Tips from successful GMAT takers

Last updated: 12 Sep 2010

Who better to tell you about how to best approach your GMAT preparation than those people who have already taken the GMAT test successfully.

The links below are to some of the insights that people have been generous enough to share about their own experience of preparing for and taking the GMAT.

You may not read all of these, but everyone's experience is different and so it is well worth reading a selection of them to get a sense of what preparing for the GMAT is like. These accounts are also packed with tips for GMAT preparation and reflections on what worked for each of the writers.

It is also worth returning to these when you need a bit of inspiration and a reminder that these brave souls have all beaten the GMAT so you can too.

Good luck following in their footsteps.

Reflecting on my GMAT experience from Eric Bahn's Beat the GMAT (Score 720)
Eric has done more to share his experience of taking the GMAT than anyone else. Firstly there is this very detailed blog post summarizing all his preparation for the GMAT which is essential reading for anyone taking the GMAT. Then there is the rest of his Beat the GMAT blog which is definitely worth a browse. Finally Eric set up the Beat the GMAT forum where you can discuss your preparation with others.
790 (q50 v51) from Twinnspltter on TestMagic
A detailed account of GMAT preparation from one of the highest scorers around.
The GMAT experience from Mukul Kumar (Score 770)
A great deal of advice on how to prepare for the GMAT from a true GMAT genius, well worth a read.
GMAT woes from One girl's journey (Score >700)
Q & A on preparing for the GMAT, if only we all had 'woes' like these!
760 (q49 v46) from Ursula on TestMagic
Some excellent tips on how to practice from someone who had been out of school for 'a while'.
First step: Defeat the GMAT from Military to Business (Score 740 - 50Q, 41V, 6.0 AWA)
A systematic approach to beating the GMAT that we would recommend.
GMAT exam tips from Curious Rami (Score 650)
7 tips to help you prepare for the GMAT in 1 week.
Jack story compiled from Beating GMAT and beyond
A great cautionary tale about preparing for the GMAT. Well worth a read.
My Quant Wakeup Story - Journey to q50 (GMAT: 760) from mba12tech on GMAT Club
"...the most important thing is to keep a watchful and analytical eye on your performance. Be honest with yourself and be open-minded. If a particular type of problem is difficult for you, figure out why it is and fix it."
Obligatory GMAT post from Cornfed MBA
Top tips on preparation without the need for expensive tutors and courses.
A deliberate approach to defeating the GMAT by Matterhorn (Score 740 q50 v41 awa 6.0).
A comprehensive study plan for those prepared to put some real dedication into their GMAT preparation.
Beat my expectations! from wildrebel on Beat the GMAT (Score 710)
15 tips for those studying alone.
740 (q49, v42) from bearkill on TestMagic
"Practice incessantly. Take as many practice tests as you humanly can, taking lots of practice tests is crucial in improving your chances for success."
Yesterday I took my GMAT from Symbol views (Score 760 q50 v42)
8 tips to help you prepare for the GMAT in 6-8 weeks.
GMAT from Being $udha (Score 740)
Section by section tips on preparation and taking the test from a GMAT genius.
760 (Q50 v 44) from Clintonn on TestMagic
Charts Clintonn's incredible progress from a score of 460 in the first practice to 760 in the real thing.
710 (Q 49, V 36, AWA 6) - My Debrief :o) from natalie82 on TestMagic
"...you surely know your study habits, what works and what doesn't work. Don't change your studying style just because you read one person's debrief about what worked for them."
Preparing for the GMAT from Progress in life (Score 710)
Be methodical, come up with a study plan and stick to it.
How to ace the GMAT from greasergrrl
Flash cards are the key to successful GMAT preparation.
720 GMAT - From 500 to 720 (Q48,V41 :: 95%) from TBAY on TestMagic
Determination is the key.
My reflections on the GMAT (740) from akdon on Beat the GMAT
"I took all available CAT tests about 1 every weekend initially and then 2 every weekend. This is by far the most important part of the preparation."
GMAT recap from The Flying Spaghetti Monster's quest for an MBA (Score >750)
"I had a very simple strategy - keep taking mock tests - and it worked for me!"
760 - I just beat the GMAT from bjm8 on Beat the GMAT
"Princeton Review's 2006 GMAT book and CD were dead on, Kaplan's GMAT book and CD were not nearly as impressive particularly in the math section."
GMAT from Ready for gentle turbulence
"Practice, practice, practice.. After a while, you will start to pick up patterns in questions. Most importantly, you will develop an eye for the detail and much needed stamina, which are of utmost importance for succeeding in GMAT."
GMAT 770 (q50-95%, V44-97%) from Vasily Starostenko
"...it is really worth spending 4 minutes on reading the [reading comprehension] text to UNDERSTAND the contents. It was a clue to my and his success. If you are and international student - NEVER SKIM THE TEXT!!"
How I prepared for the GMAT from B Stuff et cetera
"Get a library card. And use it. I kept going to the library to get GMAT books. Even older versions. Get your hands on as much GOOD material that you can and use them."
Preparing for the GMAT from MBA Studies
"Taking the preliminary practice test confirmed my opinion. I winced when I only scored 550. So I began working my way through the questions, not taking any short-cuts but actually DOING each one, then reading and thinking about the answers."
720, 47 quant, 42 verbal from chuckde on TestMagic
Reading comprehension is the key to the verbal section.
For those targetting 750+ from sowmik on TestMagic (Score >720)
A guide to preparing for the GMAT in 2-3 weeks.
670 (q-43, v-39, awa-5) from lukeis on TestMagic
Lukeis shares some fine study notes.
720 (q 42, v 47) from mystavash on TestMagic
A great score but with one regret, "...I really wish I had prepared more for was the AWA section. I only got a 4.5, and I deserved it."
GMAT annihilation from Qute (Score 770)
Two weeks prep to truly annihilate the GMAT.
720 in 5 weeks from PattyCake on Beat the GMAT (Score 720)
These five weeks involved some serious cramming but you can't argue with the score, it was definitely worth it.
Ouups, I did it, 710 on the March 5th from banona on Beat the GMAT
From a 460 to 710 in 3 months.
About my GMAT experience from Kor Al (Score 720)
How to improve by 180 points from your first diagnostic test to the real thing.
Beat GMAT finally with 720 from kundera on Beat the GMAT (Score 720 q49 v40)
Take the PowerPrep practice test a day or two days before your real GMAT.

