What is a Good GRE Score for MBA? Tips on Achieving the Ideal Score for Your Business School Application

Getting a good GRE score is crucial if you’re aspiring to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. But what exactly constitutes a “good” GRE score when it comes to improving your chances of getting into your preferred MBA program? It’s a legitimate concern that a lot of prospective MBA students grapple with. After all, competitive MBA programs receive a slew of applications every year, and it’s essential that your application stands out. And one way to do that is by acing your GRE test.

If you’re wondering what a good GRE score for MBA is, it’s ultimately dependent on the business schools you’re applying to. The highest-ranked MBA programs like Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton typically have stringent GRE requirements that demand scores above the 75th percentile. However, lower-ranked MBA programs usually have lower GRE requirements, meaning you may not require as high of a score to gain admission. But keep in mind that a good GRE score is relative, and what’s considered excellent for one MBA program may not be for another. That said, achieving a good GRE score can massively enhance your chances of getting admitted to your desired program, so it’s critical to prepare accordingly.

If you’re aiming to get into a top MBA program, then you may want to aim for at least a GRE score of 325 or above (on a scale of 260-340) to be considered. While this may seem like a daunting task, it’s achievable, provided you put in the effort and time it takes to prepare. A good GRE score can simultaneously bolster your confidence and impress the admissions committee, so a focused approach and a rigorous study schedule can go a long way to help you get there. Ultimately, as an MBA applicant, it’s vital to acknowledge that GRE scores are just one aspect admissions committees consider when evaluating an applicant’s candidacy, but they are still significant enough to warrant taking seriously.

Average GRE Scores for MBA Programs

Graduate Record Examination or GRE is an essential requirement for MBA programs. The GRE is designed to test a student’s aptitude and analytical skills and is comprised of verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. Students often wonder what a good GRE score for MBA programs is. The answer to this question differs depending on the school, as each institution sets its own GRE cutoffs depending on the competitiveness of the program.

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the average GRE score for MBA programs is around 308.7. However, this score is not a benchmark for all programs as each program sets its own standard. The top MBA programs often require high GRE scores as they receive a large number of applications. On the other hand, some MBA programs may be less competitive and may require lower GRE scores.

  • Harvard Business School: The average GRE score for Harvard Business School is 328.
  • Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania: The average GRE score for Wharton MBA program is 328.
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business: The average GRE score for Stanford MBA program is 328.

As we can see from the examples above, top MBA programs have an average GRE score requirement of 328, which is significantly higher than the average GRE score of 308.7. Therefore, it is important for students to research the GRE score requirement of the MBA programs they are interested in before applying.

MBA Program Average GRE Score
Harvard Business School 328
Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania 328
Stanford Graduate School of Business 328

It is important to note that GRE scores are not the only factor in gaining admission to an MBA program. Admissions committees also take into consideration a student’s undergraduate GPA, work experience, and extracurricular activities. Therefore, students should aim to achieve a high GRE score while also focusing on other aspects of their application.

In conclusion, a good GRE score for MBA programs differs depending on the institution and program. Top MBA programs often require high GRE scores, while less competitive programs may require lower scores. It is essential for students to research the GRE score requirement of the programs they are interested in to increase their chances of admission.

Importance of GRE scores in MBA admissions

Applying for MBA programs can be a tough and highly competitive process. One of the significant factors that determine whether you get accepted or not, is your GRE scores. GRE scores play a vital role in screening candidates and weighing their academic potential. A good GRE score is a major plus point that can make an excellent impression on admissions committees.

