How do you get a 750+ on the GMAT?
August 3, 2005 8:56 AM   Subscribe

After using numerous prep books, official guides and the Powerprep software, I am stuck at the 700-720 range. I checked this post, but I am looking for more specific help for a really high score. Right now, I am answering 90% of the questions correct. Do I need to get 100% right? Or get more questions right in the beginning? What am I doing wrong? I am exactly three weeks away from the test.
posted by vjz to Education (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Given that you've already been through the prep books and only have three weeks left, maybe you can hire a private tutor? Because your scores are already very high, I would imagine it's difficult to give specific advise without observing what mistakes are unique to you.

Where are you located? A former colleague of mine used a GMAT tutor in southern CA who came very highly recommended (though, my friend still didn't get the score he wanted). I could probably find out the contact info if you want it.
posted by mullacc at 9:09 AM on August 3, 2005

Try Kaplan GMAT tutoring -- (I'm a Kaplan employee)
posted by k8t at 9:25 AM on August 3, 2005

You should go through the Official Guide at least three times.

Do you have your batting averages for each of the six components? Where are you weakest?
posted by Kwantsar at 9:28 AM on August 3, 2005

750 means you miss only 1 or 2. I hate to ask this, but why is a 750 so important? A 720 is a really good score. I know that when I was working in the grad school admissions office, there was sort of a top-out factor... Over 700 on GRE sections is considered really high. Above that, and it's all, well, academic!
posted by abbyladybug at 9:47 AM on August 3, 2005

750 means you're missing more than 1 or 2. Missing 1 or 2 is 790 territory.

At Harvard/Stanford/Wharton, the median applicant has a score greater than 700, and the acceptance rate is still under 20%. On an otherwise good application to an elite school, a jumbo GMAT could mean the difference between acceptance and rejection.
posted by Kwantsar at 10:04 AM on August 3, 2005

I got a 750 in 2004 after not scoring above 630 on any practice exams. My advice helped a friend get a 730. So I speak from experience on getting good scores.

The advice is the other thread is pretty much dead on. I'll reiterate what was most important for me.

1. The scoring is graduated, meaning that your ending score range is largely determined how well you do on the first five or so questions. Allocate more time for these first five questions to make sure you get them right. Take about two minutes for each. This will do wonders for your score.

2. Don't study any content. The content of the test is the general education portion of any decent four year undergrad education. There is no way to cram for content.

3. Study the crap out of the test format. Know how the questions work as best you can. Sounds like you have that covered.

4. RELAX!! Don't create any mental hurdles for yourself. If you get stressed about not making your score, then you won't make your score. Its that simple. Go in there with the mindset that you WILL get your 750+. Be confident!

Also, you will score low on the practice exams. It makes sense that practice exams are harder. Harder practices get you better prepared AND the test exam people aren't liable for boosting your confidence too high.
posted by Sasquatch at 10:46 AM on August 3, 2005 [1 favorite]

I scored 760 after doing plenty of practice tests in the lower 700s.

And all I can say is that Sasquatch advice is exactly what I did.

All the general advice about standarized testing applies... be relaxed, learn the format, learn shortcuts for specific question types, etc, etc...

But the key for the GMAT is scoring well on the first questions.

Each question has a different score, based on it's difficulty. The first question is of average difficulty. If you fail, you get an easier question, if you're correct then you get a harder one.

So the key to a high score is to get the first questions right so you get higher scoring questions for most of the test.
posted by sd at 11:11 AM on August 3, 2005

You probably already know this, but you can improve your chances by going at the answers backward -- that is, eliminating the obviously wrong ones first. That way, you choose between only two or three possibilities rather than four.

Remember that in multiple choice exams, if an answer isn't ALL right, it's ALL WRONG. Eliminate an otherwise good answer with even a tiny part wrong.

Given the choice between a simple answer and a complex one, go with the simple one, unless the complex one addresses central issues that have been left out of and undermine the simple one.

The examiners are not out to trick you. Their purpose is to find out what you know and how well you think. If a question seems stupidly easy, it probably IS stupidly easy.

Don't agonize over a question. Make a plausible guess, go on to ace the other questions, and come back if you have time at the end.

Most test prep material is garbage, particularly the prepare-by-yourself books. The harder you think, the fuzzier a question gets. The ONLY exception is actual old tests. When you get to the exam, you'll find that the questions are very well thought out. The harder you think, the clearer it gets.
posted by KRS at 8:53 AM on August 4, 2005

Yeah, KRS, you can't go back on the GMAT, that's the thing. That's why it can get harder.
posted by dobie at 3:40 PM on March 6, 2006

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