SAT to GMAT Score Correlation

cellphonebill's picture
Rank: Monkey | 47

The only real correlation between how you do on these tests is your aptitude as a standardized test taker. If you are a good test taker, that will definitely help you with the GMAT.

How Well does the SAT Predict Your GMAT Score?

Unlike what some people believe, the GMAT isn't easy and in more cases requires preparation and studying in order to get the best possible score. Our users explain the comparisons between the GMAT and the SAT below. The main take aways are that the GMAT questions are designed to be more confusing and difficult than the SAT.

theATL:

You scored well on the SAT which means that you have the ability to score well on the GMAT, but it depends on a few factors:

  1. Did you study a ton for the SAT or not at all? And if you did study, will you put the same prep time into the GMAT?
  2. Do you understand the data sufficiency questions? The GMAT is the only exam that asks you data sufficiency on the quantitative section, so it trips many people up.
  3. Did you score well on the math portion of the SAT because of a calculator? Because if that is the case you better start practicing your mental math.

Basically, while the overall idea of the tests are similar the questions are actually fairly different. And you have to learn some of the tricks of GMAT problems.

Take a GMAT prep exam for free (through www . mba . com site) and it will at least give you a score so you have an idea of where you stand.

Keep in mind the percentiles on the GMAT quantitative section are very skewed. A 51 is 98%, while a 50 is only 93%, while in verbal a 42 is 92%. Conclusion = it takes a lot to score well on the quant section.

TNA:

would still study for the GMAT. It isn't that the questions are incredibly hard, but the way they ask them and the way they want the answers are unique. It is also important to do well at the start rather than get x out of y number of questions correct.

Affirmative_Action_Walrus:

GMAT is def harder than SAT. Not b/c the theory is harder, but b/c the test maker is deliberately trying to trick you. I recall the SAT being less malicious and more straightforward. To me, the SAT is of comparable difficulty to the GRE

If you want another indicator of how well you might do on the exam, Kaplan offers a GMAT score estimator on their website based on a short quiz.

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Comments (72)

Feb 9, 2010

My take:

You scored well on the SAT which means that you have the ability to score well on the GMAT, but it depends on a few factors:

1) Did you study a ton for the SAT or not at all? And if you did study, will you put the same prep time into the GMAT?
2) Do you understand the data sufficiency questions? The GMAT is the only exam that asks you data sufficiency on the quantitative section, so it trips many people up.
3) Did you score well on the math portion of the SAT because of a calculator? Because if that is the case you better start practicing your mental math.

Basically, while the overall idea of the tests are similar the questions are actually fairly different. You won't see any analogies on the GMAT (I guess those were removed from the new SAT exams?). And you have to learn some of the tricks of GMAT problems.

Have you taken a practice GMAT? Or are you basing your "the math is easy" on some random problems you found online? Take a GMAT prep exam for free (through www . mba . com site) and it will at least give you a score so you have an idea of where you stand.

Keep in mind the percentiles on the GMAT quantitative section are very skewed. A 51 is 98%, while a 50 is only 93%, while in verbal a 42 is 92%. Conclusion = it takes a lot to score well on the quant section.

Feb 9, 2010

I would bet that you will score very well on the gmat. It is very similar to sat, though it is conducted on a computer and you get no calculator.

Feb 9, 2010

cash cow couldn't be more wrong

KICKIN ASS AND TAKING NAMES

Feb 9, 2010
BudFox24:

cash cow couldn't be more wrong

You couldn't be more wrong, it's the same damn test basically. Math is slightly harder, and then there is LR which you can just read some LSAT books for. If you got below a 750 on the real thing I'd be shocked. I got a 214 on my PSAT and 740 on the GMAT for example.

Feb 9, 2010

I would still study for the GMAT. It isn't that the questions are incredibly hard, but the way they ask them and the way they want the answers are unique. It is also important to do well at the start rather than get x out of y number of questions correct.