  • Evaluation of Aptitude: GRE tests a candidate’s intellectual capacity and basic knowledge of language and mathematics. The score a candidate receives on the exam, is thought of as a good predictor of their ability to perform well academically in their MBA program. Admissions offices place great value on this ability, and they will heavily weigh your GRE scores against other application requirements.
  • Comparison with other Applicants: The average GRE score of admitted students is a critical factor that decides your chances of getting accepted. Programs are looking to admit a diverse group of students, which implies that a higher average GRE score increases the competitiveness in the selection process. If your score is below the acceptable average range, your application may be rejected, regardless of your other qualifications and achievements.
  • Impact on Scholarships: Another key factor is the effect of your GRE score on scholarships. The financial aid committee uses your GRE score as an indicator of your academic potential and will offer merit-based scholarships accordingly. A good score can significantly increase the chances of receiving a scholarship, which will be useful in relieving the financial burden of pursuing an MBA program.

Therefore, it is crucial to prepare well and strive for a strong GRE score. This implies having a clear study plan and understanding of the test format and scoring system. By achieving an outstanding GRE score, you demonstrate your intellectual capability, which will set you apart from other candidates in the admission process.

GRE score Requirements for top Business Schools:

Below are some GRE scores for the top 10 business schools MBA programs:

Business School Average GRE Verbal Score Average GRE Quantitative Score Average GRE Analytical Writing Score
Harvard Business School 163 162 4.8
Stanford Graduate School of Business 161 162 4.7
Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania 161 161 4.5
Chicago Booth School of Business 165 162 4.5
Sloan School of Management, MIT 162 165 4.5
Columbia Business School 162 161 4.5
Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College 162 160 4.4
Stern School of Business, NYU 162 159 4.3
Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley 163 158 4.5
Darden School of Business, University of Virginia 161 160 4.5

While these are average GRE scores, meeting these standards will significantly increase your chance of getting accepted into these programs. Additionally, scoring above these averages increases your chance of financial aid such as scholarships.

Top MBA programs and their average GRE scores

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is one of the most commonly used standardized tests that measure one’s readiness for graduate-level work. Many MBA programs accept GRE scores as an alternative to GMAT scores. In this article, we will delve into the average GRE scores required by top MBA programs.

  • Harvard Business School: With an acceptance rate of only 11%, Harvard Business School is one of the most selective MBA programs. The average GRE score for HBS is between 165-167 for both Verbal and Quantitative.
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business: Another notorious name in MBA programs, Stanford, has an average GRE score of 166 for Verbal and 164 for Quantitative. With an acceptance rate of around 7%, Stanford has one of the most competitive MBA programs out there.
  • Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania: Wharton is famous for its finance program, and the average GRE scores required for its MBA program is 165 for both Quantitative and Verbal.

It’s important to keep in mind that the average GRE score isn’t the only factor that MBA programs consider when deciding on admission. Business schools also take into account your undergraduate academic performance, work experience, application essay, personal achievements, and letters of recommendation. However, having a good GRE score increases your chances of getting into a top MBA program.

Below is a table that highlights some of the top MBA programs and their average GRE scores for both Verbal and Quantitative sections:

MBA Programs Verbal GRE Score Quantitative GRE Score
Harvard Business School 165-167 165-167
Stanford Graduate School of Business 166 164
Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania 165 165
University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business 162 162
INSEAD 160 160

It’s crucial to understand that the average GRE score necessary for admission to an MBA program can vary from year to year and from one program to another. Average GRE scores also can vary based on an applicant’s years of experience, career goals, and demographics.

How to prepare for the GRE for MBA admissions

Preparing for the GRE can be a daunting task, but with the right approach and mindset, you can conquer it effortlessly. Here are some tips on how to prepare for the GRE for MBA admissions:

  • Start early: Prepare for the GRE well in advance to give yourself enough time to cover all the topics and practice tests. It is recommended that you start preparing at least three to six months before the test date.
  • Understand the format: The GRE consists of Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing sections. Understanding the format and structure of the test is crucial for effective preparation.
  • Identify your weaknesses: Take a diagnostic test to identify your strengths and weaknesses. This way, you can focus on the areas you need to improve more.

Once you have identified your strengths and weaknesses, you can use the following tips to prepare for the GRE:

1. Study consistently: Set up a study plan and stick to it consistently. Allocate enough time to cover all the topics and take practice tests regularly to track your progress.

