GMAT Score Chart

GMAT Score Chart

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The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has officially unveiled the highly anticipated GMAT Focus score chart, percentiles, and the scoring scale for the GMAT Focus—a revolutionary approach to evaluating candidates for business schools. This innovative scoring system promises a fairer, more comprehensive assessment of applicants’ abilities. If you’re considering taking the GMAT Focus, this article provides essential insights into the score chart and percentiles, the groundbreaking scoring architecture, and how it could impact your test-taking experience.

In addition to detailing the new scoring scale, this article also outlines the key dates for the new exam, ensuring you’re well-prepared for the next chapter in your educational journey.

New and More Discerning Scoring Architecture

The GMAT Focus edition is scored from 205 to 805, featuring 61 different ability levels—the same number of levels as the classic GMAT (200 to 800). However, the Focus edition allocates 40% more levels to high scorers, offering more granular scores to these test-takers and providing a more nuanced evaluation of their abilities. This approach, in our opinion, better reflects their hard work. You will receive a GMAT score chart for both the total score and each section separately.

Three vs. Two Subsections

The total score in the GMAT Focus edition is composed of three equally weighted subsections: Quant, Verbal, and Data Insights. Each subsection has scaled scores ranging from 60 to 90. This differs from the classic GMAT, where the total score out of 800 is based on only two subsections: Quant and Verbal.

Improved Quant Scoring

The GMAT Focus edition addresses the issues with Quant scoring by assigning 11 scoring levels to the top 40% of test takers—three times as many levels compared to the classic GMAT. This change results in a more accurate assessment of test takers’ Quant abilities.

Classic GMAT vs. GMAT Focus Edition

The GMAT score translation chart rewards higher percentiles to high scorers, likely due to the GMAT Focus edition’s more granular scoring architecture. This trend reverses for lower scorers, providing a fairer and more detailed evaluation across the score spectrum.

How is the GMAT Scored?

Understanding the GMAT scoring process is crucial, as it is an adaptive test. This means the difficulty level of questions changes based on your performance. If you keep answering questions correctly, the test will increase the difficulty level of subsequent questions.

Why Does the Test Adjust the Difficulty Level?

The primary goal of adjusting the difficulty level is to assess your ability accurately. A person who can answer more difficult questions correctly demonstrates a higher ability level compared to someone who cannot. Therefore, your GMAT score depends on two key factors:

  1. Number of Questions Answered Correctly: The total number of correct answers you provide.
  2. Average Difficulty Level of Questions Answered Correctly: The average difficulty of the questions you answer correctly.

These two factors combine to determine your overall GMAT score, providing a comprehensive measure of your abilities.

1) Total Score sorted by Percentile Ranking:

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2) Quantitative reasoning Score sorted by Percentile Ranking:

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3) Verbal reasoning Score sorted by Percentile Ranking:

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4) Data Insights Score sorted by Percentile Ranking:

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Major Differences in How the Exam is Scored

The GMAC has introduced significant changes to the GMAT Focus Edition’s scoring system, updating the algorithm to better reflect the increasingly diverse and global test-taking population. Over the years, shifts in scores have led to an uneven distribution, making it difficult for schools to differentiate candidate performance. The updated score scale addresses this issue, ensuring a more equitable assessment that accurately reflects the evolving GMAT test-taker demographics. Here are the two major changes to the scoring architecture:

  1. Comprehensive Total Score: The Total Score now includes all three section scores (Quantitative, Verbal, and Data Insights), providing a more comprehensive assessment of a candidate’s abilities.
  2. Evolved Scoring Scale: The scoring scale has been updated to assign more ability levels to higher scoring ranges, making the overall scoring more reflective of the current test-taking population.

Balanced Scoring with the Evolved Scale

The classic GMAT was scored from 200 to 800 in 10-point intervals, resulting in 61 scoring levels. The GMAT Focus Edition also features 61 scoring levels but ranges from 205 to 805. The classic GMAT’s scoring scale was designed in the 1990s. With the GMAT Focus Edition, the GMAC has enhanced the scoring scale to better align with the needs and abilities of today’s test-takers.

Lower Scores

Simultaneously, there was a downward shift in the median score. On the classic GMAT, the median score stands at 582.34, whereas on the GMAT Focus Edition, it decreased to 546.01.

It’s important to remember that the median represents the midpoint, not the average:

if all scores of test-takers were arranged in ascending order, the median would denote the score precisely in the middle. A median score is superior to half of all scores and inferior to the other half in that dataset.

The decline in the median score doesn’t imply a sudden decline in test-takers’ competence. Rather, the scoring scale for the GMAT Focus Edition has been intentionally and meticulously recalibrated to allow for greater differentiation at the higher end of the scoring spectrum.

The test was recalibrated because GMAT scores were becoming clustered at the upper end of the spectrum.

Nalisha Patel, the regional director for Europe at GMAC, explained via email: “The score scales for the GMAT Focus Edition have been readjusted to reflect a more typical bell-shaped distribution, based on the latest test population data. This decision was prompted by the evolving and diversifying test population, providing an opportunity for recalibration.”

About Percentiles

Patel emphasizes the significance of examining percentiles, stating, “It’s crucial to consider percentiles, as they indicate your competitive ranking among test-takers.”

Furthermore, Patel notes the correlation between GMAT Focus and GMAT Exam scores, allowing for comparison through a score percentile concordance chart, enabling students to demonstrate their results effectively.

Regarding the changes in scoring due to the new test format, Patel explains, “The alterations are also attributed to the revised test structure, where the total score now amalgamates all three section scores, ensuring adequate differentiation.”

While this rationale may seem logical, some students accustomed to aiming for a Total Score of 700 on the traditional GMAT as a benchmark for selective programs may be surprised if their score falls short, such as receiving a 645.

However, Daria reassures concerned test-takers: “We have collaborated closely with schools regarding these changes. Admissions professionals are well-versed in interpreting the new scoring system, alleviating any concerns applicants may have about how their scores will be perceived against the previous scale.”

Looking ahead, while transitioning from thinking in terms of specific scores to percentiles may be challenging for some MBA hopefuls, the readily available GMAC conversion chart facilitates this adjustment during the transition period.

Ultimately, admissions committees operate on longer time frames and are prepared to adapt to the new scoring system. As of January 31, 2024, the GMAT Focus Edition is the sole format available, signifying a shift towards adopting and understanding the new test format independently.

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At MBA House, we deliver effective strategies that allow our students to achieve winning results and gain admission to the school of their dreams!

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MBA House

At MBA House, we deliver effective strategies that allow our students to achieve winning results and gain admission to the school of their dreams!

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