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720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months!

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720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2012, 23:56
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Am glad to share with you all that I took my GMAT yesterday and got a 720(Q-48,V-40).This was my second attempt on the GMAT. The last attempt was on 12th December last year. I had high expectations on the first GMAT but did not do well. I did not do well both on verbal and Quant sections that time and as a result got a 630. The biggest problem on the exam was that I was got anxious and could not manage time well. I didn’t do anything exceptional since then for the second attempt. Just relaxed and destressed myself and worked a little more on the different areas.

Profile :
I am working in a KPO in India as a associate consultant and have 4 years of work experience. I’d have loved to apply to business schools abroad but being a girl I have other considerations :) ,one of which is that if I go abroad, I’ll have to stay back there to pay back the loan which I do not want to do. So I will be applying to business schools in India only.

Preparation time : Started by preparation in June and took almost 6-7 months . That's much more that what is recommended but since I was quite poor both on Verbal and quant when I started so didn't want to take the exam in haste. In fact, when I took the GMATPREP when I started, I had scored a meagre 410. I knew that it'll take me a couple of months to reach to my target score.

Resources I used
Books for all the sections - OG12
Quant - Used Manhattan Maths Strategy Guides
Sentence Correction : Aristotle SC Grail, Manhattan SC, Aristotle New SC Questionbank. Both the books are really good. While Aristotle provides structure and conceptual clarity , Manhattan provides conceptual depth.
Critical Reasoning : Powerscore CR. Really good book to understand the different question types.OG12,11,10 CR + Aristotle 100CR
Reading Comprehension : OG12 RC,CAT RCs,AristotleNew RC Practice Set


D-day experience
Because of anxiety about the test, I could not sleep the night before on the first attempt. Usually I sleep at 12 but that night I could not sleep at 2 and that was the reason for my poor performance on the first attempt. On the second attempt, I slept well and was feeling fresh when I took the exam

Here are my thoughts on the exam and on preparation
On AWA:
Write five three-sentence paragraphs, use logical connectors/transitions (e.g. first, second, third, finally, because, if, then, so, etc.), know how to spell a few key words (e.g. fallacy, correlation, causation, differentiate, distinguish, problematic, etc.). Do not write very long sentences and getting a 4.5+ would be a cakewalk. Haven't got the AWA score for the second attempt yet.

On Quant
The first several questions seemed pretty straight forward. I think I was getting them right because they did seem to be getting more difficult. After a while, I was getting things I had never seen before. That was the one problem I had with the OG, I wish there were more examples of the more difficult level of problems. When I got a strange probability problem I figured I was doing okay. I didn't feel like I was 100% on most of them after awhile, especially the DS ones. I was running out of time with about three left so I took quick guesses after looking at each one only a few seconds.


On Verbal
During the verbal section I felt terrible for some reason. It took too long to answer the first few questions and I felt rushed the rest of the time. I tried my hardest to focus on each question as it came and to ignore the clock dilemma I was in. I was actually surprised with the 40 I received because I felt like I did terrible. When it was all over and my 720 came up and I was relieved at the same time.


My advice to test takers:
- Identify your weaknesses ASAP. It was not enough for me to realize that I had trouble with SC. I analyzed my mistakes and found the exact format of questions that were confounding me.
- Have fun while preparing.
- Stay relaxed during the test.
- Figure out what works for you and dont change a thing during the test.
- I would advise against trying to gauge your test performance by how hard you think the questions are as you go along. This was my undoing on the first attempt as during the exam I was trying to figure out how I was doing on the exam and what my possible score would be
-DS and PS : Read the question really carefully even if the question seems easy . For example, do not assume an integer, if not given in the question. Do not forget to consider values between -1 and

I'd be applying to business schools for Fall 13 intake so now focus would be on building my profile.
I'm indebted to both gmatclub and beatthegmat for the motivation, direction and inspiration provided here. Let me know if you have any questions/feedback and I'd be happy to answer them. :)

Last edited by freakshalini on 28 Jan 2012, 05:29, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2012, 05:55
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Shovit

My MBA from ISB was very very important as it allowed me to switch from IT to Finance - I personally am more alligned to a career in Finance than one in IT (read: a quant jock:))

However, the finance markets globally are currently anything but settled - especially if you work on the proprietary trading desk, like yours truly. Prop desks worldwide are an endangered species. I love the 'buy'-side of the market and want to remain there. So, the option for me is to join a hedge fund or Asset Management Company (AMC).

Now, here's the problem - Hedge funds in India are precious few, especially in this market, and the chances of joning a Singapoe or HK based hedge fund directly from India are pretty low. The other buy side option in India, the Mutual Funds, pay much lower salaries.

