Sometimes you feel that all your troubles, come not alone but in doubles..
Sometimes you feel all hope is lost.. you can never win whatever the cost..
Sometimes you feel you have lost your way.. took a wrong turn, went astray..
Sometimes you feel you like giving up.. saying to destiny .. I will drink your poisoned cup..
And yet these clouds eventually fade.. you slowly emerge from the shade
To see the sun that’s shining through… its golden rays rewarding you
The light dispelling the dark of before.. your ship has found its way ashore
Sometimes you feel there will never be another dawn.. and yet life goes on.
From My school’s Year book
The lines pretty much describe my GMAT experience, starting from enthusiasm to get a good score on the GMAT, to despair when I was unable to improve, to the final victory. It’s been one hell of a journey and I am glad that I am done. Overall, it’s been a learning experience, one that I am sure to remember throughout my life.
Indian origin, in sales and marketing with undergrad BBA
Kellogg, Kellogg, Kellogg.
Quant (like any Indian). Am good at presentations…
Started preparing in March, got done with quant in the first 20 days, and was already hitting 49-50 in MGMAT. Verbal was the issue. Used MGMAT (all books), Powerscore for CR . This helped me improve my score from a horrible 25 to a 31 in my first attempt in GMAT (Q=49). I needed a higher score since I want Kellogg to look at me more seriously and a score of < 700 would not have cut it as the median score at Kellogg is 720. Moreover, BW suggests that GMAT score is very important for Kellogg. All the more reason.
Second Attempt - Sentence Correction Preparation
A few months back I stumbled upon Aman’s testimonial where he mentioned e-GMAT
for Verbal. I took the course based on his advice. The course helped me immensely in all SC/CR/RC. In SC, it changed my approach of solving SC... and I started concentrating in meaning first and then think of grammar. Just doing that made all the tools that I had learned from MGMAT immensely more useful. Another bonus that the course provided was a vast pool of questions. There were a lot of questions that you could not solve unless you understood the meaning (like those with multiple grammatically correct answer choices). Moreover, live sessions with Payal (the e-GMAT
instructor, also active on BTG) were similar to live sessions with Ron where she would help you solve immensely difficult problems.
Second Attempt - Critical Reasoning Preparation
One more Aha moment that I had was that once you improve SC, it automatically impacts other sections positively, especially if you are following the right methods, kind of like knowledge of trigonometry and algebra helped me solve Integration problems in schools. The improvement in SC helped me do well in CR. As I started reading sentences for their meanings, I was able to infer choices better which helped me discern the correct choice from the wrong ones. Earlier, I was quite scared of the bold face question, but after going through the e-GMAT
concept I solved every bold face problem correctly. Part of it was the more structured approach that the course gave but another part of it was also the fact that I was reading things better.
One under-rated area in CR is prethinking. Prethinking is very important to doing CR questions correctly. It is difficult initially but can be learned if you spend time on it. It really helped me improve my CR accuracy on difficult problems. This is one thing that I would recommend to all the non natives.
Second Attempt - Reading Comprehension Preparation
Next came RC. Again, I attribute my RC improvement to 2 things, implementing the right strategies and to inculcating a reading habit. For strategies, I took classes that came as a part of my e-GMAT
course. I found RC to be the most difficult to improve because this does require a certain reading flair. While a lot of people on this forum have recommended the economist, I found the articles a bit too dry for my taste. I preferred the Nytimes, especially their business section and their technology section. The articles were a lot more current and interesting. Moreover, most articles are free of charge. Two sections that I really liked were:
Technology: http://www.nytimes.com/pages/technology ... +Ji7YmI+5A
I would read the same article twice, first from RC perspective, where I would skim the article and focus on the main idea, author’s tone, and how the author makes his point. In the second read, I would focus more on the SC side of things such as sentence structure, use of clauses and modifiers, comparisons etc. It was enlightening how much one could gain from just reading these articles. Its not easy but very useful.
Here is a list of 8 articles that I have. Please note that some of these articles are very long.
What if the secret to success is failure: A long article that discusses a headmaster’s of Riverdale County schools qwest to find a means to instill character in his students.
An immune system designed to kill cancer: An article that described how Dr. Ludwig used gene therapy (using T cells) to fight cancer
Panic of the Plutocrats
You Love Your iPhone. Literally.
Apple’s Visionary Redefined Digital Age: Wonderful article on how steve jobs redefined the digital age starting from the ipod.
Is It Weird Enough Yet? – a debate on climate change.
This Time, It Really Is Different: An article that argues why this time the downturn is different. An excellent read.
Fliers’ vs. Airlines’ Rights: Funny article about whether airlines in US have been given too much power. Good and light debate.
I understand that almost all of these articles are about US, its policies, and its problems. However, in my opinion, the GMAT is still a very much US centric exam irrespective of whatever GMAC says. If you need evidence, look at the context of CR and RC passages. Most of these passages seem US centric. Hence, I would not recommend reading TOI or HT to improve on your reading skills even though they may seem a more interesting read.
In the end I would like to think bb and his team. This site is very useful. I will now march over to the Admission's forums.