7-9 1
    0-6 0

Although the Verbal and Quantitative sections are both scored 0 to 60 scale, the percentile ranking for a scaled score on the Verbal section may differ from the percentile ranking for the same scaled score on the Quantitative section. For example, a scaled score of 38 would place a student in the 84th percentile on the Verbal section, while the same scaled score on the Quantitative section would place the student in the 44th percentile.


The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

The AWA essay receives two scores on a scale of 0 to 6, at least one of which comes from a human reader. The other score, however, may come from a computerized evaluation program. If the scores from the two readers are identical or differ by exactly one point, they are averaged to obtain the final score for that essay. If the scores differ by more than one point, an expert human reader determines the final score.

The following table lists all of the possible AWA scaled scores and the percentile rankings assigned to each of them.

AWA Score Percentile
6.0 91
5.5 80
5.0 60
4.5 37
4.4 21
3.5 12
3.0 6
2.5 4
0.5-2.0 3
0 0

Over 90% of test-takers receive a scaled score of 3 or higher on the AWA. Since human readers are involved in the AWA grading process, students cannot view their AWA scores on the same day that they take the test. Students who choose to keep their scores receive an official GMAT score report via regular mail approximately two weeks later that includes their AWA score.


Integrated Reasoning

The Integrated Reasoning section is scored on a scale of 1 to 8, in one-point increments. This section is not computer adaptive.

Test-takers will not be able to view their Integrated Reasoning scores on the same day that they take the test. Those who choose to keep their scores will receive an official GMAT score report via regular mail approximately two weeks later that includes the Integrated Reasoning score.

Score Percentile
8 93
7 82
6 67
5 52
4 37
3 23
2 12
1 0