The Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®) is a standardized aptitude test used to evaluate prospective students in graduate-level business programs. The percentiles on the GMAT® represent the percentage of test takers who scored below a given composite score. GMAT® percentiles are used to show the percentage of test takers who scored below a given composite score for each of the three sections of the exam, as well as the overall exam score. The percentiles range from 0 to 99 percentiles.
Most master’s of business administration (MBA) programs require GMAT® scores for admission. There are three sections to the test: verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing. Each section has its own set of composite scores, each of which corresponds to a percentile. GMAT® percentiles represent a sample of test takers who took the exam within the last two years. As a result, GMAT® percentiles can change over time depending on the overall performance of the test-taking population.
The analytical writing section of the GMAT® assigns a score from 0 to 6 to test takers. The GMAT® has a composite score range of 6-51 for both the verbal and quantitative sections. Each section has its own percentiles, which are based on the results of recent test takers over a three-year period. A score of 6 on the analytical writing section of the GMAT®, for example, might correspond to a percentile ranking of 91, indicating that those who received a score of 6 on the analytical writing section of the GMAT® scored higher than 91 percent of the test-takers. A verbal section score of 28 may correspond to a percentile ranking of 50, indicating that roughly the same number of test-takers scored higher than 28 as those who scored lower than 28.
GMAT® percentiles assist test takers and reputable agencies in determining the value of composite scores. The percentiles indicate the test-skill taker’s level and position among his or her peers. The GMAT® percentiles are used to determine whether a test-score taker’s is average, above average, or below average. A certain minimum percentile range is considered acceptable some well-respected institutions. If a prospective student’s percentile falls outside of the acceptable range, his or her chances of admission may be significantly reduced.