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MBA Programs With the Highest GMAT Scores

MBA Programs With the Highest GMAT Scores

The Graduate Management Admissions Test, or GMAT, is an analytical assessment tool used to determine admissions to graduate management programs such as an MBA. Over 2100 universities and institutions use the GMAT exam as a factor in their applicant selection process. Business school applicants can also use the GMAT test scores to help them narrow down their schools of choice.

Highest GMAT Scores by University

The GMAT is made up of 4 sections. You’re tested on analytical writing, integrated reasons, verbal, and quantitative skills. The highest possible score is 800. Applicants accepted into the top 11 business schools have an average score of 715. Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Chicago have the top 3 average GMAT scores. Here’s a breakdown of each MBA program:

Stanford Graduate School of Business

GMAT Average: 733

The Stanford Graduate School of Business boasts a community of innovation and a diverse community. They also encourage joint or dual degrees, combining your MBA with a doctorate or master’s in another program.

Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

GMAT Average: 732

The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania is known internationally as a top business school. Not only does the school appeal to students for their coursework, but they also have a wide network of alumni and company connections to create lasting relationships for students long after the degree is complete.  

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

GMAT Average: 726

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business offers a variety of MBA programs–from full time, to evening, and even executive. It is the second-oldest business school in the U.S. and continues to set the standard for MBA programs, with the first PhD in business offered in the early 1900s.

Full-time tuition for all three schools cost about $64,000 for the year. The executive MBA programs will cost you slightly more at around $180,000. While all three schools have excellent post employment graduation rates, University of Chicago graduates fair a bit better than the rest with 86% of its MBA graduates employed full-time upon graduation.

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GMAT Scoring Tips

Understanding that a GMAT score of 600 puts you in the top 70th percentile and a 700 indicates the top 90th percentile of test takers can actually prove beneficial when selecting potential MBA programs. Much of the program incorporates teamwork and group projects, so you’ll want to ensure you’re exposed to a healthy number of students at or above your academic ability.

Determining the school’s median GMAT score is fairly easy. Most schools publish that data annually. You can also access lists of top ranked business schools and use the GMAT score to narrow down your selection. It’s important to recognize the math and verbal scores are emphasized differently in terms of graduate school acceptance, math scores are regarded higher in the admissions process. This makes sense since many of your first year classes are highly math intensive.  You may want to look at that breakdown as well to help determine if a school’s rigorous standards are a good fit.

If you don’t achieve a score in the ballpark of a school’s average GMAT scores, retake the test. Most scores below 680 will limit your chances of acceptance in the top ranked business schools. If your analytical skills are a bit rusty, decline to share your scores with the school of choice until you receive your scores after the test. You’ll be notified immediately upon completing the test. The cost to send your scores to a preferred school will be $25 at this point, but you have the option to wait and send a more promising score if you don’t do well. There is no limit to the amount of times you can retake the GMAT. Most graduate schools do not average your scores. They only consider the highest value for the application process.

Since business schools focus intensely on analytical skills, concentrate any limited study time on improving this area if you’re fairly weak. Be strategic about how you use your time. Since the test is adaptive, you’ll want to work through practice exams available for free from the official GMAT website. Working on problems in the order of the practice test book versus sticking to one subject will better help you prepare and be ready for the actual testing environment. Students who’ve been out of school for some time need to focus as much on developing good test taking strategies as they do digging into a refresher of the material covered.

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