Bottomline: To secure my long term career on the buyside (read: a hedge fund or AMC fund manager ideally based out of Singapore or HK), I think an MIF from LBS is worth a shot - it's the best MIF course in the world and has a very good placement track record and branding, especially for portfolio management and AMC roles. The average entry age is above 30 and it is aimed at people who have substantial experience in the financial domain. I know of quite a few ISB and IIM grads who have done this course. And yes, I would like to move to Singapore or HK. My home town, Kolkata, is 3 hours from both Mumbai and HK / Singapore...:)
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Last edited by Santanu76 on 16 Jan 2012, 20:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2012, 22:59
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Yes, we have to keep learning and upgrading our skills.

Cheers
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Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2012, 00:33
Let me be the first to congratulate you, Shalini! Nothing freakish about your score there - it's a very good one and well deserved.

Being a girl has a few advantages as well - you will be right up there in the 99% and higher among women who have taken the GMAT, methinks.

My test experience has been similar - I was much more relaxed the second time around although I felt I had done pretty poorly in verbals.

All the best for your applications!

Santanu
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Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2012, 01:46
congratulations shalini for your good score..
Good luck for application part...
Please share your mock test scores and also how many mistakes you did in those tests...
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Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2012, 06:44
Did you find the SC on the test to focus more on meaning? If you took MGMAT, were the CATS representative of question difficulty on the real exam? I had a freak experience on my last gmatprep, dropping more than 130 points! I've been consistently around 670-690 with MGMAT. I just don't want to show up for test day and find the exam much more difficult...especially in SC, my main weak point. Thoughts?
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Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2012, 07:05
Hi Shalini,

Congrats on your score..i accept with your point staying calm and concentrating hard towards the end of the exam is very important for gmat exams...i Agree 100 %..

All the best for your applications
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Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2012, 03:42
Santanu76 wrote:
Let me be the first to congratulate you, Shalini! Nothing freakish about your score there - it's a very good one and well deserved.

Being a girl has a few advantages as well - you will be right up there in the 99% and higher among women who have taken the GMAT, methinks.

Thank you . Yes, I know but I need to really put up a competitive profile :)

Quote:
My test experience has been similar - I was much more relaxed the second time around although I felt I had done pretty poorly in verbals.

You have amazing GMAT score. Which IIT are you from ? and what's your profile like ?
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Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2012, 05:20
Congrats Shalini...I just want to know one thing...what all did you do differently in the second attempt because you did not take significant time for your second attempt.

BR
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Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2012, 05:50
freakshalini wrote:
Am glad to share with you all that I took my GMAT yesterday and got a 720(Q-48,V-40).This was my second attempt on the GMAT. The last attempt was on 12th December last year. I had high expectations on the first GMAT but did not do well. I did not do well both on verbal and Quant sections that time and as a result got a 630. The biggest problem on the exam was that I was got anxious and could not manage time well. I didn’t do anything exceptional since then for the second attempt. Just relaxed and destressed myself and worked a little more on the different areas.

Profile :
I am working in a KPO in India as a associate consultant and have 4 years of work experience. I’d have loved to apply to business schools abroad but being a girl I have other considerations :) ,one of which is that if I go abroad, I’ll have to stay back there to pay back the loan which I do not want to do. So I will be applying to business schools in India only.

Preparation time : Started by preparation in June and took almost 6-7 months . That's much more that what is recommended but since I was quite poor both on Verbal and quant when I started so didn't want to take the exam in haste. In fact, when I took the GMATPREP when I started, I had scored a meagre 410. I knew that it'll take me a couple of months to reach to my target score.

Resources I used
Books for all the sections - OG12
Quant - Used Manhattan Maths Strategy Guides
Sentence Correction : Aristotle SC Grail, Manhattan SC, Aristotle New SC Questionbank. Both the books are really good. While Aristotle provides structure and conceptual clarity , Manhattan provides conceptual depth.
Critical Reasoning : Powerscore CR. Really good book to understand the different question types.OG12,11,10 CR + Aristotle 100CR
Reading Comprehension : OG12 RC,CAT RCs Aristotle New RC Practice Set


D-day experience
Because of anxiety about the test, I could not sleep the night before on the first attempt. Usually I sleep at 12 but that night I could not sleep at 2 and that was the reason for my poor performance on the first attempt. On the second attempt, I slept well and was feeling fresh when I took the exam

Here are my thoughts on the exam and on preparation
On AWA:
Write five three-sentence paragraphs, use logical connectors/transitions (e.g. first, second, third, finally, because, if, then, so, etc.), know how to spell a few key words (e.g. fallacy, correlation, causation, differentiate, distinguish, problematic, etc.). Do not write very long sentences and getting a 4.5+ would be a cakewalk. Haven't got the AWA score for the second attempt yet.