2. Learn the concepts: Concepts and techniques are critical for solving the Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning questions. Use the recommended prep books and online resources to learn the concepts and strategies effectively.

3. Practice with sample tests: Practicing with sample tests helps you identify the question types, test format, and time management. The official ETS GRE tests are an excellent resource for practice tests.

4. Join a study group: Joining a study group or partnering with another MBA applicant can provide you with support, motivation, and a fresh perspective. You can exchange study materials, test-taking strategies, and insights.

Advantages of Joining a Study Group Disadvantages of Joining a Study Group
Support, motivation, and camaraderie Different schedules and availability can be challenging
Sharing of study materials and insights Different study styles and learning paces
Learning from others’ strengths and weaknesses Possible distractions or conflicts

5. Take care of yourself: Preparing for the GRE requires mental and physical stamina. Take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising regularly. This way, you can avoid burnout and perform your best on the test day.

With these preparation tips, you can increase your confidence and chances of getting a good GRE score for MBA admissions.

GRE vs GMAT for MBA admissions

When considering applying for an MBA program, one of the most important factors is the exam score. The most commonly accepted exams for admission are the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Both exams assess analytical, verbal, and quantitative skills, but there are some differences to consider when deciding which exam to take.

  • The GMAT is specifically designed for business school admissions, while the GRE is a more general exam used for a variety of graduate programs. Some business schools may accept either exam, while others may prefer one over the other.
  • The GRE allows test-takers to skip questions and come back to them later, while the GMAT does not. This can be beneficial for those who prefer to skip harder questions and go back to them with fresh eyes.
  • The GRE is shorter in length than the GMAT, with a total of 3 hours and 45 minutes compared to the GMAT’s 3 hours and 30 minutes. However, the GMAT allows less time per question, making it a more intensive exam.

When it comes to MBA admissions, a good GRE or GMAT score can vary depending on the program. It’s important to research the average scores of accepted students at the schools you are considering to determine what score range is competitive.

Here is a table comparing the score ranges for both exams and what they may indicate:

GRE GMAT Interpretation
Quantitative: 160-170
Verbal: 160-170
Quantitative: 49-51
Verbal: 36-51
Quantitative: 155-159
Verbal: 155-159
Quantitative: 44-48
Verbal: 31-35
Quantitative: 150-154
Verbal: 150-154
Quantitative: 39-43
Verbal: 27-30
Quantitative: Below 150
Verbal: Below 150
Quantitative: Below 39
Verbal: Below 27
Below Average

Ultimately, it’s important to choose the exam that aligns with your strengths and preferences, and to aim for a score that is competitive for the programs you are interested in.

How much weight do schools put on GRE scores for MBA admissions?

While GRE scores are only one component of MBA applications, they can carry significant weight in the admissions process. The extent to which schools value GRE scores can vary depending on various factors, such as the overall competitiveness of the applicant pool, the specific MBA program, and the emphasis placed on quantitative skills in the program’s curriculum.

  • Some MBA programs, particularly those with a strong emphasis on quantitative skills, may place greater weight on GRE scores. For example, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania has an average GRE score of 328 for admitted students, which is significantly higher than the average GRE score for all test-takers.
  • Other factors, such as work experience, undergraduate GPA, and extracurricular activities, may also play a substantial role in admissions decisions. Admissions committees may weigh these factors more heavily than GRE scores, particularly if an applicant’s strengths lie in other areas.
  • Overall, schools will consider a variety of factors in evaluating a candidate’s fit for their MBA program, rather than solely relying on GRE scores. Admissions committees will assess an applicant’s potential for success both while in their program and as post-graduation business leaders.

For more specific information on the weight GRE scores carry in the admissions process for a particular MBA program, prospective applicants should consult the program’s website and admissions materials, or connect with current students or alumni of the program.

