Best way to score 720+ on GMAT?
June 2, 2010 12:20 PM   Subscribe

Looking to score 720+ on the GMAT for b-school. Now how do I do that? Kaplan course? Veritas?

I am a decent test-taker (about 1400 SAT/29 ACT), but not the best. Just graduated college and looking to take the GMAT now, as I do plan to attend business school within the next five years.

I want to score a 720 to keep my options open, as I don't know where I want to apply and I figure a high score can't hurt.

I'm willing to put up the money for an expensive test prep course, *if* it will help me score 720+, but I'm not interested in spending $1500 for a score below 700. Assume that I will be putting in additional studying outside of the course time (which I plan to).

What's my best course of action? Veritas, which seems to offer "better" teachers and seems a little more elite for the 700+ crowd? Or Kaplan for just about the same price? I notice Kaplan has a GMAT Advanced course for a 600+ scoring crowd.

Any other options/suggestions?

My quant skills are a little weaker than my reading/writing/comprehension skills.

Thanks so much in advance.
posted by Dukat to Education (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
In addition to any test prep classes you may find, consider going to your local community college for a semester of calculus. It shouldn't cost that much at CC, and if you take the test soon after you finish the course, you should do so much better on the quant portion. I know I did!
posted by wwartorff at 12:38 PM on June 2, 2010 [1 favorite] has a lot of great tips and articles. Particularly keep his articles about what it means to get a 700 in mind.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:53 PM on June 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

I had a very good experience with ManhattanGMAT. I don't know where you live but maybe they have a class near you.

Things I liked about them:
Very patient and knowledgeable teachers (all of whom have scored in the 99 percentile)
Good practice questions, tips and tricks
Focus on actual GMAT Questions

I took the online class, which although was superb didn't motivate me enough.
posted by Lucubrator at 2:02 PM on June 2, 2010

I used to teach GMAT. I'd get a tutor. If you're already scoring highly, it probably isn't a content issue, rather a test taking issue. Larger classes are only so helpful for the latter.
posted by k8t at 2:10 PM on June 2, 2010

First, go get a few practice exams - either included with a prep book or online. Take them and see where your score falls. Assume that a test prep course is good for boosting your score by about 50-100 points, and then decide if that's worth it to you. Your alternative is to study by yourself, which depending on your habits could be worth a few points or a lot of points.

Keep in mind that scores above 700 are considered excellent by most top schools, and that your other qualities will weigh in greater proportion than additional test points. In other words, a top school is probably going to take more interest in the person with a 700 who has an interesting professional background than the person with a 750 who hasn't had a lot of work experience.

Factor that into your planning and budget as well. You may be better off scoring a 700 and saving the prep money to spend on something that will professionally advance you in other ways (training, starting a business club, becoming a leader in a charity, etc).
posted by fremen at 2:34 PM on June 2, 2010

The founder of Veritas, Chad Troutwine, was my instructor when I did the Testmasters course (Yes, he's that goddamn smart; I think he got a 178 or something). My impression is that the Veritas system is similar to the Testmasters approach, and Testmasters was very effective: it raised my LSAT score 10 points.
posted by holterbarbour at 4:13 PM on June 2, 2010

My friend is a teacher for Manhattan GMAT and he loves it. It's serious business for them; as they say on their own site, they pay their teachers at least $100/hr, which is dramatically higher than industry average, to try to retain the best talent. They also focus highly on feedback and making sure their stable of teachers is tops.

As for my friend, he read a book on the GMAT, took it later that week, and scored a 760. Asshole.
posted by disillusioned at 5:01 PM on June 2, 2010

There is nothing on the GMAT that you weren't exposed to in high school. I would recommend self study with a Princeton Review to get exposure to the questions and self-tests and then a course of your choosing. Veritas and ManhattanGMAT are likely good choices for someone with your objectives.

I agree with fremen... a good GMAT score will only take you so far. If b-school is in your future, then make sure your career achievements lead to essay/interview/resume worthy topics.
posted by Andy's Gross Wart at 5:04 PM on June 2, 2010

1. set a regular study schedule
2. get your hands on AS MANY sample tests as possible
3. practice practice practice answering questions on all these sample tests

your time is much better spent practicing as many sample GMAT questions as possible in place of spending time sitting in a class.

as mentioned in previous posts, essays and resume will count significantly more past a certain test score point (eg 700).
posted by cranberryskies at 11:34 AM on June 11, 2010

Hi all--update for future searchers. Took a Manhattan GMAT class and was so impressed by the quality of the instructor. Not only did he score a 770 on the GMAT, he was smart and very engaging and kept the class right on schedule. I'll let you know how the score pans out. Manhattan GMAT has been very eye-opening and I've been seeing my speed and confidence improve as I take practice tests thanks to the Manhattan approach.
posted by Dukat at 11:40 AM on July 28, 2010

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