Hi guys, I'm a techie from India. I had always known I wanted to go for a masters degree, but I was confused between an MS and an MBA. After working for 3 years in an IT company (half of that in a pre sales group) I decided that I wanted to go get an MBA, and so I embarked on the first stage - the GMAT.
I decided to take the GMAT in December, 2012. I bought an iPad to help me prepare in February, 2013 and I finally took the GMAT in September, 2013 - the take away from this is that procrastination is your enemy!!
. If you decide to take the GMAT, just count 3 or 4 months ahead and buy a slot. Don't dawdle, or you'll end up like me - one year late.
Anyway, I started working on my rusty quant skills in May, 2013. Studying only one week a day (chores and work stole the rest of my time) I managed to complete a book called "McGraw Hill's Conquering the GMAT Math, by Robert E. Moyer". Although the book says "Conquering the GMAT Math", the only thing it'll help you conquer is the barebones quant basics you need to move on to stronger material.
(I finished this by about June, 2013)
Then I moved on to the verbal section. In July, I read "McGraw Hill's Conquering GMAT Verbal and Writing". I felt that this book was useless
. The only useful thing I could extract from this book was a strategy for AWA.AWA Strategy:
The trick is to create a template with a canned introduction and conclusion. Use the same template for every essay you write. I have attached mine to this post. Don't just use my template, create your own. The template has to 'gel' with your writing style.
Also concentrate on these:
1. Connectives - however, although etc.
2. Word Variety - use different words. Don't type in 'the argument' 10 times in the essay, you can also call it 'passage', 'report' etc.
I moved on to IR after this. Did all the IR questions I got with the OG. Evolved a few strategies, but they were vague and not very useful - more on this later.
It was late August, 2013. I had finished my first round of prep and I was ready for my first GMAT Prep Test
. I expected to get a higher score in Verbal than in Quant. But I was surprised to get 730:V44:Q47
. I decided that my focus would be on Verbal from now onwards and I put Quant on the back burner.
In early September, 2013, I took leave from work for 18 days and left for my hometown. Here are some learnings from this experience:
1. During this period, my schedule was Study-Eat-Sleep. I think this helped me focus on the work.
2. I did not cram. I slept each day for 8 hours, and spent the rest of the time productively. You need your sleep.
3. All work and no play... About one week in, I took a day off. Did facebook and other stuff the whole day and watched a movie before turning in. This day off was planned. Plan for a day off to relax and recharge in the middle of intensive prep.
4. If you stay at home, you don't have to do chores. Go out for food / cook food etc. Your family will support you.
5. During this time I finished a manhattan guide
in two days. I did about 7 guides like this. I did SC last, and used Aristotle prep for it, because it was shorter than Manhattan and I was short of time.
6. DIET: For those of you not from India, vegetarianism might not be an option - that's ok; try to eat the healthiest foods you can find. For Indians and others who are OK with veggie food, I strongly suggest you stick to veg food. This reduces your chances of gastric troubles, and is mostly made of carbs - important for brain work. Eat a fruit every day.
Second TEST: I took the free test from HULT. It gave me a range of 740 to 770. (As this is my first post, I couldn't post the url. Search for it online)
Third TEST: I took the free Manhattan test. Got 710 on it.
Fourth TEST: This one I took the evening before my real exam. It was a GMAT Prep test. I got Q49 V41 - 740.
On the exam day:
1. Get there early. I was there 45 minutes early. At first I was like
and after waiting for 45 mins, just before going into the testing booth, I was like Get to the exam center early. Sit down and calm your nerves
2. Don't get bored. Shocking as it may be, many people perform badly on the Verbal because they are bored. So don't get bored. Take shorter breaks, sing a song or whatever you need to push the boredom away.
3. Stay hydrated. Drink water in the breaks and don't be shy to use the rest room
REAL FINAL TEST: I got a 750 - Q49 V44 - AWA-6 and IR-6
1. About IR = I don't know what I did. I didn't spend enough time on this. So if you want ace scores on all sections, you'll need to spend time on IR.
2. Confidence works wonders. I used to wake up everyday and think, "Oh yeah! I'm gonna kick this GMAT's behind and get 800" Well, I didn't get 800. But the thought and positive vibes helped.
3. TRIMMING: You need to cut loose those sections which won't add value to your prep. For me it was RC. Let them go, once you are sure that you are not improving in that section, no matter how much practice you do.
File comment: My AWA Template - krr15h
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