The Highest GMAT Score – How to Score 800 on the GMAT

by Maximilian Claessens
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The Highest GMAT Score - How to Score 800 on the GMAT

An 800 is the highest GMAT score. The total score refers to your combined verbal and quantitative exam scores, meaning that you need to nail both to hit 800.

On the GMAT, a perfect score is extremely uncommon. Out of 200,000 test takers from more than 100 countries each year, only roughly 30 persons average an 800 on the GMAT. This figure essentially doesn’t change from year to year.

Additionally, it’s likely that not all 30 test takers are students. Every year, test coaches and tutors take the GMAT in order to help their students succeed on the exam rather than enter business school. The number of potential MBA candidates who score an 800 is probably much smaller than 30, as some of them are probably the 800 scorers.

Read on to learn how to score 800 on the GMAT – the highest GMAT score possible.

Ideal Situation for Securing 800 on the GMAT

As you are probably aware, the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning parts of the GMAT determine your overall GMAT score (which ranges from 200 to 800). Less widely known is the need for you to correctly answer every question on the Quantitative and Verbal portions in order to achieve a total score of 800.

Here’s the thing with counted questions on the GMAT, in case you weren’t aware. Only 28 and 30 questions, respectively, from the GMAT’s 31 quantitative and 36 verbal sections contribute to your final score. The remaining questions are experimental ones that were added to the GMAT to be tested. There are 58 counted questions, and in order to achieve a GMAT total score of 800, you must correctly answer all 58 of them.

Of course, you won’t be aware of which questions are experimental and which count on exam day. Therefore, practically speaking, in order to obtain an 800 on the GMAT, you would preferably answer correctly all 67 of the Quantitative and Verbal questions you see. At the same time, it is true that you may omit certain Experimental Questions and still achieve this score.

Difficulties in Achieving the Highest GMAT Score

The GMAT does not call for or even actually permit for perfection. It’s an adaptive exam, meaning the next question you get depends on how well you did up to that point. Thus, the next question is generally more difficult if you answer the previous one correctly. The following question is typically simpler if you answer the previous one incorrectly. This effectively ensures that nobody will be able to ace the GMAT. The adaptive algorithm may raise the difficulty level continuously, so it can always outperform what you are able to understand and properly complete in the average given time of two minutes for each question.

On the GMAT, you have to make educated judgments about what is a good high percentage investment of time against what would be too much of a long shot because you’re running out of time to finish a section’s questions (and you can never go back to review an issue). Missing simpler questions carries heavier consequences on the test than missing difficult questions. Additionally, not completing all of the questions in a section gets you a severe score penalty. The majority of people’s first experiences with the GMAT exam entail spending too much time on early problems and then skipping a lot of answerable questions in the section’s latter half because they ran out of time.

Necessity of the Highest GMAT Scores for Business Schools

To achieve their requirements, business schools prefer high GMAT scores on applications, although they will also take into account those with lesser scores. Naturally, achieving an 800 on the GMAT might make you stand out since obtaining the maximum GMAT score is so uncommon. However, although it’s not a given, an admissions officer could view a 780 as fairly similar to an 800. The remainder of your application is what counts once you meet the academic GMAT cut-off.

The typical GMAT scores for the entering classes at five elite MBA programs are as follows:

Top-Tier Business SchoolsAverage GMAT Score
Harvard Business School730
Stanford Graduate School of Business737
INSEAD708
London Business School708
Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business717

The average GMAT score for each of these top-ranked MBA schools is 705+, and many prospective students have average GMAT scores of 720 or above. So, you most definitely don’t need an 800 to get into these prestigious institutions.

Don’t worry if you don’t have the highest GMAT score; in most cases, to be accepted into one of the best MBA programs, you only need a score of 720 or above. The majority of the students accepted by your preferred business school also lack one. The remaining components of your application, such as your GPA, job history, letters of reference, essays, and other writing samples, are crucial.

Strategies to Get the Highest GMAT Score

There are effective strategies to raise your GMAT score. As you don’t want to squander time studying ineffectively, you’ll need to concentrate much more on study techniques if you want an 800 GMAT score.

First, make sure you are following a sound GMAT study plan to make most use of the time you have to prepare. To then further improve your score and possibly achieve the highest score on the GMAT, let’s discuss some techniques and prerequisites needed to raise your GMAT score as much as you can.

Conducive Mindset

It’s a common misconception that getting an 800 on the GMAT is nearly impossible. Of course, if you think so, it will be very difficult for you to get an 800 since you’ll be trying to accomplish something that you think is probably impossible. You must thus adopt a mindset that will enable you to prepare yourself to get an 800 or close to 800 GMAT score.

Consider the fact that people frequently correctly answer all of the quantitative or verbal questions on the GMAT as one approach to cultivating such a mentality. To achieve an 800 on the GMAT, you only need to combine two components of what many people do and correctly answer every question in both sections.

Adopting a development or growth mentality is another component of forming a mindset that will help you ace the GMAT. In the context of preparation for the GMAT, this principle suggests that you may build good abilities in the other area as well if, for example, you are strong in quant but weak in verbal, or vice versa. Similarly, if you don’t feel particularly strong in either verbal or quantitative, you can improve your skills in both areas. The more certain you are that you can improve, the more energy and confidence you’ll have for exam preparation.

