excellent debriefing...congrats on the wonderful score..
Just gave my GMAT Yesterday.
I would like to Thank Him for making it possible for me to take the GMAT and helping me maintain a positive frame of mind throughout my preperation. Next, I want to thank my parents who have motivated me to take the GMAT and devoted themselves in assiting and providing unconditional support during my preperation. Thank you Mom and Dad for giving me so much emotional support. Last but not the least I want to thank my wife, who helped in organising my studies, collected so much important reading material and beliieved in me more than myself.
I am 28 years old of age,Indian by Nationality and a software proffessional by profession. My work ex is 8 years and my GPA is 3.8.
This is my 4 attempt to make it in a MBA insitine. I had given 3 attempts of CAT( This is an All India examination for admission to Premier Indian MBA institutes). The first attempt was 8 years back and quite serious one. After that I prepared twice over 5 and 3 years back but before I could sit for the exam, circumstance were such that I had to leave my preparation and go for work assignments abroad. I came from London in this January and wanted to try once more. My friends suggested to take GMAT and after giving due thought I started my prep in 1st week of May. Even this time just 10 days before my exams, circumstances I cannot detail made me come to the verge of posponing my GMAT exam. It is only the support of my family, especially of my father which made me steady.
I prepared for approximately 6 weeks. The first week was devoted to gathering information about GMAT and collecting books,reading materials. The last 10 days there was so much happening at my work place that I was left with very little time to prepare for GMAT. So I would say that my prep was near about 4 weeks. I started with PP1 and got 590. On analysis of the results, It was clear that I needed most work in verbal SC and RC. A few silly mistakes were there in Quant DS and algebra.
I purchased the following books
Apart from these, I used to softcopy of Official Guide available on Testmagic.(Just could not get my hands on a hardcopy in Delhi,India. All the book stores told me that the 10th edition is not available in the market.)
- Princeton Crack the GMAT wih CD
- Kaplan with CD.
I used the following links heavily throughout my prep
http://www.urch.com/forums/showthrea...7&page=4&pp=10 (790 GMAT (q50, v51))
(please check the complete site for more reading material available)
Needless to mention that testmagic was the most heavily used link. I strongly advise prospective test takers to go through past posts on Testmagic to scourge for invalueable resources.
I started with Princeton as most people thought of this book as a very basic book. So I thought it would be good to brush up on my basics before I move on to more complicated Q. I found the book to contain some great tips and they can defintly help most people. Finiished the book in 1 week and moved on to Kaplan. The kaplan book is a great book for DS problems as it shows the examinee a great range of Qs. I found the Kaplan CD software to be more useful than Princeton although the Q range in Princeton CD is quite good. Both give propotationate value for money. I finished the book and most portion of the CD in 2 weeks. As I have mentioned, I could not purchase the Official Guide, so started with the softcopy of Official Guide. Before Official Guide my SC score was quite low. After I used the Official Guide for a week, I was able to identify the errors much more quikly and with more accuratly. So Official Guide definitly helped me. I started to give full length test in the third week and spaced my tests with 2-3 days gap.
My preperation time was around 4 hours on weekdays and 7-9 hours on weekends. So in all, my preperation time would be in the range of 150 to 170 hours.
Princeton Test 1 640
Princeton Test 2 630
Princeton Test 3 640
Princeton Test 4 660
Kaplan CD1 590
Kaplan CD2 590
Kaplan CD3 590 (Hat-trick)
Kaplan CD4 No score (The application hanged when I reached 34Q in the verbal section )
Before the test day, I had prepared a list of the institutes to carry to the test centre and my own tempelate for AWA. Before sleeping I did a last minute check of all the things to carry to the test centre. Feeling satisfied, I went to bed. It was quite difficult to sleep but somehow managed to get around 6 hours of sleep. Got up at 6.15 and left home around 7.15. I was asked to report to test centre at 8.00 am in the morning. I had not been to the test centre before in contrast to the routine advise of my most people. I struggled to find the place in the morning and reached at 8:25. I was really nervous for a few minutes before reaching the test centre. Had a quite smoke to calm my nerves and went into the test centre. After the initial formalities the test began right on time.