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Feb 9, 2010

GMAT is def harder than SAT

not b/c the theory is harder, but b/c the test maker is deliberately trying to trick you

I recall the SAT being less malicious and more straightforward.

To me, the SAT is of comparable difficulty to the GRE

Feb 10, 2010

LSAT is a closer resemblance to GMAT and GMAT math is well - GMAT math. If you do well on the LSAT you're golden for the GMAT because GMAT math isn't too hard. If you took all your math courses in HS and university, you should start out 43+ on math. It's not too hard to go up to the requisite 46-49. The people that are in trouble are people that need to improve 10+ points on both math and verbal.

Feb 21, 2010
kennethlchen:

LSAT is a closer resemblance to GMAT and GMAT math is well - GMAT math. If you do well on the LSAT you're golden for the GMAT because GMAT math isn't too hard. If you took all your math courses in HS and university, you should start out 43+ on math. It's not too hard to go up to the requisite 46-49. The people that are in trouble are people that need to improve 10+ points on both math and verbal.

I don't know about this. I scored well on the LSAT (98th percentile) and I majored in Econ with a minor in Math. Took three semesters of calc, linear algebra, PDE and prob theory, with a 4.0 in my math and econ classes. I've always been strong at math, but I just took a practice GMAT and scored a 30 in math. I only answered 19 math questions (dwelled for a while on questions and took it at night), only got 3 of them wrong. Not sure if this is just a timing issue though.

Feb 21, 2010
michelfoucault:
kennethlchen:

LSAT is a closer resemblance to GMAT and GMAT math is well - GMAT math. If you do well on the LSAT you're golden for the GMAT because GMAT math isn't too hard. If you took all your math courses in HS and university, you should start out 43+ on math. It's not too hard to go up to the requisite 46-49. The people that are in trouble are people that need to improve 10+ points on both math and verbal.

I don't know about this. I scored well on the LSAT (98th percentile) and I majored in Econ with a minor in Math. Took three semesters of calc, linear algebra, PDE and prob theory, with a 4.0 in my math and econ classes. I've always been strong at math, but I just took a practice GMAT and scored a 30 in math. I only answered 19 math questions (dwelled for a while on questions and took it at night), only got 3 of them wrong. Not sure if this is just a timing issue though.

Ya, Personally I think the GMAT is nothing but a huge money making scam. You obviously know enough math to succeed in any MBA program yet according to the GMAT you are a moron. Total BS. GMAT math is totally different from anything you have ever seen because of the ridiculous way they ask you to answer the questions.

Feb 12, 2010

i don't think there is much of a correlation between SAT verbal skills and GMAT verbal.

GMAT verbal has 3 sections:

reading comprehension (ok i guess this is like the SAT)
logical reasoning (like LSAT)
sentence correction (grammar rules, is this on the SAT?)

there are no tough vocabulary problems. trust me, i have a terrible vocabulary but yet nailed the GMAT verbal.

Feb 22, 2010

Just to qualify my academic record, I did not get my degree from a noteworthy school. And I took the GMAT cold, (and didn't know how much you are penalized when you dwell on a question). My third question was ridiculous:

n is an even positive integer. h(n) is a function that multiplies the even integers consecutively from 2 up to n. the smallest prime factor of h(100)+1 is:

1) between 2 and 10
2) between 10 and 20
3) between 20 and 30
4) between 30 and 40
5) greater than 40

Took like 8 minutes and didn't get anywhere, wtf.

But I generally agree, its ridiculous that someone with my background would have to put so much effort to prove his quant ability. But maybe there are engineers from MIT who see the above question and with no prep laugh, solve, and move on.

