How to Smash the GMAT Part I

Updated: Aug 26, 2019

I know, trick question right? For those of you who are new to the GMAT, the results range from 200 to 800, and the test ranks you by percentile, so technically, no one’s holding you back a year, so you’re gonna hear this a lot: “There’s no passing or failing in the GMAT!

Only there is. You see most schools have a low bar – a minimum allowable GMAT score – to even consider your application. That score determines whether your application is even read.


Each school has a different minimum GMAT score requirement, so failing to meet one school’s low bar means you may yet qualify for another.


Great! Right??? Not so much.

You see there’s something about the psychology of a test taker, which in my experience, operates on a pass-fail basis. For example:


“I need a 60% to pass this test”

“I can get max 5 questions out of 20 wrong to pass my driver’s exam”

“I need an 85 to get an A in this class”


People even think this way when it’s not a pass or fail situation! This is a problem because setting a low bar for yourself improperly frames the challenge, the GMAT does 3 wonderful things:


One, it gives you a chance to possibly override your crappy GPA. Two, it ranks you by percentile, so the schools have a single metric to compare you with others (hence “standard test”) Three, Gives you a chance to get back on the academic bandwagon, before school starts and everything is for keeps


Some students quickly grasp this concept and are able to reframe the issue, this is where the magic is. So, I’m gonna outline how to properly shift your thinking on how to pass the GMAT effectively in 6 steps:


Step 1. See past the GMAT test

Remember why you’re doing this, and understand your path: GMAT → MBA → High Fallutin’ job somewhere →millions → early comfortable retirement. Ok, maybe you have a different path, but that was mine (I’ve made a few detours since, but hey that’s life). For many, passing the GMAT is the first step towards as successful future, don’t fool yourself into thinking that since it’s the furthest from “comfortable retirement” that it’s not such a big deal. The truth is,