• PrepScholar GMAT
    5 Day FREE Trial
    Study Smarter, Not Harder

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    PrepScholar GMAT
  • EMPOWERgmat Slider
    1 Hour Free
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    EMPOWERgmat Slider
  • Veritas Prep
    Free Veritas GMAT Class
    Experience Lesson 1 Live Free

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Veritas Prep
  • Varsity Tutors
    Award-winning private GMAT tutoring
    Register now and save up to $200

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Varsity Tutors
  • Magoosh
    Magoosh
    Study with Magoosh GMAT prep

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Magoosh
  • Target Test Prep
    5-Day Free Trial
    5-day free, full-access trial TTP Quant

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Target Test Prep
  • Economist Test Prep
    Free Trial & Practice Exam
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Economist Test Prep
  • Kaplan Test Prep
    Free Practice Test & Review
    How would you score if you took the GMAT

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Kaplan Test Prep
  • e-gmat Exclusive Offer
    Get 300+ Practice Questions
    25 Video lessons and 6 Webinars for FREE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    e-gmat Exclusive Offer

Is it impossible to score below 400 on the GMAT?

This topic has 4 expert replies and 7 member replies
pnaquin Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
30 Sep 2008
Posted:
3 messages

Is it impossible to score below 400 on the GMAT?

Post Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:55 pm
The school I'm applying for only requires a 400 on the GMAT to get in. I recently took the practice test online that you get access to when you sign up to take the GMAT and scored a 540. Should I be concerned? I would like to score better but I'm really only worried about getting in. My math score was low but my verbal was above average. I just really am asking if I should be studying or not. Also the 400 seems like it's a little low for acceptance so am I missing something or do schools really accept people with such minimal scores?

Need free GMAT or MBA advice from an expert? Register for Beat The GMAT now and post your question in these forums!

GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:12 pm
Which program are you applying?

It is possible to get less than a 400 on the GMAT--some folks in this community have unfortunately reported these results before. This cut-off sounds a bit low though for most MBA programs. Curious to see where you are applying...

_________________
Sorin Istrate - Community Manager

MBA Watch - Your one-stop shop for all MBA program research

pnaquin Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
30 Sep 2008
Posted:
3 messages
Post Wed Oct 01, 2008 5:39 am
I'm applying to SELA here in Louisiana. It's really the only one I can go to due to work and my job is paying for it so I can't really choose a different one. Anyway their website says 400 minimum GMAT score will get you in. Also I'm assuming they don't take into account the essay portion either since that wasn't mentioned in their admissions policies so should I not worry about them either?

I guess my mine question is if I scored a 540 on the practice test from the MBA.com website am I where I need to be to get at least a 400?

VP_Jim GMAT Instructor Default Avatar
Joined
01 May 2008
Posted:
1223 messages
Followed by:
13 members
Thanked:
185 times
Post Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:02 am
It is certainly possible to get below 400.

As for your score, if you got a 540 on an mba.com test you're probably in good shape. However, it never hurts to overprepare - who knows, you might break 600 and get a scholarship because of it. I've heard of that happening at schools with lower average GMATs.

_________________
Jim S. | GMAT Instructor | Veritas Prep

Thanked by: Brian@VeritasPrep
aim-wsc Legendary Member
Joined
20 Apr 2006
Posted:
2470 messages
Followed by:
14 members
Thanked:
85 times
Target GMAT Score:
801-
Post Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:20 pm
You cant score less than 200.

aim higher buddy. no harm in scoring higher. if you can devote time study harder. I finding exciting and 'STIMULATING' to prepare GMAT topics.

_________________
Getting started @BTG?
Beginner's Guide to GMAT | Beating GMAT & beyond
Please do not PM me, (not active anymore) contact Eric.

pnaquin Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
30 Sep 2008
Posted:
3 messages
Post Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:15 am
Thanks for the encouragement AIM. I would love to get a higher score but I really don't have the time to devote to studying. The test is this Friday and now I'm getting scared that for some reason I will fall under 400. I know logically this won't happen but I can't help that feeling in the back of my mind.

new2guitar Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
17 Jan 2010
Posted:
2 messages
Post Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:09 pm
I got less than 400, it is possible. I think random gussing of last 7 questions took lot of -ve marks. I ran out of time. The key to gmat is practice.