Feb 22, 2010
michelfoucault:

Just to qualify my academic record, I did not get my degree from a noteworthy school. And I took the GMAT cold, (and didn't know how much you are penalized when you dwell on a question). My third question was ridiculous:

n is an even positive integer. h(n) is a function that multiplies the even integers consecutively from 2 up to n. the smallest prime factor of h(100)+1 is:

1) between 2 and 10
2) between 10 and 20
3) between 20 and 30
4) between 30 and 40
5) greater than 40

Took like 8 minutes and didn't get anywhere, wtf.
But I generally agree, its ridiculous that someone with my background would have to put so much effort to prove his quant ability. But maybe there are engineers from MIT who see the above question and with no prep laugh, solve, and move on.

your timing is def what got you. you didn't finish half the section- no wonder you only got a 30.

limit yourself to 2 mins per question- even if you have to guess on a couple of hard ones every now and then, you will still get a high score

also, i would guess e, greater than 40

Feb 22, 2010
michelfoucault:

Just to qualify my academic record, I did not get my degree from a noteworthy school. And I took the GMAT cold, (and didn't know how much you are penalized when you dwell on a question). My third question was ridiculous:

n is an even positive integer. h(n) is a function that multiplies the even integers consecutively from 2 up to n. the smallest prime factor of h(100)+1 is:

1) between 2 and 10
2) between 10 and 20
3) between 20 and 30
4) between 30 and 40
5) greater than 40

Took like 8 minutes and didn't get anywhere, wtf.

But I generally agree, its ridiculous that someone with my background would have to put so much effort to prove his quant ability. But maybe there are engineers from MIT who see the above question and with no prep laugh, solve, and move on.

Why is this a hard question? Just think about the meaning of factor... if you put h(100)+1 over that number it has to divide both parts or sum to an integer (like 1/3 + 2/3)... basically h(x) is 2^x*x! so all numbers up to x divide h(x) therefore it will be 1/whatever number so it has to be bigger than 50... which is bigger than 40 so e

Although I admit... I come from a pretty strong math background so maybe I just see this stuff

Feb 22, 2010

Get a couple GMAT books and it will become relatively easy. GMAT math is tricky in its wording. I personally feel that if schools are going to require people to take it then the test ought to be free or highly subsidized. I cannot imagine the amount of money the GMAC makes off of all the books, prep classes and everything else. What is really sad is schools almost can't accept people with otherwise amazing admission packages who score low on the GMAT because it will lower the overall average and make the school look bad.

Feb 22, 2010

I think people do use the level of logical reasoning portrayed in the arguments section. and I think there are areas of law that would require strong deductive reasoning skills, they prob just wouldnt take the straightforward form of the logical puzzles.

Best Response
Feb 22, 2010

Anecdotal info -
Best SAT: 1230/1600 (83rd percentile)
Best GMAT: 720/800 (95th percentile)

My take on it is people develop over time. I think I grew intellectually from age 17 (SAT age) to 24 (GMAT age). I think that is the case for a lot of people. I also tried a lot harder on the GMAT since I wasnt working on other academic studies at the same time, so I was able to study a lot more for the GMAT. I think people fall into 3 areas:

1) Naturally good test takers & extremely smart (I HATE YOU--j/k)
2) Shitty test takers but hard-work/study types who improve after months of prep and practice exams
3) Shitty test takers and can't absorb knowledge enough to see an improvement regardless of study

    • 2
Mar 26, 2018

Quite unusual - I hear anecdotally that a 720 is comparable to a top 1% score on the SAT

Feb 22, 2010

sorry its x/2 but u probably know what i mean

Feb 22, 2010
qweretyq:

sorry its x/2 but u probably know what i mean

no i don't can u try and explain that again.

Feb 22, 2010

A much better explanation. Funny how it's the top google hit.

http://www.beatthegmat.com/gmat-prep-q-t14339.html

Feb 23, 2010
cj88:

A much better explanation. Funny how it's the top google hit.

http://www.beatthegmat.com/gmat-prep-q-t14339.html

lol I love how the first poster (supposedly an "instructor") got it completely wrong.

Feb 22, 2010

damn, I guess after doing tons of questions id become comfortable enough to get more of those kind of questions.

Feb 22, 2010

yea sorry im not good at explaining... i kinda just "see" this stuff

Feb 22, 2010
qweretyq:

yea sorry im not good at explaining... i kinda just "see" this stuff

I kinda just "see" socially awkward over-represented minorities. Hey, I just saw one!

