# GMAT Scores for Top Business Schools

So, you want to get into one of the best business schools in the country. It's great that you're reaching for the stars! Go for it! But educate yourself first before you apply. If your GMAT scores aren't anywhere close to the range in which you need to be (and your work experience, undergraduate GPA, admissions interview and recommendations from professors will in no way offset your low score), then you'll either need to retake the GMAT or set your sights lower. We always recommend a retake, though; it's better to prepare for the test early and take it more than once if necessary than give up on your dreams if your heart is set on Kellogg or Wharton or Stanford.

## Basics

When you finish the GMAT and get your official score report in the mail, you'll see scores listed for the following sections. If you're anxious about your scores right after you've finished testing, you can record your scores immediately after your testing session and receive the unofficial Verbal, Quantitative, and Total scores. The Analytical Writing Assessment and the Integrated Reasoning sections, however, will have to wait because they are scored independently.

Here are the score ranges for the four sections of the GMAT exam:

• Analytical Writing Assessment: Can earn you between a 0 and a 6 in half-point increments. The mean score is typically right around a 4.42. Although the score isn't taken into account as much as the other two sections, it's imperative to earn the highest possible score you can. Reach for a 4.5 or higher when you practice.
• Integrated Reasoning: Can earn you between a 1 and an 8 in single-digit intervals. Like the AWA, it is not factored into your overall score but appears as a separate entity on your score report. The average score is a 4.26
• Quantitative Reasoning: Can earn you between 0 and 60 points. Scoring less than a 7 and above a 52 is rare. Shoot for the 40s if you're hoping to be considered for a top ranking business school; most applicants are in that range, although the average GMAT Quantitative score across the country is right around a 37.
• Verbal Reasoning: Can earn you between 0 and 60 points. Scoring less than a 9 and above a 48 is rare, although some testers make the leap. The average U.S. GMAT Verbal score is right around a 29. For a top-tier school, however, you'll need to shoot for the 40s, though.
• Total GMAT Score: Can earn you between 200 and 800 points. Most test-takers score between 400 and 600, but your score needs to be considerably higher than that - anywhere from the mid 600s through the 700s if you're going to a top-ranking business school.

## Good Scores

Business schools typically do not have a cut-off score for acceptance; they look at the whole applicant including your interview, admissions essay, recommendations, work experience, and GPA along with your GMAT score. If, however, you're interested in attending a top-tier school like the ones listed below, you need to be sure that you're at least scoring in the range of marks that others who have been admitted have scored. To help gauge that number, take a peek at the school's middle 80 percent of student applicants. What are the majority of admitted students earning on the GMAT? If you're in there, then there's a good chance your score will be high enough to merit the second phase of the admissions process.

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