For some non-native English speakers targeting a 700+ on GMAT, scoring a V40+ on GMAT Verbal seems to be tough. Not because it is a difficult feat to achieve, but because they lack the right approach to solve questions. Ritwik, too, was a non-native English speaker who went on to score a remarkable V41,Q51 on GMAT. He prepared from the GMATWhiz course and got a whopping 760 on the GMAT in his first attempt.

Despite the fact that English is not his first language, Ritwik had above average Verbal skills. He was confident that with a logical approach, he can score a V40+ on GMAT Verbal. On his mock tests, he was scoring between V42 to V44. We are sure that his journey will inspire many others like him who are non-native speakers of the English language.

In conversation with Piyush, Co-Founder, GMATWhiz, Ritwik has shared some of the key strategies he followed during GMAT prep to score a 700+ on GMAT, the resources he referred TO throughout his prep journey, and the tips and tricks that helped him reach an inspiring 760 on the GMAT. Let us read further to learn about his journey in detail. You can also watch his full interview on YouTube using the link below –

Piyush — So, Ritwik, tell us something about yourself. How did you feel when you saw a 760 flashing on the screen?

Ritwik — It felt exhilarating. I was sort of expecting a similar score but seeing it on the screen was a happy moment for me. My main motivation was to get done with GMAT before I joined work as an Analyst. Since I had recently graduated from BITS, Goa and I had time in hand, I started preparing in April, 2021 and took the test in July, 2021. I could have taken it earlier but due to pandemic restrictions it got delayed by a few weeks. But, I was so glad that I reached a decent score in my first attempt itself.

How I Prepared to Score 700+ on GMAT?

Piyush — What were the key steps that you took in achieving a 700+ on GMAT in first attempt?

Ritwik — Some of the things that I did in the beginning of my prep were –

  • In-depth Research – I read a lot about the exam in detail, the resources available online to prepare, and the various strategies followed by students who scored 700+ on GMAT in first attempt
  • Took trials of online courses – I had a few seniors who had already aced the GMAT. They suggested me to take an online course as it would save me a lot of time. I stumbled upon GMATWhiz, spoke to you over a call, and took the course because I loved it
  • Followed an action plan – I religiously followed the study plan that the GMATWhiz AI created for me. Apart from that, I was also referring to the OG because it is a must for every student.

Importance of Following a Study Plan in Scoring a 700+ on GMAT

Once I was done researching and bought the GMATWhiz course, I had many new questions in mind. I wondered when to take the GMAT, how many months should I devote to prep, how should I stretch out my prep, and more. But once I got down to prep, the GMATWhiz calendar was a huge help. Everyday when I sat down to study, I knew exactly which topics I needed to cover and by when I will be done with the course. So, I never really rushed my prep. I went topic by topic which was quite productive.

How I Scored a V41 on GMAT Verbal?

Piyush — So, Ritwik, you scored a massive V41. It is a difficult score to reach for students, even if they feel their Verbal skills are good. What was your approach for GMAT Verbal?

Ritwik — I was more confident about my Quant skills so I decided to begin prep with my weaker section i.e. Verbal. Based on the course suggestion, I went in the order of SC, CR, and RC which made complete sense to me. The steps I followed while preparing for GMAT Verbal are –

  • Learning the basics of a topic from video lessons
  • Solve the concept boosters
  • Solve practice quizzes from that topic
  • Then solve the practice questions to solidify that topic

I took up one topic at a time. All the topics are logically aligned in the GMATWhiz course. So, as you progress through the study plan following the prescribed order, you will get to the next logical topic making prep seamless.

My Approach for Sentence Correction

Piyush — Which approach did you use for Sentence Correction?

Ritwik — When I took the diagnostic test, I came across SC questions that I felt were not making any sense. With GMATWhiz, I learned that in SC, it is not about what sounds right or looks grammatically right. It is more about understanding what the author has to say. Every word is there for a reason and you need to relate it with the rest of the sentence. There is no need to memorize the idioms or rules. So, for SC I built the basics first. I learned the meaning-based approach and tried to deep dive into why an answer is wrong so I could eliminate that option.

Piyush — If we actually focus on reading the sentence right and focus on the meaning-based approach, does it take a lot of time to solve?

Ritwik — It is like learning any other skill. it takes time to master it but once you do, it takes very little time to solve. It is a methodical thing to do.

My Approach for Critical Reasoning

Piyush — For SC, you followed the meaning-based approach. What was your strategy to solve CR questions?

Ritwik — I will tell you the top 3 questions that I asked myself while solving a CR question are –

  1. Information is given to you?
  2. What are you asked to do with it?
  3. Are they asking you a question?

Framework-driven Approach for CR

Ritwik — I already had a good understanding of cause and effect relationship. So, I tried to first understand the argument given in the question before jumping directly onto the options. I read the question point by point and paused where there was a comma to figure out what was really happening in the sentence. Just knowing the frameworks helped in thinking.

Piyush — How much did it take to read that way?

Ritwik – Majority of my time went into reading the question. This helped save time in finding the correct option because this way I could easily eliminate the wrong answers. Finding the right one out of the remaining options is then quite easy.

Learning the Right Approach for GMAT CR – Full Webinar Playlist

My Approach for Reading Comprehension

Piyush — Most students take RC lightly but then struggle to solve the questions for many reasons – be it understanding the passage or solving in the desired time. How did you ace it? Can you take us through your approach for RC?

