The Relationship Between Scores on the Graduate Management Admission Test and the Test of English as a Foreign Language™

Powers, Donald E.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
RR-80-31, TOEFL-RR-05
Document Type:
Subject/Key Words:
Comparative analysis English tests foreign students Graduate Management Admission Test graduate students verbal ability


In addition to scores on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), which are required of applicants to a substantial number of Graduate Management Schools, Foreign Candidates may also be required to submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language™ (TOEFL®) as an indication of English Language proficiency. The present study provides an analysis of the relationships among TOEFL and GMAT total scores and subscores for a large sample of Foreign GMAT candidates. The sample included GMAT candidate files from September 1977 to August 1979 of candidates (1) who were not United States citizens; (2) whose language of greatest fluency was not English; and (3) who had taken TOEFL between 1977 and 1979. Scatterpoints were generated for samples of candidates for each of the least-squares regression analyses. The results suggest that the apparent "discrepancies" between TOEFL scores and GMAT verbal scores are, because of differences in score scales, norming populations, intended purposes, and levels of difficulty, to be expected. The relationships (and "discrepancies") between TOEFL and GMAT scores are relatively similar for candidates from several countries.


Find a Publication

Advanced Search

Closing the Achievement Gap

Closing the Achievement GapLearn more about ETS's commitment to closing the achievement gap through rigorous research, thought-provoking forums and more.