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GMAT Preparation Tips: How Daljeet scored a 780

GMAT preparation tips are easy to come by on various sites. Using these ideas, there are many Indian MBA applicants who do well on the GMAT. A few others crack it. And then there are those who completely destroy it.

Daljeet Singh is one those warriors. After scoring a 780, he could’ve easily joined one of the elite GMAT preparation companies like Manhattan GMAT and made a killing. Instead, he chose to be part of an online marketing consultancy. He shares with us his story.

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GMAT preparation tips from a 780 scorer

by Daljeet

GMAT Preparation Tips and Advice for cracking 780MBA for me has always been a moving target. When I was in my last year of under graduation, I started preparing for CAT (2006). Spent a few months preparing for the same, gave mock CATs & read through Pagalguy discussion forums about others preparation tips etc. Basically did all I could. When the results came out I had 89 percentile. I was shattered. I had a few calls from decent institutes but not from the ones I was looking forward to joining.

Those were very depressing days. I had no idea what life would be, most of my friends either had calls from IIMs and the likes or were placed through their engineering colleges. I did not know what next to do in life, it was nightmarish then. Looking back, it was the best thing to have happened to me.

After the results, I started looking for a job and pretty soon, I was working for a large PR firm, that exposed me to various industries, their underlying business etc. I also kept upgrading my skills and did various evening / week-end courses in subjects as varied as finance, econometrics, stock markets etc.

A year later, I got a call from an old acquaintance who was working in one of the hottest start-ups in Indian online space, informing about an opening there. I immediately said yes. I later realized that it required moving to a totally different city, a pay that was less than what I was already earning and no job security. But then I had said ‘yes’ you see.

I moved to Mumbai, a week later and did not know a soul there. My boss was moving to US for next one year and I was the only person in sales / marketing. I had never done sales / marketing.

The next two and a half years were better than I could have hoped for. I worked with some of the most brilliant people in the industry. Did stuff I would not have been able to do in any other organization, achieved what I could not have achieved in any other organization.

Unfortunately, I had to move back to Delhi (my hometown) due to some personal complications and hence, left my job. Back in Delhi, I started receiving consulting offers from start-up and other small companies in my industry.

I did that for a while and then thought this could be done in a more structured manner and hence started my own company that helps educational institutes with online marketing. Also, immediately after I moved back, I gave my GMAT and got 720.

A lot of people said this was a decent score and I should not take a risk giving GMAT again, but I knew I could do better with a little effort, so a month later I gave GMAT and got 780.

Below are a few things that helped me during my preparation:

– I had taken a course that helped me put structure into my preparation and cleared most of my fundas in Quant (my low point).

– For verbal, I just did Manhattan GMAT’s Sentence Correction bible along with questions from official guide. I did MGMAT’s SC bible atleast 4 times over.

– I also bought Kaplan’s 800 (its newer version actually) but did not spend much on it. I did practice a few 700+ level question, But found them to be pretty average. Might be good though for someone who’s looking at more practice questions.

– The most useful resource I found for practice questions were in fact the Official Guides by GMAT.

– Manhattan GMAT also gives a set of practice questions for around $35 that my friend subscribed to, I found them to be well worth the money, unfortunately I looked at them after taking my second GMAT.

– I was very weak in Higher Math topics like Probability, high level algebra etc. So, I put in a lot of effort prior to my first GMAT to understand the fundas for those topics thoroughly. During my second GMAT, I did some amount of medium difficulty level questions and completely left the most difficult level questions as I knew there would be not more than 1-2 questions from that set. And I could spend the same time making the topics I was already strong at even stronger.

– Finally I think the only difference between a good GMAT score and a great GMAT score is your understanding of the underlying subject.

That’s what worked for me. I applied to Columbia, Duke & Wharton (my dream school) but was rejected by all of them (Columbia at least gave me an interview call). This year I have an ISB admit and am still contemplating whether to join or to focus on my own company as that has also picked up some steam in the last one year.

As Daljeet thinks about the next steps, we wish him all the best for his MBA plans.

