GMAT arms race: stats from top schools

5 million's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,853

Looked through top mba class profiles and it looks like a lot of averages for class 2019 went up again substantially:

Stanford 737
HBS 730
Kellogg 732
Columbia 724
Booth 730
Yale 730
Wharton 730
Sloan 722
Tuck 722
Haas 725
UCLA 716
Stern 714
Ross 716
Darden 713

Stanford GMAT throughout time:
Stanford

Importance of GMAT (no idea how old this is): Importance

Comments (91)

Dec 27, 2017

fairly good scores for mediocre VPs at F500 paper mill plants. That's what a lot of the MBAs will amount to.

    • 1
    • 2
Dec 27, 2017

To be honest, I'll gladly be a mediocre F500 VP if it means at least $250k base and working ~50hrs per week.

Dec 27, 2017

I worked at a f500 company in FP&A/Corp Dev (doing yearly budgeting at individual salary level) non-coastal location. Most topped out at 170 with 15% bonus for AVP, VP, Director, SVP. Division heads would hit the $220-$300 range though (like 45-55 year old with 20 years industry experience).

Dec 27, 2017

Do you have a better chance of acceptance if you are black? I know for md/do they have the urm designation and it makes a big difference.

So like a 720 for a non urm would be a 701 for urm

    • 1
Dec 27, 2017

i don't think it's as simple as saying a URM needs 19 points lower on GMAT but all else equal, it is easier to get in as a URM and/or female given the supply/demand dynamics

Free Consultation

Vantage Point MBA's clients are accepted to the top MBA programs at a 3x higher rate than the average acceptance rates. Request a consultation with their team to learn how they can help you gain admission to your dream schools. Learn more.

Dec 27, 2017

booth class of 2019 average GMAT is 730 not 715 (https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time)

Dec 27, 2017
Frank Slaughtery:

booth class of 2019 average GMAT is 730 not 715 (https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time)

This one, for whatever reason, says 715:
https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/qu...
And yeah I thought 715 is low for Booth.

Dec 27, 2017

That's clearly some sort of broken page. Frank's link is the current one on the website.

Best Response
Dec 27, 2017

It's a joke anyways. A complete scam. They let you take the test as many times as you like and the schools only consider the top scores. You get people who take the test 10x until they get a favorable result. The rankings only care about the posted number. The average scores continue to rise, GMAC makes more and more money, but the value of the signal (high score) only declines.

    • 17
Dec 28, 2017

There is a limit. The limit is 5x in 12 months and 8 times lifetime.

    • 3
Dec 27, 2017

I didn't know this. Looks like it was implemented in 2016. Thanks for the correction.

Jan 3, 2018

Eight times is pretty high though. Surely you would've reached your "peak GMAT" score before eight tries.

Dec 28, 2017

I've argued this before, that firms are going to start asking for how many times someone has taken the gmat. I would certainly look askew at someone who took it more than twice.

    • 1
Dec 29, 2017

and why would anyone ever tell you they took it more than 1x if they cancelled their score? this question would get you nowhere lol

    • 3
    • 1
Jan 6, 2018

Still, you are on point. Because somebody may take the test 5 times and scores above 700's, and somebody else with only one try at 650 will be overlooked! That does not make any sense!

Dec 28, 2017

This upwards trend has been going on for a long time. Nothing new.

Granted, it'll be truly ridiculous when the average score across the top 10 is 760.

US News could end this nonsense overnight by reducing the weight given to GMAT and GPA in its ranking process.

Dec 28, 2017

Schools can easily increase their average GMAT scores by just accepting more people that took the GRE.

    • 1
Dec 28, 2017

If I had to guess, schools will be ranked on GRE as well within the next couple years. The secrets out on using that instead of the GMAT...

Dec 31, 2017

GRE is already weighted in USnews

Dec 30, 2017

If I took the GRE and scored well (334; 170/170 quant, 97th percentile, 164/170 verbal, 94th percentile), would it be worth taking the GMAT if I want to go to b-school and think I can score equivalently well (~750-770ish)? It would take some preparation but I'm confident I could score highly, but I'm not sure how much using the GMAT vs. the GRE will improve my application.

Thanks a lot! Any advice is much appreciated.

Dec 30, 2017

We'd need more details about your GPA and Work Experience

Also depends on which schools you apply to, as some accept way more GRE takers than others.

Dec 30, 2017

Thanks for the reply - I had a 3.7 from a top 15 school (math major + econ minor), and I'm working as a trader at a top quant trading firm. Good extracurriculars. I'm hoping to apply to M7 schools, with HSW being reaches but hopefully still possible.

Thanks!

