Getting into Harvard University is a dream for many MBA aspirants. The Harvard GMAT cutoff is considered to be one of the most difficult cut-offs to meet. It is widely known that getting into the university is a challenging and difficult process – in 2020, Harvard’s acceptance rate was just 9.9%.

If your goal is to secure a seat in the Harvard Business School, you need to have a well-rounded profile. If you are able to secure admission, The MBA program designed by Harvard can help you achieve your career goals and have a positive impact on your professional life for years to come. However, your GMAT score holds only 22% weightage in your application. So, keep in mind that scoring well on the GMAT is only one aspect of the ideal application to Harvard.

Harvard GMAT Cutoff: A sneak peek

If we take a look at the trend of the average GMAT scores for Harvard business school, the cutoff achieved by members of the class graduating from Harvard in the year 2022 is 730. So, does this mean to ensure admission, the GMAT score required for Harvard is 730? No, that is not the case, because average scores can be highly misleading. Of late, students having a score in the range of 620 to 679 were able to secure admission to Harvard too. 

You will be surprised to know that Harvard Business School has even admitted a few students whose GMAT scores lay in the range of 500 to 600. The accepted range of 620-790 that we commonly find on the Internet or hear through word of mouth is only one side of the story. Several students have been admitted who have not achieved a GMAT score in the range commonly believed to be ideal for Ivy League college applications. The admission statistics resemble a bell curve, where while a majority of admitted students scored 700 or more on their GMAT, several students also scored scores lower than 700.

What is a good GMAT Score for Harvard?

Below is a guide that will help you understand key facts about the GMAT cutoff score for Harvard:

  • Be in the safe zone of 750-800

If your GMAT score is in the range of 750 to 800, and your work experience is adequate, then you can consider yourself to be on the right track for Harvard. Other factors add credibility to your application, including overall GPA, resume, and quality of recommendations. You need to keep in mind that even a score of 800 cannot guarantee your admission to Harvard. Around 10% of students with this score are rejected each year. 

Having a good GMAT score will make your application more appealing. Once the desired score is attained, the next step is to prepare for the other essential components required for your application. Now is the time to polish your application, gather impressive letters of recommendation, and write a great essay. Begin interview preparations as soon as you know that your score lies in the required range, as chances are high that you will be able to proceed to the next stage of admission.

Harvard University GMAT Scores: Know Where You Stand

Here are some pointers that will help you understand what areas of your application you should focus on. For some, it can be retaking the test, and for others, it can be working on other aspects like their application or interpersonal skills to stand out. 

Here are the different zones you might find yourself in after you get your GMAT score:

  • The go-for-it zone (690-740)

If your GMAT score is between 690-740, then there is a good chance that you will be eligible for the next stage of the admission process. However, that’s just the beginning. Now you need to start working on the other aspects of your admission process. You can begin by preparing for the interview. Make sure you brush up on your interpersonal skills and your knowledge of current affairs. Ensure that your essay and letters of recommendation are impressive.

  • The questionable zone (650-690)

If you are an applicant whose GMAT score lies between 650-690, your application might face some extra scrutiny from the admissions committee. The trick here is to come up with something unique that others won’t have. Out of all applicants having a score below 690, only 10% are invited for an interview, and there is usually something exceptional about their applications or work experience.

  • The shock zone (450-650)

If you know someone who was given admission to Harvard even with a GMAT score below 480, then you must be aware that those are some extraordinary people or they have had challenging lives. There are very few candidates who are able to secure admission to Harvard with a score below 650, so if your score lies in this range, you should consider reattempting the GMAT and trying for a higher score.

Tips to Making Harvard University Application Count

  • Do your research well. Make sure you know the recent trend in GMAT score cutoffs for Harvard before you start preparing for your GMAT exam, so you can set a goal for yourself.
  • Build your profile well, assess whether your existing work experience is enough for your application to Harvard, and if you can complete an internship or similar in your field of choice so as to add to your profile, consider doing that.
  • Write a great essay. Be authentic and concise.
  • Your letters of recommendation are an important part of your application. Request these at an appropriate time from former teachers at college or managers you have worked with in your present or former job, as it is likely that they will take longer to complete these than you anticipate.

Have faith in yourself and your application, and work hard to attain the Harvard GMAT cutoff. Keep in mind that those who are able to secure admission to Harvard Business School likely envisioned it as a milestone in their professional career and worked hard to achieve it over an extended period of time. Hard and smart work on the GMAT and the other components of your application will go a long way, and significantly improve your chances of admission. You never know what clicks with the admissions committee, so remember that they are experienced professionals who are trained to spot a capable applicant. Do your best and trust yourself.

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Harvard GMAT Cutoff: Practice Quiz

Here is a quick GMAT practice quiz for you to attempt!

1 / 3

While experimenting with the Staphylococcus bacteria, a rare strain of Penicillium notatum was discovered by Alexander Fleming, a discovery which led to the introduction of antibiotics for the treatment of infections.

2 / 3

In a recent mayor election in city X, people can vote to either candidate M or candidate N but not both and they can vote through postal ballot paper or Electronic voting machine (EVM) but not both. If 40% of the voters in city X voted for candidate N and candidate N received 25% of his total vote through postal ballot paper and total of 40% voters voted through postal ballot paper, then what percentage of the voters, voted candidate M through EVM?

3 / 3

The number of wild Gorillas living in Central Africa dropped from an estimated 2 million in 1940 to around 60,000 in 2012. Although conservation efforts have slowed down the shocking decline, the survival of the wild Gorilla in Central Africa is uncertain even now. Still, it is without doubt that the best chances of survival for the Gorilla is in Central Africa.

The statements above, if true, support which of the following?

Your score is

The average score is 25%



  1. Why should I aim to apply to the Harvard University MBA programme?

Harvard Business School is one of the most prestigious management schools in the world. It accepts only the best of students, and offers training fitting for them.

  1. Where is Harvard University located?

Harvard University is located in the state of Massachusetts in the United States of America.

  1. If my GMAT score is slightly lower than the GMAT cutoff score for Harvard, do I still stand a chance of getting admitted to the college?

Even if your GMAT score is lower than 700, you may still be eligible for the next round of the admissions process if your profile stands out and you have experience that suggests you might still be a good candidate for Harvard – so don’t lose hope if you got a slightly lower GMAT score. If you are unsatisfied with your score, you can consider reattempting the GMAT as well.

Good luck!


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