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Journey to my MBA

Friday, March 24, 2006

GMAT Scores and Age - Part 2 of 6

Over the next 6 days, I'll be releasing a series of charts and statistics of the mean GMAT scores in the areas of age, race, sex, country, and undergraduate major. Yesterday, I released Part I.

It's very difficult to ask people what GMAT score is necessary for you to gain acceptance into a top 10 or 20 school. It's a complicated answer because it depends on a combination of your age, race, sex, your academic background and gpa. And these are just a few of the factors. By combining these factors, one can get a FAR better idea of what an ideal score is for ones particular situation.

Wondering about age and GMAT scores? When B-Schools look at your GMAT score, they have an idea about what impact your age has on your capabilities of getting a good score because of their experience that is supported with statistics like the following chart. Remember, the scores should be used to only show trend and not dictate to you the actual score. Look for the global mean score and correlate it to the mean score at XYZ school.

Here's how to assess these numbers for yourself. First of all, you have to know the mean score of the most recent year for all GMAT test takers that correlates to the numbers below. Here's the chart:



Next, find your age bracket and Male/Female bracket score. Let's take a male and female who are 26-27 years old. The Mean score for males was 555 whereas the mean score for a woman was 514.

Next, find the mean score of the school that you are interested in.
Kellogg had a mean GMAT score of 700 in 2005
UCLA had a mean of 664 in 2005

Here's how you'd make the calculations for UCLA



Using this formula/template, it's easy to see how ones age impacts your competitiveness. When I use the word "competitive", I'm merely saying that your score is in no way a liability. If your 26-27, scoreing above the mean GMAT score would mean that your "highly competitive". Get it?

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not hocus pocus, mumbo jumbo stuff. The trend of these numbers is something that seasoned admission directors know all about. They don't have the numbers memorized, but they know what to expect of certain majors or people with certain kinds of profiles. Take these numbers seriously. But only pay attention to the trends in comparison to other areas.

Obviously this example is overly simplistic as I didn't taken into account the person's background, race, major, work history, achievements and etc. Understanding this will also help clear up the anxiety of not knowing where you stand.

This is why it's quite unfair to just ask an Alumni what GMAT score they think will be competitive without first telling them about your profile.

Having said this, if I hear about how you went to an info session or mba conference and you ask the GMAT question without giving a bit of your profile... the admissions committee members, students and Alum have my full endorsement to ring your neck on the spot. I know they wouldn't do it, but nobody really likes this question very much.


Here's Part 2 on Age and the GMAT scores.


Again, it's never this simplistic because there are never situations where it's this simple. Moreover, the applications are reviewed by people who assess on more than just scores. So don't let the numbers defeat you. This is only a mean score statistic and not an encompassing one that shows the 35 year old who was accepted with a 610 GMAT score. You get the point right?

M = Men
W = Women



Here's the age and GMAT score difference.



Tommorrow, in part 3, I'll be publishing GMAT scores that show how various countries compare on mean GMAT scores. You'll see what the mean GMAT score in India is compared to the mean GMAT score is in China, Italy, Japan or Germany. The list contains over 100 countries.

6 Comments:

Blogger Benny said...

wow.
interesting info.
how do you get all this?

6:29 PM  
Blogger Dave for MBA said...

Good question Benny. These are all from ETS/GMAC. They are from documents that they produce but haven't been widely visible. I'm merely taking some key data points and crafting a message with this info that I think is profoundly important to have access to.

I live by the credo that data is only as good as the interpretation. So the graphs and charts that I point out in this 6 part GMAT series should be the kind of info that could change the way they view their application stats from this point on.

Put simply, because of this data, prospective students can now answer the questions, "what are my chances if....." for themselves.

Because all these numbers are from GMAC, they are 100% accurate.

When I'm done with this series, I'll reveal link addresses of the downloadable articles so that people can go over the extensive data for themselves. That is if people haven't found them already and figured this out on their own.

8:58 PM  
Blogger crammer said...

Hi Dave

I am sorry that I post this message in the wrong category. It seems that recommendation letters play a huge role in the b-school admission process. Let's say if I have a very good score, but a very bad recommendation from one of my referees, is there a chance to enter a b-school? I'll be very thankful if you can throw some light on this matter.

Thanks....

6:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Dave...
I got a GMAT score of 550 , i was getting in 600+ in the practice tests but got this low score..should I apply or not i am very confused and dishearten.. please suggest

5:33 AM  
Blogger Dave for MBA said...

E-mail me directly for an answer on your GMAT issue anonymous for a better answer. Please provide more detail when you do e-mail me. Nobody can possibly answer your question without more info.

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These appear to be screenshots/jpgs of the GMAT Profile and the associated charts on the GMAT Profile website. http://www.gmac.com/gmac/researchandtrends/gmatstats/profileofcandidates.htm What you are saying about the data is not erroneous because you are just providing people with the mean GMAT® score info, but you should source the data since you copied it directly and it is copyrighted.

10:16 AM  

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