Dec 27, 2017

If you can score a 770+ on the GMAT, it provides a boost in recruiting through OCR, especially for IB/Consulting. GRE doesn't provide the same benefit, but it won't handicap you. That being said, it's definitely diminishing returns at this point.

Dec 27, 2017
BreakingOutOfPWM:

If you can score a 770+ on the GMAT, it provides a boost in recruiting through OCR, especially for IB/Consulting. GRE doesn't provide the same benefit, but it won't handicap you. That being said, it's definitely diminishing returns at this point.

So you're required to list GMAT for consulting and IB recruiting?

Jan 3, 2018

If you're a white or Asian male working in finance, don't even think about applying to M7 unless you crack 750. I'm exaggerating a bit, but in all seriousness, the bar is that much higher.

Jan 3, 2018

As a graduate of a top-25 part-time MBA program, I think they will only continue to grow in popularity. Not only did I not have to dedicate 1.5 years of my life to the GMAT to get a 750, but the total expenses were 1/3rd of the full-time program.

    • 1
    • 1
Jan 3, 2018

I know this is a tangent but did you use that part-time MBA to switch careers?

Jan 3, 2018

Yes. Went from financial consulting to IB.

Jan 3, 2018
LifeInTheMM:

As a graduate of a top-25 part-time MBA program, I think they will only continue to grow in popularity. Not only did I not have to dedicate 1.5 years of my life to the GMAT to get a 750, but the total expenses were 1/3rd of the full-time program.

I think 1-year MBAs, part-time MBAs, and specialized masters programs such as CS, finance, machine learning, etc., will be on the rise. The full-time 2-year MBA program is fine if you want to do consulting, banking, F500, but if you're looking for something outside the traditional OCR path, not sure how much value it really adds.

    • 1
Jan 6, 2018
Rufus1234:
LifeInTheMM:

As a graduate of a top-25 part-time MBA program, I think they will only continue to grow in popularity. Not only did I not have to dedicate 1.5 years of my life to the GMAT to get a 750, but the total expenses were 1/3rd of the full-time program.

I think 1-year MBAs, part-time MBAs, and specialized masters programs such as CS, finance, machine learning, etc., will be on the rise. The full-time 2-year MBA program is fine if you want to do consulting, banking, F500, but if you're looking for something outside the traditional OCR path, not sure how much value it really adds.

Two year full time MBAs make a lot of sense if you're making a big career shift or you really want IB/tech/MBB. Otherwise I agree, a 1 year MBA or part time degree makes much more sense.

    • 2
    • 1
Free Consultation

Vantage Point MBA's clients are accepted to the top MBA programs at a 3x higher rate than the average acceptance rates. Request a consultation with their team to learn how they can help you gain admission to your dream schools. Learn more.

Jan 3, 2018

Anyone have a link for the 25%-75% ranges in easy list form like this?

Jan 5, 2018

Current CBS student here.. the GMAT arms race is getting a bit ridiculous. My classmates know who the bright/successful students are, and I don't think knowledge of their GMAT score would change how anyone is viewed. That being said, it's hard for me to assess how important it is in admissions. My employment/undergrad profile was weak, but I had a 760 (along with CFA/CPA, good essays, a lot of effort/visits/student chats, etc.) and got in. So who's to say? I usually advise students to shoot for their school's average, especially if you're an American white/Asian/Indian male. If you're a female, URM, or int'l, hitting the average isn't as important I wouldn't think. (Hint: focus on VERBAL.. an improved verbal score boosts your overall score a lot faster than an improved quant score, and an improved quant score can take months of painful studying)

Also, you may find this interesting... we are advised to disclose our GMAT score on our resumes if its above 700. I am not sure how much employers weight your score (I'm sure each industry is different). That being said, a surprising # of AM shops, especially hedge funds, request a breakout of your SAT score.. yes, you heard that right.. SATs, in addition to your GMAT breakout. So some employers must value your test scores to some extent.

Dec 27, 2017

anyone who is super bright should be able to get a 730+ if they put in the time

Jan 6, 2018

Yeah, but most people aren't super bright?

    • 1
Jan 6, 2018

Whats the rough percentage of student that go in to finance/IBD? I know that it declines year on year. What will come first, banks recruiting at lower tier schools or MBA associate programmes being phased out?

Dec 28, 2017

Depends on the school. IME a lot of people are actually interested in studying finance, but only a small number of people actually want to do ibanking for the many reasons we all know.

Jan 7, 2018
TommyGunn:

Whats the rough percentage of student that go in to finance/IBD? I know that it declines year on year. What will come first, banks recruiting at lower tier schools or MBA associate programmes being phased out?