    • 2
Feb 22, 2010

How do you know I'm a minority?

Feb 23, 2010

my own experience

psat with no prep - 220
sat with 6 weeks prep - 2390
gmat with 1 day prep - 760

after adjusting for the amount of prep, there is a very high level of correlation

Feb 23, 2010

I think most people do.

Obviously the tests are pretty different, but for the most part my standardized test scores fall into a fairly narrow band.

Feb 23, 2010

A general rule of thumb is that your gmat score will be about half of your SAT score (based on 1600, i.e. 1400 SAT = 700 GMAT). The GMAT is similar to the SAT in that it tests elementary math concepts (arith, geo, algebra, limited stats and combi/perms), reading comp, critical thinking and sentence correction. I would say the only glaring difference is data sufficiency, which is easy once you get used to the format. I predict that you score 730 on your GMAT based on your math score.

Feb 23, 2010

The two tests are very different. The SATs are a "static" test that require you to know math formulas and apply them directly. The verbal portion tests your vocabulary and therefore is partially a word memorization exercise. GMAT on the other had not only requires you to know math formulas, but at the higher levels it tests your ability to manipulate the formulas -- basically testing if you really understand the concepts rather than just doing a plug and play. The GMAT verbal is less about memorization (although you need to memorize grammar rules) and more about mental "logic" --- deciphering meaning and constructing/deconstruction arguments.

Personally, my GMATs were a substantial improvement over my SATs, but I also didn't study for the SATs while I did study for the GMATs -- so not really a fair comparison.

    • 1
Feb 23, 2010

Agree with CompBanker, it really depends on your preparation. I also didn't study for the SATs and while my score was alright, my GMAT score was much higher comparatively since I spent more time practicing and learning how to solve the math problems at a quick pace. Overall I would say the two tests have little in common. I used the kaplan online course (I see no need to pay extra to attend classes in person, but that's my opinion) which was helpful. I've heard that manhattan GMAT is a good option as well.

Feb 23, 2010

There is by no means a correlation between how well you do on the SAT (during mid high school) and the GMAT (at the earliest end of college, and, more likely, a few years into your career). As stated before, they are different tests and taken at different ages under different mind sets, etc. Personally, my GMAT was a big improvement over my SAT, but I didn't do any studying at all for the SAT and I did study for the GMAT.

In terms of prep, it really depends on where you are score-wise. If you are scoring in the 500s and 600s, Princeton review might be find, but if you are trying to jump from the 600s to 700s and not having luck with basic materials, move on to either Veritas or Manhattan (I know a few people who used Manhattan GMAT with success). Here's an article discussing the tests and the scores you should be shooting for: http://www.bankonbanking.com/2010/07/07/sats-gmats...

Feb 23, 2010

Thanks guys, appreciate it.

Feb 23, 2010
findingmyway:

I'm about to start studying for the GMAT, but wanted to get a feeling for how people improved from their SAT's. If people could post their SAT and GMAT results and what test prep they used for GMAT I would be very appreciative. Thanks in advance.

I never studied for the SATs, and my score was horrible (1100's). After only a couple weeks of studying for the GMAT I was in the high 600's on practice tests.

Feb 23, 2010

670 R, 710 M, 730 W on SAT
690 GMAT, 40V, 44Q, 6.0 AWA on GMAT

Basically the same score.

I self-studied GMAT (using MGMAT Guides, OG Guides and GMAT Club Practice Problems) and didn't take any practice tests so I'm not surprised my scores did not improve.

Feb 23, 2010

[quote=LIBOR]670 R, 710 M, 730 W on SAT
690 GMAT, 40V, 44Q, 6.0 AWA on GMAT

Basically the same score.

I self-studied GMAT (using MGMAT Guides, OG Guides and GMAT Club Practice Problems) and didn't take any practice tests so I'm not surprised my scores did not improve.[/quote

How old are you? If you took the new SAT and have already taken the GMAT you must have gotten a pretty early start...

