What Is the Lowest GMAT Score Accepted For MBA Admission?

What is the minimum GMAT score that can help you secure a place in business school? Do you you need to quit the dream of pursuing an MBA, if you score low in GMAT? 

These are some common questions that pop up in your mind when you start to prepare for the GMAT exam. As they say, try your best, but plan for the worst. 

Low GMAT meme

How Low Can You Go?

What Is The Lowest possible GMAT Score?

220. That said, most people land up with something between 400 and 800 – 800 being the highest GMAT score possible. This range applies to the total score of the Quantitative and Verbal sections.

Few students will get admission to any business school with a score of 400 or less.

As per GMAC, two-thirds of the testers, get a score between 400 and 600.

MBA Admission: Your ‘Story’ Matters More Than GPA & GMAT

The Breakup Of The GMAT Score

The range of scores in GMAT sections are as follows:


Total Score (Verbal and Quantitative)200-800
Integrated Reasoning1-8 (scored in single-point intervals)
Analytical Writing Assessment0-6 (scored in half-point intervals)


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The Lowest GMAT Percentile Score You Can Get

For the percentile ranking released by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a low score like 200 points is not considered. The lowest score that gets you a percentile ranking, as shared earlier, is 220. 

The GMAT percentile score tells you how you fared in the GMAT compared to that of other test-takers. For instance, if you get a percentile ranking of 80% – that means you scored higher than 80% of the test takers – or that 20% are ahead of you in the competition.

So a 220 on the GMAT means, you have landed with a score lower than that of 99% of all test takers or higher than 1% of test-takers – depending on whether you prefer your glass half empty or full.

Time Strategy Essential For GMAT Test Success

Here, you can find the percentile ranking for the GMAT total score of 350 and below from the GMAC taken from the statistics of the past three years:


Total GMAT ScoreGMAT Percentile Ranking

With GPAs on the Rise, How Would Low Scorers Fare at MBA Admissions?

The score of 200 corresponds to 0% percentile ranking, so 100% of the candidates have secured over 200 in the exam.

The percentile ranking of the 1% candidates who got between 210 to 240 points, incorporates more people than you might think. Almost 300,000 people take the GMAT every year – so 1% of this number, or 3000 people scored a 210-240 score.

So, while uncommon, a significant minority of the students will score few marks in the exam. If you are getting low marks in the practice sections, that would certainly put the wind back in your sails! 

Also Read – Looking Beyond CAT

What’s the Minimum Accepted GMAT Score For An MBA Program?

The official answer – there is no one minimum score mandated by most B-Schools for their MBA programs.

The real answer – While most of the schools do not have an impossible to achieve GMAT score requirement, at the schools ranked in the top 10-20 rank, it is almost impossible to get admission, without scoring 650 or more. Along with GPA scores, the GMAT carries significant weight in the MBA admissions process.

To know the required GMAT scores that could get into your choice of business school, check incoming class profiles on the admission page of the website of different business schools to assess according to your scores or simply head to our Top MBA Courses selection page. The class profile will show the average GMAT score or the middle 80% range of the scores of candidates who got admitted recently. Additionally, here are some recent blogs about class profiles at top colleges that would be helpful:

These profiles will give you a good barometer of the score you need to get into top MBA programs.

How Much Do You Need to Score In GMAT For Top MBA Programs?

Here are the average GMAT scores of the incoming classes for the top-tier and the mid-tier MBA programs:


Top-Tier Business SchoolsAverage GMAT Score of Recent Incoming Class
Harvard Business School730
Stanford Graduate School of Business737
Yale School of Management730
Selective Business Schools
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Business656
University of Iowa (Tippie)676
University of Maryland, College Park (Smith)660


For a full list of average GMAT scores, visit our Average GMAT Scores page. You can additionally also have a look at the GMAT scores across a longer 8 year range at top business schools.

If you are prepared to join colleges ranked in the mid-range (Financial Times 30-40), you could do so with a score between 630 and 680.

With part-time programs in colleges, it is enough to have a score of approximately about 550.

Top-Tier MBA Programs That You Can Join With A Low GMAT Score

Want to get into the top-tier college with a low GMAT score? Yes, it is possible, but you cannot count on it. If lady luck is on your side, some schools might let you in with a low score, even if their ‘cut-off’ score is high.

For instance, in 2014, Harvard Business School, rather famously admitted a student who had a GMAT score of just 570. No matter how impossible this sounds, it does happen from time to time! In 2018, the Stanford MBA class admitted a student with a GMAT score of 590. 

Regardless, remember these scores are just the outliers. Usually, such students who get admissions with a low score have an outstanding MBA application. Students who get admitted to a top MBA Schools will almost all possess GMAT scores that are more than the average at those particular schools. So, its best to secure a score more than the average score required at your dream school. 

Average GMAT Scores For The Top 50 B-Schools In US Across The Last 5 Years

A low outlier GMAT score could well be a strategic move by business schools to maximize revenue from application fee and fluff up their selectivity and acceptance rates. One guy or girl gets in with 570 at Harvard and the next thing you know aspirants with low GMAT scores are sending in their application in droves. 

How to Get Admission to MBA Programs Despite Lower GMAT, GRE Scores

Can I Get Into An MBA Program Without GMAT?

Have you ever dreamt of a business school that does not need a GMAT score to get in? Yes, they do exist.

Some schools have a ‘no GMAT policy’ – usually for Executive MBA programs that are geared more towards working professionals who have already proven their capabilities with a few years of experience in the industry. If you already have around 7-10 years of experience and you have secured a low GMAT score or don’t have a GMAT score, B-Schools may still consider you for these programs.

Some colleges may also have their own entrance test and may not need a GMAT or GRE score for entry.

That said, there are also full-time MBA programs that do not insist on a GMAT score. Here is the list of such programs brought by QS Rankings


Full-time MBA Programs that Don’t Require a GMAT/GRE
2020 MBA RankBusiness SchoolLocation
11Columbia Business SchoolNYC
14IE Business SchoolNYC
22NYU SternMadrid, Spain
51The Eli Broad Graduate School of ManagementEast Lansing, MI
57Kenan-Flagler Business SchoolChapel Hill, NC
63Babson College, F.W. Olin Graduate School of BusinessBabson Park, MA
67Mays Business SchoolCollege Station, TX
87Colorado State University – College of BusinessFort Collins, CO
101-110Rutgers Business School – Newark and New BrunswickPiscataway Township, NJ
111-120Chapman Graduate School of Business – FIUMiami, FL
151-200Howard UniversityWashington, DC
201+Suffolk Sawyer School – USABoston, MA
N/AEdward S. Ageno School of Business – Golden Gate UniversitySan Francisco, CA
N/AHenley Business School, University of ReadingReading, UK
N/AHULT International Business SchoolBoston, San Francisco, London, Dubai
N/AKellstadt Graduate School of BusinessNew York, NY
N/ALa Salle UniversityPhiladelphia, PA
N/APace University’s Lubin School of Business
N/AAlfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, The University of DelawareNewark, DE
N/AUniversity of St ThomasHouston, TX


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