I've seen grads from Penn State MBA land BB Associate positions. I don't know if you consider PSU a "lower tier" school.

IMO they will rely on A2A promotions more. I for one, am interested in going to banking post B School.

Jan 7, 2018

after reading these numbers i have to feel like there is some underground organization that takes the test for you.... because these stats are getting ridiculous.

Jan 7, 2018

Banking and consulting look for 700+ gmat scores as quick measures of intellectual horse power. A 760 is clearly more impressive than a 710 but it would rarely be used as a differentiating factor in the hiring process (esp if both candidates went to top schools). Also, many top schools have grade non-disclosure policies so it is frowned upon to include your GPA although you can disclose it if asked.

UG GPA is usually given as a cumulative number with difficulty of major taken into account. I've never been asked to break out my course grades during an interview.

Jan 7, 2018

Banks and consulting firms will ask for your gmat scores most of the time, and sometimes may ask for your undergrad GPA.

But keep in mind that they do so just to gather additional data point - it's hardly a determining factor (i.e. they're not going to hire you over someone else just because you had a 740, and the other guy had a 680).

Alex Chu

Jan 7, 2018

i felt they were more interested in your UG school, general work experience, extra-curriculars/accomplishments, and presentation (i thought this was a key deciding factor... how polished are you and can you clearly/effectively communicate your thoughts/ideas). along with this is a basic understanding of finance/accounting.

Jan 7, 2018

I certainly hope hiring firms take GMAT, UG school, and difficulty of major into account. I'm entering a top-15 program this fall with a 770 GMAT, but a weak 2.97 UG GPA (Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell). The GPA is really the only blemish on my record, but it kept me out of the three M7 schools I applied to (at least that's what I think kept me out). As a career changer - blue chip engineering experience seeking M/B/B or BB I-Banking - I hope it won't continue to hold me back 6+ years on from UG.

Jan 7, 2018

Grades don't matter that much and neither do gmat scores. Not being a tool bag is what really matters. Do some self reflection and if you're honest with yourself and you're not a douche, you'll get a good job. If you have great scores and all that worthless crap and you don't get the job you want... then you're obviously a douche.

Jan 7, 2018
x35109:

Grades don't matter that much and neither do gmat scores. Not being a tool bag is what really matters. Do some self reflection and if you're honest with yourself and you're not a douche, you'll get a good job. If you have great scores and all that worthless crap and you don't get the job you want... then you're obviously a douche.

You're a douche and you got a job.

Jan 7, 2018

i guess Temple University has been focussing its entrance requirements on the ability to determine someone's relative douche bag status.

too bad for you other schools didn't regard that ability as highly.

good luck getting a job from Temple.... my dry cleaning is piling up, i'll give you 50 cents to drop it off for me

Jan 7, 2018

I went to a state school because my family was poor - In fact, I financed my education by doing a tour in the Army. But it's cool that you're dad cut you a check.

Jan 7, 2018

i was an infantry officer in the army before b-school. try again stud... oh yeah, and put a "sir" on the end of that next time.

Jan 7, 2018
x35109:

i was an infantry officer in the army before b-school. try again stud... oh yeah, and put a "sir" on the end of that next time.

just when i thought it couldn't get any better...

Jan 7, 2018

Unless of course you're just an older grad. I suppose 73/83/etc. had the same handles...

Jan 7, 2018

bump...can someone comment on how this has changed in the last three years?

Jan 7, 2018

same, i think -- MBB and some other firms purely look for 700+ gmats, and finance places want solidly high quant scores... i know that the schools will focus more on your quant than your verbal if youre going for finance as well

Jan 7, 2018

Thanks a lot Short, I figured as much.

I know that people usually get blasted on here for such questions (and I tend to agree), but what about a 720 with a 46q (77%)...I can't imagine anyone recommend that I retake the gmat for the 80%+ in q, but will not having that actually hinder some chances? - (not for trading or HF, but for banking).

Are scores acutally a first screener, or just part of the interview questioning?

And are some firms bigger on this than others? I've heard GS, JPM, and MCK are the toughest with scores (730+ and 80/80) any truth?

Thanks guys

Jan 7, 2018

are you sure a 46 is a 77? i have a 48 and its 82 so i think a 46 is 73 or so, isnt it?

i think you should be fine with that, i dont know how insanely picky the b schools are though to be honest.. i know the 'first' hurdle is the 7-- handle on your score and then 2nd they want 80%+, but dont know how stingy theyd be with that.. 700 is the first minimum score you can get for the 80/80 ( 82/83, booyaaaaaaa) , ive never heard the 730 thing only the 7 and 80/80 splits... first for hiring, the latter more so for recruiting..