So what worked for Daljeet seems to be the fact that he didn’t rely upon a single source of GMAT test prep material. He created a ‘personalised system’ that worked for him.

Not too different from these GMAT toppers who share many more tips on how to improve your GMAT score.

Try this short Free GMAT practice test now and get help on the Free GMAT Preparation helpdesk.

If you are looking for options to give your GMAT study plans some structure and discipline, check out our GMAT preparation courses page.

Set the ball rolling with a basic general course, then add the missing pieces as you discover them. And when you do get that fantastic GMAT score (or you already have one), let us know. We’ll publish your story too.

Here’s another story where another GMAT 780 scorer reveals his GMAT study plan to crack the exam without coaching.

And another one about an Indian who cracked 790 on the GMAT test using self-study.

If you’re just starting out, read how to score over 700 on the GMAT.

While you work on the GMAT, also ensure that you research what’s in store when it comes to MBA applications and the actual MBA course. Pick up a copy of Beyond The MBA Hype if you are serious about international MBA programs.

[Caution: It might shake you up a little…but hey, if you can’t survive a book, how will you take on the real world?]

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Sameer Kamat
About Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Follow me on: Instagram | Linkedin | Youtube

29 thoughts on “GMAT Preparation Tips: How Daljeet scored a 780”

  1. This is an awesome story of an awesome achievement!!
    at a 780, you could well be hired by Manhattan GMAT !!
    A few more details on how you cracked the Verbal section would also help fellow Indians, verbal being the Achilles heel of many.
    Congratulations on your ISB admit and I hope you decide what’s best for you!!


  2. Wow! Congrats on the 780 score and the ISB admit! Like Pranjali says, a few tips on how you managed the Verbal Section would definitely help aspiring GMATers.

    Cheers! All the best!

  3. gr8 work mann.. the score score itself is a gr8 achievement and the skill of moving on with even higher aims and giving ur best to achieve them too is evevn bigger achievement… it was really wonderfull to read it,, the way you have been flowing in the proffesional world is remarkable. good job and gud luck

    Japjeev Singh

  4. Congratulations Daljeet, your score and sheer hard-work is an inspiration in itself. People stop at milestones(720) but you my friend had the destination(750+) clear in you thought process.

    Do share the verbal preparation part though.

    I wish you good luck for the future.


  5. Hi Pranjali / Gopi,

    I dont think there is a magic potion to clearing verbal, the only way according to me is to practice. I was generally good in English, so I didnt pay much attention to it initially but when I started giving my first set of mocks I was quite disappointed to see my knowledge of english was not was GMAT was looking for. I had to completely un-learn what I knew, and then start all over again.

    The rules of verbal for GMAT are totally different from the ones we normally use in India. So, learning those set of rules is very important specially for Sentence Correction, which I think is the most important in verbal. Plus it is totally based on a set of rules and not subjective like RC etc., so you have a higher chance of getting all the questions here right.

    As I mentioned above I did Manhattan GMAT’s SC guide atleast 4 time, if you ask me what topic was there on page 74 or so I might still be able to tell you. That helped a lot.

    For RC etc., again there is no alternative to practice. Take Kaplan 800 and GMAT official guide should do.

  6. This is absolutely inspiring. Even for a person like me who hardly understands the GMAT thing. But I do know people could be totally crazy about attaining a 700+ in GMAT. The way you put your abilities to further testing by taking the test again even after getting a decent score like 720 is the most insirational part of the story. Wish you all the very best in future and may success be yours in every endeavour. 🙂

  7. Hi Daljeet,

    Score is just awesome!! Its a wow feeling!!Congrats.I know how one feels when we get returns for the hardwork we invested.

    But my query is, u said you r dumped by Duke & wharton.Sorry for that!.
    Can u let us know what may be “the probable reasons”?

    Did u gave ur interview with their alum?

    Even I too got dumped by Wharton for a score of 710. but interview was just too too good. The adcom was very very happy with my presentation. But still i got dunked!!

    Would like to hear your story!

  8. Hi Govardhan,

    I wasnt even given an interview call by Duke / Wharton, so I am sure it pretty much has to do with my essays. Also, yes I was interviewed by a Columbia alum based in India and it went fine, but I guess they had their reasons for not giving me a call.

