Students taking the GMAT often ask what really matters on GMAT – is it their raw scores in Verbal and Quant sections or do their IR and AWA scores even matter? And, the most common question they ask is  – how does GMAT calculate their total score? As confusing as it can get, in this article we have tried to break down the common doubts students have around GMAT scores and percentiles.

One of the initial steps that students take in realizing their B-school dream is to take the GMAT and get a decent score. But, understanding how the GMAT is scored, decoding their GMAT score report, and getting a good grasp on the ESR can get confusing for them. Clearly, there is a lot you need to know about GMAT scores before you can fully comprehend where you stand and what your score means. Let’s take them one by one –

An Overview of the GMAT Scores

The GMAT scores range between 200 – 800 and is scored in increments of 10. There are four sections in GMAT – Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment. The GMAT is a key indicator of a candidate’s readiness for a graduate management degree such as an MBA and plays a key role in helping admission committees in decision making as well. A score lower than 400 is considered poor and a majority of students usually score between 400 – 600.

How is GMAT Scored? 

As already mentioned, there are four sections on GMAT i.e. Quant, Verbal, IR, and AWA. Each section has its own scoring scale –

GMAT Section

Score Scale

Quantitative 6 – 51
Verbal 6 – 51
Integrated Reasoning 1 – 8
Analytical Writing Assessment 0 – 6

GMAT Percentiles – Understanding the Basics

Your official GMAT score card consists of your total GMAT score and your section scores along with the percentile rankings for each. Your total score ranges from 200-800 and you are scored separately for the four individual sections i.e. Quant, Verbal, IR, and AWA. So, how do you convert these section scores or your total GMAT score into percentiles?

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Before we start learning how to calculate your GMAT score percentile, let’s see what it signifies – A GMAT percentile simply depicts the percentage of students who got a score lower than yours. So, clearly, the higher the percentile, the better are your chances of seeking admission in your target school. Check out the table below to view GMAT Scores and their adjacent percentiles –

GMAT Score

Percentile

GMAT Score

Percentile

760-800 99% 520 31%
750 98% 510 29%
740 97% 500 27%
730 96% 490 25%
720 94% 480 23%
710 90% 470 21%
700 88% 460 18%
690 85% 450 17%
680 82% 440 15%
670 80% 430 14%
660 77% 420 12%
650 73% 410 11%
640 68% 400 10%
630 66% 390 9%
620 62% 380 8%
610 58% 370 7%
600 56% 360 7%
590 52% 350 6%
580 49% 340 5%
570 46% 320-330 4%
560 42% 290-310 3%
550 39% 250-280 2%
540 37% 220-240 1%
530 33% 200-210 0%

GMAT Quant Percentiles

We have already seen in the table above that your percentiles depend upon your total score. But, how are these total scores calculated? We know that your total GMAT scores depend upon your section scores i.e. your score in GMAT Quant and Verbal. Let’s first take up the Quant scores and the respective percentiles. The Quant section on GMAT is scored on a scale of 0-60. In the table below, you can see the scaled Quant scores and their percentiles –

Quant Scaled Score

Quant Percentile

Quant Scaled Score

Quant Percentile

51 96% 34 24%
50 85% 33 23%
49 74% 32 21%
48 67% 31 18%
47 61% 30 17%
46 58% 29 15%
45 55% 28 14%
44 50% 26-27 12%
43 47% 25 10%
42 43% 24 9%
41 41% 23 8%
40 39% 22 7%
39 35% 20-21 6%
38 33% 18-19 5%
37 32% 17 4%
36 29% 14-16 3%
35 26% 11-13 2%

GMAT Verbal Percentile

The scoring for Verbal is done differently compared to GMAT Quant, even though the scoring scale is the same for both the sections. Just like Quant, GMAT Verbal is also scored on a scale of 0 – 60. In the table below, you will see the GMAT Verbal scores and the percentiles associated to them –

Verbal Scared Score Verbal Percentile Verbal Scared Score Verbal Percentile
44-51 99% 25 39%
44 98% 24 36%
42-43 96% 23 32%
41 93% 22 30%
40 90% 21 26%
39 88% 20 23%
38 85% 19 19%
37 82% 18 18%
36 80% 17 15%
35 76% 16 12%
34 71% 15 10%
33 68% 14 9%
32 66% 13 7%
31 61% 12 5%
30 58% 11 4%
29 56% 10 3%
28 51% 9 2%
27 46% 7-8 1%
26 43% 6 0%

Recommended Read: Everything You Want to Know About GMAT

GMAT IR Percentiles

We saw above that the Quant and Verbal sections in GMAT are scored in increments of 10 points. The scoring scare of IR, however, is quite different. The IR section is scored on a scale of 0 – 8 and in increments of 1 whole point. And hence, the percentiles of IR section are also different. Let’s see the table to understand how –

GMAT IR Score GMAT IR Percentile
8 92%
7 82%
6 68%
5 52%
4 35%
3 21%
2 10%
1 0%

GMAT AWA Percentiles

So, we saw how Quant, Verbal, and IR sections are scored on GMAT. Now, let’s see how the AWA section is scored. Firstly, the AWA section is scored on a scale of 0 – 6 and secondly, it is scored in half point increments unlike other sections that are scored in either 10 point or whole point increments. Mentioned in the table below are the GMAT AWA scores and their respective percentiles –

GMAT AWA Score GMAT AWA Percentile
6 88%
5 53%
4 17%
3 4%
2 2%
1 1%

Also Read: Do IR and AWA Scores Matter on GMAT?

GMAT Percentiles: In A Nutshell

Here’s what we learnt about GMAT Percentiles in this article –

  • GMAT Percentiles show how many people you scored better from.
  • Your receive separate percentile scores for all the four sections – Quant, Verbal, IR, and AWA
  • The higher your percentile, the better your chances of receiving an admit from the top B-schools. Most of the best B-schools over the globe prefer a percentile above 90.
  • Your overall percentile depends upon your total score and not on individual score.

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In Conclusion

We hope this article provided you some clarity over GMAT Scores and their percentiles! Remember getting a great score on GMAT is not impossible. All you need is the right resource, proper guidance, and a little bit of dedication to reach your desired score. For more help regarding GMAT score and preparation, contact us at support@gmatwhiz.com. To prepare for the GMATWhiz methodically through a personalized, detailed, and adaptive study plan, create one here – Build Your Personalized Study Plan.