How GMAT Scores are Calculated

Because the GMAT is a computer-adaptive test, your verbal and quantitative scores aren't based just on the number of questions you get right.

The scores are based on three factors.

  1. The difficulty of the questions you answer: The questions become more difficult as you continue to answer correctly, so getting tough questions means you are doing well on the test.
  2. The number of questions you answer: If you don't get to all the questions in the verbal and quantitative sections, your score is reduced by the proportion of questions you didn't answer. For example, if you fail to answer 5 of the 37 quantitative questions, your raw score would be reduced by 13 percent and your percentile rank may go from the 90th percentile to the 75th percentile.
  3. The number of questions you answer correctly: In addition to scoring based on how difficult the questions are, the GMAT score also reflects your ability to answer those questions correctly.

Verbal and Quantitative Scores

Verbal and Quantitative sections are scored on a scale of 0 to 60, with scores below 6 or above 51 extremely rare. The Total GMAT score ranges from 200 to 800 and is based on your performance in these two sections.

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) Score

The Analytical Writing Assessment consists of one writing tasks: Analysis of an Argument. Essays are scored on a 6-point scale, with 6 being the highest score and 1, the lowest. A score of zero (0) is given to responses that are off-topic, are in a foreign language, merely attempt to copy the topic, consist only of keystroke characters, or are blank.

Two independent readers separately score your writing assignment on a scale from 0 to 6, with 6 being the top score. Your final score is the average of the scores from each of the readers. If the two readers assigned to your writing task give you scores that differ by more than one point, a third reader is assigned to adjudicate. For example, if one reader gives you a 6 and the other gives you a 4, a third reader will also review your essay.

Integrated Reasoning Score

Like the score you receive for the analytical-writing section, your integrated-reasoning score has no influence on your overall GMAT score, which consists of the combination of only your quantitative-reasoning and verbal-reasoning scores. Based on your performance in the IR section, your raw score is converted to a scaled score that ranges in whole numbers from 1 to 8 and is recorded separately from all the other scores.

MBA programs decide how they use your IR score and may choose to disregard it altogether. Generally, if you receive a score of 4, 5, or 6, you have done a respectable job answering the integrated reasoning questions.

GMAT Final Score Report

Your final GMAT score consists of separate verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, integrated reasoning, and analytical writing assessment scores and a combined verbal and quantitative score.

When you are finished with the test, or when your time is up, the computer immediately calculates your verbal and quantitative scores and provides them to you in an unofficial score report. You will have a separate scaled score from 0 to 60 for the verbal and quantitative sections. The two scores are added together and converted to a scaled score ranging between 200 and 800. The mean total score falls slightly above 500.

You won’t see your integrated reasoning and analytical writing assessment scores immediately after the test. These scores are included in the official score report that is available online about 20 days after you take the exam.

Neither the AWA nor the integrated reasoning score affect your total GMAT score in any way. Both scores are reported separately, and each MBA program decides how to use them in their admissions decisions.

The GMAT Score Report has the following components:

  • Quantitative Score (0 - 60), with percentile
  • Verbal Score (0 - 60), with percentile
  • Total GMAT Score (Quant + Verbal) (200 - 800), with percentile
  • AWA Score (half-integers from 0 to 6), with percentile
  • Integrated Reasoning Score (integer from 1 to 8)

Percentile Ranking

You are also given a percentile ranking in both the Verbal and Quant sections. This percentile corresponds to the percentage of people whose score is lower than yours. For example, if you are at the 90th percentile, this means you scored better than 90% of the population taking the exam. This percentile is based on the last three years of GMAT scoring.