So I have taken the GMAT twice and gotten a 710 twice. My splits were (Q49, V38) and (Q47, V41).
This blog post is going to go over what I think are the FUNDAMENTAL elements for getting the ever elusive 700+ score. Use these tips to SMASH the GMAT and get your dream score! (Be sure to check out my GMAT Guide as well!)
1. Have the time & availability to study
I cannot stress this enough! You should try to take the GMAT during the Fall or Winter BEFORE you apply. Taking it earlier allows you to focus on one specific part of your application AND allow you to have enough time to take it again in case you don’t get the score you want.
I had a crazy schedule, which meant that I was stressed out and not 100% when I was studying. Don’t be like me! Don’t wait to the last second! Also, I believe studying at lease 1-2 hours every day for three months will DEFINITELY give you a 700+. I did 2 months (both times), and they felt rushed.
2. Have the best study materials
Make sure you check out my top 6 key resources for the GMAT. You ABSOLUTELY should buy the OG book and additional tests. These are the materials that are the closest to actual exam material and will help you greatly! Also be sure to check out Magoosh (I’m a big fan of them!); their program helped prepare me for my first 710.
3. Utilize an error log
I have said it again and again, make sure you use an error log. This is an excerpt from My 3 Biggest Mistakes Studying for the GMAT post:
“An error log is ABSOLUTELY critical in studying. Typically, GMAT test takers make one of three types of errors: 1) Careless errors, where you know the content and logic, but made a silly mistake 2) Content errors, where you did not know the needed information to solve the problem, or 3) Logic errors, where you knew the content, but not the GMAT logical way to solve it.
My error log consists of using 3×5″ index cards. For every careless error I make, I keep track of it on one card. For example, if I make 2 careless errors out of 20 questions on 7/16, I will write “7/16 – 2/20″ and keep track of all my progress on one index card. Towards the end of your GMAT prep, you should not be making any careless errors.
For “real errors,” I write whether it was a content or logic error, what type of question it was, what is the content matter of the question, and how the solution should have been found. It is REALLY important to understand not only WHY you got the question wrong, but HOW to get the question right next time. I will then review my 3×5″ index cards every few days, drilling myself on content & logic.”
4. Understand why answer choices are correct AND incorrect
If you understand why certain answer choices are correct, GREAT! That will get you a 600! To get in the 700 range, you must be able to determine quickly why certain answers are incorrect.
The abilities of those test-takers that can fluently communicate why certain choices are incorrect directly correlate with their ability to get a 700+ (and how high of a 700 as well).
You absolutely must understand what areas you are weak in and get help! Study partners, GMAT programs, BeatTheGMAT, gmatclub, whatever it takes… get that area fixed! I highly recommend working with a tutor (local area tutors can be cheap).
If I could do it all again, I would probably do that. When you are studying, having someone walk you through VERY difficult questions can be EXTREMELY valuable!
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Other Posts you may be interested in:
- How I got a 710 on my first try (updated)
- The Power of the Cold Shower
- 4 GMAT Prep Hacks Everyone Should Know