How to get a perfect 800 GMAT score

Aiming for a perfect 800 score on the GMAT? You aren’t the only one. There are many who want to go where few have gone before. The Big 8-0-0!

Is it even possible to get a perfect 800 GMAT score? Yes, it is. And you’ll find the occasional post on GMAT preparation forums and blogs on ‘How I got the perfect 800 score on the GMAT test’ (or similar sounding euphoric accounts and debriefs).

Such posts get the maximum attention as every aspiring GMAT student and MBA applicant flocks to the discussion thread to find out the secrets to cracking the GMAT test and getting the best possible score. The rationale is – if more than one regular homo sapien without superpowers can get the perfect 800 score, why can’t I?

Here are some examples of people who got perfect 800 GMAT scores. Candidate 1, Candidate 2 and Candidate 3.

It is difficult to generalise what worked for them. But here are a few pointers that come up more frequently for the 800 GMAT scorers.

GMAT Preparation Tips for a perfect 800 GMAT score

–          Being naturally gifted when it comes to standardised tests is a huge plus

–          Have a study plan that suits you (don’t blindly follow what worked for others)

–          Never ignore the basic prep material like the Official Guide (OG) and GMATPrep software

–          Supplement it with additional GMAT material on a need basis

–          Review the answers (specially those that you get wrong)

–          Thoroughly understand the underlying concepts that apply to each question type

–          Don’t focus only on the super-hard (700+) questions, as it can shake your confidence levels

–          Work on building your mental stamina. Know how your brain behaves under stress and fatigue
There you go. The ‘secrets’ of how to score a perfect 800 GMAT score might not seem like secrets at all. But strategies never won battles, the implementation of those strategies did.

But what most MBA applicants fail to see is that an 800 score on the GMAT doesn’t guarantee anything when it comes to the top bschools. The best international schools consider many other criteria while evaluating MBA applications – the most important being MBA essays, recommendations and MBA interviews. Applicants with perfect scores are rejected routinely by the top bschools. The 800 GMAT scorer listed earlier (i.e. Candidate 1) got rejected by Wharton. Also check out this post and this one for more examples of 800 scorers who’ve been rejected.

One might argue that a perfect 800 GMAT score can actually be a hinderance, as it is ends up raising the bar for the rest of your application. If you can’t back up a high GMAT score with equally strong essays and interviews, you run the risk of portraying yourself as a nerd who’s only good at cracking maths and verbal questions, rather than real world business problems.

So take a step back to see the bigger picture. Focus on the GMAT and try to get a good score. But don’t set impractical targets for yourself. Because, even if you do end up with a very high GMAT score, it won’t amount to anything if you haven’t thought about making the rest of the application stronger than your competitors.

If a perfect 800 GMAT score looks impractical, despair not. Read the success stories about Indians who got into the top business school with average GMAT scores.

Try this short Free GMAT practice test.

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MBA Crystal Ball provides professional Admissions Consulting services. Hire us to improve your chances of getting into the top international universities. Email: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com

Sameer Kamat //
Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. For professional Admissions Consulting or Career Counselling, connect with me on Google+ | Twitter | Facebook


  1. online_presence says:

    Hey can you please suggest some good gmat coaching institutes in delhi ncr region. Thanks

  2. Sameer Kamat says:

    If you can’t get word-of-mouth recommendations, make Google your best friend. You’ll have plenty of names to check out.

  3. Rohit says:

    Got to love Sameer’s comments. @online_presence Seriously dude, with a ton of instruments at your disposal (Internet, consultant, friends etc), you can do much better than post a comment asking for a quick fix solution. Take some time in doing your due diligence rather than wanting everything served on a platter. A lot of netizens (mostly Indians) on most of the GMAT forums expect quick fix answers even when most of their questions have either been previously answered or are so poorly researched and written that they fail to illicit a response. A very unbecoming thought process for a future MBA student.

  4. Sameer Kamat says:

    Rohit bhai, thanks for elaborating on my diplomatically packaged answer :-)

  5. Aditya says:

    How is mba from Smeal college of business, Pennstate & Georgia Institue of Technology Scheller as compared to top 30 b schools in India.
    I got to know there is a good chance to get scholarship in these with good profile & decent GMAT score. Waiting for reply!!
    In two scenarios :-
    1.) A person wants to settle in US??
    2.) Wants to come back to India??

  6. Anik says:

    Hi Sameer

    I am having 6yrs experience in banking and is preparing for Gmat16-17. My marks in10th/12th/btech is 77%/58%/80%. Will it be possible to get admission at iims with this 12th percentage if I score above 750 at gmat?


  7. Sandeep Agarwal says:

    Hi.I am preparing for GMAT.I am studying in NIT puducherry.
    1.Can you please tell me the books to use for GMAT?
    2.Can you please guide me whether I should do an internship or not?
    3.What kind of job should I do for work experience?

  8. Sharad says:

    Hi Sameer,

    I am in a state of big confusion. I am having over 6+ years of experience in IT, currently earning somewhere around 17 LPA with a good financial domain company. Although CTC does look ok but I am not satisfied with my day to day work, I am sure that this is not going to be my purpose of entire life. So please help me in finding what should be the next solution here. I want to go for 1 year executive program from some reputed institution. Please have a look at my profile and suggest next step.

    Graduation 2009 from ICFAI 7.8 CGPA (There is GAP between 12th and Engineering of one year)
    12th 2004 66% (There is a gap of one year)
    10th 2001 71%

    Should I go for this kind of program and what are my chances if I score well in GMAT (Please suggest some tentative score here as well, looking at my profile). Should I apply for this year exam?

    Please help me and reply.

  9. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Aditya: Both decent options if you can work for a few years in the US. Not much market value back in India.

    @Anik: 12th percentage may matters a little for traditional 2 year MBA programs, but not so much for GMAT courses.

    @Sandeep: For the best GMAT books list, this should help:
    An internship should be good if you can get into the industry of your choice.
    Any experience that exposes you to managerial and leadership skills early on would be good.

    @Sharad: To repeat the main message from ‘Beyond The MBA Hype’ – Don’t look at an MBA degree as a magic pill to solve your worries. Spend some time trying to find out what you enjoy doing (work-wise) and if an MBA is really needed to get there.

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