The GMAT Focus Edition is the newest version of the GMAT exam and represents a significant update to the test. Along with changes to the test’s structure and format, the GMAT Focus also introduces a new scoring system and percentile rankings. These updated percentile rankings give test-takers and admissions committees insight into how Focus Edition scores compare to those from the standard GMAT.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the GMAT Focus Edition percentile rankings in detail. We will cover the basics of the new scoring system, explain what percentile rankings indicate, discuss how the initial percentiles were calculated, and analyze the percentile distributions across the Total, Quantitative, Verbal, and Data Insights scores.
The GMAT Focus exam has just 3 sections:
Each section is 45 minutes long, for a total test time of 2 hours 15 minutes. The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) has been removed.
Importantly, the 3 sections now share a common scoring scale from 60 to 90 points and contribute equally to the new 205-805 point Total Score. With this updated structure, the importance of Integrated Reasoning has increased significantly, now renamed ‘Data Insights’ and weighted equally with Quant and Verbal.
Along with your scaled scores, you will also receive percentile rankings for each section and your overall score. These percentiles indicate how your performance stacked up against other test takers from a recent period.
For example, scoring in the 80th percentile means you performed better than 80% of other test takers. Even if two students receive the same scaled score, their percentiles may differ based on overall scoring trends.
Admissions committees rely heavily on percentiles rather than just the raw scores. A 700 score may be excellent on the standard GMAT but more typical on the Focus Edition. Percentiles help contextualize scores across different tests.
Since the GMAT Focus is brand new, there are no actual test scores yet to calculate percentiles. However, the GMAC used historical data from over 866,000 past GMAT and Executive Assessment (EA) tests, focusing on the last 5 years of results.
The questions on the Focus Edition come directly from the main GMAT and EA, so this data provides a reasonable basis for setting initial percentiles. Of course, these may be adjusted over time as actual Focus results become available.
There are a few important changes with the Focus Edition that could impact how test takers perform:
If these factors significantly improve or worsen performance versus past exams, the initial percentiles could shift over time. But the large historical dataset should provide a solid starting point.
Now let’s analyze the actual percentile distributions for the Total, Quant, Verbal, and Data Insights scores on the GMAT Focus Edition.
The table below shows the percentile rankings for different total scores on the new GMAT Focus:
|Focus Total Score||Percentile Ranking|
Comparing these percentiles to the current GMAT shows it will likely be more difficult to achieve top scores on the Focus Edition. For example, on the regular GMAT a 760+ total score is 99th percentile. On the Focus, that distinction requires a score of 705+.
This indicates the Focus Edition will pose an overall greater challenge to test takers despite its shorter length. Admissions committees will rely heavily on percentiles for comparing applicants across both test versions.
Here are the percentile rankings for the GMAT Focus Quantitative section:
|Focus Quant Score||Percentile Ranking|
These percentiles also suggest the Quantitative section will be more challenging on the Focus Edition. On the current GMAT, a perfect 51 Quant score is 97th percentile. On the Focus, a perfect 90 is required for 97th percentile.
The percentile rankings for the GMAT Focus Verbal section are:
|Focus Verbal Score||Percentile Ranking|
On the current GMAT, Verbal scores from 45-51 are 99th percentile. On the Focus, only scores from 87-90 achieve this top ranking, again suggesting greater overall difficulty.
Finally, here are the percentile rankings for the new Data Insights section:
|Focus Data Insights Score||Percentile Ranking|
Since Integrated Reasoning questions are now part of Data Insights, these percentiles provide insight into expected performance on this revamped section. A score of 80 represents about the 80th percentile, a useful reference point.
What score is 95th percentile in GMAT Focus Edition rankings?
A total score of 695 is required to reach the 95th percentile ranking on the GMAT Focus Edition.
What percentile is a 770 GMAT Focus Edition score?
A total score of 770 on the GMAT Focus Edition corresponds to the 100th percentile ranking.
The GMAT Focus Edition brings an updated structure and scoring system, requiring new percentile rankings to help interpret results. While the initial percentiles are based on historical data, they suggest achieving top scores will be more difficult on the Focus exam. Admissions committees will rely heavily on percentiles to contextualize scores and compare applicants across both the standard GMAT and new Focus Edition.