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GMAT Preparation Tips: How Daljeet scored a 780

Written by Sameer Kamat

GMAT Preparation Tips and Advice for cracking 780 GMAT preparation tips are easy to come by on various sites. Using these ideas, there are many Indian MBA applicants who do well on the GMAT. A few others crack it. And then there are those who completely destroy it. Daljeet Singh is one those warriors. After scoring a 780, he could’ve easily joined one of the elite GMAT preparation companies and made a killing. Instead, he chose to be part of an online marketing consultancy. He shares with us his story.


GMAT preparation tips from a 780 scorer

MBA for me has always been a moving target. When I was in my last year of under graduation, I started preparing for CAT (2006). Spent a few months preparing for the same, gave mock CATs & read through Pagalguy discussion forums about others preparation tips etc. Basically did all I could. When the results came out I had 89 percentile. I was shattered. I had a few calls from decent institutes but not from the ones I was looking forward to joining. Those were very depressing days. I had no idea what life would be, most of my friends either had calls from IIMs and the likes or were placed through their engineering colleges. I did not know what next to do in life, it was nightmarish then. Looking back, it was the best thing to have happened to me.

Try this short Free GMAT practice test now and get help on the Free GMAT Preparation helpdesk.

After the results, I started looking for a job and pretty soon, I was working for a large PR firm, that exposed me to various industries, their underlying business etc. I also kept upgrading my skills and did various evening / week-end courses in subjects as varied as finance, econometrics, stock markets etc. An year later, I got a call from an old acquaintance who was working in one of the hottest start-ups in Indian online space, informing about an opening there. I immediately said yes. I later realized that it required moving to a totally different city, a pay that was less than what I was already earning and no job security. But then I had said ‘yes’ you see.

I moved to Mumbai, a week later and did not know a soul there. My boss was moving to US for next one year and I was the only person in sales / marketing. I had never done sales / marketing. The next two and a half years were better than I could have hoped for. I worked with some of the most brilliant people in the industry. Did stuff I would not have been able to do in any other organization, achieved what I could not have achieved in any other organization.

Unfortunately, I had to move back to Delhi (my hometown) due to some personal complications and hence, left my job. Back in Delhi, I started receiving consulting offers from start-up and other small companies in my industry. I did that for a while and then thought this could be done in a more structured manner and hence started my own company that helps educational institutes with online marketing. Also, immediately after I moved back, I gave my GMAT and got 720. A lot of people said this was a decent score and I should not take a risk giving GMAT again, but I knew I could do better with a little effort, so a month later I gave GMAT and got 780.

Below are a few things that helped me during my preparation:

[Read more about Daljeet's GMAT prep strategy by clicking on any of the social media buttons]


That’s what worked for me. I applied to Columbia, Duke & Wharton (my dream school) but was rejected by all of them (Columbia at least gave me an interview call). This year I have an ISB admit and am still contemplating whether to join or to focus on my own company as that has also picked up some steam in the last one year.


Best MBA BookAs Daljeet thinks about the next steps, we wish him all the best for his MBA plans.

So what worked for Daljeet seems to be the fact that he didn’t rely upon a single source of GMAT test prep material. He created a ‘personalised system’ that worked for him.

If you are looking for options to give your GMAT study plans some structure and discipline, check out our GMAT preparation courses page. Set the ball rolling with a basic general course, then add the missing pieces as you discover them. And when you do get that fantastic GMAT score (or you already have one), let us know. We’ll publish your story too.

While you work on the GMAT, also ensure that you research what’s in store when it comes to MBA applications and the actual MBA course. Pick up a copy of Beyond The MBA Hype if you are serious about international MBA programs.

[Caution: It might shake you up a little...but hey, if you can't survive a book, how will you take on the real world?]


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Sameer Kamat

About Sameer Kamat

Founder of MBA Crystal Ball | Author of 'Beyond The MBA Hype' | Cambridge MBA Connect with me on Google+ | Twitter @mba_cb


20 Comments

  1. Pranjali   |  Monday, 24 January 2011 at 5:40 am

    This is an awesome story of an awesome achievement!!
    at a 780, you could well be hired by Manhattan GMAT !!
    A few more details on how you cracked the Verbal section would also help fellow Indians, verbal being the Achilles heel of many.
    Congratulations on your ISB admit and I hope you decide what’s best for you!!

    Cheers,
    Pranjali

  2. Gopi   |  Monday, 24 January 2011 at 8:16 am

    Wow! Congrats on the 780 score and the ISB admit! Like Pranjali says, a few tips on how you managed the Verbal Section would definitely help aspiring GMATers.

    Cheers! All the best!
    Gopi

  3. Japjeev Singh   |  Monday, 24 January 2011 at 8:59 am

    gr8 work mann.. the score score itself is a gr8 achievement and the skill of moving on with even higher aims and giving ur best to achieve them too is evevn bigger achievement… it was really wonderfull to read it,, the way you have been flowing in the proffesional world is remarkable. good job and gud luck

    regards
    Japjeev Singh

  4. Gagandeep Singh   |  Monday, 24 January 2011 at 9:33 am

    Congratulations Daljeet, your score and sheer hard-work is an inspiration in itself. People stop at milestones(720) but you my friend had the destination(750+) clear in you thought process.

    Do share the verbal preparation part though.

    I wish you good luck for the future.

