A total of four schools are tied at the top of the list of the average GMAT scores for the world’s top-20 programs, according to the Financial Times (FT).
The list, compiled by BusinessBecause every year, saw University of Pennsylvania Wharton (US), Columbia Business School (US), Stanford Graduate School of Business (US), and Kellogg School of Management share top spot with an average GMAT score of 732.
Last year, Chicago Booth (US) ranked first with an impressive GMAT average of 738, followed by Stanford with 737.
US schools occupy top
All four schools sharing the top are American. Kellogg’s result is especially impressive, with the Evanston, Illinois-based school beating 10 of the 13 schools above it in the FT rankings. Its 732 average remains the same as 2018, showing high and consistent standards.
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Columbia and Wharton will both be satisfied, both trumping their 2018 scores and outperforming their east coast competitors. Columbia’s score, in particular, has risen eight points from 724 in 2018.
Wharton’s admissions’ department, moreover, looks beyond the obvious candidates with the highest scores. The lower score of 500 in their GMAT range, the lowest among any school in the top 20, demonstrates the opportunities for those who might not perform exceptionally in the GMAT.
Chicago Booth, although performing outstandingly with a score of 731, plunge seven points from the lofty heights of 738 last year.
Scores down in Europe
Shifting the focus to Europe, average scores have fallen significantly. The US schools still receive nearly half of all applicants, with European programs receiving a fraction of the number for their MBA programs. Attracting fewer applicants, European schools must accept students with lower GMAT scores.
At the top, INSEAD (France) and London Business School (UK) are practically neck-and-neck on 709 and 708 respectively—performing well as the only two European schools in the top 10. Their averages are consistent with their 2018 scores. It is, however, particularly impressive for INSEAD as it must be noted they have one of the largest MBA intakes in the top 20, with over 1,000 seats in the classroom.
Elsewhere in the UK, at the prestigious Oxbridge institutions, Cambridge Judge scores 693, narrowly beating Oxford Saïd with an average of 690. Two of Europe’s top schools rank next to the Oxbridge schools, with HEC Paris (France) hitting 690 and IESE Business School (Spain) close behind on 686.
While US application numbers are falling, Asia is on the rise—and their increasing GMAT averages demonstrate the high caliber of student they are beginning to attract.
All three Asian programs in the FT top 20 have seen a rise in their GMAT average. The biggest comes from the MBA program at HKUST (China), which has risen 10 points to 680. The National University of Singapore has also seen impressive gains, increasing by five points to 667, despite having the lowest average GMAT in the top 20.
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Continuing to dominate the Asian market, however, we find CEIBS, the joint venture between the Chinese government and the European Commission, that now sits fifth overall in the FT rankings. With an average of 685, and a strong GMAT score range of 640-to-740, CEIBS is clearly beginning to challenge European and US schools for top candidates.