In summary, while GRE scores are only one component of the MBA admissions process, they can carry significant weight in certain programs and admissions committees will weigh them alongside other factors when evaluating a candidate’s potential for success.

Tips to improve GRE scores for MBA admissions

If you’re planning to apply for an MBA program, you should aim for a strong GRE score to stand out in the competitive application process. Here are seven tips to help you improve your GRE score:

  • Understand the test format: Before you start studying for the GRE, make sure you know the structure of the test. The GRE consists of verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing sections. Knowing what each section entails will help you develop a study plan that targets your weaknesses.
  • Take practice tests: Practice tests are a great way to get a sense of your current level and identify areas that need improvement. Take several practice tests and simulate test conditions to get comfortable with the exam format.
  • Focus on your weakness: Once you identify areas that need improvement, focus on them. Spend more time studying difficult topics and seeking help from experts if you need it.
  • Master time management: Time management is crucial to score well on the GRE because you need to complete each section within a set time limit. Practice strategies such as skipping difficult questions, pacing yourself, and learning when to guess.
  • Use resources: There are numerous resources available, such as prep books, online courses, and study groups. Take advantage of these resources to gain a better understanding of the GRE and improve your scores.
  • Improve your writing: The analytical writing section is a crucial part of the GRE, and you need to score well to impress admissions committees. Practice writing essays under time constraints, seek feedback from experts or peers, and focus on improving your grammar and vocabulary.
  • Stay calm: Finally, it’s essential to stay calm during the test. Anxiety can negatively impact your performance, so practice relaxation techniques such as deep-breathing exercises, meditation, or visualization to help you stay focused and confident.

One crucial thing to remember is that a good GRE score depends on the particular program and school you’re applying to. The higher the average GRE scores of accepted students, the more competitive the program is. However, the average GRE score varies depending on the program and school. Therefore, it’s vital to research the institutions you’re interested in and aim to score near the average scores of accepted students.

Below is a table showing the average GRE scores for some of the top MBA schools in the US.

School Average GRE Verbal Score Average GRE Quantitative Score Average GRE Analytical Writing Score
Harvard Business School 162 160 4.8
Stanford Graduate School of Business 165 163 4.9
Wharton School of Business 162 161 4.8
MIT Sloan School of Management 162 162 4.8
Columbia Business School 162 161 4.7

Remember that this table is only a reference. What really matters is the average score of accepted students in the particular program and school you’re applying to. Use this table as a starting point and research further to set realistic goals and increase your chances of admission.

How much do GRE scores matter for scholarships in MBA programs?

The importance of GRE scores varies from program to program, but in general, a high GRE score can significantly increase your chances of receiving scholarships or merit-based aid in MBA programs. Admissions committees often use GRE scores as a way to measure an applicant’s academic potential and ability to handle the rigors of an MBA program.

  • A high GRE score demonstrates academic excellence and indicates that an applicant has the ability to succeed in an MBA program.
  • Scholarships are often awarded to students who show exceptional academic achievement, and a high GRE score can help students qualify for these awards.
  • Many MBA programs specifically include GRE scores as a factor in scholarship decisions.

However, it is important to note that a high GRE score alone may not be enough to secure scholarships and financial aid. Admissions committees also consider other factors such as work experience, leadership potential, and extracurricular activities. It is important to have a well-rounded application that showcases your achievements in all areas, not just academics.

To get a better sense of how much GRE scores matter for scholarships in specific MBA programs, consult the program’s website or reach out to admissions representatives. Some programs may place more emphasis on GRE scores than others, so it is important to understand the individual requirements of each program.

Program Minimum GRE Score for Scholarship Consideration
Harvard Business School 163 (Verbal) and 166 (Quantitative)
NYU Stern School of Business 160 (Verbal) and 162 (Quantitative)
Stanford Graduate School of Business Estimated in top 10-20% of all test takers

While there is no set formula for determining how much GRE scores matter for scholarships in MBA programs, a high score can only help your chances of receiving financial aid. Aim to achieve a GRE score that is at or above the minimum requirements of the programs you are interested in, and be sure to highlight all of your accomplishments and strengths in your application.

