What Everyone Should Know About GMAT Scoring

An official GMAT score report consists of five parts: a Verbal Scaled Score (on a scale from 0 to 60), a Quantitative Scaled Score (on a scale from 0 to 60), an Integrated Reasoning Scaled Score (on a scale from 1 to 8), a Total Scaled Score (on a scale from 200 to 800) and an Analytical Writing Assessment Score (on a scale from 0 to 6). For each of these five scores, you will receive a percentile rank. Each rank shows the percentage of test-takers who scored below you based on the scores for the most recent three-year period. To see how the score report looks, you can download a sample score report at www.mba.org.


The GMAT scores the Quant/Verbal multiple choice and the IR/AWA sections differently. There are a total of 78 multiple choice questions: 41 in the verbal section and 37 in the quantitative section. To compute the scaled score for each section, the GMAT uses an algorithm that takes into account the total number of questions answered, the number of questions answered correctly,
and the level of difficulty of the questions answered.

The AWA score is an average of the scores given to your Argument essay. Each essay is given two independent ratings then averaged. According to the official GMAT website, one rating may be determined by an automated essay-scoring machine. If the two ratings differ by more than one point, another evaluation is required to determine the final score. If for any reason you believe your AWA score is inaccurate, you may request that your essays be rescored using the Essay Rescore Request Form.

When you schedule your GMAT appointment you will be asked to indicate if you wish to access your Official Score Report online or in the mail. Unofficial scores for the multiple-choice section are available immediately after the test. You will receive your official scores within 20 days of testing. It is usually faster to receive them online and if you opt to do so keep your authorization number from your unofficial score report. You will need this number to access your online score report.

As for the multiple-choice sections, at the beginning of each section the computer will present a question in the middle range of difficulty. If the question is answered correctly, the next question will be harder and the score will adjust upwards. If the question is answered incorrectly, the next question will be easier and the score will adjust downwards. The computer is constantly recalculating the scaled score as the student progresses through the section to determine the precise ability of the test-taker.  While the total scaled score ranges from 200 to 800, approximately two-thirds of test takers score between 400 and 600.

The most recent tables, as well as more tables like the ones you see here, can be found on mba.com here.



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Vivian Kerr is a regular contributor to the Veritas Prep blog, providing tips and tricks to help students better prepare for the GMAT and the SAT. 

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