How to break the 700 barrier part 2

Continuing from our last post, additional tactics necessary to break the 700 barrier include:

3) Practice with difficult questions

Unlike other students, you will be seeing a lot of the 700+ level questions, so you will need to be prepared to tackle them.  In order to do this, you need to practice with them.  Whatever course or books you choose to work through will probably have some, but not enough.  When you finish your course of study, ie learning the content and pacing practice, you will need to practice with the most difficult questions.  Books like MGMAT Advanced Quant and Kaplan 800, which cater specifically to top scorers are good sources for practice questions.

Like any other practice questions you do, it is equally important to review the answer explanations, as it is to actually do the practice questions.  With 700+ level questions there are often multiple ways to get to the right answer.  However, some will take you much longer than others.  That is why it is especially important to go over the answer explanations for the questions you got right.  There may be a better and faster way to do it, so you should know for next time you have a similar question. 

One important thing to remember when you are aiming for a 700+ is that you will still have to build up to this level.  Master the 500 and 600 level questions before you start working with the 700s.  There is no point in mastering the 700 level questions if you aren’t doing well with the lower level ones, because if you don’t do those correctly you won’t even see the 700+ ones on test day. 

4)You can still skip questions

If you are aiming for a 700+, you can still skip a few questions, especially on the quant section.  In fact, skipping a few quant questions can be a strategic move, giving you more time to answer questions you are more likely to get right.  It is important, however, to do this strategically.  Don’t randomly skip questions, because that might lead to get an easy one wrong and hurt your score. Make sure that you are selecting the difficult questions to skip.  Try to pick the problems that you would be likely to spend a lot of time on and probably get wrong anyway.  This will help improve your score the most.

5) Spread out your studying

Unless you start off in the late 600s, it will be almost impossible to score a 700 or more by cramming.  There are a lot of strategies and concepts to learn, process and internalize, which is done most effectively over a longer period of time with periodic breaks.   Cramming is only effective form of studying if you are being tested on pure memorization, so while it is not good for anyone studying for the GMAT, it is definitely not a habit for a 700+ aspirant to adopt.

Meet the Author

Eliza Chute

I was always just an average student, but with the right course prep I was able to score a 770 on my first try. I had to wade through a lot of material to find what was right for me, but luckily for you I've done all the research for you! See more on my GMAT courses page.

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