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Your GMAT Scaled Scores and Percentile Rankings

Every GMAT test taker is awarded five scaled scores:

  • a Quantitative score (on a 0-60 scale)
  • a Verbal score (on a 0-60 scale)
  • a combined Quantitative/Verbal (total) score (on a 200-800 scale)
  • an Integrated Reasoning score (on a 1-8 scale)
  • an Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) score (on a 0-6 scale, in half-point increments)

For each scaled score every test taker is also awarded a corresponding percentile rank. This page explains how GRE scaled scores and percentile rank are determined.

Your Scaled Quantitative, Verbal and Combined (Total) Scores

Your Quantitative and Verbal scores are each based on three factors:

  • the number of questions to which you responded correctly
  • the difficulty level of the questions to which you responded correctly
  • the range of cognitive abilities measured among the questions to which you responded correctly

These two exam sections are computer adaptive (the test adjusts to your ability level as you go), and a complex scoring algorithm accounts for each of these the three factors listed above.

Your Total score is based on your Quantitative and Verbal scores, which are combined (given equal weight) and converted to a different scale.

Your Integrated Reasoning Score

The Integrated Reasoning scaled score (0-8) is based on your responses to this section's 12 questions, some of which are multi-part. Unlike the Quantitative and Verbal sections, the Integrated Reasoning section is not computer-adaptive (it doesn't adjust to your ability level as you go), and so the scoring algorithm is simpler than for the other two multiple-choice sections.

Your Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) Score

Your Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) score is based on the overall quality of your writing as determined either one or two GMAT readers and by a computerized writing-analysis program called E-Rater. Here's how the scoring process works:

  1. Your essay is evaluated and scored independently on a 0-6 scale (in full-point increments) by a GMAT reader and by E-Rater.

  2. If E-Rater's score is within 1 point of the human reader's score, then your final AWA score is the simple average of these two scores. AWA scores are in half-point intervals.

  3. If E-Rater's score differs from the human reader's score by more than 1 point, then a second, very experienced reader will read and grade the essay, and your final AWA score will be the simple average of the scores awarded by the two human readers. (E-Rater's score will be disregarded.)

[Read more details about GMAT-essay evaluation and scoring.]

Test-taker Response Required for Score Tabulation

For each of the three multiple-choice sections the testing system will tabulate a score regardless of the number of available questions you've answered, except that if you don't respond to at least one question during a section an "NS" (no score) will appear on your score report for that section only.

For the two AWA section (the writing task), if you fail to key in (type) at least one character using the word processor, you'll automatically receive a score of 0 (on a scale of 0 to 6) for the AWA.

GMAT Percentile Rankings

For each of your GMAT scaled scores you'll also receive a corresponding percentile rank — from 0 to 99 percent. For example, a percentile rank of 70% means that you scored higher than 70% (and lower than 30%) of all other GMAT test takers.

Your percentile rank indicates how you performed relative to the entire GMAT test-taking population during the most recent three-year period. The ranks on your score report are adjusted yearly to account for performance trends. (Percentile rankings for Integrated Reasoning are adjusted more frequently through 2012.)

Percentile ranks are provided in order to help you, the test taker, and the schools gauge your GMAT performance relative to other test takers. Each school decides for itself whether to compare your scores to those of the entire GMAT test-taking population or only to those of other applicants to that school.