The student can get the results at the test center immediately after the GMAT-CAT. This is not an official score as the results of the writing section come later. The writing mark (on 6) is reported along with the score, but is not included in the score for the other sections. The Integrated Reasoning is reported on a scale of 1-8 (intervals of 1). As for the AWA, the score is separate from the quantitative and verbal score.
GMAT scores are valid for five years, although some business schools might insist on a recent score.
As a rough guide, a score of 600 indicates a percentile ranking of about 70; a score of 700 approximates to the 90 percentile. (The percentile rank indicates the percentage of people taking the test who performed worse than you.) The average (mean and/or median) scores for students admitted to the 50 top ranking MBA programs is apparently 660. These are ball-park figures: it is easy enough to find the average GMAT scores for the intake in a given year to individual business schools.
Note that as well as an overall score and a percentile, the test report includes the scores and percentiles for both the verbal and quantitative sections of the test. Sometimes a student�s composite score looks very good, but shows a great disparity between the verbal and quant sections � this is unlikely to go down well with the admissions committees.
One thing is certain: the scores of those admitted to B-schools have been rising in recent years. Some people with lower scores than the average for any given school are admitted because they have other assets that add to the diversity of the school. In effect, this means that for a person with nothing outstanding to offer in terms of academic prowess or work experience, the score he or she needs to stand out from the crowd of applicants at a top ten B-school has to be 720 or more.
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