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Admissions Success Stories A Must Read - My GMAT Experience - Insightful&Helpful

This topic has 3 member replies
ramkrish26 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
27 Feb 2009
5 messages
Test Date:
26 Feb 2009
GMAT Score:

A Must Read - My GMAT Experience - Insightful&Helpful

Post Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:27 am
My GMAT Experience:

If there is one experience in my life that i will look upto in future, GMAT would be the one. Not only was the experience rich, but also it transformed my views for better on the professional aspects of my life.

I am writing this with two purposes in my mind. My first purpose being that i would like to capture the experience that i underwent over the course of 3-4 months and my second purpose is to help GMAT aspirants with information that i found helpful during my preparation.

It was sometime in August 2008 that i decided to undertake the GMAT exam. I had always wanted to do an MBA, but neither had the focus nor the will to chase my dream. However things changed after my marriage. I was encouraged to go after my dream by
my wife. Also, since my professional life was heading in no clear direction, i thought that the time was ripe to take the plunge.

My initial days preparation were an exercise of myself shooting in the dark. There was no clear strategy on how i had to the approach the exam. I was doing some practise problems, but was not sure if they were helping me. I wanted to know where i stood and so i took my first practise test. Surprisingly, my score was 600. The fact that it was just 1 greater than the 500 series was the least of my concerns, but it had a physchological impact on me for the better. I thought that i could improve my score and can reach my target of a 700+ score. I continued with my preparation with much stronger "shootings in the dark"

type preparation and about couple of weeks before my 1st scheduled test, i took my 2nd practise test. Bingo, my score was...yes, you guessed it...It was 580...! How on earth can this happen to me? I got a 600 in my first test and after preparing for nearly 4-6 weeks, here i am with a score of 580, aspiring for a 700+ score and with just 2 weeks for my first
scheduled test. I was brave at this point. The first thing i did was to postpone my exam to a latter date [did i say i was brave!!!]

It sort of occured to me at that point that there was something wrong with my approach. But being the person i am, i ignored my inner voice and continued with a similar trend. I took another practise test, this time it was Kaplan, the toughest test series available in the market, and my score even plunged further. Again, being the brave soul i am, i postponed my exam again. By now i realized that i had to change my approach completely. At that exact point in time i stumbled across a website[www.gmathacks.com]that contained the most insightful of articles about GMAT. I read almost every single article in this website as it had answers to every single question that i had. I strongly recommend that this website is a must have for every GMAT aspirant.

Well, following were some important things that i understood which helped me approach my GMAT with an improved focus and will:
a) I was made to understand the importance of getting to know the GMAT exam format, it's adaptive nature.
b) I understood how the scoring for the different sections work and how you could base your strategy depending on that. For instance, i realized that an improvement to your verbal scores can have a much improved overall score [Here i am assuming that you are reasonably good in Quants]
c) I understood the importance of Time Management and how it lies between success and failure in a GMAT.
d) I understood the importance of each sections that form part of the GMAT exam and their relevance to the Management study and Management professional in general. I, like most others, used to crib about the GMAT AWA section [Essay writing] and certain question types in Quants & Verbal sections . But i was made to realize that those are the essential skills needed if one has to be successful in a Management career.
e) I understood the importantance of maintaining a consistent preparation schedule irrespective of your other priorities. PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU PREPARE FOR A MINIMUM OF 30 mins - 1 hr PER DAY EVERYDAY IF YOU ARE SERIOUS ABOUT YOUR GMAT.
e) Last, but not the least, i understood the importance of developing content knowledge over doing tonnes of practise problems.

By the time i realized all of the above, my test day was round the corner. But then, for the first time, i postponed the exam to a realistic date that was about 8 weeks away and approached my GMAT with confidence. When i finally took my GMAT, it was a pleasant surprise that i score about 80 basis points more than what i got with my first attempt. Though the improvement might sound trivial, i am sure GMAT aspirants will appreciate the amount of effort it takes to improve one's score by 30-40 basis points.

Here are some facts to the fiction stated above:

Study Material:
To improve Content Knowledge:
a) Manhattan GMAT series books for Verbal, especially the one for for Sentence Correction. A great series of books to improve your content knowledge.
b) GMAT Hacks - Math Bible. This really should be your bible for content knowledge development for the Quants section

Practise Problems:
a) OG, 11th Edition - This should be your bible, if i may call it that way.
b) GMAT Hacks - Question Bank for Quants - A collection of quant section problems that will help you immensely with your speed and accuracy.
c) GMAT Paper Based Tests for Verbal sections

Practise CAT Tests:
GMATPrep CAT - This exactly imitates the actual exam in all aspects. Look & Feel, difficulty level, scoring etc.
Kaplan CAT - If you are able to get scores of around 600-650 in any of the Kapla tests, your final exam scoring range would be a more by a min. of 50 basis points.
Manhattan CAT - Again, the difficulty level is quite high and prepares you for the worst.

For AWA, i would recommend that you go through the topics listed in the GMAC website [www.mba.com] and have your own format or template for each of the essay question type. I also subscribed for GMAT Write that sort of indicated that score that i would get which helped me approach my final exam with confidence.

Please do visit the test center once before the day of the exam as it really really helps!!! Trust me...

I would recommend not to attempt any CAT tests other than GMATPrep during the final week of preparation.

The day before the exam i could not concentrate on anything else apart from the exam the next day. I could have as well taken a day off from work. Do not attempt to study anything new as it will not go anywhere where it needs to go.

Well, i hope this experience of mine will help others to approch this wonderful exam with a sound strategy and my best wishes for a successful score. Good luck!

Ram, UK

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hk MBA Student
28 Jan 2009
533 messages
Followed by:
9 members
GMAT Score:
Post Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:26 am

That was a great debrief!!! Congratulations on your score and thanks for sharing this experience with everyone..

All the best with your applications.

Wanna know what I'm upto? Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/harikrish

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siownschu Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
24 Dec 2008
44 messages
Post Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:21 am
Thanks for posting your approach! I too was "shooting in the dark" once and ever since i've found this forum i have changed my strategy and its people like yourself that makes all the difference for the rest of us. Thank you!

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senanimesh Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
20 Jan 2010
4 messages
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Post Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:53 am
Hi ,

Can you please send me the gmat hack quant pdf book to my email id. It will be indeed a great help from you to me regarding my fast approaching gmat exam.

My email id is

Thanks a lot in advance


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