Feb 23, 2010
  1. Took GMAT 2 months ago (Senior in college) to get it over with since scores are good for 5 years
Feb 23, 2010

I also took the new SAT and the GMAT. Scored a 2080 on the SAT (1400 math and verbal) and then got a 760 on the GMAT. I'm 23, I took the GMAT early just to know where I stood, I think it was a good call and would highly recommend others to do the same. My score will keep as long as I apply to B-schools within the next two years or so, which I will.

It's all about mindset and preparation. Like all the other posters in this thread, I didn't study at all for the SAT. It's an interesting pattern, and I think it's fair to speculate that we had similar experiences: in high school we fell for the lie that there's such a thing as an objective standardized test, then kicked ourselves over the mistake and as we grew more ambitious through our experiences in competitive college programs and firms, we became more pragmatic and self-motivated and studied our asses off for the GMAT.

It's all about repetition. I took the Kaplan test-prep which came with an extra 9 practice tests, and I just cranked them out over the course of a couple months. The class wasn't worth going to as it's intended for people scoring in the 500-600s range.

Feb 23, 2010

I think your time would be better spent taking a diagnostic test or practice test and then studying the areas that you have weaknesses in or need to review.

Feb 23, 2010
fc200v:

If I give you my SAT scores, can you give me a rough idea of where my GMAT is likely to fall?

Short answer: No

Longer answer: GMAT is a standardized test. Some people test well in general. I'm sure SAT and gmat scores are correlated, but there's no way to "predict" one from the other. You'd have to account for additional years of learning/experience, preparation, mental health on test day, ..etc.

Take a practice test. That'll give you a decent idea of which score bucket you're in.

Scores last for 5 years and schools will see all scores. They will also see if you cancel a score (although not what that score was).

Best advice: practice and take the test when you're ready. Don't go in with the mentality that you'll take it multiple times.

Feb 23, 2010

720-740

Feb 23, 2010

You're looking at 540 - 580, best case . . .

Really? Just study intensely and take the thing instead of seeking blog-based kudos for being in the academic "1%."

Life Spoiler Alert: it doesn't matter what you score on tests if no one likes you.

"Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter."

    • 1
Feb 23, 2010
Hank Rearden's Boss:

You're looking at 540 - 580, best case . . .

Really? Just study intensely and take the thing instead of seeking blog-based kudos for being in the academic "1%."

Life Spoiler Alert: it doesn't matter what you score on tests if no one likes you.

"nobody likes you"? Talk about sour grapes

Corporate financial/business analyst looking for career/MBA/CFA advice.

Feb 23, 2010

1. The GMAT primarily looks at Math/Verbal. I did about the same as you on the math/verbal of SAT but my verbal was better than math, which did carried over to the GMAT. This is important since the verbal is more important to your overall XXX/800 score than math. This may cause you problems, but you should still be able to score over 700 if you study hard. PM for what I scored/breakdown on both tests if you want specifics.

2. Your score follows you for five years which is why many people take it at the end of college. It gives them a five year "window" to go to school without having to retake. That's what I did. A new score does not erase your old one.

At the end of the test you get to choose whether or not to accept your scores or just cancel the test. The GMAT is introducing the ability to get an estimate of your score (a range) before you choose whether to accept your scores, so if you really fucked up you can just retake. However, schools see that you rejected your score.

Feb 23, 2010

I think you should be able to get 700+ easily with practice.

For reference I had 2340 on SATs and scored 760 on the GMAT.

Feb 23, 2010

There is certainly a correlation but I think that equivalent study time has to be taken into account. I only got a 2000 on the SAT but a 740 on the GMAT. The SAT was completely unstudied but I devoted multiple full days to studying for the GMAT in the time when I graduated and when I started my job, which is probably the equivalent of how much study the average person would put in for 2 weeks to a month. I would say 2000 unstudied SAT probably predicts ~700 unstudied GMAT or so, while a 2240 SAT like your own with studying is probably more indicative of a 730-740 gmat score with the equivalent amount of studying. Someone who can get a 2400 SAT can probably hit 760+ with equivalent studying, but a perfect GMAT is much more rarer on a % basis than a perfect SAT.

