The answer to this question is always necessarily vague because the GMAT score is not the lone determinant of admission. The simple answer is a “good” score is the score that makes you a contender for the school to which you want to go. The more complex answer is a “good” score is one that reflects your preparation and level of commitment to the b-school application process. Submitting “good” scores will demonstrate that you are serious about applying and aware of the impact of your score.

A “good” GMAT score alone will not get you admitted; however, a below average score can be an unnecessary roadblock, particularly if you do not have considerable and unique accomplishments to offset the sub-par score. It is significantly more difficult for an admissions officer to persuade colleagues to admit a candidate with a 400 than it is to persuade them to admit a candidate with a 570, 590, or 620. At top 10 business schools, the range of scores is generally above the 85th percentile (~640). Consider the following scores, the corresponding percentiles, and how your score compares.

Total (200 – 800) Percent of US test-takers below score
540 50%
610 75%
650 85%
710 95%

The number you should be most concerned with as it regards GMAT scores is the range of GMAT scores that encompass the middle 50 to 80 percent of recently accepted candidates for a given school. In this light, a “good” GMAT score is the one that places you firmly within that range, comparing you favorably to other applicants with similar qualifications. To get a better understanding of what will be a good score, you should generate a list of prospective business schools or programs and find out their published GMAT ranges for recently accepted candidates. Virtually every business school in the country publishes this information (along with average GPA and average number of years work experience). For more information browse the web or visit the websites of the schools or programs you’re considering.

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