How to Interpret GRE Scores for MBA Admissions

Getting into a prestigious MBA program requires a lot of hard work and dedication. In addition to a strong application and impressive work experience, your GRE scores play an important role in the admissions process. However, interpreting GRE scores can be quite confusing for many applicants. Here are some tips to help you interpret your GRE scores for MBA admissions:

  • Understand the GRE Score Range: The GRE consists of three sections – Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. The Verbal and Quantitative sections have a score range of 130-170 in one-point increments, while the Analytical Writing section is scored from 0-6 in half-point increments.
  • Look at Score Percentiles: Percentiles compare your scores to those of other test takers. MBA programs typically look for applicants who are in the 80th percentile or higher. This means that your scores are better than 80% of people who took the exam in the past three years.
  • Consider Program Requirements: Some MBA programs have a minimum GRE score requirement. It is important to research the requirements of the programs you are interested in and aim for scores that meet or exceed the requirements.

How your GRE Scores Affect Your MBA Admissions

Admissions committees use multiple factors, including GRE scores, to evaluate an applicant’s readiness for the program. Your GRE scores can impact the admissions committee’s decision in several ways:

  • Scores in the 80th percentile or higher can strengthen your application and demonstrate that you have the academic skills required for a rigorous MBA program.
  • Scores below the minimum requirement for a program may result in an automatic rejection.
  • If you have lower GRE scores than the program’s average, strong work experience or a higher undergraduate GPA may help offset the score discrepancy.

GRE Scores Across Top MBA Programs

The table below shows the average GRE scores of admitted students at some of the top MBA programs in the United States:

Business School Average Verbal Score Average Quantitative Score Average Analytical Writing Score
Harvard Business School 163 163 5.4
Stanford Graduate School of Business 165 164 4.8
Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania 165 162 4.6

While these scores can serve as guidelines, it is important to keep in mind that each program evaluates applicants holistically, considering multiple factors beyond just GRE scores.

Do MBA applicants with higher GRE scores have a higher chance of acceptance?

It is a common question among MBA applicants if having higher GRE scores increase their chances of getting into their desired MBA program. The short answer is yes, having a higher GRE score does give MBA applicants an advantage in the admissions process, but it is not the only factor that business schools consider.

  • Good GRE scores vary by MBA program: The ideal GRE score for MBA applicants varies by business school, with some schools placing more weight on GRE scores than others. Therefore, it is essential to research the average GRE scores of schools that you are interested in to determine a good GRE score.
  • GRE scores are just one factor: While a high GRE score could be an attractive factor, MBA admissions teams will also review other aspects of an applicant’s application, including professional experience, essays, recommendation letters, and interviews. Thus, even if your GRE score is not perfect, displaying strengths in other areas could boost your chances of admission.
  • Higher GRE scores show academic potential: A high GRE score can demonstrate to MBA admissions teams that you have the potential to excel in an academic environment, which is essential since MBA coursework is challenging.

In summary, a higher GRE score increases your chances of getting accepted into an MBA program. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that business schools evaluate your application holistically, and having a high GRE score in itself does not guarantee admission.


Overall, submitting a strong application with a good GRE score and other notable achievements will significantly strengthen your chances of getting accepted into an MBA program. Remember that the entire admissions process involves balancing several academic and professional factors. If you have a strong GRE score, leverage it to show that you’re a competitive and well-rounded applicant who will thrive in a rigorous MBA program.

Wrap It Up!

Well, there you have it! Determining what a good GRE score is for MBA can be quite a task but with this article, hopefully, you are now better informed. Always remember that a higher score does not always guarantee you a spot in your desired business school, but a lower score may affect your chances. Don’t forget, practice does make perfect. Thanks for hanging out with us and make sure you come back for more interesting reads!