Jan 7, 2018

Nice split

hmmm maybe it was a 47? or a 46 at 75%....test was a few years back, so a 46 was a little higher then 73% back then.

Sounds good, I'm not too worried about it - just something to think about. And just to be clear - I'm not interested in apps anymore (already admitted) - just recruiting for IB.

Jan 7, 2018

They're valid for 5 years after the exam date. Your call on taking it now v. later. A few of my friends did what you are proposing and just got it out of the way. If you anticipate a light course load and have some time to fully prep, might not be a bad idea.

Jan 7, 2018

I took it right after graduation. Taking it earlier than later is definitely a good idea, since being in the work force for a couple years definitely takes you out of the "academic mindset".

Founder, Volunteer Forever
http://www.volunteerforever.com

Jan 7, 2018
swbluedevil:

I took it right after graduation. Taking it earlier than later is definitely a good idea, since being in the work force for a couple years definitely takes you out of the "academic mindset".

A lot of people at my bank took it right after graduation, before training started. Some banks will actually pay for your prep course (mine does), so if you want to take a course and don't want to pay the $1500, the option might be there.

Jan 7, 2018

If you have time right now, why not? Analyst life ain't easy...

Jan 7, 2018

If you have the time then definitely take them during school. If you are a reasonably intelligent person, which you must be in you got a gig at BB, then a couple months of GMAT prep will fine for you. Scoring over 700 (or 750) on the GMAT is really a product of putting in a couple months of practice. Once you understand the various types of questions and get some practice on the timing & setup then you will do fine. I would recommend buying some of the gmat prep books (GMAT 800 and Manhattan Prep for Quant) rather than paying $1000 bucks for a Kaplan course. The Kaplan courses are very basic and don't really touch on the difficult questions that make the difference between 650 and 700.

good luck

Jan 7, 2018

If you have the time then definitely take them during school. If you are a reasonably intelligent person, which you must be if you got a gig at BB, then a couple months of GMAT prep will fine for you. Scoring over 700 (or 750) on the GMAT is really a product of putting in a couple months of practice. Once you understand the various types of questions and get some practice on the timing & setup then you will do fine. I would recommend buying some of the gmat prep books (GMAT 800 and Manhattan Prep for Quant) rather than paying $1000 bucks for a Kaplan course. The Kaplan courses are very basic and don't really touch on the difficult questions that make the difference between 650 and 700.

good luck

Jan 7, 2018

Thanks for you comments all. mtones9 recommended "GMAT 800" and "Manhattan Prep for Quant." Does anyone else have any specific titles that they would recommend?

Jan 7, 2018

The Manhattan GMAT sentence correction book is golden.

Founder, Volunteer Forever
http://www.volunteerforever.com

Jan 7, 2018

places generally wont take applicants who already have an MBA.

Jan 7, 2018
Jimbo:

places generally wont take applicants who already have an MBA.

Do you know that based upon fact? I know a couple of people who've gotten a second MBA because their first wasn't reputable. One got one at Columbia one got one at Wharton..

Either you sling crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot

Jan 7, 2018
ChimpUSMC:

As you all know that I was in the military and completed my MBA already. However, I have numerous friends that are exiting the service with an MBA. Many including myself are re-thinking of going back to B-school just to get into better programs. That would also most likely mean better school.

Do you have info on attractive GMAT score to get into NYU, COLUMBIA, and WHARTON.

...and do you think that the extra military experience can offset a lower GMAT score?

Where did you complete your MBA?

Have you already applied to places and been rejected, or not?

Jan 7, 2018

This post belongs under business school barrage, not ibanking discussion.

Jan 7, 2018

well i stand corrected then

Jan 7, 2018

Median scores for Stanford, HBS and Wharton are ~710-720. We had a Kaplan tutor who came into the office for GMAT prep and explained this bar varies based on demographics. Not to sound racist or sexist, but the instructor bluntly explained that a white male from consulting / IB should be closer to 750 for safety's sake. Personally, I had originally aimed for a lower "target" GMAT score of ~700, and only tried for a higher score in an effort to win a bet against an associate in my class - I was happy with a 770, but still lost out to her 800 (she also had better essay scores)

Jan 7, 2018
smuguy97:

Personally, I had originally aimed for a lower "target" GMAT score of ~700, and only tried for a higher score in an effort to win a bet against an associate in my class - I was happy with a 770, but still lost out to her 800 (she also had better essay scores)

How much preparation did you do, did the girl at least let you sleep with her for the 770? I hope.
You two could make babies that score 785 ceteris paribus.