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Detailing about GMAT benchmarking tools
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Indrita Ganguly

Content Curator

Pursuing an MBA degree from Harvard or London Business School is aspired by innumerable candidates. What gears up their dream is the GMAT exam whose score is marked a necessity by the universities to be submitted during application. Now, the GMAT score evaluates a candidate’s analytical parameters needed for pursuing a management degree by testing their

GMAT Sections

These four sections of GMAT examine a candidate’s proficiency in understanding management and its other spheres. A very vital question which is enquired by certain candidates is – how are the sections of GMAT benchmarked? Or what are the GMAT benchmarking tools? Let us discuss the same with respect to individual sections.

GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment Benchmarking tool

The GMAT analytical writing assessment or AWA section tests the candidate’s flair in writing by asking them to write a 30 minute written essay as an analysis of an argument given. The importance of the section is not equitable to that of the GMAT verbal or quant sections but it is needed to determine the fluency of the candidate in writing by understanding the gist.

What does the GMAT AWA section examine?

The GMAT AWA section asks the candidate to devise a critique of an appropriate conclusion after studying the particular line of thinking. Here, the candidate doesn’t need to have a profound knowledge of the essay topic but the writing skills are what is necessary.

GMAT AWA score range

The GMAT average scores extend from 0 to 6 in half-point intervals. It is to be noted that the GMAT AWA score doesn’t add up to the IR, Verbal or Quant or even the total GMAT score. It is calculated specifically based on the multiple-choice questions.

The GMAT AWA section is examined on an average of two separate independent ratings.

GMAT AWA percentile ranking

The analytical writing assessment percentile ranking is focused on the last three years of GMAT exams taken.

Score Mean Score Percentile rankings
6 4.49 88%
5 53%
4 17%
3 4%
2 2%
1 1%
0 0%

The above representation clearly explains the AWA percentile ranking according to the score range of 0 to 6. A score of 5.5 is equivalent to a percentile ranking of 79% and in the same manner a score of 2.5 to 3%. After studying the score range of data period 2015-2018, the mean score derived is 4.49.

GMAT Integrated Reasoning benchmarking tool

The GMAT Integrated Reasoning or IR section measures the acumen of the candidates where they have to answer 12 questions of four question types:

  1. multiple-source reasoning,
  2. GMAT graphics interpretation,
  3. GMAT two-part analysis, and
  4. GMAT table analysis.

The time frame is 30 minutes for this section.

What does the GMAT IR section measure?

The GMAT IR section measures the capability of the candidates to evaluate and incorporate the data from different formats.

GMAT IR score range

The average scores range from 0 to 8 in single-digit intervals.

The GMAT IR score is not included in the total score and is calculated separately and provided in the same manner.

GMAT IR percentile ranking

The IR section percentile rankings are based on the last three years of exams taken.

Score Mean Score Percentile rankings
8 4.41 92%
7 82%
6 68%
5 52%
4 35%
3 21%
2 10%
1 0%

The above visual representation showcases the percentile rankings along with the scores of the integrated reasoning section. A score of 6 is equivalent to a percentile ranking of 68%. After studying the above graph, the mean score derived from the same is 4.41.

GMAT verbal benchmarking tool

The GMAT verbal section is one of the most crucial sections of the whole exam as it measures the verbal ability of the candidate. It comprises of 36 questions having types of three:

  1. GMAT critical reasoning,
  2. GMAT sentence correction and
  3. GMAT reading comprehension along with a time frame of 65 minutes.

What do the GMAT verbal measures?

The GMAT verbal section examines the candidate’s capability to read, write, and comprehend the written materials along with logically evaluating the arguments. It also asks the candidates to amend written materials to the Standard English.

GMAT verbal score range

The verbal section comprises a score range of 6 to 51. It is nearly impossible for a candidate to score less than 9 or greater than 41.

The GMAT verbal section is a part of the GMAT total score.

GMAT verbal percentile rankings

The GMAT verbal percentile rankings are evaluated based on the last three year’s exams.

Score Mean Score Percentile rankings
51 27.08 99%
46 99%
40 90%
35 76%
30 58%
25 39%
20 22%
15 10%
10 3%

From the above picturesque view, we can understand the verbal percentile rankings along with the scores. A score of 46 is equal to 99% as it is one of the highest and equally rare scores. In the same manner, a score of 25 is equal to a percentile ranking of 39%. As we have already discussed, the score range of the verbal section is 6 to 51, the mean score when equated with the percentile rankings, is 27.08.

GMAT quantitative benchmarking tool

The GMAT quantitative section is the other vital section of the exam, apart from verbal. It is crucial to examine the candidate’s quantitative skills as these are necessary for them while studying their management program. The quant section has 31 questions on data sufficiency and problem-solving to be completed within the time frame of 62 minutes.

What does the GMAT quant section measure?

The quant section measures the candidate’s ability to logically solve quant problems, as well as interpret graphic data. Comprehend problems involving

  1. GMAT arithmetic,
  2. GMAT elementary algebra, and
  3. GMAT common geometry spheres.

Examine the amount of information required to solve quantitative problems.

GMAT quantitative score range

The quant section has a score range of 6 to 51 in which scoring lesser than 7 or more than 50 is very rare.

The GMAT quant section is included in the GMAT total score.

GMAT quantitative percentile ranking

Like the previous ones, the percentile ranking of the quant section of GMAT is based on the last three year’s exams.

Score Mean Score Percentile rankings
51 40.2 96%
46 57%
41 40%
36 27%
31 17%
26 11%
21 6%
16 3%
10 1%

The above representation demonstrates the GMAT quant percentile rankings with reference to the scores. It can be noted that a score of 36 is equal to a percentile ranking of 27%. The mean score after studying the percentile ranking and the scores is 40.2.

Total GMAT score report benchmarking tool

The GMAT score report states the digits scored in the verbal and the quant sections.

What does the GMAT total score measure?

The GMAT total score measures the verbal, quant, and IR and AWA sections – all of whose scores are mandatory for a university to comprehend the skills of the candidate’s first-year success in the management degree.

GMAT total score range

The total score range of GMAT is from 200 to 800 in which two-thirds of test-takers score between 400 and 600.

Score Mean Score Percentile rankings
800 563.43 99%
750 98%
700 88%
650 73%
600 55%
550 38%
500 26%
450 16%
400 10%
350 5%
300 3%
250 1%
200 0%

From the above graph, we can understand the percentile rankings and the score derivations of the total score of GMAT. The mean score after studying the same is stated as 563.43.