GMAT/MBA Expert

money9111 Legendary Member
Joined
19 Apr 2009
Posted:
2109 messages
Followed by:
77 members
Thanked:
109 times
GMAT Score:
640
Post Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:04 pm
pnaquin if you took a practice CAT and scored a 540 without studying you should be fine on Firday.

I would suggest learning and reading about the GMAT format to ensure that you don't accidentally score < 400. If you familiarize yourself with the adaptive nature of the test you should be alright.

I will end with - never underestimate the GMAT though. Instead have respect for it. It's a humbling test.

Keep us posted!

_________________
My goal is to make MBA applicants take onus over their process.

My story from Pre-MBA to Cornell MBA - New Post in Pre-MBA blog

Me featured on Poets & Quants

Free Book for MBA Applicants

nattyc Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
18 Feb 2013
Posted:
1 messages
Post Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:47 am
Yes i am one of those that got a lower score. I practiced for the GMAT in two months believing that was sufficient enough time for preparation and was somehow convinced it was not that bad of a test. Please note, I have a degree in psychology. Unlike most people with BA in Business, in the psychology program i felt that we were not always challenged in area's of algebra, e.t.c there was little math involved, i had to relay on what was left from High school which now i see was pretty much a disgrace once i saw my scores. So what would this mean in black an white should i forget about doing an MBA and accept my weak spot is math. I can't bring myself to do that. Also, does it suggest i'm dumb? I was so devastated. What can i do to improve this score?

GMAT/MBA Expert

David@VeritasPrep GMAT Instructor
Joined
22 Feb 2010
Posted:
2193 messages
Followed by:
507 members
Thanked:
1186 times
GMAT Score:
770
Post Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:55 am
First read this article that I recently wrote. It seems that it might have been written specifically for you. "Imagine your success on the GMAT"

http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2013/01/19/imagine-your-way-to-success-on-the-gmat

Now that you have read the article, NO, this does not mean that you are dumb! As you noted math is not something that you have worked with in a long time. Some people do have difficulty in that area. I read that nearly 50 percent of those in the United States who start a college program and are unable to finish failed at least one math class. For many people a single math course is the thing that prevents them from attaining a bachelor's or associates' degree.

With that said you will need to learn the areas of math tested on the GMAT. That means arithmetic, algebra, geometry, statistics, and word problems. You can get buy without permutations and probabilities for now. That is a lot of hard work, but it can be done.

On the verbal side, you sound like you are a native English speaker so your improvement on the verbal should require less background knowledge (compared to math) and more strategy.

I do recommend that you set your timeline back and start with the basics. On the Quant side, you will need to begin with the rules themselves. And not even do any GMAT problems for a while. You need to learn how to manipulate exponents, view division from every angle, and find the hypotenuse of the triangle.

Here is a link to the Veritas book "Math Essentials" It does not involve actual GMAT problems but it does cover the content that you will need to know before you take on the actual problems again. http://www.amazon.com/Math-Essentials-Veritas-Prep-GMAT/dp/1936240009/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361194801&sr=1-1&keywords=veritas+gmat+prep+books+math+essentials

On the verbal side, it is all about techniques and methods. Verbal is about reasoning and that is what you need to focus on. The same things that will help on Critical Reasoning, will actually improve your Reading Comp and your Sentence Correction as well and that is reasoning.

Here is a link to a collection of articles and postings that can help. http://www.beatthegmat.com/the-best-from-david-newland-s-first-1000-posts-t101075.html

You are not alone in struggling and you can improve. As I say in the "Imagine your success on the GMAT" article, do not allow yourself negative thoughts and do not allow others to bring you down. The one important thing to decide is "Do YOU Want to do this?" If so do not allow anything to stop you.

As a personal note, after so many years of teaching the GMAT this is one of the areas where I am pretty confident now. But in edition to the other things I do, my heart is set on growing my own fruit. So I am planting some fruit trees this year and getting my first hive of bees! I feel like I know nothing, there is so much to learn, and of course the bees can actually sting me... If all of my trees die this year I will not be stopped. I will learn from it and plant more because this is that important to me. Is Business School that important to you? If so then you simply cannot be stopped!! In the end you will achieve your dream.

