The sub-4 minute mile; a perfect round of golf; a 300 in bowling…oh the elusive Mt. Improbables of perfection, how can anyone ever hope to summit your slippery slopes?
Hard work won’t quite cut it – an element of luck, a touch of madness, and more than an average serving of raw talent may do the trick.
In terms of attainability, where then does the GMAT perfect score fall – that perfect 800 we wish we could have emblazoned on our transcript? Well, less than 30 each year attain this coveted score. And as I am sure a few of these are tutors, that means even fewer test takers are scoring a perfect 800 on the GMAT.
To put things into perspective 150 people climb Everest each year (though 5 do die – which is something I’ve never heard befall a GMAT test taker).
Clearly, a perfect score is extremely difficult – though not necessarily impossible. Below are some points to keep in mind if you are considering a perfect score.
The philosopher physicist has it best. Strong quant skills coupled with formidable problem skills, he/she is able to quickly see the big picture and discern the answer very quickly.
Physicists are also adept at seeing some of the underlying patters in the verbal section. But it is the philosopher who truly excels. The critical reasoning section? They’ve been doing that for years – and what the critical reasoning philosophers have been doing makes the GMAT CR seem like a high school equivalency exam.
Of course the philosopher physicist is the ideal. A math background will clearly help on the quant; a literary background will help on the verbal.
Those who read challenging books & articles should have little problem navigating the dense, quasi-academic language of the GMAT. Proper idiomatic construction should flow from their tongues with the same insouciant ease most of us have discussing the weather. Grammatical niceties will jump out from the page, amidst the noise of GMAT distractors.
My advice – read challenging – but not utterly boring – works. And pay attention to language and turns of phrases.
The perfect scorer isn’t necessarily the fastest. But they are the most careful. The perfect scorer double-checks his/her answers and does not leap at an answer choice because it sounds good. He/she is aware of the traps that the GMAT lays, and is assiduously careful to avoid falling for them.
Also, they are likely to have a highly regimented GMAT study schedule, to bring their weaker areas up to speed and keep them on track (no slacking!). They certainly aren’t the ones who study “maybe when I have some free time this weekend”, but the ones who have a plan of attack for every section. Sticklers who look out for everything from small math errors to grammatical nuances are very well-suited for standardized testing in general.
The Best Prep
To develop this sense, you will need the best prep out there. Manhattan GMAT comes to mind. Their practice materials and practice tests can definitely get you ready for the big day.
This may be the first time you are hearing about Magoosh, and while we definitely can’t promise you a perfect score, we can promise you the best on-line video prep. You will nail the fundamentals (even if you weren’t a philosopher poet) and will have hundreds of practice questions to help you scale the Mt. Everest of the GMAT.
This article was written by Chris Lele, GMAT Expert, and was originally posted on the Magoosh GMAT blog.