GMAT Highest Score
How Can You Achieve the Highest Possible GMAT Score
It is an established fact that a top MBA program opens greater avenues for any individual not only in terms of opportunities but also financially and socially. This is where GMAT is so relevant. Although being a top class student with lot of good work experience is generally considered to be enough, the exam demands that you follow certain ways of practice and preparation without which you will just end up with an average score.
How much do you need?
As you know the maximum score in the test is 800 and there is absolutely nothing to suggest that you cannot get there. Although it doesn’t happen often it is not unheard of. The main thing you should know here is that getting the top score of 800 isn’t the most important thing that you should keep in mind before you start preparing. This depends on the institute you are applying to, and just to give yourself an idea of acceptable scores of different institutes look at the statistics below-
- Harvard MBA program-720
- Stanford MBA program-720
- Wharton MBA program-710
- Yale MBA program-710
As you can see, these are some of the top most MBA programs in the world and clearly a score of around 700 is acceptable to them. Similarly you can find the median scores of any institute on their website and then you can decide upon your preparation accordingly.
Another thing to note here is that these scores are just sufficient but not necessary to get into their MBA program. For example, even if you score 700 and apply to Harvard you still have a great chance of getting an admission. It just means that there is no significant difference between scoring 680 and 720, in such cases the difference generally comes in other parameters like essay, experience, interview performance etc. All this being said, you still have to have a decent score in order to be considered for the program and you can be fairly confident that a “decent” score would be starting from mid 600s.
Although there isn’t a strict cut-off defined by any of the institutes it always helps to have the maximum score that you can achieve. Most institutes allow students who have about 20-40 points below the prescribed median scores and at this stage a lot depends on your application and experiences, therefore it is advisable that you do a lot of work on your application and spend time equally on preparing it. Even if you score about 80 points less than the median score, you still stand a chance (even if it is very bleak). Remember that if you are rejected in the next stage of application processing with scores around the range of median-20 or median-40, you can be sure that it was because of your experience and not based on your score.
How to achieve it?
To achieve a top score, doing well in the individual sections is also very important. Math and verbal sections are generally graded from 0-52 (theoretically it can go up to 60), so you will be better off scoring mid 40s in both of these. If you are better in one of these then you should aim for the maximum score but it is always better to strike a balance between the two. There isn’t a fixed rule saying this but it is always good to show the admission council that you have both the capabilities.
By now it must be quite clear to you that your score is not the highest in terms of your percentile but should be evaluated by you in terms of how much you need. Here are a few tips that will help you with achieving a good score-
- Join a proper course or program to prepare for the exam and not doing so would be suicide for your career!! Opposed to common belief, the test is one exam for which self study is not advisable because it is just not intuitive. If you have enough determination and zeal you can always study on your own but it doesn’t seem to work. So invest in a proper training, even if it is a bit heavy on your pocket because later you will see the results for yourself.
- Join a GMAT forum online. This will help you in being up to date on the latest events happening on the GMAT scene. You will also be in touch with lots of other aspirants and therefore you will have a huge pool of knowledge right there at your fingertips. One such link is www.scorechase.com; this gives you mock tests, reviews, questions, experiences from previous test takers and much more.
- Books will be your ultimate resource; so even if you are preparing online, never forget to come back to books. The official guides available on www.mba.com/the-gmat.aspx are exhaustive and comprehensive in their approach. If you feel the need to try more problems you should go for Kaplan, which is also equally good.
- You cannot hope to get a good score without following a proper prep schedule. You are absolutely free to decide the timings but once you do, stick to it! Although it is advisable to join an institute like The Princeton Review or The Manhattan Review, there is nothing to suggest that you can’t score well without them. Only thing is be consistent on your schedule.
- The only essential difference between a good score and a great score is the understanding of the core concepts in the various sections especially in quant section. You generally tend to solve problems based on formula knowledge which is very dangerous. Only after you have aced the concepts should you attempt the examples and when you feel your concepts are strongly into place then you just have to keep increasing the difficulty of the problems that you practice.
Remember that perfect scores are not very common. So achieving the highest score isn’t something you should be worried about. However you should take care to get the median scores required and if you work hard enough that shouldn’t be too difficult. GMAT is serious business and you better take it seriously. All the best!!