Breaking Down the Wharton GMAT Scores
I’m just going to cut right to the chase on this one: no messing around because Wharton is not messing around when it comes to GMAT scores. In fact, it is the toughest out of all the top b-school dogs when it comes to scores.
Let’s take a look at the numbers:
For the Wharton incoming class of 2017, the average GMAT score was 732, the median score was 730, and the mid-80% range was 700-770. You read that right. Only 10% of the class had a score under 700 and 10% had a score over 770!
This is an increase over last year’s average score of 728 and mid-80% range of 710-750. In fact, Wharton’s GMAT scores have risen steadily over the past few years, which sends the message that Wharton is being rather cutthroat when it comes to scores. And it can be, with 6000-7000 applicants vying for approximately 1000 admission offers.
The complete range of scores for the incoming class of 2017 was 620-790. Compare this to Harvard and Stanford, which had score ranges that bottomed out at 520 (for the Harvard incoming class of 2017) and 550 (for the Stanford class of 2016), respectively. Wharton’s median test score now equals that of Harvard, and its average test score equals that of Stanford. Since GMAT scores are factored into the all-important U.S. News and World Report rankings, this could be Wharton’s way of letting us know they don’t think they are third best, and this is not good news for individuals who are hoping other laurels might carry a low GMAT score in on their coattails.
Now, I am not saying they necessarily won’t. They aren’t heartless number-crunching beasts at Wharton, and Wharton’s admissions officers do indeed value all aspects of the application, but they make fewer exceptions than Stanford or Harvard.
Wharton GMAT Scores and the “Even-Split”
It is also worth noting that Wharton tends to appreciate an even split in quantitative and verbal scores more than some of its competitors, which is perhaps not surprising given its emphasis on well-roundedness and intellectual curiosity. So be wary if you think your stellar quant score is going to piggyback your weak verbal score into Wharton’s hallowed halls.
Wharton GMAT Score Ranges
- The safe zone: 730-800. If your scores are in this range, as long as your work experience, GPA, resume, recommendations, and essays are on track with the typical Wharton student, you have a good shot. Keep in mind, though, that even a 790 or an 800 doesn’t guarantee admissions. Even though GMAT scores are very important at Wharton, they aren’t everything, and Wharton looks long and hard at the real you and your level of self-awareness.
- The “in the running zone”: 700-730. You are definitely in range here for a chance at admissions, but other aspects of your application are going to need to also be very strong.
- The “pretty please?” zone: 650-690. Your application is certainly going to face some extra scrutiny. If you are in this range, you must be filling a particular gap in the incoming class or be bringing particularly exceptional strengths in some other area for Wharton to give you consideration.
- The rare exception zone: 600-650. There are going to be a few exceptions in this range, but not many at all. And any exceptions that are made will be for the true superstars.
If your scores are in the “pretty please?” or “rare exception” ranges, I highly recommend you do some serious GMAT prep or consider the GRE as an alternative (although not many Wharton hopefuls are submitting GRE scores, the average GRE score of those admitted is typically lower than the average GMAT score of admitted students).
Wharton MBA Class of 2017 Profile