7 Insider Tips to Score Above 700 in the GMAT
Sponsored by EDHEC Business School
To support your postgraduate application to EDHEC Business School, whatever the course, be it for a master’s degree in finance or business management, it might be wise to sit a computer-based standardized test called the GMAT (short for Graduate Management Admission Test).
Sitting the GMAT will make your application file stand out, increase your chances of securing admission or obtaining an internal scholarship, or qualify you for prestigious government (and EDHEC) scholarships that are designed specifically for international students.
As with most standardized tests, success on the GMAT largely comes down to being well-prepared and familiar with the test format. To help you fulfil your potential and land a place on your dream course, EDHEC Business School reveals seven insider tips to achieve top marks in the GMAT.
1. Start early.
A survey carried out by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC, the organization that runs the GMAT) found a positive correlation between the total numbers of hours spent studying and final GMAT score.
GMAT test-takers who scored 700 and above spent on average 121 hours studying, while test-takers who scored 400 and below spent an average of 75 hours preparing.
While GMAT requirements vary, depending on which program at EDHEC Business School you are applying to, the 2016 intake of students earned an average GMAT score of 640, with scores for admitted students ranging from 550 to 780.
For more information about EDHEC’s GMAT requirements, please get in touch with an admissions manager.
2. Download your free GMAT handbook!
Created by GMAC, this free handbook features information about what will happen before, during and after the exam, as well as very helpful study tips. Use it to understand how the exam will be structured, what each section is about, what to expect on test day, and what to bring to the exam.
3. Practice makes perfect.
Download GMATPrep® Software for free. Following the same format and scoring rubric as the actual GMAT exam, the software is designed to help you practice the exam in the same conditions as on the day. You’ll also get free personalized performance diagnostics and insights on how well you did and how to approach question types. Outline a study plan based on your results for each section.
4. Study smart.
Spend a week or two focusing on each section – that is, Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal.
You might want to start with the quantitative component of the exam. While GMAT math is fairly basic, you might find, especially if you’ve been out of uni for a while, that you need to re-learn everything you’ve forgotten, which could take some time! Investing in a dedicated GMAT prep textbook could be a worthwhile investment – search online for second-hand copies.
Don’t neglect the verbal sections. Evaluate your performance on the practice papers and decide which questions you found the most difficult. Was it sentence correction or critical reasoning? Whatever it is, try doing a couple of problems every day covering the sections you struggle with most.
Spend the last few weeks before the exam taking as many practice tests as possible, to get used to the format. Review your mistakes to understand what went wrong and avoid making the same errors twice!
5. Pace yourself.
When taking practice tests, try simulating the test environment as closely as possible, keeping track of timings and pace. You must answer all the questions on the GMAT, and will be penalized harshly if you fail to complete the test in time! Train yourself to stay calm, pace yourself well, and be strategic in the amount of time you spend on each task.
6. Sweat the details.
Figure out the logistics at least a week before the exam. How will you get to the testing center? What are you allowed to bring with you? When will you eat, to make sure your energy levels are stable?
Make a note of your university’s institution code – 3QQWQ01 for EDHEC – and bring it to the testing center with you. Request that your scores be sent to the institution!
During the last few days before the test, make sure to eat well, rest and get as much sleep as possible, so you’re feeling at your best.
It’s also important to remember that while the GMAT is an important component of your business school application, it is just one of many admissions criteria (such as your career goals, academic performance and background). EDHEC also accepts other assessment tests results (i.e. GRE, Tage Mage and CAT).
A high score won’t guarantee a place in your dream business school in the same way a lower score won’t automatically disqualify you for admission.
Don’t focus on the test to the exclusion of other elements of your application, or to the point where you’re putting too much pressure on yourself. Put in the hours, keep a clear head, and you’ll ace it.
To find out how EDHEC Business School is making an impact on business, talent and careers, watch this short film.
This article was originally published in February 2017 . It was last updated in May 2023