In this exciting journey of reaching your MBA goals, GMAT seems to be a roadblock, especially when you are preparing alongside a full-time job. William too had quite a journey in scoring a 740 on GMAT while juggling GMAT prep with a full-time job in investment banking. He had already taken the GMAT a few times before he reached this remarkable feat and feels his recent attempt was class apart from his previous ones.

William had already prepared from courses like eGMAT and Magoosh and he was still struggling with weak fundamentals. Let’s find out what changed this time for him that led him to score a GMAT 740. You can even watch the video debrief of his interview below:

Difference Between Previous Attempts and The Recent One

Piyush – So, William, how would you differentiate this attempt where you scored a decent 740 from the previous ones? 


William – The main difference between my recent attempt and the ones I took before is that I did not follow a defined approach earlier. But after taking the one-on-one tutoring sessions with the GMATWhiz tutors, I was no longer dealing with uncertainty. I was more confident and was not constantly worried about whether I got my last question right or wrong.  My exam was a lot smoother, and I felt much more confident. I was expecting a 700+ score but to my surprise, I ended up with a decent 740 (Q50,V40).

Piyush – What role do you think GMATWhiz played in your overall prep this time? How did it create a difference for you?


William – Before I took the GMATWhiz course, I was struggling mainly with the hard questions and with the timing part. With GMATWhiz, I learned the correct methods to solve SC, CR, and RC questions. I started applying those methods to solve a great number of practice questions. With GMATWhiz I learned to understand why I got the right question right and the wrong question wrong.

There are times you will be able to eliminate the wrong answers instead of identifying the right answer and that is again something I learned through the explanations provided by GMATWhiz.


Often I would get the answer right but for different reasons. So, when I looked at the explanation provided on the GMATWhiz platform, I learned so many other things that I had completely overlooked which played a key role in identifying the right answer.

Strategy for GMAT Verbal


Piyush – For Verbal you took GMATWhiz Private Tutoring. Can you describe the role that your mentor played throughout your journey?


William –  I really appreciate the effort Sunita put in my prep. I had access to the entire GMATWhiz online course and I could watch any video as many times I wanted. But having that one-on-one interaction with her was so important in understanding the concepts because it is so easy to miss something from a lesson while watching a video. And Sunita would always call it out. She always threw light on why I got a certain question right or wrong.


Piyush – What was your section-wise approach for GMAT Verbal?


Right Approach to Solve Reading Comprehension Questions 


William – One of the biggest differences I found was in my approach to solving RC questions. I was confident about my reading comprehension in general. So, in my previous attempts, I would skim through the passage. I would understand everything but that was mostly on the surface. I would never really try to dig into the other meaning i.e. what the passage was actually about. But with Sunita, my mentor at GMATWhiz, I learned to get into the bits and pieces.

The goal is to infer what the author is trying to say and not just focus on the words in the sentence.

Another difference was that earlier I was taking down notes to solve RC which is now completely unnecessary. Now, I pretty much understand the entire passage and remember it so it saves me a lot of time. You are confident while answering the questions that follow without even worrying whether your answers are in fact right or not. RC is all about reading and contextualizing. During the week, I was solving 10 CR questions, 10 SC, and 2-3 passages each day.

Meaning-based Approach For Sentence Correction

I always thought I was strong at SC. But then I learned the meaning-based approach. There are other courses as well that say you must use the meaning-based approach for SC but never go into what it means. GMATWhiz taught me that there is a lot more to this approach than just understanding the meaning of the sentence. You can get an easy-medium level question right with a 60-70% understanding of the meaning. But, there is a scientific approach to getting to the 100% meaning of the sentence. Only then you can get the 700-level questions right. Sunita was really helpful in pointing out those little things like – ‘What exactly is the meaning of the sentence?’.

Frameworks to Ace Critical Reasoning 
One thing that I want to point out here is that even though I had prepared for the GMAT before, learning the concepts again at GMATWhiz was quite useful. In GMAT CR, GMATWhiz teaches you frameworks for plan and goal causality which were quite helpful in understanding the arguments better and getting to the answer. This was something that no other course taught.


Approach to Score a Q50 on GMAT Quant


Piyush – You got a Q50 in Quant. How did you go about your Quant prep?


William – I didn’t spend a lot of time on Quant because I was confident about it. I did go through the GMATWhiz lessons but mainly videos of my weak areas. During the week, my main focus was on Verbal. On weekends, I would usually solve quizzes on my weak areas in Quant. For instance, if on a Saturday, I did Geometry, I would do another topic on Sunday. But that was more or less what I did.


Juggling GMAT Preparation with a Full-time Job


Piyush – William we understand that you are into Investment Banking – one of the most hectic profiles one can work with. How did you manage your daily schedule while carrying out your GMAT prep with a full-time job?

William – I believe giving your GMAT prep with a full-time job the right start is hard. Knowing that you have all these commitments during the day, it can be a little tough to stay motivated. To manage my GMAT prep with a full-time job, I was waking up early, usually by 5 AM every morning, to study for two hours each day, before finally leaving for work. That’s the time when your mental energy is high, so your prep is efficient.

You need to follow your set schedule each day. Whether you prefer to study in the mornings or in the evenings, you need to stick to your schedule. If you skip one day, you will likely skip the next day as well.


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A Day Before the GMAT Test


Piyush – A lot of students say they feel anxious in the days leading up to the test. What were you feeling during that time? Were you nervous? If yes, can you share how you managed your anxiety?


William – I wasn’t too stressed about the test this time. I felt quite relaxed in the last few days because I felt more prepared. A day before the exam, I just quickly went through my error log to just revise on the things I need to be careful of during the exam and the phrases and idioms I usually get wrong.

For Quant, I looked at the exceptions and some special properties. Overall, I was much prepared this time so I was quite calm before and during the test.

William’s Key Strategy to Tackle Anxiety During the Test

There was a moment during my Quant attempt, when I started to freak out. I had devoted more time to a few questions and was wondering how to make up for it. To prevent my anxiety from getting the best of me, I avoided looking at the clock many times. I decided that I needed to slow it down, get my calculations and my questions right, and then try to gain the momentum back.

3 Tips to Ace the GMAT From a 740 Scorer

Piyush – So, William, can you share the 3 major learnings from your GMAT journey with other retakers?

William – Yeah, definitely. So, the three suggestions that I would like to give to other GMAT retakers are –

  1. Take one-one-one tutoring with GMATWhiz – Having someone with you to point out mistakes and help you identify the parts that you never actually recognize on your own, especially in verbal, is really important.
  2. Keep an error log – Always maintain a detailed error log and do not forget to look back at it when you keep making the same mistakes again and again.
  3. Do not just practice questions – Also look back at why you got a questions right or wrong. This will help you go a long way.


Just like William, you too can reach your target score with the right guidance, prep resources, and test taking strategy. William’s journey is proof that even if you have to continue your GMAT prep with a full-time job, it is still possible to aim a 700+ on GMAT. If you are a GMAT retaker who needs expert advice, schedule a call with our GMAT Strategy Consultant or Request a FREE Demo with our Tutors.

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