For reflections on the day of the test see The day I took the GMAT.

If you want to read more accounts then take a look at the I just Beat the GMAT! and Just Finished My GMAT forums.

Please contact us if you have any suggestions for other accounts of preparing for the GMAT that we should include in this list.

Comments (24):

  1. I scored 760 on GMAT - January 5th.

    My experience is added here: http://www.scorechase.com/vb/showthread.php?t=1610

    You can add it here too if you would like.

    I am also writing a blog: http://gmat700plus.wordpress.com

    scifi on 13 Feb 2007 (permalink)
  2. Well played, that's a fine score.

    joel on 14 Feb 2007 (permalink)
  3. Hi, I am planning to take GMAT. This is how far I gone so far. I am very poor when it comes to how to study for a text and now we are talking about GMAT. It is just scarying me. I read most of the comments that people posted online. I work about 10 hours a day but my weekends are free. Somone please advise me how should I start studying and how much time should I put in each day so I dont get bored over time. I want to start school in Fall. Is it possible? When should I take ym GMAT?

    Someone please help me....

    Anonymous on 29 Mar 2007 (permalink)
  4. Hi, I am planning to take GMAT.I'm full time student who just finish school.My GPA is over 3.0 Do you think I have to study before I take the exam although I'm looking for 550 score only. Please advise.
    Thanks,

    Anonymous on 15 May 2007 (permalink)
  5. Take one of the practice tests, I recommend the official GMAT Prep practice tests from MBA.com, and see how you score.

    If you get well over 550 then you are probably ready to take the test without further prep and if not its time to get started on your prep.

    joel on 17 May 2007 (permalink)
  6. I recommend starting a blog on the GMAT. It helps a lot.My blog can be found here:
    800 gmat blog

    rmpaes on 10 Nov 2008 (permalink)
  7. I scored 600 in my first attempt. I was not very happy about my score. I was told to take some private tutoring. I choose to take online private tutoring from scorechase. I got 720 after at my second attempt then. I was really satisfied.

    tinkler on 22 Nov 2010 (permalink)
  8. I scored a 770 on my first try. I studied really hard and I think really focused as well. You can check out some of my thoughts on how to do well at my blog: How to Study for the GMAT

    IJR112 on 3 Nov 2011 (permalink)
  9. You've given good gmat practice test information and it really work for everyone and give us a motivation after see the successful GMAT takers. Thank you

    mikee on 13 Jun 2012 (permalink)
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    GmatPracticeTestOnline on 18 Feb 2013 (permalink)
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    I am looking to start taking my MBA courses in the fall and bought Barron's book on studying for the GMAT. Is a book the best way to go?

    seo on 23 May 2013 (permalink)
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    All graduate institutions have their own findings regarding the makeup of the students that apply to their schools. However, I would like to know the median score of ALL the GMAT test takers in the country, year by year if possible.

    seo on 24 May 2013 (permalink)
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  17. How many times did you take it? What school did you get into? thanks

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    I want to know is it the right time to start for preparing for GMAT...or should i rather concentrate on my degree studies.. thanks

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  22. I was told to take some private tutoring. I choose to take online private tutoring from scorechase. I got 720 after at my second attempt then. I was really satisfied.

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    seo on 13 Jun 2013 (permalink)
  23. How you prepare for the GMAT depends on multiple factors such as your budget, schedule and general knowledge. There's a lot of good resources here so thank you for sharing. Personally, when I took the GMAT, I used 800score (800score review) as well as MGMAT. Using both of their online prep packages as well as the OG, I went from a 660 to a 740.

    jbrown on 5 Dec 2013 (permalink)
  24. I agree with jbrown that there are several factors that you have to consider when preparing for GMAT. I couldn't believe you got 800 score. I hope I would experience the same as you. I will try my very best to aim a high score that's why I'm using GMAT Cheat Sheet. I believe this can help me pass and get more than what is expected. Aside from this, I also need to make a have a good study habit. I wish I could be as good as the students who got 700 and above. I'm crossing my fingers now.

    Hweiruling on 15 May 2014 (permalink)

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