GMAT By the Numbers

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GMAT By the Numbers


As a b-school applicant and future MBA, your life is already, or certainly will be, ruled by numbers. Between average GMAT score and average starting salaries, we thought we’d lighten the mood with some lesser known numbers.

620 – The average GMAT score for physics majors, the highest of all undergraduate majors. Remember that you do not have to be a business major to be a competitive b-school candidate — nearly half of all GMAT test-takers come from other backgrounds.

547.35 – The mean GMAT score for the nearly 800K test-takers that took the exam from 2011-2013, putting the “average” test-taker in the 42nd percentile. (GMAT tip: the test is much more competitive than the SAT or ACT, which draw from a general tester pool compared to the typical high-achievers planning on attending a graduate business program.)

121.08 – The standard deviation from that mean score. (GMAT tip: the standard deviation is an estimate of the size of a typical deviation from the mean. Remember that this is an “average” of the deviations from the mean, but not strictly the mean of that list.)

92 – The percent of U.S. companies planning on hiring MBAs in 2015, up from 80% in 2014.

38 – The percent of U.S. GMAT test-takers who are female. The male-to-female breakdown is fairly consistent across the globe with a few outliers: China, with 74% female GMAT test-takers, and Eastern Europe, with an almost perfect 50-50 test-taker split.

30 – The standard error of measurement on the GMAT. (GMAT tip: what this means for you as a test-taker is that your GMAT score will be accurate +/- 30 points. This highlights the inherent risk of retaking the GMAT without thorough remediation. If the algorithm error works “against” you on your retake, your odds of scoring the same or up to 30 points lower are twice as high as getting a higher score.)

22 – The percent of prospective graduate business students who expect to finance their education, at least partly, through loans. (GMAT tip: graduate education is a big investment, and one that can be offset by scholarships and grants. A terrific GMAT score can go a long way towards securing scholarship dollars.)

20 – The number of days by which you will receive your official GMAT score. (GMAT tip: although GMAC’s typical turnaround time for official score is eight days, don’t count on this shorter time if you have tight deadlines. Give yourself a wide berth when it comes to application deadlines — you don’t want to be that applicant.)

17 – The width, in inches, of the standard computer monitor used in GMAT administration. In order to make the testing experience uniform globally, all elements of the exam are the same, from check-in process to the size of the monitor. (GMAT tip: visit the testing center before your exam. Plan your route, note any construction noise or delays, figure out where the restrooms are, and get rid of any anxiety due to unfamiliar surroundings.)

5 – The number of times you are permitted to take the GMAT exam within a 12-month period. (GMAT tip: Do not take the GMAT five times, especially in a single year! Even with the addition of unpenalized score cancellations and a shorter waiting period between exams, plan to study and succeed the first time and save yourself the headache and money involved in taking the exam multiple times.)

1.8 – The number of minutes allotted per Verbal question on the GMAT. (GMAT tip: on the GMAT, timing is everything. With fewer than two minutes, on average, to answer questions in Verbal and Quant, your pacing is almost as important as your content mastery. The consequences of not finishing a section are disastrous to your score.)

1 – The position of Prep4GMAT on Google Play and the iTunes App Store. Excuse the self-promotion, but if you want an engaging way to study and practice GMAT questions anywhere you go, check it out. It’s already helped more than 160,000 GMAT test takers prepare for the test.

Any other important or interesting numbers we’re missing out on? Let us know in the comments.

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