How To Calculate The GMAT Score? – Factors Influencing Your Final Score

How To Calculate The GMAT Score?

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a vital step for individuals aspiring to pursue a graduate business degree, such as an MBA. As an applicant, understanding how the GMAT score is calculated can provide valuable insights into the exam’s structure and scoring system. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of GMAT scoring and explore the factors influencing your final score.

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Sectional Structure Of The GMAT

Section Time/Questions Score Average
AWA 30 mins/ 1 0-6 4
IR 30 mins/12 1-8 4.5
Verbal 65 mins/ 36 6-51 27
Quants 62 mins/ 31 6-51 35

The GMAT consists of four sections: Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Integrated Reasoning (IR), Quantitative Reasoning (Quant), and Verbal Reasoning (Verbal). Each section evaluates different skills necessary for success in business school.

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA): The AWA section measures your ability to analyze and construct an argument. It is scored separately on a scale of 0 to 6 in half-point increments. Two independent human evaluators grade your essay, and if their scores differ by more than one point, a third evaluator is called upon to provide the final score.
  2. Integrated Reasoning (IR): The IR section assesses your ability to analyze and interpret complex data from various sources, including graphs, tables, and text passages. It consists of 12 questions; your score ranges from 1 to 8 in single-digit increments.
  3. Quantitative Reasoning (Quant): The Quant section evaluates your mathematical and problem-solving skills. It contains 31 multiple-choice questions, and the score ranges from 0 to 60. The questions are algorithmically adaptive, meaning the difficulty level adjusts based on your performance. Correct answers to harder questions carry more weight than those to easier questions.
  4. Verbal Reasoning (Verbal): The Verbal section assesses your reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction skills. It also consists of 36 multiple-choice questions, and the score ranges from 0 to 60. Similar to the Quant section, the Verbal questions are algorithmically adaptive.

Overall GMAT Score

The AWA and IR sections are scored independently and do not contribute to the overall GMAT score. However, the Quant and Verbal sections are the primary factors in determining your total score. The combined score from these two sections ranges from 200 to 800, with most test-takers falling between 400 and 600.

Factors That Influencing Your GMAT Score:

The GMAT score is calculated using a proprietary algorithm that takes into account several factors:

  1. The number of Correct Answers: Both the Quant and Verbal sections consider the number of questions answered correctly. However, the weight assigned to each question depends on its difficulty level.
  2. Difficulty Level: The algorithm assesses the difficulty level of the questions answered correctly. Answering harder questions accurately leads to a higher score than answering easier questions.
  3. Order of Questions: The adaptive nature of the GMAT means that the algorithm adjusts the difficulty level of subsequent questions based on your performance. Consistently answering questions correctly results in progressively more challenging questions, potentially boosting your score.
  4. Time Management: The algorithm considers the time taken to answer each question. Spending excessive time on a single question may lower your score while answering questions quickly might indicate a high level of proficiency.
  5. Sectional Balance: The algorithm ensures that the scores from the Quant and Verbal sections are balanced, giving similar weightage to both sections in the final score calculation.

Score vs Percentile

Verbal Score 25 30 40 50 51
Quants Score %ile→

39 58 90 99 99
30 17 480 510 580 660 670
40 39 550 580 660 730 740
50 85 620 660 740 800 800
51 96 630 670 750 800 800

The above table gives you a fair idea of the individual sectional scores needed to achieve a particular total GMAT score. If someone has a verbal score of 40 which is 90 %ile, and a quants score of 50 which is 85 %ile, then their total score will be 740, which is a really good score. However, please note that individual sectional scores matter greatly during college applications, and different business schools might have separate cutoffs for different sections individually. 

Understanding how the GMAT score is calculated provides valuable insights into the exam’s structure and scoring system. The GMAT score is not solely based on the number of correct answers but also considers factors such as question difficulty, time management, and sectional balance. By familiarizing yourself with these aspects, you can better prepare for the exam and strategize your approach to maximize your score. Achieving a high GMAT score requires a combination of knowledge, critical thinking, time management, and adaptability.

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