Whether you score more or less than 700, this is the first question that comes to your mind. GMAT is an important part of your application because although a great GMAT score doesn’t guarantee an admission, a lower GMAT score can definitely keep you out of reckoning.
Lets start with the short answer : Most B-schools publish their average GMAT score and the 80% range. This usually gives a pretty good picture picture of where your GMAT score lies. If your score is within the 80% range, you have good chance, however realistically speaking, the further below its from the average, the lower your chances of getting in. Lets look at an example of an imaginary B-school – “Jane Doe School of Business”
Average GMAT: 705
80% range : 640-750
However the above is just a thumb rule, there are some other factors in the play:
- GMAT Score and Academic performance
- Industry and experience (Resume)
- Application pool
These are a lot of permutations and combinations to consider and since most schools don’t publish a minimum GMAT score, the situation gets murkier.
- Academic performance:
If you had a stellar academic performance, a lower GMAT score can be compensated. This can really help if you are still on the lower side of the 80% percentile range of the previous years GMAT score. But if it has been more than 5 years since you graduated, your academic performance may not matter much, as is shown by a recent study for GMAC : “When are Grades No longer Valid”
- Industry, experience and Application pool:
What is your industry? Some industries like IT, Finance are too heavily represented in MBA applications. As a result, if you belong to any of these industries, your low GMAT score may be detrimental to your acceptance probability. On the other hand, if you belong to non-profit sector, your GMAT score may not be as bad.
- Application pool:
Similarly, as schools press for diversity, if you belong to an international pool with lesser number of applicants, your chances of getting away with a low GMAT score are pretty good, however, if you are from the India / China applicant pool, your chances may be severely hampered.
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