Ritwik — RC, in my opinion, is the bigger brother of CR. Once you mastered CR, RC will be cakewalk for you. You must get the basics of CR right and use the same on RC. My key strategy was to read the passage properly, line by line, to figure out the flow of the passage. You must think like the author to figure out what he is trying to say. Only then you should move to solving questions.

Piyush — Many students ask me if reading the entire passage a time-consuming process? What was your experience doing the same?

Ritwik — Prior to taking GMAT, I have given other tests where I always skimmed through the passage to save time. But, this approach didn’t work in GMAT. You have to read the whole passage properly to avoid skipping details. In fact, solving the questions was like a breeze after that. It barely took me less than 1 minute to solve most RC questions that followed.

GMATWhiz always asked you to summarize the para in one line. I found it annoying in the beginning but having that broad idea helped a great deal.

Webinar Watch – The Right Way to Approach Reading Comprehension – Full Playlist

How I scored Q51 on GMAT Quant?

Piyush — Let us now talk about your approach towards Quant. How did you prepare to score a perfect Q51?

Ritwik — When I began my Quant prep, I tried solving around 200 questions from the Official Guide. Then, I took up each and every topic on the GMATWhiz platform and completed them. The video lessons were so in-depth that they covered everything you need to learn in a topic starting from – the concepts, diagnostic tests, the concept booster files, concept solidifiers, and the practice quizzes. The best part was that each question had a written solution/video solution given with it. I found this really helpful. Since Quant is very technical, once you go into this much depth in a topic, it is easy to ace it.

Strategy to Master Data Sufficiency Questions

Piyush — Can you share how you went about the DS questions? A lot of students dread solving those on GMAT.

Ritwik — In DS questions, the GMAC can trick you anywhere. There are n number of traps for you. Whenever I went wrong, be it a HCF, LCM, Probability, or Statistics question, I took up the topic from scratch.

In Data Sufficiency, it is important to have a clear and methodical approach. I always wrote down the question stem, simplified it as much as I could, and then moved to the options to see what statement 1 says and what statement 2 says. You need to looked at them independently and then search for an answer.

Need help planning your GMAT Prep? Here’s a guide for you

What Did I Do One Week Before the Test?

Piyush — What were you doing 7-8 days before your test? Did you study a lot or took some time off prep?

Ritwik — In the last 10 days, I reserved my time for mocks. I didn’t study anything new apart from some revision of topics. I did one mock each day. My plan was to study during the day and take the mock at night and revisiting each and every question I solved, be it right or wrong. I solved 10 mocks given by GMATWhiz. My score on these mocks was lower than on my official mocks score. In 4 official mocks I got – 770, 770, 760, 750. This was definitely a confidence boost for me. To do better, I consciously noted down my number of mistakes and tried to reduce them.

What Did I do One Day Before the Test?

Piyush — Ritwik, what do you advice students to do one day before their final GMAT exam?

Ritwik — On the test day, I had booked a 3 pm slot. I woke up at 8 in the morning. I did not want to chill on the exam day unlike other students. So, I went through my notes one last time. I arrived early at the test centre. Although I had taken the official mocks to prepare myself, the test taking experience was quite different. Some questions were quite tough, but I did not let them get to me.

Ritwik stayed calm even though he faced tough questions. He trusted his capability and landed with a 760(Q51,V41).

Dealing with Anxiety During the Test

Piyush — At any point during the test, did you feel anxious? How did you deal with it?

Ritwik — Yes, I did. Once I was done withh Quant, I felt like my performance was not up to the mark. I grew a bit worried but I quickly calmed myself down. I told myself that I still had Verbal to take and I have to give it my best. There were questions in Verbal too that I had not practiced before but I composed myself and calmly solved them. I thought my Verbal went better than Quant, but I ended up with a Q51 which I was not expecting. In Verbal I was hoping for a V42+ but scored V41 instead.

How I Managed My Time During the Test?

Piyush — Any word of advice for students on how to manage time during the GMAT exam?

Ritwik — During the test, I always kept track of how much time I had left for the remaining questions. After every 5-6 questions, I used to check how much time is left and then tried to complete every question in less than 2 mins. But that does not mean I was compromising with accuracy. In fact, in Quant, I ended up consuming more time, mainly because I was giving equal attention to each question, irrespective of the difficulty level.

My Quick Tip to Score 700

Piyush — Do you have any tips for other students who are aiming a 700+ on GMAT?

Ritwik — GMAT is a test that needs mastery. If you put in efforts, you get to see the results. If you are not seeing results even after months of prep, you are definitely making mistakes in the process. In that case, you need to stop and identify your mistakes. Always do a root-cause analysis as it will save you time and help you improve your score.

Also, working on your weak areas is important. Never skip a topic if you are scared of it. Rather, work on it to avoid any surprises during the test.

Still having Questions?


Scoring a 700+ on GMAT is not impossible. All you need is consistency, determination, and the right resources to prepare for a computer adaptive test like the GMAT. Despite being a non-native speaker, Ritwik not only scored a remarkable V41 but also ended up with a 760 on GMAT in his very first attempt. If Ritwik can achieve such an impressive feat, so can you! Happy Learning.

5 Reasons to Work on Your MBA Applications Alongside GMAT Prep
How to score above V40 in GMAT Verbal? | V40+ on GMAT

Leave a Reply