Every GMAT taker aspires to score 700 or above on the GMAT. Breaking the 700-barrier is an achievement on its own. There are a few students who tend to take the brute force approach and end up exhausting themselves during the test. Therefore, we always suggest a methodical approach to score 700+ on the GMAT in which we focus on building ability. This ability can be built not only by mastering the concepts but also by learning the efficient application of those concepts.
Other than building question-solving skills you need to learn a few supporting skills like understanding how GMAT works as an adaptive test and how to manage time. We have written detailed articles on both these topics.
In this article, we’ll explain a stepwise process which will help you score 700+ on the GMAT. Here are the 7 steps:
- Step 1: Attend a GMAT strategy session and decide your target score
- Step 2: Set up your baseline – Take a diagnostic test
- Step 3: Decide on a quant and a verbal score
- Step 4: Estimate the amount of time you’ll need
- Step 5: Create a sequence of study and allocate hours
- Step 6: Track your improvement – Study plan
- Step 7: Take mock tests
Step 1: Attend a GMAT strategy session and decide your target score
As a starting point, you can attend this free strategy webinar in which GMAT experts will talk about the following
- How GMAT testing algorithm works.
- How to score high on GMAT – what skills are needed
- GMAT score vs Admissions and Scholarships
- How to create a study plan that is personalized to you
This will help you to decide on a good GMAT score for you according to your target business schools.
Step 2: Set up your baseline – Take a diagnostic test
The next step is to assess your starting ability level or your baseline GMAT score. The best way to find out your baseline score is to take a diagnostic test. It will tell you the gap between your starting score and your target score. If you have already taken the GMAT, then you can consider your last GMAT score as your starting score.
Step 3: Decide on a quant and a verbal score
Let us explain this step with an example. If you want to score 760 on the GMAT you can achieve this score through different Quant and Verbal score combinations.
|760 on the GMAT|
One of our students, Anupriya scored a 760 with a Q48, V46 combination. Anupriya’s strength was verbal and therefore, she focused more on Verbal than Quant. This step will help you identify what should be your target Quant and Verbal score according to your strength. To help you figure out your target Quant and Verbal scores we’ve built a great tool called GMATPlanner.
You can refer to this article to understand the process of setting sectional and sub-sectional target scores better.
Step 4: Estimate the amount of time you’ll need
This estimation depends on which type of study resources you have chosen to use. You can either study from GMAT books or online GMAT courses. Most people study using a combination of both. According to our experience, when studying using a data-driven online course, you require 7 hours for every 10 points of score improvement. This number increases to 12 hours when studying from books. Why does this happen? Because audiovisual content is more interactive and hence, it is easier to focus and requires half as many revisions as compared to books. Read the 5 reasons why GMAT online resources are better than books.
For 90% of the students this score improvement estimate works quite well as long as:
- You study consistently studying for at least 12 hours per week.
- You study using only one resource.
- You don’t change your study direction frequently; i.e. don’t follow a strategy to study Sentence Correction for 3 days, and then switch to studying Critical Reasoning or Quant without completing Sentence Correction.
As a rule of thumb,
Time required (in hours) = [Target GMAT Score – Starting GMAT Score] X [ 7/10] X [1+CBT]
- Target GMAT Score = final score that you desire
- Starting GMAT score = Starting score on an official mock test
- 7/10 = 7 hours of effort for every 10-point score improvement
- CBT = Confidence Building Time factor; its value can be 0.0 or 0.25
CBT is something which depends on how confident you feel about your preparation at the starting level. If you are at a 600 GMAT score then CBT will be 0.25 as your ability level is low.
According to the above formula, if you are currently at a score of 600 and your target score is 760 then you’ll require 140 hours of preparation. If you prepare using books then this number would increase to 200 hours.
Step 5: Create a sequence of study and allocate hours
You know the number of hours you’ll need to put in order to achieve a 700+ score on the GMAT. But which section should you start with?
We always recommend starting with your stronger section. Our logic behind this approach is that once you move on to preparing your weaker section, your stronger section will remain intact in your mind in the mean time.
Let’s assume that Quant is your stronger section out of the two.
For maximum effectiveness of the course, you must execute a Learn-Refine strategy. Let me share with you the gist of this strategy.
- Learn each section at a time
- After learning a section, Refine it using mocks, tests or advanced quizzing platforms like Scholaranium
You’ll start with Quant section and the sequence of the topics should be as follows:
- Number Properties → Algebra → Word Problems → Geometry → Advanced Problems
Once you finish the Quant section, you’ll move on to the Verbal section. The sequence of the topics for the verbal section will be:
- Sentence Correction → Critical reasoning → Reading Comprehension
The number of tentative hours you’ll take to complete the Quant and Verbal section are as follows. You can adjust the study hours per your strengths and weaknesses.
How to score 700+ on GMAT Quant
|Quant Section||Required hours|
|Learn Number Properties||10 hours|
|Refine Number Properties||5 hours|
|Learn Algebra||10 hours|
|Refine Algebra||5 hours|
|Learn Geometry||10 hours|
|Refine Geometry||5 hours|
|Learn Word Problems||10 hours|
|Refine Word Problems||5 hours|
|Learn Advanced Problems||10 hours|
|Refine Advanced Problems||5 hours|
How to score 700+ on GMAT Verbal
|Verbal Section||Required hours|
|Learn SC||50 hours|
|Refine SC||20 hours|
|Learn CR||30 hours|
|Refine CR||10 hours|
|Learn RC||20 hours|
|Refine RC||10 hours|
Step 6: Track your improvement – Study plan
The best way to track your improvement is through study plans. With the information from steps 3, 4, and 5 you’ll be able to create your own study plan. Just to make sure you have made a correct study plan we recommend you to compare it with our study plan templates. Please refer these articles on study plans to compare:
- Benefits of a study plan: How to create a study plan
- Study plan for working professionals
- 1-month study plan
- 3-month study plan
We can help you with a personalized study plan and give you access to quality online content to prepare. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are the most reviewed GMAT prep company on gmatClub with more than 1800 reviews (as on Feb 15, 2019). Why don’t you take a free trial and judge it for yourself?
Assuming you start preparing with the verbal section, here is how a study plan would look for the first month. Your study plan would differ depending on how many preparation hours you can devote on weekdays and weekends.
Step 7: Take mock tests
Mock tests will help you isolate your weaknesses in concepts or application of concepts. They will also expose gaps in test-taking strategies and fairly estimate your preparedness for the GMAT. If you get tired while taking a full mock then mock tests will also build your concentration and stamina for the GMAT.
The two important questions which arise now are
- How many mocks should you take and how often?
- What things should you keep in mind while taking a mock?
We would suggest you read this article on mock test strategy where we have answered these questions. We have also discussed the dos and don’ts of taking a mock test.
Below is a sample plan for taking mocks. However, the number of mocks you should take will depend on your level of preparedness.
So, how to score 700+ on the GMAT? These 7 steps will help you achieve your target GMAT score. The only thing that a high GMAT score demands from you is consistency. Take Anuj’s journey for example – He scored a 770 with a 60+ hour work week. He didn’t even waste a 15-minute break and utilized it to study because when you are a working professional it’s difficult to predict how your day will go. Therefore, be consistent and follow these 7 steps and you’ll be able to score 700+ on the GMAT.