With most of the top business schools across the globe requiring a 700+ score, GMAT is not only difficult, but also the most dreaded test for many.
(Read How this applicant took 5 attempts to reach his dream GMAT score)
Therefore, for anyone who is hoping to bag an MBA scholarship, or trying to make their application stand out because their profile is rather weak, or simply trying to increase their chances of receiving an admit, GMAT is one barrier that they must cross.
At any time during their GMAT journey, a lot of students stop to ask themselves…
How to score over 700 on GMAT
by Piyush Beriwala | Founder, GMATWhiz
Before we get into the how-to’s of GMAT, let us first understand why a 700+ score on GMAT is desirable.
Why is it important to score over 700?
Your GMAT score enjoys a 22% weightage in your application. Not only will a high GMAT score like 700 or more make it easier to get noticed by the adcoms, but it will also increase your chances of getting accepted for a scholarship in the school of your choice.
If you belong to an over-represented applicant pool such as an Indian with a degree in IT or a Chinese working in Investment Banking, then a high GMAT score becomes all the more important to confirm your admission in international B-schools.
Let’s have a look at the average GMAT scores of some of the top schools to understand its importance in getting selected.
Top B-schools and Average GMAT scores
|School||2019 Class Average GMAT||2018 Class Average||Y-O-Y Change|
|Kellogg School of Management||730||732||-2|
|Harvard Business School||730||730||-–-|
|Columbia Business School, NY||727||732||-5|
How hard is it to score 700 on GMAT?
Out of all the students who appear for the GMAT, only 12% manage to score 700+ on GMAT. So, it is safe to say that crossing the 700 mark is no cakewalk.
While some students put in the right amount of effort and hard work into their prep to reach their dream score of 700 on GMAT, there are some others who despite putting in months of effort, struggle to cross the 700 barrier.
So, why is it that some applicants manage to score 700 in the first attempt while others do not? Let’s understand –
How you plan your GMAT preparation matters a lot
Understand the importance of having a Personalized GMAT Study Plan.
After interviewing thousands of successful and unsuccessful students over the years, we found that having an effective study plan holds the key to scoring 700 on GMAT.
Most working professionals who do not start with a pre-defined personalized study plan fail to build the momentum required to score 700+.
To reach your desired goal, it is imperative that you plan your studies effectively with clear deadlines assigned to each goal.
More than 90% students fail to understand the importance of having a study plan and eventually opt for retaking the GMAT.
What does it take to build a fool proof GMAT study plan?
There are multiple factors one must consider while creating a study plan:
- Current skill level – Strengths & Weaknesses
- Time available per week
- Target score
- Pace of Learning
- Right sequence of learning
Note: To make it easy for you, in the next article we cover a step-by-step guide to prepare an effective study plan.
If you wish to create a free personalized GMAT study plan right away, you can do so by using the link below:
Why a Personalized Study Plan?
The personalized study plan will automatically take the required inputs from you and create a detailed plan for you in 5 mins laying out details of exactly what you need to do every single day to reach your GMAT goal.
The key is to ensure that you put a minimum of 10-15 hrs every week to study for GMAT and maintain the momentum by not taking breaks between study cycles.
How much effort is needed to score 700+ on GMAT?
The answer to this question can be a little tricky. As we mentioned earlier, the total hours of effort one needs to reach their GMAT goal depends on a multitude of factors.
While some students, particularly working professionals, believe that studying for 8-10 hours over the weekends may do the trick for them, in most cases it proves to be the most inefficient way of preparing for GMAT.
Generally, basic preparation for Quant requires about 100-150 hrs of effort and Verbal requires around 100-170 hrs of effort.
Add 50-100 hrs of fine-tuning your weaknesses and mock testing on top of it.
So all-in-all, GMAT Preparation can take anywhere between 250 and 425 hrs for a first-time test taker.
This might look like a lot to start with, but it is all about consistent effort of 3-5 months if planned properly. If you’re already good in Quant/Verbal, it will reduce your effort further.
|Area||Min Time Required||Max Time Required|
|Quant||100 hrs||150 hrs|
|Verbal||100 hrs||170 hrs|
|Fine Tuning||50 hrs||100 hrs|
|Total Time||250 hrs||425 hrs|
Are you a Re-taker?
The equation changes completely for re-takers since several factors come into picture here. We need to understand your use case in depth to help you with the same.
If you are stuck with a low score and need help, you can schedule a discussion with a GMAT Strategy Expert by writing to us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
How many questions can you get wrong and still score a 700?
Now, to understand their possibilities at GMAT better, many students wonder about the number of questions they can afford to get wrong on the test.
Since GMAT is a Computer Adaptive Test, it is important to understand that it is not just the number of questions that matter, it is also the difficulty-level of the questions you get right. Let us tell show you how –
Consider the ESR below. Student 1 who made 7 mistakes in the Verbal section scored a 94 percentile (V41), whereas Student 2 who made just 5 mistakes scored a mere 71 percentile (V34).
