GMAT scores may have crept upwards at many business schools in recent years, as MBA aspirants become much better prepared for the de-facto admissions test. But plenty of the world’s most revered schools admit students with less-than exceptional GMAT scores.
A 680 on the GMAT is a very competitive score that will help your admissions chances in many MBA programs. Those who get a 680 on the GMAT are in the 82nd percentile of all test takers, meaning they have outperformed the majority of GMAT takers.
Since many business schools publish the average GMAT scores of current MBA classes, if you’ve got a 680 on the GMAT you can often gauge your competitiveness against other applicants. If the average GMAT at a business school is lower than 680, you’d have a pretty good chance of getting in.
However, all 680 GMAT scores are not created equal. Typically, business schools will look for a good balance in GMAT results, where the verbal and quantitative scores are relatively similar.
Of course, the GMAT score is not the only factor that business schools will consider when making admissions decisions. Other factors include undergraduate GPA, work experience, and letters of recommendation, among others.
The GMAT is a measure of cohort quality and can affect a school’s place in key MBA rankings, while also measuring a candidate’s quant skills, which are important for success in an MBA and in a management career.
We’ve crunched the data, finding the best schools for those who scored a respectable 680 on the GMAT. If you’re around that score, then it makes sense to target schools with a similar average. That does not mean compromising on quality though.
The average GMAT score at the Smeal School of Business is 660, with a mid-80 percent range of 560 to 720. Smeal, which is accredited by AACSB International, is ranked as among the best business schools globally by The Economist. The school scored particularly well for its salary increase, with the average starting salary for the Class of 2018 a meaty $106,000. Working for such large corporations as Pfizer and Amazon, Smeal MBAs recoup half their investment in the course within a year of graduation, on average.View School Profile
The 2018 average GMAT score at the Naveen Jindal School of Management is 678, so a candidate applying with a 680 GMAT score would be well positioned. The school at UT Dallas in Texas is respected, having been ranked joint 19th by US News among public universities with MBA degrees in the US. Students on the full-time MBA can add a double MS degree in one of 13 subjects, some of which are STEM-designated, giving overseas students extra time to work in the US on graduation. The alumni network is also strong, numbering 40,000 globally and with 4,700 in Texas. Little wonder that the school has a 90 percent employment rate, with students working for such firms as Proctor & Gamble, SpaceX, TI and Toyota.View School Profile
Rutgers Business School in Newark, New Jersey, has an average GMAT score of 683 across the 2018 class. This is a big improvement on the 673 average GMAT in 2017, suggesting an increase in quality of candidates. The school has a successful track record of building industry leaders, having been ranked by US News, CEO Magazine, Ivy Exec and Poets & Quants, which rated the MBA as the best for return on investment in the US Northeast. Rutgers was also rated as a top 10 business school for supply chain management, healthcare and operations management by FIND MBA.View School Profile
The median GMAT at Toronto’s Rotman School of Management is 680. The location is a big advantage. Canada is attractive to overseas students because of its open immigration policies, and multicultural and welcoming environment. More specifically, Toronto is the country’s commercial and financial hub, giving students access to many corporate recruiters for jobs and executives for mentorship and lecturing opportunities. Rotman has one of Canada’s highest-ranked MBAs, according to some of the main MBA rankings publishers.View School Profile
MBA students at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business have, on average, a 677 GMAT score. One key feature of the course is the opportunity to work with small businesses or nonprofits abroad, tackling big challenges such as climate change. Another highlight at Kelley is the Graduate Career Services, which is ranked second globally by the FT. Students work one-on-one with a certified executive coach to land jobs and hone their leadership skills.View School Profile
The average GMAT score achieved by the Class of 2020 at the Indian School of Business is around 710, depending on whether students study in Hyderabad or Mohali. But the school is known to admit candidates with far lower scores and the GMAT score range is 600-770. ISB is accredited by both AACSB and EQUIS, its beautiful campuses and state-of-the-art, and it has among the highest reputations for research. ISB also has partnership with top schools around the world, among them London Business School and Wharton, so students can study part of the course overseas.View School Profile
The average GMAT score at Nanyang Business School is 660, making it a good bet for an MBA aspirant with a 680 score. Nanyang is the oldest business school in Singapore and is ranked 30th globally by the Financial Times. It’s also ranked as the top MBA in Singapore by The Economist. The full-time Nanyang MBA program is just a year long, significantly reducing the opportunity cost of not working and ensuring a high return on investment.View School Profile
Students at Madrid’s IE Business School have a 670 average GMAT, so applying with a 680 can help you go far. The International MBA program at IE has been ranked highly by many major business publications. Taught in either English or Spanish, 45 percent of the program is customizable, with students tailoring learning to their personal preferences and professional goals. IE has one of the most renowned global alumni networks and graduates work at major corporations such as Amazon, BBVA, Google, Roche and Samsung.View School Profile
The average GMAT score for MBA students at HEC Paris is 690, not too far from 680. The business school is a Grande Ecole, an elite professional school in France that educated CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. The learning at HEC Paris is hands-on, with students taking part in a leadership seminar during the MBA. The students also have an entrepreneurial spirit, with 25 percent going on to start their own businesses. Many work at Paris’s Station F, the biggest startup campus in the world.View School Profile
On average, MBA candidates at IMD Business School in Switzerland have a 680 GMAT score, alongside having seven years of prior work experience and the ability to speak four languages. That is a strong cohort that can facilitate peer learning. On the shores of the beautiful Lake Geneva, IMD is known for its small class size (the cohort is capped at 90, a tenth the size of Harvard’s class), which translates into one of the most loyal alumni networks in the world. There are 100,000 IMD graduates worldwide in 140 countries and over 80 industries.View School Profile