GMAT Impact: News from the Makers of the GMAT, Part 3

When it comes to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. In this weekly blog series, Manhattan GMAT’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

In early December, I attended the biannual GMAC Summit, a special conference for test prep companies that is put on by the makers of the GMAT. Click this link to read Part 1 of my report. And click here for Part 2.

The Quant Scoring Scale

Some of you may have noticed that the top Quant score of 51 is now only the 97th percentile. We were wondering whether GMAC would add to the scoring scale (maybe including scores of 52 or 53) to provide more categories of rankings at the top of the scoring scale.

The GMAC has no plans to do this. The top business schools have told the GMAC that any score of 48 (76th percentile) or higher is good enough for them; they do not need to have additional levels of score discrimination at higher levels. Because they do not need that info, they actually want GMAC to keep the current scoring scales. The schools already have their systems set up accordingly. In other words, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! (Have you heard that idiom before? You will not see it on the GMAT, but maybe you will in real life.)


After the last Summit, two years ago, we reported that the test has been “scrubbing” out American idioms and constructions that are used only in the Americanized version of English. Dr. Rudner reaffirmed this information. He also indicated that OG13 (Official Guide for GMAT Review, 13th edition) still contains examples of Americanized English that will no longer appear on the real test—so if you speak British English, Australian English, Indian English or any other form and you see a practice problem that seems wrong from your English’s point of view (such as collective nouns, which are singular in American English but plural in British English), then do not worry about learning that construction. They have pulled such constructions from the real test.

Also, a note to American-centric students: the GMAC has started including certain details that might make you a little more uncomfortable (but your international counterparts have been dealing with such discomforts for years). For example, a math problem dealing with money might use pounds instead of dollars. Money is still money, but it is always a bit easier when you are reading about your own currency. A reading passage might talk about a historical figure who was very well known in Asia but not so well known in Western countries; again, American-centric students have been benefiting from these kinds of subtle advantages for decades.

Good luck with your prep; let us know if you have any questions!

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