Because the GMAT is a computer-adaptive test, your verbal and quantitative scores aren't based just on the number of questions you get right. The scores you earn are based on three factors:

  • The difficulty of the questions you answer: The questions become more difficult as you continue to answer correctly, so getting tough questions means you're doing well on the test.
  • The number of questions that you answer: If you don't get to all the questions in the verbal and quantitative sections, your score is reduced by the proportion of questions you didn't answer. So if you fail to answer 5 of the 37 quantitative questions, for example, your raw score would be reduced by 13 percent and your percentile rank may go from the 90th percentile to the 75th percentile.
  • The number of questions you answer correctly: In addition to scoring based on how difficult the questions are, the GMAT score also reflects your ability to answer those questions correctly.

GMAT essay readers determine your analytical writing assessment (AWA) score. College and university faculty members from different disciplines read your responses to the essay prompts. Two independent readers score each of the two writing assignments separately on a scale from 1 to 6, with 6 being the top score. Your final score is the average of the scores from each of the readers for each of the essays.

If the two readers assigned to one of your writing tasks give you scores that differ by more than one point, a third reader is assigned to adjudicate. For example, if one reader gives you a 6 and the other gives you a 4, a third reader will also review your essay.