Thursday, April 26, 2007

OK.. The first relevant post (Hopefully). My GMAT Journey. One day, in Sept 2005, I was talking to my doctor brother regarding my job and suddenly MBA came into our conversation. That day I started asking myself:
1. What I want from my career and life?
2. Where I want to stand after 5 years? I know that many people feel stagnated after 4-5 years in IT industry.
3. How can I achieve what I want?

I did a lot of introspection (for days) and the conclusion was: I need an MBA to switch career and to become an entrepreneur (long term).

Now comes from where you want to do? India, US, Europe etc.
Full time or part time?
Before reaching a conclusion on above questions I did a lot of research for 2 months and reached the conclusion that I need
1. A 1 year program because
a)I am older - 32 at start of program
b) My son will be 3.5 years old when I will be starting my MBA and I can't afford to send him to school if I go for a 2 year program
c) ROI
2. To study in Europe (Preferably UK) because most reputed 1 year programs are in Europe. India was totally out not because Indian programs are not good but because there is little diversity. I don't want to study among 80% engineers. (Nothing against engineers, I am also one)
3. A full time program because I want to switch career. I am in IT as a Project Manager and wanted to get rid of IT. It is very difficult (some time impossible) to switch career with part time programs.

In Nov 2005, I started my GMAT prep with books from and first thing I did was registering at (The best thing that happened during my journey to MBA).
I started with a mock test from Powerprep. I was considering myself a brilliant guy but I was shattered when I got 590. Then I came to know that I need to work very hard.
With 2.5 months of on and off preparation, I scored a 650 on March 1st, 2006. But the moment I came out of the test center I knew that I can do it and what were my mistakes:

1. I tried to be socially active along with my studying. Don't do it regularly unless you are a genius.
2. I practiced without correcting my old mistakes. If you are making the same mistake again and again then you must change strategy. Make an errorlog in excel or whatever format and review these errors at least once a week.
3. I only brushed sides with RC rather than immersing myself in it. If you are afraid of RC (or something) then practice more.
4. I was over-confident about maths. Though my minimum marks in maths until my 10th standard are 98 out of 100 but I got 48 in GMAT. I was complacent. If you are good at something then make sure to play with your strength.
5. I did not take many practice tests. Do as many practice tests as you can in the last 6-7 weeks of your preparation. Practice tests will give you the real picture where you stand. Tests that are best predictors of your score: GMATPrep, Manhattan GMAT, Princeton Review, Powerprep. (Stay away from Kaplan)
6. I did not attempt the GMATCLUB Challenges. If you are aiming for 50 or 51 in quant then these will be extremely helpful.

I wanted to take the GMAT within a month but I got transferred from San Francisco to Atlanta in the beginning of April 2006. So I was able to start only in last week of July 2006. New place, no friends. Good for me :-) This time I devoted 3 hours on each weekday and 6-7 hours on each weekend day. I spent a hell lot of time at GMATCLUB.COM (Evident by my 2500 posts in 2.5 months). There are three main advantages at GMATCLUB:
1. You get the motivation
2. People post difficult questions, most of the time.
3. You get to know various ways of approaching a problem in both quant and verbal

The hard work paid off and I scored a 700 (Q50 V33). I know that I could have done better in verbal because I became nervous after I started thinking about my score when I was in the last 15 questions of verbal. But no regrets. I knew that it is enough for a married person with a 3 year old son who will not let you study until he sleeps at 11:00 PM. GMAT is not about intelligence, it's about smartness and strategy. Believe me.

Here is the list of my books (in Random Order):

1) The Official Guide for GMAT® Review, 11th Edition - This is the bible and is a must have.
2) Cracking the GMAT from princeton Review - This is a good starter book. Comes with 4 online GMAT tests.
3) Kaplan GMAT Premier Program - This is also a good book. Comes with 2-3 GMAT tests but I don't like it's tests.
4) Kaplan GMAT 800 - This is a advanced book and should be touched when you have finished other material.
5) Manhattan GMAT Prep Sentence Correction Guide - This is a must for sentence correction section of GMAT. This comes with 3 excellent online GMAT tests.
6) Manhattan GMAT Prep Critical Reasoning Guide - Not that good. This comes with 3 excellent online GMAT tests. There are only 3 tests even if you buy all Manhattan GMAT books.
7) Gold Master LSAT from ARCO - This is a advanced book for Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning sections of GMAT. Must be touched after you have done other material.
8) The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review - This is also a bible and a must for non-native English speakers.
9) The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review - This is on your discretion. If you are VERY GOOD at GMAT maths then optional otherwise a must.
10) Grammar Smart, 2nd Edition by Princeton Review - This is a good book to know grammar concepts.
11) Verbal Workout for the GMAT, 2nd Edition by Princeton Review - This is good book for more verbal section practice
12) Most important aspect of my preparation was . I spent a load of time on this website. This website is a mine of information. Explore it.
13) Tons of online material downloaded. (Mostly form GMATCLUB)

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

You might be wondering that this blog is about some philosophy of life "The Never Ending Journey...", but it is not. It is about my journey where I am trying to achieve what I am dreaming: that perfect life and ambitions that you run after. In the same journey I have traveled a few miles from a small village in Sonipat district of Haryana state in India to an admit at SAID Business School, University of Oxford and many thousand miles are yet to be covered. It was tough but nothing comes easy and now gearing for the tougher path ahead. After this post I will talk about my experience with GMAT and the grueling application process.

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इस ब्लोग में आप का स्वागत हैआशा करता हूँ के मैं आप कि कुछ मदद कर पाऊँगाअच्छा लगता है अपनी मातृभाषा में लिखते हुए
Welcome to this blog. I hope I will be able to help you. It feels good to write in your mother tongue.

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