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# The truth about African American GMAT scores

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Intern
Joined: 27 Jul 2015
Posts: 16

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28 Mar 2017, 21:45
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Let me start by saying why I'm writing this. As an African American, I was shocked to learn the massive achievement gap between AA's and other test takers when I began my GMAT process. After reading through the GMAC data reports, I searched this forum and others assuming this knowledge was known, but found almost nothing except one post on one profile review. So although you may know this, I insure, most do not. As disheartening as the GMAT achievement gap was from a societal standpoint, it was equally motivating for me to know that I can put myself at an unbelievable advantage by doing well on my GMAT. With that in mind, I hope that other African Americans can use this post as a motivator themselves, and we can increase our representation in top tier business schools.

Now onto the achievement gap itself. All of this info is based on official GMAC released data reports. The latest year can be found here: http://www.gmac.com/~/media/Files/gmac/Research/diversity-enrollment/ty-2015-diversity-brief-african-americans.pdf. Know that although that is just the 2015 test taking year, I've looked at other years and statistically, the variance is nominal.

What's the punchline? In any given year, there are 120-140 African American's that score above a 700 on the GMAT. That's total. For the entire GMAT year. Per that report, 5843 African Americans took the GMAT in 2015 and 2.3% scored above a 700, or 134 people. Assuming that every one of those test takers is unique, thats about 600-700 African Americans that have gotten above a 700 in that last five years combined. Why this matters from an application perspective should be obvious. Although it's not publicized, top b schools are fighting tooth and nail for these candidates to diversify their class. Considering a typical bell curve for 700+ scores, you are talking about maybe 60 total AA applicants in a given application cycle who have a 720+ score which is so often considered the threshold for M7 and top schools. In other words, MBA programs finding an African American applicant who will not lower their overall GMAT average is a treasure.

Now this being said, application execution and interviews still weigh heavily. There is no such thing as a shoe-in in my opinion especially when you start getting into M7 and even more so HSW. But understanding this data was pivotal for me. My hope is that other AAs will see this and realize what doors open to them by crushing the GMAT. Even if you have no reaction to this, that's totally OK. But I wanted to post so that it pops up on google when some searches "african american gmat scores."

Also, I know this isn't the exact forum for this but this was such a huge part of my GMAT experience I decided to post it here.
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Joined: 14 Nov 2017
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09 Feb 2018, 15:48
I feel the exact way. I'm a hispanic and see that there's a similar problem with scores for us as well and the first thought that came to my head was this is actually a good thing for me! Now I don't have to look at the entire average bell curve, just the one for my race, and since it's a lot easier it should work in my favor! I hope all minorities eventually think this way and 5 years from now we even out with the rest of the groups.

Just my .02
Director
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GMAT 1: 770 Q47 V48
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Updated on: 16 Apr 2018, 08:57
Top Contributor
HI Character, you are absolutely right: where there is scarcity, lies opportunity.

Best of luck in your quest for a 700 score! You can follow the link at the bottom of my signature for a bevy of free GMAT prep advice.

-Brian
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Harvard grad and 99% GMAT scorer, offering expert, private GMAT tutoring and coaching worldwide since 2002.

One of the only known humans to have taken the GMAT 5 times and scored in the 700s every time (700, 710, 730, 750, 770), including verified section scores of Q50 / V47, as well as personal bests of 8/8 IR (2 times), 6/6 AWA (4 times), 50/51Q and 48/51V.

You can download my official test-taker score report (all scores within the last 5 years) directly from the Pearson Vue website: https://tinyurl.com/y7knw7bt Date of Birth: 09 December 1979.

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Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 09 Feb 2018, 19:44.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 16 Apr 2018, 08:57, edited 2 times in total.
Intern
Joined: 01 Nov 2017
Posts: 30

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10 Apr 2018, 20:59
As a black man, thank you for sharing this. I went to a top 25 university and have a pretty decent finance-type job, but am really hoping I can breach 700. It will be a tough journey as I'm starting from 520 and have < 3 months to study.
Current Student
Joined: 11 Apr 2018
Posts: 44
GMAT 1: 760 Q51 V41

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11 Apr 2018, 05:08
Character wrote:
Let me start by saying why I'm writing this. As an African American, I was shocked to learn the massive achievement gap between AA's and other test takers when I began my GMAT process. After reading through the GMAC data reports, I searched this forum and others assuming this knowledge was known, but found almost nothing except one post on one profile review. So although you may know this, I insure, most do not. As disheartening as the GMAT achievement gap was from a societal standpoint, it was equally motivating for me to know that I can put myself at an unbelievable advantage by doing well on my GMAT. With that in mind, I hope that other African Americans can use this post as a motivator themselves, and we can increase our representation in top tier business schools.

Now onto the achievement gap itself. All of this info is based on official GMAC released data reports. The latest year can be found here: http://www.gmac.com/~/media/Files/gmac/Research/diversity-enrollment/ty-2015-diversity-brief-african-americans.pdf. Know that although that is just the 2015 test taking year, I've looked at other years and statistically, the variance is nominal.

What's the punchline? In any given year, there are 120-140 African American's that score above a 700 on the GMAT. That's total. For the entire GMAT year. Per that report, 5843 African Americans took the GMAT in 2015 and 2.3% scored above a 700, or 134 people. Assuming that every one of those test takers is unique, thats about 600-700 African Americans that have gotten above a 700 in that last five years combined. Why this matters from an application perspective should be obvious. Although it's not publicized, top b schools are fighting tooth and nail for these candidates to diversify their class. Considering a typical bell curve for 700+ scores, you are talking about maybe 60 total AA applicants in a given application cycle who have a 720+ score which is so often considered the threshold for M7 and top schools. In other words, MBA programs finding an African American applicant who will not lower their overall GMAT average is a treasure.

Now this being said, application execution and interviews still weigh heavily. There is no such thing as a shoe-in in my opinion especially when you start getting into M7 and even more so HSW. But understanding this data was pivotal for me. My hope is that other AAs will see this and realize what doors open to them by crushing the GMAT. Even if you have no reaction to this, that's totally OK. But I wanted to post so that it pops up on google when some searches "african american gmat scores."

Also, I know this isn't the exact forum for this but this was such a huge part of my GMAT experience I decided to post it here.
That's a valuable insight. Thank you for sharing. More strength and power for you!

Hope you rock it on the GMAT!

Sent from my SM-T285 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
Intern
Joined: 11 Apr 2019
Posts: 1

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11 Apr 2019, 22:43
Thank you for sharing this. Invaluable for me to understand. Made working hard for over 700 worth it.

I recently applied to HBS 2+2 with a score over 700 and am hoping it works out for me. How has the GMAT gone for you?

Posted from my mobile device
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13 Apr 2019, 18:09
Hi Thing2,

Congrats on your 700 GMAT score and good luck with HBS… I hope things work out for you!
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Intern
Joined: 27 May 2019
Posts: 3
Location: United States (WI)
GPA: 3.1
WE: Information Technology (Consulting)

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09 Jun 2019, 14:10
1
Seeing this literally made my day. I am looking to break 700+ as an African american male. This post gave me infinitely more motivation to absolutely crush the GMAT. I literally searched in this forum "african american", and I found this forum post, so your intentions and actions worked. Thank you again, and here are the 02/2018 results and stats for AA's from the GMAC.
Re: The truth about African American GMAT scores   [#permalink] 09 Jun 2019, 14:10
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