On Quant
The first several questions seemed pretty straight forward. I think I was getting them right because they did seem to be getting more difficult. After a while, I was getting things I had never seen before. That was the one problem I had with the OG, I wish there were more examples of the more difficult level of problems. When I got a strange probability problem I figured I was doing okay. I didn't feel like I was 100% on most of them after awhile, especially the DS ones. I was running out of time with about three left so I took quick guesses after looking at each one only a few seconds.


On Verbal
During the verbal section I felt terrible for some reason. It took too long to answer the first few questions and I felt rushed the rest of the time. I tried my hardest to focus on each question as it came and to ignore the clock dilemma I was in. I was actually surprised with the 40 I received because I felt like I did terrible. When it was all over and my 720 came up and I was relieved at the same time.


My advice to test takers:
- Identify your weaknesses ASAP. It was not enough for me to realize that I had trouble with SC. I analyzed my mistakes and found the exact format of questions that were confounding me.
- Have fun while preparing.
- Stay relaxed during the test.
- Figure out what works for you and dont change a thing during the test.
- I would advise against trying to gauge your test performance by how hard you think the questions are as you go along. This was my undoing on the first attempt as during the exam I was trying to figure out how I was doing on the exam and what my possible score would be
-DS and PS : Read the question really carefully even if the question seems easy . For example, do not assume an integer, if not given in the question. Do not forget to consider values between -1 and

I'd be applying to business schools for Fall 13 intake so now focus would be on building my profile.
I'm indebted to both gmatclub and beatthegmat for the motivation, direction and inspiration provided here. Let me know if you have any questions/feedback and I'd be happy to answer them. :)



Hi Shalini,
Congratulations on the great score!!
I have also given by first attempt (Q47, V20) and need guidance before I take second chance. How did your preparation for second attempt was different than 1st one? Did you try all GMATPrep test again before second test? What was your focus area?
I have already exhausted all the important material such as OG (12, 10),Manhaatten guides, GMATPrep test MGMAT test etc. Just wondering where do I start and what should be my approach this time. Your experience and advise will really help. Which city India you are from?
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Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2012, 06:06
I am from IIT, KGP, ISB, Hyderabad and am a VP at a multinational brokerage - am in my thirties. Am looking to do a Masters in Finance from LBS. Let's see how it goes.

So, don't worry, we would not be competing for the same seat....:)

Cheers

Santanu
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Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2012, 06:49
You seem to be a rockstar :) Your credentials are awesome!!

I am wondering why didn't you do your MBA from IIMs :)

BR
Mandeep

Santanu76 wrote:
I am from IIT, KGP, ISB, Hyderabad and am a VP at a multinational brokerage - am in my thirties. Am looking to do a Masters in Finance from LBS. Let's see how it goes.

So, don't worry, we would not be competing for the same seat....:)

Cheers

Santanu
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Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2012, 05:24
Hi Mandeep

It was the golden age of the software boom and I was happily spending time in the US - working there. Suddenly, one fine day, enlightenment dawned that I had to do something that sounds really important. After 4+ years of workex, ISB was the best option given the weightage it gives to experience and given it's a 1 year course.

BTW: ISB has surely broken the IIM grasp on B-School education in India - look at its top 15 global FT rankings consistently for the past 3 years and look at its placements.

Take it with a pinch of salt - am a biased ISB alum..:))

Santanu
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Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2012, 05:41
Santanu76 wrote:
Hi Mandeep

It was the golden age of the software boom and I was happily spending time in the US - working there. Suddenly, one fine day, enlightenment dawned that I had to do something that sounds really important. After 4+ years of workex, ISB was the best option given the weightage it gives to experience and given it's a 1 year course.

BTW: ISB has surely broken the IIM grasp on B-School education in India - look at its top 15 global FT rankings consistently for the past 3 years and look at its placements.

Take it with a pinch of salt - am a biased ISB alum..:))

Santanu

This is great. Your profile rocks. Since you seem to be well settled, we all here want to understand what makes you give up the comfort of a hefty paying job and go for a MS Finance. I don't mean to be prodding. I am just trying to understand things better. Who knows my own plan of doing an MBA may take a turn or at least I would understand why I want to do an MBA better. :)
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Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2012, 16:17
Wow, this thread is so inspiring! Congratulations Shalini on such a great score! And Santanu, what can I say, you are the star! :)

I am also from Indian IT category. Currently working in US. Planning to apply to schools on east coast. Taking GMAT in April and persently going KA..RAZY with the prep!

