Just passed my GMAT yesterday... and thought that I "owe" these nice people some debrief for the nice help and work that I didn't exploit that much since I only discovered the forum 4 days before my exam!!
I am a DSP algorithm developer (engineer)... originally from the middle east... working in the bay area... I have a masters in EE from canada... immigration and marriage dictated that I concentrate in pursuing a career and not a PhD... so I gave up on that and worked hard to find a foothold... after I got everything in place... I started to feel how IGNORANT I am about everything but engineering!!! I started aquiring these weird and geeky hobbies like Game theory, investing, finance and macroeconomics... and started feeling that I have a huge gap in my knowledge that needs to be fixed somehow.
I started searching for MBA possibilities... going full-time was not an option... so I only checked part-time possibilities that don't need me to drive for 45 minutes both ways to reach my class... that essentially left me with 2 viable options, going cheap to San Jose state (around 11k) or going for a real investment to Santa Clara Univ (around 50k)... after I went to their presentation session and studied their curriculum... I believe I won't be able to go cheap anymore unless I don't have the option not to. Iam not interested in a career change or anything... but I just want to LEARN and be ready for the right opportunity in the future... all within the tech field.
There are a couple of courses in their electives that I am already drooling on (Game theory, and behavioral finance). I also find that they have many more students than the State univ, and much higher grad/undergrad ratio... so I said what the heck... I ll need to get in SCU (do you see any other viable part-time options near by that I don't know of?)
Ok, the GMAT... this is not a recipe for how to go about the exam... but quite the opposite. I just went to the public library... got the only text I found there that wasn't too old (ARCO) and started reading about question types and the simple explanations that were there... I took a couple of paper-based tests after that (got high 600s), and figured out that my Quant score was way higher than my verbal... mainly cause I did horribly on CR. I registered for the exam anyway (3 weeks left, a big mistake) and decided to work on verbal during that time. I hardly studied for a few hours on weekends... until the GMATPrep CD arrived. I decided to take my first ever CAT test (2 weeks left) and got 700 (Q49, v38). I got some confidence and got even more lazy
Untill 5 days before my exam (last wednesday to be exact) I was looking for some source of tough GMAT questions on google, and the search brought me here... I started reading and reading... and felt a rush of fear and unpreparedness taking me over... oh my GOD... If I found this treasure a few weeks earlier, I could have changed the whole plan. I suddenly decided to kill myself in the time left and try to catch as much as I can... I read all the posts in Clintonn's post, I tried to solve every Quant question posted... and my quich cheat sheet started getting fat I studied last weekend from home and tried to capture as much as I can from the forum... I had already solved the first exam from GMATPrep but on 2 parts, just for practicing (total 730)...
I solved one exam on the ARCO CD, and it gave me a low score 680... but I have read here that it is usually a bit harder than the GMATPrep... I just said that anything in the 700s is great since I didn't train enough. Here are the few ideas I came up with that might be helpful to someone:
- I decided to use my left hand for the mouse instead of my right hand... so that my right hand would always be holding the pen in Quant.
- I didn't memorize the templates for the AWA... instead I memorized keywords and small sentences just to add juice to my intros, ideas, and conclusions.
As everystep in my way, this one had to be screwed up... I just couldn't sleep much that night... I felt hot, so I removed the cover, then I felt cold, so I had to look for the cover... again and again... I wish I had followed your advice and took NyQuil or something... but luckily my exam was in the afternoon, so it wasn't that bad.
Contrary to what I expected, I did better than my normal in the verbal part... and didn't do that impressive in the Quant... but to my amazement my time management was perfect (with little to no training, as you see) I reached the last question in each with 90 seconds left... I guess that's perfection.
Quant: the questions were too easy... the only source of errors here is hassle... 3 to 4 questions I had already seen before... what annoyed me is that after 2 or 3 very tough questions (midway), I would get a very easy and stupid question... that made me start doubting myself... on one of the DS questions (30ish) I reached the right answer, but clicked very quickly the 3 buttons, that I suddenly doubted whether I hit B or C!! that would really be a stupid move. On the last question, the question was a shy girl type... too simple... I just gave it a few seconds of thought... and selected C, then figured out it must be a shy girl... so went along and started to substitute to assure myself of the result... but the timer ended and he took my C instead of the correct E...
Verbal: I hadn't taken a rest after AWA, so I took it this time... washed my face, talked with a guy for a while for a change... and then went in for verbal , where I expected to be losing most of my points... The RCs were very short and easy to understand... 3 of them didn't need the page to have a scroll bar, the 4th and last one was a bit longer... but all were so straight forward... I also bumped into a boldface question very early (11ish) so I guess it is normal now, not only towards the end of the exam as expected. Many of the SCs were very natural for anyone who trained a bit from any textbook... they were testing the same expected mistakes... and it was easier to spot the good ones. I was so happy to reach the last question with enough time and felt that might have saved the day for me.
Result: 720 (not bad, but definitely not the best of what I could have done)... but I am happy with it... I guess part-time programs don't need you to put that much effort to get in... and that is already in the top 10% for SCU (may be not for the techies category)... all in all... I am happy it is done, with minimal effort... The only annoying thing, is that my Quant and Verbal scores are both 90% which means I can't use the typical brag that I am a non-native and so it is not fair to compete with natives blah blah blah... I now have to admit that I was just too lazy to train.
I would really appreciate it if someone here is from SCU, and can answer some of my many many questions. I would like to pass a couple of their wavables if I get in, and also... I would like some feedback from the experts here, about my other part-time MBA options in the south bay area...
good luck all... will be happy to answer questions... God bless
Last edited by rar76; 02-21-2007 at 05:32 PM.
thanks a lot Spoud74 this was a very brief and focused piece of advice... I am definitely not planning to spend more than 50K on my degree... this is already a stretch for me. My company has this plan that with management approval they can assist you with up to 5k annually. Are there any posts here on how to approach your manager trying to convince him to sign that for you?
ShakeVT: I got 700 and 730 on GMATPrep... and I believe the first one was too early for me during preparation... so the second one is right on target knowing that I lost my last Quant because of time. The Quant were scarily easier than usual and I assume I missed of a couple of shy girls cause I definitely didn't do that well. So my advice is... scrutinize every question... cause they don't have anything tough coming your way... only shy girls that will bite you in the behind. Verbal was even easier than the Prep.
I guess one way to get your employer to consider is to have your school call your employer once you get accepted. I have heard that some schools don't mind calling your employer on your behalf trying to sell their program.
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)