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?
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.
– 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.