I have a very typical profile of an Indian aspirant here on the forum. -Indian, 26 yrs old software dude.
I plan to apply to the top programs in Europe this year. INSEAD, LBS are my dream schools, HEC,Said and Judge, and Bocconi and IE safety.
After slogging my ass off in the IT industry for the last 5 years, I pretty much realized that I have a stagnating career ahead if I don’t equip myself with the right qualifications. I am a team leader;I earn well but I need to breakout from the monotony of an IT job. I am a person full of energy, enthusiasm and want to do something more with my life, meet exciting people(fed up of these mediocre people around me), learn about new cultures and hone my skills further. After reading a lot of success stories here, I was determined to do well.
Overview of how I studied:
I went to the nearby book store and purchased Princeton Review’s Cracking the GMAT
. Within a week, I had solved most of the questions in the book and I realized that something is definitely wrong because I had heard that the GMAT ain’t that easy an exam.Resources used:
GMAT Prep software and the Official Guide- The most important thing you need for your prep, simply because it is the official material.Verbal
1. Powerscore CR
Bible –The best book for CR
2. Aristotle SC Grail
for SC- Thanks to mohater and whiplash for referring this book.
3. Aristotle RC
–Really helpful if you are struggling with RC . I also highly recommend people to read The WSJ and The scientific American regularly. Not to mention The Economist
, which has now become my favorite magazine. Quant:
1. Manhattan Number properties
book-Good book and better because the book gave me access to 6 Manhattangmat tests.
2. Official Guide: Some of the questions especially towards the end are quite good as they give you a good idea about how the tricky questions on the GMAT are tested. I spent a good amount of time on these questions trying to understand the logic and figuring out multiple ways to tackle the questions. Then I moved on to Aristotle PS & DS Boosters which were pretty good for practice. About joining coaching institute or doing self prep
I had joined a coaching institute near my house and I think that it was of not much use. The faculty just repeated what was written in the slides. If you have the determination to crack the exam and have the right resources then you can. IMHO, what is really important is how you use the resources that will make all the difference to your prep. And if you want to join, you would be much better off joining some reputed test prep company like KnewtonFirst attempt 7/04/2012
My first attempt was on 7th April 2012. I got a 700 which is a reasonably good score but I was not happy because I knew that I could much better had it not been for poor time management that messed up my test. So within a couple of days, I booked a slot for the second attempt on 11th May. I didn’t use more resources because I knew that something else-read poor time management was the reason . Just special during this one month just worked on my weak areas more.Second attempt 11/05/2012
Had breakfast and smoked took a couple of fags. Then I drank a red bull to clear any cobwebs.
Did a couple of OG quant
questions just to get my brain moving. Also tried doing verbal but I couldnt focus and thought that do hell with studying now and time to listen to my favorite music on ipod and slept again for sometime(and dreamt about a good score
Reached the test center on time and relaxed a bit after seeing the tense expressions on the faces of some candidates. LOL! No offence but you could see the nervousness on their faces. This helped me as I thought that if I maintain my cool , I will perform better than the folks there. Started with the essays. They went smoothly. Then the 8 min break. Wanted to smoke so I ran down and out and smoked a cigarette. Came back, splashed water on my face, looked into the mirror and said that I am headed for victory.
Quant had a flying start. Was cruising till the 9th question when I hit a speed breaker. After 2 minutes when I couldn’t figure out the answer, I took an educated guess and moved on. That is something which I learnt from my first experience that I should control the urge to spend more time on questions so that I get them wrong. Verbal went fairly well . I think the experience of taking the GMAT once helped me. My heart really thumped before seeing the score. Finally, saw a 760(Q-50, V-42) and I jumped in joy.Thoughts on exam:
1) Do not exceed the time you have reserved for yourself in tough questions.
2) Focused practiced of each section is important. There’s no point in doing a lot of questions when you are not able to recognize the pattern.
3) When you miss a problem don't just read the answer. Mark it wrong, don't look at the answer and work it again until you get it right. Hammer the concept into your head.
4) Make an error log
: I made an error log
of my own because some of the error logs here were too difficult and required a lot of labor.
5) The forums here are the best way to stay in sync with what is the right way to prepare for the GMAT.
6) Total commitment to the exam- that does not mean that studying day in and out but remaining focused and realizing
This score is even better for me because the high scorers usually apply to the top schools in the US and it would help me stand out from the crowd.