US News & World Report recently shared interesting data revealing the rather dramatic increase in average GMAT scores reported at the top MBA programs over the past decade.
According to data the schools submitted to U.S. News in an annual survey, average scores at the Top Ten business schools went from 707 in 2006, to 718 in 2011, and 725 in 2016.
For instance, 707 was the average GMAT score for the 2006 entering class at Harvard Business School; it was 729 in 2016. Chicago Booth School of Business reported average GMAT score of 703 in 2006 and 726 in 2016. And at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, scores soared from 702 in 2006 to 728 last year.
Notably, this significant increase is seen among the elite MBA programs only; outside the top ten b-schools GMAT scores have shown little fluctuation–hovering between 614-627.
If these numbers have you feeling either worried or dejected, remember that top MBA admissions departments stress that GMAT scores are only part of the equation when making admit determinations. In fact, Yale School of Management‘s assistant dean of admissions Bruce DelMonico told US News he’s concerned about qualified applicants becoming discouraged by the ever higher test scores.
“People see that number and they think if I’m not at that number I don’t have a chance, and that’s not at all the case,” he said.
“As an applicant, you do want to take the standardized test seriously, you want to do a good job. But I think the one thing that applicants tend to overlook is that these averages are just that,” he added. “They mean that there are people above and below. And especially when we report median scores, there’s the same number of people above and below.”
Click on over to the original article to learn more about how GPAs and test scores have steadily grown at elite schools over the past decade, and the greater implications for the MBA admissions landscape.