I wrote the AWA as per my templetes and finished both the essays in time. Spent the last 3-4 minutes proof reading my essays as advised in Kaplan and Princeton books. Took a break and did some pep-talk to myself in the mirror. Went in and started the Quant section. The questions started to pour in, at first quite simple and then started to become tougher and tougher. I must admit that I was getting nervous because of two reasons. Firsly, I knew that I was doing good and secondly, beacuase I am quite prone to doing silly mistakes. So I was checking my answers till the 25th question. Then I realised that I had less than 19 minutes to do 12 questions. I quit double checking my answers and went on. In the end I got a couple of easy questions which made me reaslise that I must have made a mistake in a few questions. I got 2 probability Q. Both of them were straightforward. I must mention that I saw two DS question which were monsters. First because they were lenghty and second beacuase they were quite tricky. (please do not ask me to reproduce them )
I opted for the break, when I finished the Quant section. Opened my locker and drank a can of Red bull. (It is a enery drink. I personally feel that it gives you wings). I needed this more than ever because I was flustered after Quant. Did some more pep-talk in the mirror and went back.
The verbal was easy at first and then around the 8th Q came a monster of a RC. I did my best to answer the Q. I must mention here that my speed in verbal has always been pathetic and I end up blindly guessing the last 7-8 questions. So in verbal, when I reached the 15th Q, there were 40 minutes left. I started moving on quickly and in the next 2 RCís that I got used POE techniques to answers the Q and moved on. I wanted to hit most SC and CR questions. This was my strategy build around my weaknesses. In the end, just managed to finish the 41st Q with 12 seconds to spare.
After lots of background Qs, I was asked to see my score. I said a prayer and clicked to see the score. The score of 690 popped up on my screen. Went to the procter and asked her to give me a print of my unofficial score report.
Came out of my test centre and as soon as I switched on my cell, I was flooded with calls from my family and friends.
Due to my work pressure and the past 2 experiences with the CAT exam, I chose to play safe and gave myself approximatly 6 weeks to prepare. I had aimed to touch 700. So honestly speaking, I felt a bit sad initially with the score. However, on the overall I feel that I have more or less met my target. I would love to hear your views about my score and in which institutes do I stand a good chance. So get typing and reply to this post.
Chaps, Let me know if you have any queries, I will try my best to help out.
- Nothing is Impossible if you make up your mind.
- In my opinion, GMAT is purely a test of stamina and self control. If you get nervous or bogged down with stress, you are not helping yourself.
- Always visit the test centre if you are not comfortable with the area.
- Analyse your weaknesses before you get down to make a study plan.
- If you are not able to get rid of your weaknesses, make a strategy to maximise your score.
- If working full time, give at least 8 weeks of preperation.
Hey congrats on your score!
I believe that with 8 years of work experience and assignments abroad, you would definitely get into good B-schools. Try B-schools like INSEAD, LONDON BUSINESS SCHOOL, COLUMBIA, UCLA. These are definitely great univ to be in!!
As a software professional I do belive that one really needs to put in at least 40 days of effort continuosly and realise the mistakes commiteed!!
A. Whats the strategy u applied for CR's???
I gave my GMAt got 620 ( M-47 V-28)
I got easy SC's i think I screwed on CR's.. Any advices on that
1. Can i have the exact name of your Princeton and Kaplan books?..
2. I have old Kaplan and Princeton books as old as 2002.. Are they the same??
For CR, I used the Official Guide thoroughly. I cannot overstate the need for practice in SC and CR. I gave untimed tests in the begining to evaluate what were my weaknesses. In CR, my success rate was nearly 80 percent. Only problem was speed. So my advice to you would be to first understand and follow the Kaplan 4 step method. Next just practice 300-400 questions, timing yourself.
Both Kaplan and Princeton books that I used were of 2005 edition. I cannot compare if the books of 2002 and 2005 edition will be much different or not. But it will do no harm if you visit a bookstore and just browse through them. If you find them quite different then go for it.
All the best.
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