Feb 23, 2010

The short answer is yes: there is a correlation. I doubt that you will find many people who completely flunked the SAT and perform well on the GMAT or vice versa. However, the two tests use somewhat different skill sets. IMO, the GMAT is weighted more towards problem solving ability and the SAT more towards recall, although these are important in both tests. I received a higher percentile on the GMAT than on the SAT, and I believe that this is reflective of both study time (studied significantly for the GMAT, over 30 hrs) and of the aforementioned point.

Feb 23, 2010

I have a 2360/2400 SAT and a 770 GMAT, although I studied a full year for the SAT and barely three weeks for the GMAT.

Feb 23, 2010

That's great to hear!
Will MBA programs (M7) see all of my gmat scores? For the SATs, I was fortunate enough to get the score I wanted on my first try but I don't think I'll be that lucky again.

Feb 23, 2010

I've heard the rule of thumb is to take your SAT score (out of 1600) and divide by two if you want a rough predictor.

(Almost perfectly accurate if you compare my GRE->gmat score vs my SAT)

Feb 23, 2010

Probably some truth to this when expressed on a population level, but OP shld maintain hope as the st dev of this methodology is likely very high on an individual basis. In my case, GMAT outperformed SAT by 80 points according to this, and my situation was similar to OP's although SAT was higher.

ebbitten:

I've heard the rule of thumb is to take your SAT score (out of 1600) and divide by two if you want a rough predictor.

(Almost perfectly accurate if you compare my GRE->gmat score vs my SAT)

Feb 23, 2010
ebbitten:

I've heard the rule of thumb is to take your SAT score (out of 1600) and divide by two if you want a rough predictor.

(Almost perfectly accurate if you compare my GRE->gmat score vs my SAT)

Mine came out almost exactly like this. Studied way longer for the GMAT though.

Feb 23, 2010

My gmat score doubled was 90 points higher than my SAT but definitelt spent more time studying for GMAT vs sat

Feb 23, 2010

I think not.

Purely Anectdotal, but i know a guy that did terribly on the SAT, but got into school because he played sports...

Got is act together, and ended w/ a 720 on his GMAT...

With the SAT, he was at a very impoverished high school that did nothing with prep, nor did his family have any interest in college or any kind of prep for the SAT....

I just think that circumstances being equal, yes, it will have an effect.. But if you're not even close to being somewhat prepared for the SAT, or just a high school kid not worried about anything past your next nut, then it's not the clearest indicator of the GMAT that you take almost a decade later.

Feb 23, 2010

I've heard some things that indicate that there is a correlation. My GMAT was 110 points higher (based off converting to 1600) than my SAT but I also spent a significant time studying for the GMAT and did not study for the SAT at all.

Feb 23, 2010

Another reference point - I scored 1380/1600 on the old SAT in 2004. I scored 760/800 on the GMAT in 2014.

Feb 23, 2010

I did 230 points better 2x GMAT than my SAT. I didn't study for SAT at all (test prep wasn't as pervasive in the 90's) and was also a clown doing just enough to get above average grades. A whole 10 years later, still a clown but I practiced/studied the GMAT fairly intensively for a month.

Feb 23, 2010

I am hoping to emulate you guys who ended up doing better in the GMAT than the SAT.

I will report back in a few months.

Feb 23, 2010

Yes, SAT scores do correlate with gmat scores. There is also a key difference between the student population taking the SAT vs the GMAT, the gmat test takers on average come from a stronger and motivated pool of students whereas the SAT consists of all high school students. This means getting the same percentile score on the GMAT will be harder than the SAT, especially considering that the proportion of non-US test takers is higher on the GMAT than the SAT.

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