12 month road--530 to 650---and admitted to my #1 school

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I am an expat in Asia working in Supply Chain and last year at this time I decided to take the plunge into studying for the GMAT to go to Business School. Beyond profit margins and cost breakdowns I haven't seen math since Sophomore year in college---12 years ago. It was going to be an uphill battle. I did all the research on studying platforms, books, etc.

Last August I bought the GMAC OG books, the entire Manhattan series, subscribed to Target Test Prep and bought the CR PowerScore Bible. I studied non-stop for 4 months at 5 hours a day/7 days a week for my test the week before Christmas. I completely bombed it scoring 530. I knew this was far below my trial scores and what I was capable of scoring. I took one month off and then got back to it. I pulled the hours and days back a bit and set my test date for early May. I ditched the Manhattan books and adopted EmpowerGMAT.

When the test came around, I improved, but at a small clip to 600. I was devastated looking at that stupid screen. I thought then and there that Biz School wasn't for me. But I knew--just knew that a 600 wasn't my score. I rescheduled for two weeks later--and didn't really do anything except review. I told myself I would sit for the test one last time and whatever score popped up I would live with. After another 4 hours in front of that computer, 650 came up. The biggest weight I have ever felt lifted off my shoulders and I damn near wanted to cry. This was the score I would take to my apps and I would not test again.

Because I am overseas I had to find programs I could do online or as a hybrid. I locked into UNC, Arizona State and Indiana and my interest was in that order. I applied to UNC and ASU first as their deadlines were first. I finished both apps not really expecting much (UNC app much more professional and thorough than ASU) but after two weeks I was accepted to both programs. The relief is amazing and overwhelming---getting the call from UNC telling me I was accepted was one of the most gratifying moments in my life.

To all those reading this post who is interested in pursuing B-School and not knowing where to start, what to buy, whom to study with, etc---I will give you my advice if I had to do it all over again:

1. Buy the GMAC OG Books (crucial to understanding the phrasing and see real problems).

2. PowerScore CR Bible---amazing and thorough

3. Target Test Prep---By far the most valuable and in-depth Quant study program out there. Their platform is user-friendly, great lesson planning, question support and quizzes can be concentrated or broad. They really work from the roots and make you understand the math---and do the absolute best job at it.

4. EmpowerGMAT--- Rich and Max really do an amazing job in both their disciplines. What I liked most about the Quant section is how Rich shows you the math BUT also shows you how to work efficiently and find the shortcuts to solve the problems in that critical 2 minute time frame. The verbal skills taught by Max are great too----especially the SC section. And I love their OG question bank you can work through. Answering the OG questions in the book and then going back to Empower's videos on the solutions was one of, if not the most valuable tool.

No offense to other programs but people learn in different ways. I didn't like the Manhattan books--they skimmed the topics whereas Empower and TTP really get to the nuts and bolts. I also signed up for Magoosh towards the end and while their program is extremely thorough, I found the experience inferior to TTP and Empower for the sole fact that Magoosh was dry and they didn't really teach you the "why". As they worked through the answer, they just worked right to it. It might be perfect for some but I needed more understanding and detail in the how and why.

It is definitely a hard process but stick to it and keep trying. I got the school I wanted and you can too.

#AmericanExpatinAisa #1776 #TTP #EmpowerGMAT #HastaPastaGMAT

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GMAT Score:700


by sri9sep » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:51 am
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Congrats Mate for getting into the college of your choice ( is that not which we all want). Very happy for you & hope you will come out with flying colors in your MBA program.
All the best. <i class="em em---1"></i>