Study Consistently

Studying aimlessly with no specific objectives in mind is one of the most typical methods to stop your GMAT preparation progress. This keeps you from focusing on what you actually need to pay attention to and keeps you from developing the level of accuracy required to perform very well on the exam. You won’t even get close to scoring 800 on the GMAT.

You must frequently practice for at least three months in order to successfully prepare for the GMAT and come closer to an 800 GMAT score. It’s critical to commit to a regular study schedule for at least three months, so you have enough time to prepare regularly, assess your progress often with mock exams, and adjust your study strategy as necessary. When it comes to GMAT prep, consistency is essential.

It’s unlikely that cramming will greatly raise your score (definitely not to a 750+ level). Instead, you’ll need numerous study sessions per week where you may practice certain abilities and take mock exams to accurately assess your development.

Set specific objectives for each study session at the start of your preparation. For instance, your study schedule may say “do 10 practise sentence correction questions in 10 minutes,” rather than “focus on verbal portion” or “take practice tests.” By doing this, you might be able to stop yourself from repeatedly making the same mistakes in an effort to drastically raise your score.

Topic-by-Topic Approach

In the context of preparation for the GMAT, this principle suggests that you may build good abilities in the other area as well if, for example, you are strong in quant but weak in verbal, or vice versa. Similarly, if you don’t feel particularly strong in either verbal or quantitative, you can improve your skills in both areas. The more certain you are that you can improve, the more energy and confidence you’ll have for exam preparation.

This method of GMAT preparation is extremely effective because it allows you to concentrate on comprehending a particular set of concepts, you immediately apply the concepts you learn to answer questions, and you can use the knowledge you gain from responding to one question to respond to subsequent ones that are similar.

Ground-Up Strategy

You must answer all of the numbered questions accurately to earn the highest GMAT score. Learning subjects thoroughly is one component of doing so.

You can prepare for the GMAT by studying formulae or techniques to answer problems even if you might not completely comprehend the underlying idea for them and if you’re okay with occasionally getting baffled by a question on GMAT. You will be able to correctly answer the majority of problems as long as you can typically apply the formulae or methodologies.

However, if you want to ace the GMAT, you must go beyond memorising formulae and strategies to truly comprehend the ideas that underlie them. That way, you will be prepared to face any question that comes your way.

In order to guarantee that you are prepared to answer any Permutations question correctly on the GMAT, for example, you would go beyond memorising the Permutations formula and grasp precisely why it functions. A fundamental idea guiding the counting of permutations would also be taught to you. In this approach, you might respond to a Permutations question even if the formula wasn’t truly relevant by using the theory that underpins the formula.

Focus on Timing

You must pay attention to both the schedule and the exam’s substance if you want to score 800 on the GMAT or get even close to such a score.

You’ll need endurance because the test lasts for around three and a half hours, as well as a sense of proper pace. If you go too rapidly, you risk missing crucial information in a question or response option; if you move too slowly, you run the danger of failing to complete a section, which can drastically lower your score. If you want to ace the GMAT and get the highest GMAT score, pace yourself carefully since even minor time mistakes might cost you many questions, which is something you can’t afford to do.

Practice with timed exams first and foremost to enhance your timing on the GMAT. Only take breaks when you would be granted them during the exam. By doing this, you can avoid getting tired during the actual test. As the day of your test draws near, you’ll settle into a pattern that will seem comfortable.

Pacing exercises can also aid with timing development. Select the question kinds that you find the most challenging, estimate the amount of time you should spend on each, and set specific objectives for each drill in accordance. Pacing exercises should be incorporated into your regular study sessions, especially if time is one of your weaknesses.

Practice in Realistic Test Conditions

You must study not just for the GMAT’s scheduling and substance for the highest GMAT score but also for its structure and the testing environment if you want to ace the test. You should be as comfortable and prepared as you can be for every area of the GMAT since even the tiniest things might cause you to make a mistake during the exam and cost you valuable points.

For instance, get as much experience taking certified practise exams in a computerised adaptive style as you can. The more comfortable you get with the GMAT structure, the less likely it is that you will squander valuable exam time attempting to understand what a question is asking you.

Additionally, since you won’t have one on the exam, you shouldn’t ever practice using a calculator for math problems. You may get ready for this by regularly doing calculations in your brain as part of your GMAT preparation and on a daily basis. You will be given a double-sided, laminated scratch pad the size of a legal pad, as well as a thin dry erase pen at the test. To avoid getting confused on the exam, practice taking notes with a legal pad and a small pen at home when taking practice examinations.

The Bottom Line

You don’t have to be fixated on achieving an ideal GMAT score of 800. A score of 720 or above will almost always get you into business schools, and a score of 750 or more will be extremely exceptional in even the most competitive MBA programmes.

If to score 800 on the GMAT is your target, however, organize your GMAT preparation appropriately. Spend a lot of time studying, focus on your areas of weakness, break down question types to see where you are making mistakes, and make sure you are performing well on each GMAT section.

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