  9. hii Daljeet…congrats..!!

    i want to ask how to prepare and gain confidence in verbal as i find myself very weak after solving some questions from OG…was this the same case with you…if yes plz help how to improve…??

  10. Hi Daljeet,

    Could you please list the resources / books you used for your GMAT study. This will help identify list of useful resources to pay attention to.

  11. hi daljeet sir,
    first of all congrats for your score in gmat and selection in isb .And keep on doing great work ,so that the people like us get inspired .i have a questuin that i don’t have much knowledge about gmat so sir can you tell me about books and other ways to prepare for it. im waiting for your reply sir.

  12. Hi Dalijeet,

    Excellent achievement.I could sense from your achievement your a big time risk taker.People like you should go ahead with ISB and contribute a lot to our country in terms of management or corporate governance.Your really an inspiration.Will follow your path and see hot far it works out to me 🙂 .Its very well clear “hard work along with some smartness never betrays true efforts”.

    Gud Luck.


  13. Hi Dalijeet,

    Did u apply for Harvard Business School???
    If yes,What happened??
    If no,are there any reasons to not apply for HBS???

    Could you please clarify on this

    Chaitu 🙂

    • Chaitu,
      Thanks for stopping by. This is an old post, so I don’t think Daljeet is still checking it out for queries/comments. But from the school list he has shared, seems like he didn’t apply to Harvard.

      Daljeet did not work with us, so I don’t know the reasons for his choice of schools (or for that matter, why none of the schools accepted him with such a strong profile). But I’m guessing it had more to do with ‘Fit’ and individual priorities.

  14. Dear All,

    I have just started the GMAT preparation.

    A single input will help me . So please share your experience and study material .



  15. Hi Friends and MBA Aspirants I wish you all the best for MBA and GMAT.
    Thanks to all who shared their experiences and achivements it is very impressive and inspirational.

    My target is ISB, I am looking for people who like to share information and preparation practices to help each other, I will share my preparation and strategy soon.


  16. Congratulations Daljeet!!!
    Thanks for sharing such a motivating article.It really feels great when we get returns for the hard work we invested.Good luck for your future.

  17. Hello Daljeet,
    My heartfelt congratulations on your success in GMAT.I am yet to give the exam and i am very excited about it.My friend scored a 700 after taking tuitions from jamboree institute delhi.She advised me to take tuitions for GMAT but i think i can give a good score without tuition.Please advise me some books to prepare for GMAT.
    Thank you

  18. Nowadays, gmat preparation coaching has been started by a lot of institutes. Confusion persists in the mind of aspiring students, which institute to opt for. Any help on which is the best option for gmat admissions consulting?

  19. Hello Guys..Its great to know abt Daljeet and M sure he must be recruited in some super big MNC or would have opened his own firm.

    I do not know If he is still looking for the posts or not but If anyone else can help me here..will higly appreciate it.
    I am from Bihar and as it happens in 90% cases over I am very good in Maths(Have scored Q49-July 2014) but when it comes to English it drive me crazy eventhough studing like crazy I have scoredd only V24 and had to cancel my score.

    I sooo much want to do it and started preparing again (Planning to give again in April 2015) but still I am getting V30 at max.I have taken KAPLAN tests and practiced it,even some of the online test which explored given it.
    Now planning to take Manhatten course in December and will put my 110% to do it in this April.I have an exp. of 7 years in TML and a three years of exp. overseas.If i will be able to get 720 can get the admission of my choices.
    Can anyone help me,How to improve my English portion Please..

    Thanks a lot

  20. hey i have an question from you that i am preparing for gmat and i am plannig to give a exam in jan 2016. so i had a question that if i cleared gmat exam with good score i.e approx 700 and above then can i get the admission in the us top university same year or not.

  21. Congratulations sir….really u have a very strong confidence regarding your skills and this is a very inspirational part of your story when your score increase by 60 marks……

  22. Your blog is really motivating and congrats for your brilliant success. Really Like it.
    Is there any good GMAT Preparation In Lahore?


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