What do 780+ scorers on the GMAT do differently?

The GMAT has been scored on an 800 scale for many years; very few schools in the world have a median GMAT score (among all successful admits) that is above 710. However, since everyone who takes the GMAT aspires for excellence constantly, a score of 780 or above is a constant goal in front of them. We will talk about the key success factors in this quest in detail later, but we want to talk about four things which these achievers do differently, that give them the edge over all their equally talented peers. The good news is that most of these can be universal: none of them is impossible to achieve.

They measure everything. Getting a 780+ on the GMAT is about fixing the small things, about getting almost everything right. Since this is largely an incremental process, we have seen that the very best measure their performance in every single chapter and topic (with help from their coaches) and try to improve from test to test in one topic (or a few topics) keeping the others constant. This structured approach to improvement is what keeps them ahead of the curve.

They get the most out of their coaches. Even the best GMAT coach in the world will not be able to groom a completely passive subject; the best candidates are able to evaluate their own needs and work with their coaches, their experts, to make sure that they get answers that are customized to their requirements, and get to the next level of performance by constantly challenging both themselves and their coaches.

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They work smart. For those whose goal is to score a 700, they can perhaps concentrate on getting competent at each format of question on the GMAT, and learn basic tips and tricks. But, for those who want a Q51 + V46 score, they will need to know every format in and out. For example, on Reading Comprehension, they will need to be able to distill a long paragraph down to its essence in under 30 seconds. In basic quant problem solving questions, the best always train themselves to eliminate a couple of options within a few seconds.

They give themselves the best physical advantage they possibly can. They ensure that they are at peak physical fitness and alertness on Test Day. They approach the entire experience like an athlete approaches the most important race of his or her life.

From the point of view of ultimate success in your application, a 780 might be much like a 750, but it is still a badge of honour like no other. To hit the very highest scores, you will need the help of an expert; this is the road to a 750+ score.


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