    Regards,
    Gagan

  5. Daljeet Singh   |  Monday, 24 January 2011 at 10:12 am

    Hi Pranjali / Gopi,

    I dont think there is a magic potion to clearing verbal, the only way according to me is to practice. I was generally good in English, so I didnt pay much attention to it initially but when I started giving my first set of mocks I was quite disappointed to see my knowledge of english was not was GMAT was looking for. I had to completely un-learn what I knew, and then start all over again.

    The rules of verbal for GMAT are totally different from the ones we normally use in India. So, learning those set of rules is very important specially for Sentence Correction, which I think is the most important in verbal. Plus it is totally based on a set of rules and not subjective like RC etc., so you have a higher chance of getting all the questions here right.

    As I mentioned above I did Manhattan GMAT’s SC guide atleast 4 time, if you ask me what topic was there on page 74 or so I might still be able to tell you. That helped a lot.

    For RC etc., again there is no alternative to practice. Take Kaplan 800 and GMAT official guide should do.

  6. Harleen Kaur   |  Monday, 24 January 2011 at 10:49 am

    This is absolutely inspiring. Even for a person like me who hardly understands the GMAT thing. But I do know people could be totally crazy about attaining a 700+ in GMAT. The way you put your abilities to further testing by taking the test again even after getting a decent score like 720 is the most insirational part of the story. Wish you all the very best in future and may success be yours in every endeavour. :)

  7. Govardhan   |  Monday, 24 January 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Hi Daljeet,

    Score is just awesome!! Its a wow feeling!!Congrats.I know how one feels when we get returns for the hardwork we invested.

    But my query is, u said you r dumped by Duke & wharton.Sorry for that!.
    Can u let us know what may be “the probable reasons”?

    Did u gave ur interview with their alum?

    Even I too got dumped by Wharton for a score of 710. but interview was just too too good. The adcom was very very happy with my presentation. But still i got dunked!!

    Would like to hear your story!

  8. Daljeet Singh   |  Tuesday, 25 January 2011 at 10:26 am

    Hi Govardhan,

    I wasnt even given an interview call by Duke / Wharton, so I am sure it pretty much has to do with my essays. Also, yes I was interviewed by a Columbia alum based in India and it went fine, but I guess they had their reasons for not giving me a call.

  9. Bavleen Kaur   |  Friday, 28 January 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Hi Daljeet,

    Good to read through this. I too am very confident that a great future is lying for you ahead.

    All the best.

  10. Mayank   |  Monday, 02 May 2011 at 5:26 pm

    hii Daljeet…congrats..!!

    i want to ask how to prepare and gain confidence in verbal as i find myself very weak after solving some questions from OG…was this the same case with you…if yes plz help how to improve…??

  11. Harish   |  Thursday, 19 May 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Very nice article…

  12. santhosh   |  Wednesday, 15 June 2011 at 8:08 am

    Congrats!

  13. Ruchi   |  Monday, 27 June 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Hi Daljeet,

    Could you please list the resources / books you used for your GMAT study. This will help identify list of useful resources to pay attention to.

  14. pushpendra singh   |  Thursday, 30 June 2011 at 8:24 am

    hi daljeet sir,
    first of all congrats for your score in gmat and selection in isb .And keep on doing great work ,so that the people like us get inspired .i have a questuin that i don’t have much knowledge about gmat so sir can you tell me about books and other ways to prepare for it. im waiting for your reply sir.

  15. sathish   |  Wednesday, 20 July 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Hi Dalijeet,

    Excellent achievement.I could sense from your achievement your a big time risk taker.People like you should go ahead with ISB and contribute a lot to our country in terms of management or corporate governance.Your really an inspiration.Will follow your path and see hot far it works out to me :) .Its very well clear “hard work along with some smartness never betrays true efforts”.

    Gud Luck.

    Regards,
    SAthish

  16. chaitu   |  Saturday, 29 October 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Hi Dalijeet,

    Did u apply for Harvard Business School???
    If yes,What happened??
    If no,are there any reasons to not apply for HBS???

    Could you please clarify on this

    Thanks,
    Chaitu :)

  17. Sameer Kamat   |  Sunday, 30 October 2011 at 3:54 am

    Chaitu,
    Thanks for stopping by. This is an old post, so I don’t think Daljeet is still checking it out for queries/comments. But from the school list he has shared, seems like he didn’t apply to Harvard.

    Daljeet did not work with us, so I don’t know the reasons for his choice of schools (or for that matter, why none of the schools accepted him with such a strong profile). But I’m guessing it had more to do with ‘Fit’ and individual priorities.

  18. pradeep   |  Wednesday, 27 February 2013 at 8:20 am

    Brother, just please help me regarding what material should be present in hand, to crack GMAT

  19. Nimesh   |  Monday, 08 April 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Dear All,

    I have just started the GMAT preparation.

    A single input will help me . So please share your experience and study material .

    Thanks,

    Nimesh

  20. Eswar   |  Wednesday, 03 July 2013 at 6:46 am

    Hi Friends and MBA Aspirants I wish you all the best for MBA and GMAT.
    Thanks to all who shared their experiences and achivements it is very impressive and inspirational.

    My target is ISB, I am looking for people who like to share information and preparation practices to help each other, I will share my preparation and strategy soon.

    Thanks,
    Eswar.

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