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How is the GMAT scored?

A GMAT score is made up of multiple components. The most familiar number is your composite GMAT score, which ranges from 200 to 800 and is measured in 10-point increments. It is determined by the combination of your Quantitative and Verbal section scores. Your composite score is the component most heavily considered by graduate academic programs. As the GMAT is a computer-based test (CAT), it’s designed so that correct answers are followed by increasingly difficult questions. Incorrect answers will lead to easier questions, dropping your potential score range in the process.

Your Quantitative and Verbal sections are graded separately before being combined. You will receive a score ranging from 0 to 60 for each section. Scores below 8 and above 51 are rare. Because the test is adaptive, the GMAC is not able to release a clear, defined algorithm for calculating your composite score. In general, however, students are penalized more heavily for missing questions early in each of these two sections.

Your Integrated Reasoning (IR) section is scored from 1 to 8 in one-point increments. Questions involve reading short paragraphs, analyzing charts and diagrams, and doing basic arithmetic in order to arrive at an answer. The IR score is not included in the composite score.

Your Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section is graded on a scale of 0 to 6 and evaluated by two readers (one human and one computer). GMAC averages the two grades for the essay and rounds to the nearest 1/2 point. Your AWA score also does not count towards your composite score.

As soon as you complete your GMAT, your score will be displayed on your computer screen. You will have the option to cancel or accept your score. If you change your mind regarding whether to cancel, you can reverse your decision within 2-3 days for a small fee. If you accept, your GMAT score remains valid for five years. If you have taken it several times, the GMAC will report all accepted GMAT scores from the previous five years.

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