GMAT Verbal: What’s a Good Score?
Business school hopefuls spend months on GMAT prep, but even in that 100+ hours of study, the verbal section of the exam often gets overlooked. Many test-takers don’t even understand what the verbal section is measuring, how it is scored, and how it fits into their overall score. Here is a quick overview of what you need to know, including what the verbal section includes, how it’s scored, and whether it really matters.
What is Included?
The verbal section of the GMAT includes three types of questions: reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction. Questions testing reading comprehension measure your ability to extract and apply important concepts from the written word. Critical reasoning questions test your skill in evaluating arguments. Sentence corrections are exercises in English grammar and semantics.
How is it Scored?
Like the quantitative part of the exam, your GMAT verbal score is based on a scale of 0-60. Realistically, though, the scores top out at 51, making a score of 51 considered perfect. You will also receive a percentage score which tells you where you fit in the field of GMAT test-takers. So, for example, if you receive an 80%, you scored higher than 80% of GMAT-takers in the last 3 years. This percentage score helps give your GMAT verbal score context.
What is a Good Score?
It is very difficult to get a high score on the verbal section of the GMAT. In fact, it is rare to see a score above 40. The mean GMAT verbal score is 28.86. To stand out among other business school applicants, you should aim for at least a 35, which would put you somewhere around the top 20%.
Does it Matter?
In a word, yes. Your GMAT verbal score matters to business schools because it demonstrates that you are capable of keeping up with the rigorous reading, writing, and editing that business school requires. At the same time, it is most important to have a balanced score (especially in percentiles). Admissions personnel want to see that you are a balanced thinker and have the full set of skills you will need to succeed.
The verbal section of the GMAT is easy to overlook, but spending time studying grammar and reading comprehension is definitely worth your time. If you’re looking for a comprehensive study program that will help you earn your best score, look no further than EMPOWERgmat and our unique, on-demand GMAT prep course. With training in every skill required for a top score, we guarantee results.