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How to score 750 on the GMAT – a non-native’s success story

How to score 750 on the GMAT – a non-native’s success story
A 9 min read

When he started preparing for his GMAT, Rohan Dalal not only had 6 years of work experience under his belt but also an MBA from an average Indian school. That did not stop him from pursuing his dream of studying at a top B-school. Over 3 attempts, Rohan improved from 610 to 750 – 10 points above his target score of 740. This includes an improvement from V25 to V40 (40th percentile to 91st percentile) which is made particularly impressive by the fact that Rohan had never had formal education in English.

In the interview, he shares tips on how to score 750 on the GMAT.

How to score a 750 on the GMAT?

















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Read Rohan’s inspiring success story and look out for these key takeaways where he discusses:

  • Overcoming his weakness in English created by his vernacular medium academic background
  • Learning and applying the e-GMAT approaches and how it helped increase his score
  • Managing a V40 despite scoring in just the 33rd percentile in grammar – a real testament to the fact that GMAT focuses on meaning and logic and not only on knowledge of grammatical concepts
  • Having only 33 percentile in Geometry and still scoring a Q50 because of his ability in other topics
  • Improving his timing through e-GMAT’s structured approach

See – Rohan’s Journey from GMAT 610 to 750 (Q50, V40)

Navigation Suggestions:
  • 1:57 – Preparing for the first attempt
  • 4:48 – Overcoming his non-English medium background using e-GMAT
  • 7:28 – ESR analysis of the final attempt
  • 10:09 – Building accuracy
  • 14:17 – Timing strategy
  • 16:00 – Post GMAT plans
  • 21:05 – Application strategy: Round 1 vs Round 2

Rajat – Congratulations, Rohan, on your fantastic score. When did you start preparing for GMAT?

how to score 750 on GMAT

Rohan – I started preparing in November 2016. Currently, I’m working in the Oil & Gas sector downstream marketing. In November 2016, I started to think I should get into my dream B school because this would be my second MBA. Earlier I had an average CAT score (92 percentile) so I opted for a lower ranked B school in India. From 2012 to 2015, I was in a comfortable zone but I had always aspired to do an MBA from one of the top B-schools so, I decided this is the right time to start my journey towards my dream business school.

Rajat – How did you score a 750 on the GMAT? How did you go about your preparation?

Rohan – When I started my GMAT preparation, I was not sure which material to use. I asked 2-3 friends and bought Kaplan books and OG 2017.

  • I started with learning theory from Kaplan material
  • After completing the theory part, I solved the questions that were there in those books.
  • Next, I took up the OG questions thinking that I’ll be able to solve them but that was a mistake on my part.
  • I underestimated the way GMAT works. I didn’t even know that there are different difficulty level of questions such as 600 to 700 and 700 to 800 level questions. I was quite naïve that way.

I followed the same process to prepare for both Quant and Verbal sections. However, later I felt that I was not ready for GMAT with this kind of preparation. I thought I’ll end up at around 680 but my target score was at least 740. So, I did some research on online platforms and that’s when I came across e-GMAT. I saw a few success stories on your website and then I asked a few people on LinkedIn about e-GMAT and they all told me that it is one of the best GMAT prep courses. With the e-GMAT course, I started with Verbal as I was quite confident about my Quant ability. I was worried about my Verbal because I’m from a Gujarati medium school so I hadn’t had any English education.

Rajat – From there you scored a V40. That is commendable.

Rohan – Yes, I am thankful for the approaches taught in the e-GMAT course.

3 tips on how to score a 750 on the GMAT:
  1. I started with SC and followed the meaning-based approach and was able to identify the error in 30 seconds by spending some time with the question stem before going to the answer choices.
  2. In CR, the pre-thinking approach worked very well for me.
  3. In RC, your approach to understanding the author’s tone also helped me.

Once I got the hang of these approaches, I found it easier to solve questions. Without these systematic approaches, you tend to jump straight to the answer choices and work out the question from there. Breaking that habit was hard for me initially so I started creating notes. For example, I wrote down around 50 SC questions and I used to highlight the errors. This is how I learned the approaches taught in the course and once I got used to it, it started coming very intuitively. I was able to extract the meaning, spot the errors, the premise, and conclusions, and other aspects of question stems.

Rajat – This is great, so here are my key takeaways

The way you’ve gone about your preparation is a great example for other students to learn from. You’ve realized your problem and figured out a way to learn the correct approaches to eliminate your weaknesses. All this while you’ve not had any education in English before. Looking at your score,

  • You’re in the 96th percentile in CR and 81st percentile in SC
  • Understanding the meaning has helped you be in the 81st percentile on SC

Rohan – True. To add to that, I was able to identify the errors in 700 difficulty level questions but beyond that, only the meaning-based approach helped me. Applying grammar rules to those questions is not very helpful.

gmat tests meaning grammar

Rajat – Let’s see how you attempted the test and scored a 750 on the GMAT.

Looking at your ESR, your accuracy in the first two groups is very good. You’ve made just one mistake in each of the first two groups. In the third group, you faced slightly difficult questions which is why you made a few mistakes in RC. In the last group, you actually answered a lot of very difficult questions correctly, which is why your score has gone up despite you skipping one RC passage.

Suggested reading: GMAT timing strategies and the importance of time management during the test

Rohan – In the third section, I got a very long passage of 5 paragraphs. But I knew that if the passage is long, the questions will probably be easy – so I didn’t panic and just attempted those questions. In the last section, I came across another RC. I had to choose whether to read it and spend at least 5-6 mins in answering these 3-4 questions and attempt next 5-6 questions in just 5 mins or skip RC and attempt last 5-6 question with more time for each question. I chose to skip RC as I wanted to end the Verbal section on a high note. It went well finally.

gmat esr skipping rc passage

Rajat – How did you use Scholaranium in your preparation?

