How long is my GMAT score valid?

The GMAT grading system

How does the GMAT assessment work?

In total there are four separately assessed parts of the GMAT test. As a test result, you will receive a separate assessment for the "Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) Section", a separate assessment for the "Integrated Reasoning" part and a joint assessment for the "Quantitative" and "Verbal" sections. The evaluation of the "quantitative" and the "verbal" section is particularly important: these test sections make up the majority of the test with a test time of 2.5 hours. The sum of the evaluations of both parts forms the GMAT score, which ranges between 200 and 800 points and which is particularly important when applying to a university.

Universities that expect a GMAT test as a prerequisite for study usually state a required minimum score for the "Quantitative" and the "Verbal" part, for this reason students usually spend most of their preparation on these two sections. The average GMAT score of the students is often understood by the universities as a kind of "seal of quality", which stands for the good academic abilities of the students.

The overall result of the GMAT is given on a uniform scale from 200 to 800 points ("Total Scaled Score") and often also in percentages from 1 to 99 ("Total Percentile"), which shows the percentage of candidates who did worse as they.

To illustrate, the percentage of 89 would mean that you did better on the test than 89 percent of students who took the GMAT test. This percentage series is based on the scores of each individual student who took the exam over the past three years. The same total number of points can have different percentage values ​​at different times, depending on how all the test subjects performed at the time of the test.

The GMAT test is individual, that is, the choice of questions (especially their level of difficulty) depends on the questions that were answered correctly or incorrectly beforehand. If you answer correctly, the questions will become more difficult for you. The scores are based on both the number of correct answers and the difficulty of the questions.

The evaluation of the "Analytical Writing Assessment" (AWA)

The essay that has to be written in this test unit is decisive for the evaluation of the AWA part. The score is given on a scale from 0 to 6 and is formed from two independent evaluations of the article. The essay is graded by both a human examiner and computer software called GMAT Write®. This is an automatic essay grading program. In general, those who score 4.5 or higher don't need to worry about their AWA score. The human examiner is basically a member of a college or university faculty and specializes in paying attention to certain qualities that essays should include according to GMAC. According to GMAC, the following is particularly important: The quality and sophistication of the presented idea, the ability of the examinee to sensibly arrange the presented ideas, the supporting theses and examples as well as the grammar and clarity of expression.

For those of you who have doubts about the evaluation of the computer system, testing of the GMAC system has shown that the evaluation by the computer was amazingly similar to that by a human examiner. The computer-generated scores differed from those of the trained faculty staff in only two constellations. In the first case, the essay was coherently written and supported by convincing arguments, but completely missed the topic. The second case was plagiarism. Tests have shown that computers are better at filtering out plagiarism and fraud than human readers. If the assessments of the essays differ by more than one point, a third expert will always be called in to check and explain the discrepancies.

The evaluation of the "Integrated Reasoning Section"

The "Integrated Reasoning" section is primarily about combining analytical and linguistic skills through corresponding tasks. This test section is also not included in the important GMAT score. The rating ranges from one to eight points. On average, students achieve between four and five in this part, so many of the examinees try to achieve six or more points in order to surpass this number of points. The specialty of this part of the test is that a task consists of several sub-questions, all of which have to be answered correctly in order for the point to be awarded for this task.

The GMAT grading algorithm for the quantitative and verbal section

Considered separately, it is possible to get scores between 0 and 60 for both the quantitative and the verbal section. Both scores together make up the important and decisive GMAT score, which, as already described above, can assume scores between 200 and 800. Although the point scales of the verbal and quantitative sections do not differ, there is a big difference between the average student scores in both test sections. While the average score for the quantitative section is 37, the average score for the verbal part is currently 27.6. With the former, scores below seven and above 50 are rare. In the latter, however, scores below nine and above 44 are rare.

Business schools pay special attention to the score of the quantitative test section, as the skills that are in demand here are those that are most important to the challenges of further study. However, a good performance on the verbal part has a greater impact on the overall score than a good performance on the quantitative part. This is related to the much lower average score for the verbal section. Only three percent of the test participants achieved a score higher than 44 in the verbal part, while 37 percent achieved more than 44 points in the quantitative part.

The total GMAT score

As already noted, the total score is based on the assessments of the quantitative and verbal parts and ranges from 200 to 800. Two-thirds of the examinees achieve a score between 400 and 600. The average total score is between 540 and 550.

Many students who have set themselves the goal of attending a top business school strive for scores above 700 in order to get into the upper ten percent range. Again: Potential MBA students should find out about the required number of points at the university of your choice and set themselves the goal of achieving a number of points within this area.

As a reminder, the scores will remain in place for five years. While the actual scores don't change, someone who applies to a business school three years after taking the test might find that their percentage placement has shifted slightly. The GMAT Score is updated annually by GMAC to reflect the improvements in the score achieved by all of the examinees. These changes are usually gradual.

Experimental Questions

There are several experimental questions in every GMAT test. These questions are not rated, but are intended to show how students will perform on them with regard to future tests. It cannot be said which of the questions are experimental. The experimental questions can be easy, moderate, or difficult. Answer each question as best you can and if you get stuck, hope that it was just an experimental question.

Preliminary test results and the Total GMAT score

You will receive your "Total Score" and the results for the quantitative and linguistic part immediately after the test has been completed. However, after completing the actual test, you still have the option of canceling the attempt and canceling the test. However, this must be done BEFORE the announcement of the scores. The computer asks you whether you want to "cancel" the test. This is no longer possible after you have heard the result.

"Cancellation" of the test result

Once you have canceled your scores, you cannot change your mind later. A confirmation of rejection will be sent to you and the business schools you have specified, the rejection will be included in your permanent record and will later also be communicated to all business schools to which you will apply in the future. The test will be considered "taken" and the participation fee will not be refunded.

Sending the test result

Since January 1, 2006, the test result will no longer be sent to you in writing, but will only be made available to you online. 20 days after the test, you will receive an email with information on how to query your official test result online. The business schools you have named will also receive this information.

Abort GMAT test

During the test you have the option of canceling the respective test part by clicking on "Section Exit" or the entire test by clicking on "Test Quit". These clicks have to be confirmed again or - if you do not want to quit - you can return to the test with "Return to Where I Was". However, as soon as you have left the test part or the entire test, you cannot return.

You can only take part in the GMAT once within 31 days and no more than five times within twelve months. This also applies if you decided to cancel the test immediately after completing the test or if you canceled the test. The official GMAT scores are stored for ten years; all scores and aborted attempts from the last five years are part of your score report, which is made available to the business schools to which you are applying.

On the test day, immediately before you start, you can specify up to five business schools to which your test results will be made available. Please be aware that this list cannot be changed afterwards, in particular it is not possible to delete schools afterwards. If you want to apply to more than five universities and add more names to the list, you can do so at a cost of $ 28 per school.

Reassessment of the essay

If you suspect that a mistake was made in evaluating your AWA scores, you can arrange for your essay to be re-evaluated. The re-evaluation is done by independent testers and costs $ 45. In contrast, a reassessment of the multiple choice tests of the quantitative or linguistic part is not possible.

If you want to have your essay reassessed, this must be done within six months of taking the GMAT test. The new result can be better or worse than the original. The new results will be sent to you and the business schools you have specified within three weeks.