Career and Money Advice At The Intersection Of Business And Technology

GeekMBA360 header image 2

How to increase your GMAT score from 650 to 730

December 2nd, 2008 · 1 Comment

A lot of folks are applying business school now. The first road block an MBA applicant will encounter is GMAT. Most top  business schools have average GMAT score of 700 or above.

Some people are really good at standardized test, and they’ll get 700 or higher on their first try. It’s not that easy for most of us.

It took me two tries to break 700 when I was applying business school seven years ago during the last recession. Since then, I’ve helped many friends who improved their scores from mid 600s to low-to-middle 700s.

What I’ve noticed is that most serious business school applicants should be able to score at least in the middle 600s if they have done some preparations, and/or take a class from one of the many test preparation companies.

But, many people have a hard time to raise their score further. They re-take the test once or twice, raise the score by 20 or 30 points, still below 700, and then they give up.

It’s actually not that hard to raise your score from middle 600s to 700s. You’re only a few correct answers away from getting there.

The keys are

  1. Work on your time management during computerize test — how much time will you allocate to each question? At which point you’ll give up on a question and move onto the next one? For difficult problems, how much time do you want to allocate to double check your answer? This is like the clock management during two-minute warning in a football game. It’s absolutely crucial — you want to give yourself the opportunity to finish answering all questions, not dwelling on any difficult questions for too long, and spending enough time to solve hard problems that you’re capable of solving.
  2. Apply the 80/20 rules to focus one one or two weakest areas — based on your practice test results, which 20% of the question types contributes to 80% of your incorrect answers? Work hard on the one or two weakest areas. Remember all you need is to get a few more correct questions. You’re not that far away from breaking the 700s.
  3. Practice, practice and practice the questions from ETS — The Official Guide for GMAT Review . The other test preparatory books are good, but they cannot substitute the sample questions from ETS. 

I know these tips sound simple. But, they worked for me. They worked for many of my friends. Give them a try. 🙂

Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions (

Tags: MBA

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 ChrisLIMA // Dec 2, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Hey, thanks!
    Those tips are valuable. Thanks also for replying at my BW Forum question.

    Best regards,


Leave a Comment