_________________
Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor

Veritas Prep Reviews
Save $100 off any live Veritas Prep GMAT Course

Enroll in a Veritas Prep GMAT class completely for FREE. Wondering if a GMAT course is right for you? Attend the first class session of an actual GMAT course, either in-person or live online, and see for yourself why so many students choose to work with Veritas Prep. Find a class now!
Turksonaaron Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
23 Mar 2017
Posted:
14 messages
Target GMAT Score:
650
GMAT Score:
470
Post Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:12 am
David@VeritasPrep wrote:
First read this article that I recently wrote. It seems that it might have been written specifically for you. "Imagine your success on the GMAT"

http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2013/01/19/imagine-your-way-to-success-on-the-gmat

Now that you have read the article, NO, this does not mean that you are dumb! As you noted math is not something that you have worked with in a long time. Some people do have difficulty in that area. I read that nearly 50 percent of those in the United States who start a college program and are unable to finish failed at least one math class. For many people a single math course is the thing that prevents them from attaining a bachelor's or associates' degree.

With that said you will need to learn the areas of math tested on the GMAT. That means arithmetic, algebra, geometry, statistics, and word problems. You can get buy without permutations and probabilities for now. That is a lot of hard work, but it can be done.

On the verbal side, you sound like you are a native English speaker so your improvement on the verbal should require less background knowledge (compared to math) and more strategy.

I do recommend that you set your timeline back and start with the basics. On the Quant side, you will need to begin with the rules themselves. And not even do any GMAT problems for a while. You need to learn how to manipulate exponents, view division from every angle, and find the hypotenuse of the triangle.

Here is a link to the Veritas book "Math Essentials" It does not involve actual GMAT problems but it does cover the content that you will need to know before you take on the actual problems again. http://www.amazon.com/Math-Essentials-Veritas-Prep-GMAT/dp/1936240009/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361194801&sr=1-1&keywords=veritas+gmat+prep+books+math+essentials

On the verbal side, it is all about techniques and methods. Verbal is about reasoning and that is what you need to focus on. The same things that will help on Critical Reasoning, will actually improve your Reading Comp and your Sentence Correction as well and that is reasoning.

Here is a link to a collection of articles and postings that can help. http://www.beatthegmat.com/the-best-from-david-newland-s-first-1000-posts-t101075.html

You are not alone in struggling and you can improve. As I say in the "Imagine your success on the GMAT" article, do not allow yourself negative thoughts and do not allow others to bring you down. The one important thing to decide is "Do YOU Want to do this?" If so do not allow anything to stop you.

As a personal note, after so many years of teaching the GMAT this is one of the areas where I am pretty confident now. But in edition to the other things I do, my heart is set on growing my own fruit. So I am planting some fruit trees this year and getting my first hive of bees! I feel like I know nothing, there is so much to learn, and of course the bees can actually sting me... If all of my trees die this year I will not be stopped. I will learn from it and plant more because this is that important to me. Is Business School that important to you? If so then you simply cannot be stopped!! In the end you will achieve your dream.
I feel terrible David, very terrible. I wrote GMAT practice test 2 and scored 610 after almost 5 months of prep. My very first gmat prep 1 gave me a score of 310 so the 610 gave me real hope. However, 2 days after the practice exam 2, i sat for the real GMAT and scored 470. How could that happen. I mean how. I'm lost. At least i expected +-30 but not -140. This killing me

Post Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:42 pm
Hi Turksonaaron,

The post immediately before yours is almost 4.5 years old (and David hasn't posted here in over 2 years). Thus, if you're looking for advice, then you might want to start your own (new) thread and explain your situation in more detail.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Best Conversation Starters

1 Vincen 132 topics
2 lheiannie07 69 topics
3 LUANDATO 61 topics
4 Roland2rule 42 topics
5 ardz24 40 topics
See More Top Beat The GMAT Members...

Most Active Experts

1 image description Brent@GMATPrepNow

GMAT Prep Now Teacher

134 posts
2 image description EconomistGMATTutor

The Economist GMAT Tutor

117 posts
3 image description GMATGuruNY

The Princeton Review Teacher

117 posts
4 image description Rich.C@EMPOWERgma...

EMPOWERgmat

109 posts
5 image description DavidG@VeritasPrep

Veritas Prep

76 posts
See More Top Beat The GMAT Experts