Firstly, I would like to thank sameer for starting mbacrystalball. It’s after reading his book Beyond the MBA Hype that I got clarity about why I should leave my job and what to expect during and post an MBA program.Salute to you sameer and thanks a lot!
My background and why an MBA
A very typical profile. A guy bored with my IT job, working as a TL and wondering what the hell am I doing with my life. I have always envisioned myself doing something larger than myself and not being a slave to the next paycheque but somehow I feel I am stuck in a rut here where my life has only two destinations- my home and my nonsensical work at office.
I don’t know whether an MBA will help me figure out my calling in life but what I definitely know is that it will open up those opportunities for me that are not available right now. In fact ,right now the only opportunity that I see is switching my job which is like a dead end in itsel.
Anyway, more on that topic later, let’s come back to the topic about the GMAT. I decided to apply for fall 2014 intake and the first step to achieve this target was to take the GMAT. Having graduated from one of the NITs and being a CAT veteran twice, I have always felt quite strong on Quant and fairly, if not very, strong on verbal. I thought that achieving a 99th percentile on the GMAT would be a great fete if I could achieve it and I kicked off my journey!
The resources I used:
I used the following books
Verbal-Aristotle SC, CR and RC Grails
Quant- Manhattan Quant Strategy Guides
CATs- ManhattanGMAT 6 CATs
How I prepared.
I prepared for a total of 3 months. I really wanted to ensure that I finish my GMAT by 15th August so that it becomes easier for me to prepare my application and submit it in R1 fo ISB.
I firstly worked through all the verbal grail books as verbal was one area in which I was relatively weaker . The way I studied is that I would start with a chapter, go through the concepts and then would do the practice problems at the end of the book that tested on that particular concept.
Doing this really helps as you are able to build a solid foundation in one particular area and then move on to the next.
After I was done with the concepts and practice problems in the grail books, I moved on to the OG questions. I didn’t want to use the OG questions while learning the concepts because then I wouldn’t be able to get the maximum benefit from them.
Quant was not much my focus area as I felt confident in quant but still I wanted to capitalize on this and take my score to 50 so that even if something bad happens on verbal section on the actual GMAT, I’d be safely able to cross the 730 mark!
The Big day
It was not exactly a smooth sailing on Math. Since I had not prepared much for P&C, I was quite startled to see the first question as a P&C question. It took me around 4 minutes to do the question and I ended up becoming a little nervous that I have wasted a lot of time. I made up for the lost time in the subsequent questions and finished the quant section on time. The verbal section also went well and surprisingly I ended up finishing it with a minute to go! I was quite pleased with the score that appeared on the screen after the test !
•A lot of people directly start practicing questions which I think is a bad strategy.Firstly build a strong foundations by working on your concepts and once your concepts are strong enough, then you can focus on practicing questions.
•Keep on visiting the online forums to stay motivated. Believe me motivation is the key.
•Spend a good amount of time in analyzing questions that you practice. Practicing more questions doesn’t help; analysis does!
•Take at least 8 full length CATs. It will help you on time management
•Don’t take the GMAT if you are not ready for it. I postponed my GMAT once because I knew that I will not hit my target score and I certainly didn’t want to get demotivated by taking the GMAT once and screwing it up!