Rohan – I think I made a mistake in the way I used Scholaranium during my preparation. I first finished the theory part and then attempted Scholaranium. I thought that because I had already spent 6 months solving questions, I will first invest time in learning concepts. I found out that the quality of questions in Scholaranium was excellent, as good as the OG quizzes. Initially, I faced challenges because of my weak Verbal background, but Scholaranium helped me improve my Verbal ability.

The right way to utilize Scholaranium is to attempt an ability quiz after learning the concepts of each sub-section (SC / RC / CR) and then taking custom quizzes to eliminate any gaps in your ability.

Rajat – What did you learn from the solutions module in Scholaranium?

Rohan – Solutions module is the backbone of Scholaranium. It lets you discover other methodologies through discussions from other students and allows you to check whether your approach was correct.

Take a free triato get unlimited access to concept files, live sessions, and practice questions. For any strategic advice for GMAT or MBA Admissions, write to us at We are the most reviewed GMAT prep company on GMATClub with more than 2450 reviews

Rajat – Let’s talk about your Quant preparation. You started at Q49 in your first attempt and you’ve done pretty well in Scholaranium as well. Your average overall accuracy is 81%, lowest is 79% and the highest is 83%.

Rohan – The biggest factor that helped increase my accuracy in Quant was the difficult questions of e-GMAT. The questions were very helpful in learning multiple approaches to solve a question which widened my scope of thinking. I knew that the actual GMAT will have easier questions but attempting the questions in the e-GMAT course was beneficial for improving my accuracy and speed.

e-GMAT advocates that rather than “completing” each and every topic, you should focus on mastering concepts. This is evident in Rohan’s ESR – He was able to score a Q50 despite getting 33% in Geometry. He got 100% on all the others.

GMAT master concepts fundamentals

Rajat – it also helps develop a mature thought process that helps you deal more effectively with questions on your actual GMAT.

Rohan – That’s very true. It does help with all of that.

Rajat – I’m very impressed with how you’ve mastered the approaches and managed time during the test. The way you’ve done it is exactly how a computer adaptive test should be taken.

Click here to learn all you need to know about computer adaptive tests (CAT), and how GMAT works as a CAT

Rohan – To be honest with you, I didn’t time myself while preparing for my third attempt. I concentrated only on improving my accuracy and implementing the strategy on my actual GMAT.

Rajat – This is a common misconception among students that they couldn’t do well because they had timing issues.

Rohan – In my experience, if you just focus on learning the right approach and building accuracy, timing will come naturally.

If you look at students who score, say, a V25, their issue can never be timing because even if you spend time and do well on the first two blocks and then randomly mark answers on the last two, you’ll still end up at around V32. This is a key thing that GMAT aspirants should know. – Rajat Sadana

Rajat – Correct. So, 750 is a very good score. What are your plans going ahead? I understand you want to stay in the same sector of Oil and Gas and the same profile of downstream marketing, but you want to take up a leadership position?

Rohan – Yes, I want to stay in Oil and Gas sector but take up a consulting role across the entire supply chain.

Rajat – The universities that you’ve mentioned like Kellogg and Wharton are not known for Oil and Gas sector.

  • In the US, the Oil and Gas industry is concentrated in Texas and Louisiana so B-schools in those areas can help you.
  • I’d recommend you consider McCombs and Fuqua because marketing in Oil and Gas industry is a niche and the industry is affected by a lot of macro factors.
  • Also, check whether Oil and Gas companies are providing H1B visas or not
  • In Canada, University of Alberta is also a good school for the Oil and Gas industry. You can also search for business schools that have a focus on the energy sector.

Rohan – Round 2 of applications will be in December. Since September is already here, is it wise to apply in round 2 or should I wait another year and apply in round 1 in 2019?

Rajat – Apply in round 2. There’s no need to waste a full year because the round you apply in does not affect your application. You only need one month to finish your applications and you can take help from admission consultants too.

Can’t decide which round to apply in? Here’s a comprehensive guide of round 1 vs round 2 of applications to clear the air and help you decide.

Rohan – How’s ApplicantLab for admission consultancy?

Rajat – Do take a look at ApplicantLab. It’s a good service and they also provide editing service. I’ll share a recording of a webinar with you and you can approach Maria and tell her that you’re an e-GMAT student. That’ll also get you a discount exclusively reserved for e-GMAT students! Applying to B-schools is a 4-step process:

  • You need to understand what is a winning application. To do so, you can go through some success stories and learn what traits are conveyed through the story of an individual, especially what B-schools consider to be a successful individual. Also look at what challenges the individual faced and how they overcame it.
  • Secondly, think of the best way to convey your own traits. Find out the 4-5 core traits that you want to highlight in your application.
  • Then, allocate these traits to different parts of your application. Decide on which traits you want to convey in your application, which ones you want to convey in your essays, and so on. Once you’ve done this, start working on your application.
  • Finally, review your application and make sure it conveys everything that you want to present about yourself to the admission committee.

Once you’ve done all the above, you’re good to go ahead and apply to your dream B-schools. To make sure that you put your best foot forward and create compelling essays, I would advise you to take help from Poonam at MyEssayReview.

This article contains information shared by Rohan Dalal in his video interview with Rajat Sadana and his debrief on GMATClub. You can read his complete debrief here in which he shares tips on “How to score 750 on the GMAT”. He also gives a detailed account of how he achieved this feat despite being a non-native speaker.

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