700 is seen as a magic number by many attempting the test. But let’s examine if 700 is really necessary to gain admission to a top-20 business school.
Most business schools are still reporting that the average GMAT score for admission is less than 700 but recently it has become increasingly common to see some of the very top schools to be reporting scores at or slightly higher. But these reports may be slightly misleading since a couple very high or low scores can skew the average score. In contrast, median scores give you a clearer picture of your chances (although in most cases the median and average are fairly close).
You want to get the highest score you can but remember that the GMAT score is only one component of your admission. Admissions committees will look at your experience, GPA, recommendations, admission essay, and much more when making their decision.
A score of 700 means you need to score better than close to 92 percent of others taking the test so this is an ambitious goal. Hard work and a good score on the quantitative and verbal sections will be necessary.
How long it takes to get a 700 GMAT score?
Getting to 650 (approx. 80th percentile) should take the average person about 50 hours of study but if you are a native English speaker and have a good aptitude for math then you may be able to get to this point with less study. Taking your score up yet another 50 points to 700 will probably take another two or three of study unless you decide to work with a professional GMAT tutor in which case you can do it in less. A good GMAT tutor can help you become more efficient at problem-solving.