Clearly, even with 2 less mistakes, the other student scored 23 percentiles less than the other, something that can decrease your overall GMAT score by 50 points easily.
So, why are the scores so different for the students?
This happens because the difficulty level of the questions also impacts your scores, among other factors.
Hence, it is important that you get the hard questions right to score 700+ on GMAT.
Building your skills in a way that you’re able to solve a question of any difficulty level from any topic tested on GMAT is one of the best things you can do to ace the GMAT.
The secret to score 700+ on GMAT?
Archaic methods of learning do not work for GMAT Prep. Many people start by practising tons of questions without any proper strategy in place.
Since, in GMAT it is important to answer the questions correctly within 2 mins, most people think that doing so demands learning shortcuts and tricks to solve questions.
But on the contrary, GMAT questions are very logical and hence shortcuts don’t work on most difficult questions.
What’s the solution then?
The solution is to learn the right methods to solve each question type.
The best methods for solving various question types are mentioned below with links to some webinar recordings that can help you learn these methods:
- Sentence Correction – Meaning based Approach
Always focus on understanding the meaning of the sentence provided and not just on the grammar rules applicable.
- Critical Reasoning – Framework Driven Pre-thinking
Don’t just read the argument provided. Understand the structure and the scope that helps you understand the missing links.
- Reading Comprehension – Involved & Evolved Reading
Don’t skim through the GMAT RC passages. Most of the questions are inferential in nature and require an in-depth understanding of the passage.
- Data Sufficiency – Pre-Analysis
The most challenging question type in Quant is Data Sufficiency mainly because students don’t do enough analysis of the question stem before moving to the individual statements.
If you would like to learn these methodologies in depth, you can do so by checking out this webinar series which covers all the above aspects.
Ideally, once you have learnt a concept, you should focus on solving 10 questions of different varieties one at a time, using the above methods.
Right after you solve a question, focus on reviewing the solution and tally the approach you took with the right approach mentioned in the solution.
Sample 700 level Question and how to approach it?
Using the right method is key to solve 700 level questions with high accuracy. Let’s take an example to understand.
Given below is a Verbal Official Question from GMAT. Take a shot at it and review the video solution link provided below to understand the importance of following the right method. Ensure that you solve the question yourself before reviewing the solution.
Disclaimer – This is an official GMAT question created by GMAC and is their property. We are just sharing this question for reference perspective to impart an important learning to students. We don’t claim any rights over this question.
Official 700 level Question
- A substance derived from Madagascar periwinkle, which has proved useful in decreasing mortality among young leukemia patients, is cultivated in China as part of a program to integrate traditional herbal medicine into a contemporary system of health care.
(A) A substance derived from Madagascar periwinkle, which has proved useful in decreasing mortality among young leukemia patients
(B) A derivative, which has proved useful in decreasing mortality among young leukemia patients, of the Madagascar periwinkle
(C) A Madagascar periwinkle derivative, which has proved useful in decreasing mortality among young leukemia patients
(D) The Madagascar periwinkle has a derivative which has proved useful in decreasing
(E) The Madagascar periwinkle, a derivative of which has proved useful in decreasing mortality among young leukemia patients,
Make sure you have attempted the question seriously before reading this solution, otherwise you won’t gain as much from the solution.
Most people pick the right answer as Choice C in this case as it sounds grammatically correct in general, but since GMAT is a logical test it expects you to understand the logical meaning of a sentence and ensure that the correct answer communicates a logical meaning. The correct answer to this question is Choice E.
The trick lies in understanding the right logical subject of the verb “is cultivated” in the above question.
A derivative cannot be cultivated only a plant can be cultivated. The only plant mentioned in the sentence is “Madagascar Periwinkle” and that’s why Choice E is the correct answer.
Now you might be thinking how do I know that “Madagascar Periwinkle” is a plant. That’s where the right approach comes into picture.
You need to correlate the meaning of the entire sentence to understand it. The core of the sentence talks about Integrating herbal medicine.
Now herbal medicine is something derived from an herb. The derived thing is the derivative and the only herb possible in the entire sentence is Madagascar Periwinkle.
So, unless you focus on the complete meaning of the sentence, you cannot get this question right and that’s why Meaning based approach is a must to solve 700 level SC questions.
Similarly, the other approaches mentioned above hold the key in scoring 700+ on GMAT in first attempt.
In the end remember that many people score 700+ on their first attempt on GMAT and if you approach your preparation strategically, you can be one too.
So, get started with your preparation and ensure that you don’t fall for shortcuts. Focus on studying consistently and you will ace the GMAT with flying colors.
Feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com for any further queries related to your GMAT Preparation.
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About the author: Piyush Beriwala is the founder of GMATWhiz. He has spent over 8 years in the education field and trained over 5000 students. He has earlier worked with TIME, KPMG and e-GMAT.