Shalini, I'll also be applying for Fall '13, so will catch up with you after my GMAT.
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Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2012, 19:16
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Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2012, 20:27
Great score Shalini..congratulations to u .
i must say scaling 720 from 410 is simply amazing and surely u will scale dizzy heights in the days to come. ur determination rocks.
all d best.....
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Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2012, 22:19
Santanu76 wrote:
Shovit

My MBA from ISB was very very important as it allowed me to switch from IT to Finance - I personally am more alligned to a career in Finance than one in IT (read: a quant jock:))

However, the finance markets globally are currently anything but settled - especially if you work on the proprietary trading desk, like yours truly. Prop desks worldwide are an endangered species. I love the 'buy'-side of the market and want to remain there. So, the option for me is to join a hedge fund or Asset Management Company (AMC).

Now, here's the problem - Hedge funds in India are precious few, especially in this market, and the chances of joning a Singapoe or HK based hedge fund directly from India are pretty low. The other buy side option in India, the Mutual Funds, pay much lower salaries.

Bottomline: To secure my long term career on the buyside (read: a hedge fund or AMC fund manager ideally based out of Singapore or HK), I think an MIF from LBS is worth a shot - it's the best MIF course in the world and has a very good placement track record and branding, especially for portfolio management and AMC roles. The average entry age is above 30 and it is aimed at people who have substantial experience in the financial domain. I know of quite a few ISB and IIM grads who have done this course. And yes, I would like to move to Singapore or HK. My home town, Kolkata, is 3 hours from both Mumbai and HK / Singapore...:)


Thank you very much for the detailed insights. That really helped me understand things better. I know an IIMC guy who went to INSEAD to do his MBA. His reason for doing that was that even though an IIM degree is revered in India, it does not possess much value beyond India . Most of the people considered for global roles in most of the big MNCs are MBAs from the top US and European business schools. Quite true. Even Indira Noyi, the Chairman of PepsiCo , whom IIMC boasts of as an example of alumnus who has broken into the top echelons of global business, did her MBA again from Yale SOM. Seems like there's never an end to education. :-D
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Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2012, 03:15
shovitdhar wrote:
Santanu76 wrote:
Shovit

My MBA from ISB was very very important as it allowed me to switch from IT to Finance - I personally am more alligned to a career in Finance than one in IT (read: a quant jock:))

However, the finance markets globally are currently anything but settled - especially if you work on the proprietary trading desk, like yours truly. Prop desks worldwide are an endangered species. I love the 'buy'-side of the market and want to remain there. So, the option for me is to join a hedge fund or Asset Management Company (AMC).

Now, here's the problem - Hedge funds in India are precious few, especially in this market, and the chances of joning a Singapoe or HK based hedge fund directly from India are pretty low. The other buy side option in India, the Mutual Funds, pay much lower salaries.

Bottomline: To secure my long term career on the buyside (read: a hedge fund or AMC fund manager ideally based out of Singapore or HK), I think an MIF from LBS is worth a shot - it's the best MIF course in the world and has a very good placement track record and branding, especially for portfolio management and AMC roles. The average entry age is above 30 and it is aimed at people who have substantial experience in the financial domain. I know of quite a few ISB and IIM grads who have done this course. And yes, I would like to move to Singapore or HK. My home town, Kolkata, is 3 hours from both Mumbai and HK / Singapore...:)


Thank you very much for the detailed insights. That really helped me understand things better. I know an IIMC guy who went to INSEAD to do his MBA. His reason for doing that was that even though an IIM degree is revered in India, it does not possess much value beyond India . Most of the people considered for global roles in most of the big MNCs are MBAs from the top US and European business schools. Quite true. Even Indira Noyi, the Chairman of PepsiCo , whom IIMC boasts of as an example of alumnus who has broken into the top echelons of global business, did her MBA again from Yale SOM. Seems like there's never an end to education. :-D


It all boils down to individual expectations. IIM/ISB have their own charm and is indeed the best option for people who want to stay/work in India and be a part of the growth story. There are people who want to work in India -some guys in ISB/IIMs have their MS from US and have worked in US a few years. On the other hand there are people who want to work in international locations and so they get degrees from US/Europe.
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Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months! [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2012, 21:18
Shalini... congratz on your score :)
Re: 720(Q-48,V-40) after 7 long treacherous months!   [#permalink] 19 Jan 2012, 21:18
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