GMAT Advice: Begin With the End Goal in Mind

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Begin With the End Goal in Mind

Business school admissions are competitive, and a 700+ GMAT score provides a great boost.

MBA programs are seeing a dramatic increase in the mean GMAT scores of their matriculants. For example, Stanford GSB’s Class of 2022 has a mean GMAT score of 733 — a 96th percentile score. In other words, only 4 percent of all GMAT-takers worldwide score 733 or above.

In addition, business school applications are at record highs. Because of this increased number of applicants, admissions committees can be more selective with potential students. This increase in selectivity helps account for the higher GMAT scores at top programs.

Although it’s not the only factor in your application, your GMAT score can be a wind in your sails during the application process. Conversely, a poor score can be a mark against you. Why let it be the latter? Why not put your best foot forward?

So, begin with the end goal in mind.

Don’t make the mistake of going into your GMAT without a plan. I sometimes see test-takers who say the following: “I just want the highest GMAT score possible.” Earning the “highest GMAT score possible” is not a plan. In fact, this mindset will make it difficult for you to follow a strategic plan for improvement. After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, how do you navigate there?

Research the schools you’d like to attend. See what the class profiles consistently look like. Does almost no one secure admittance without a 700+ GMAT score? Or, do many matriculated students have 680s? Once you have a reasonable idea of what your GMAT score will need to be, work backward from that score and set up a study plan. For example, if your goal is to earn a 730, you’ll have to master trickier and more complicated concepts and problems than if your goal is a 680. To earn that 730, you’ll also have to study more.

Once you know what your GMAT goal is, it’s time to figure out what your current abilities on the GMAT are.

Happy studying!