How Can I Score 800 on the GMAT?

A perfect score of 800 may be the admission ticket to your dream school--and it's not just a dream either. Scoring 800 on the GMAT is attainable if you commit to studying, opening your mind to new strategies, and working to improve your test-taking skills. Follow these steps to meet the challenge, and you can join the top 0.1% of business school applicants.

First, give yourself at least 3 months to study before your exam and make a strict study schedule that you can follow week after week. This means setting up a test date several months into the future, and claiming several hours of uninterrupted study time during the week. Try to study in blocks of 2 or 3 hours every few days with no distractions.

Sign up for a prep course that includes 8-10 full-length computer adaptive GMAT practice tests. The course can be either online or in the classroom, but it is important to choose a prep course where you will learn new strategies for doing GMAT questions efficiently and accurately. Look for courses that are highly recommended by teachers, tutors, or others who have done well on the GMAT. Also look for small class sizes to get more attention and feedback from the GMAT instructor.

Every weekend, starting with your second week of study, take a full-length GMAT practice test. Make sure that you complete all parts of the exam, including both essays on the analytical writing portion. One mistake that many GMAT takers commit is never completing an entire sample exam. On exam day their endurance is put to the test like never before, and they do poorly out of fatigue. Don't let this happen to you! Build up your endurance so that test day doesn't drain you. There's no excuse not to, since there are 2 free tests available from www.mba.com.

For every practice test you take, review the questions you answered incorrectly and learn the rationale behind their correct answers. When you work on math problems from your GMAT study guides, solve the problems using at least two different strategies and note which methods are faster for different problem types. Memorize the rules for GMAT sentence correction, and notice patterns of right and wrong answers for critical reasoning questions.

Always practice the reading comprehension and critical reasoning with some time constraints. Pay attention to similarities among the correct answer choices, and notice what the wrong answer choices have in common. On the GMAT, wrong answers for these questions usually involve distortions, faulty assumptions, or out of context information.

Write practice essays and have a trusted friend, teacher, or tutor grade them according to the GMAT scoring guidelines. Remember that graders look for logical organization, concrete and germaine examples, clear writing, and paragraphs that address the complexity of the issues. Time yourself for 30 minutes on each essay, and write them on a word processor that doesn't have spell check. (There is no spell checker on the GMAT, but essay graders will not lower your score for a few minor errors.)

Stay healthy while your prep for the GMAT. Follow a balanced diet and take vitamins to keep your brain in good shape. Exercise regularly to clear your head. Make sure to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night so that your memory is in top form. The night before your GMAT you should avoid cramming or worrying. Make a checklist of everything you need to bring. On test day, eat a healthy breakfast and review your checklist. Remember that the GMAT can be aced, and try your best.

© Had2Know 2010

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