Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Back in the Game!!!

Ok so after all the mourning, grieving and sobbing I'm back in the game. Now that i've completely exhausted all my resources - practice tests, books etc I have a big challenge ahead of me. How do i improve? After much thought i've decided to take some profession help. With my current state of mind, i dont think i'll be able to do a good job identifying my weaknesses and putting together a totally new approach to my preps. So i hired a tutor. Well not the $250 per hour big shots from the "Big 5" (you know what/whom i mean!!) Anyway i found this really enterprising independent tutor in NYC and he was the first guy i talked, to throw some really good suggestions. So hopefully we will be able to put together a game plan for the 3rd attempt (the word make be nauseous).

Oh and I just got my scores on the AWA section. I got a perfect 6.0. Pretty happy with that.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I've got some bad news and a warning to test takers.

I gave my GMAT last friday for the second time, hoping to improve on my previous score. But, I ended up with a disappointing 620. Thats 20 points less than last time!!! I was so shocked and disappointed when i saw the score - i just sat there staring at my score for 5 mins. I have no idea what went wrong.

One word of caution to prospective test takers - The questions in GMAT were a lot tougher and trickier than those in the Official guides and the GMATPrep tests. So my advice is prepare hard, use a lot of other sources for your preparation, and finally practice, practice and practice.

Now with that disppointing performance, i'm in a bad situation right now. My scores certainly do not reflect my ability and i have nothing to prove to that effect. Should i take it another time - I dont know. I dont know how to improve as i had given my 100% during my last preparation. I seek the advice of my revered readers. What do you say???

Monday, June 15, 2009

'The Final Push' as the G-day approaches!!

The test day is right around the corner, and I'm certainly feeling much more confident that the last time. I hope this is a positive trait. I'm planning to give my preparation a final push in these last days, just to boost my scoring probability up a notch!! (fingers and toes crossed)

The make or break parameter is going to be the Verbal section. Hence thats where i'll be targeting my efforts in this final week of preparations. Planning to reviews all the official guide questions from my error log, and will try to understand what few things can make a big change!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

10 Days to go - Averaging at 7xx in practice tests

I never thought a practice test can bring so much joy and uplift your spirits so much until yesterday. I took a MGMAT practice test yesterday and scored a 730 (Q49 V41). When the score popped in the screen i said "woow". Although i'm really happy, i'm pretty nervous too as now i've raised the bar and my personal expectation is higher now!!! With 10 more days to go I am, simply put, pretty nervous and curious. I haven't finished reviewing the test yet but from the results i can say that although i made the same number of mistakes as last time (when i scored a 700), I got a lot of 700-800 level question correct and did not get more than 3 questions wrong back to back. This might be the reason why the score went higher than last time. This strenghtens the long held theory about GMAT that its not the number of questions you get right but the level of questions you get wrong which affects your score.

So I have finally entered the final round of preparations. This week I'll continue the practice drill as last week and will also review the questions from the Error log towards the end of the week. I have some word problem topics that i need to re-review from the MGMAT book. So hopefully this week I'll have lunch with some word problems!!! Sounds like fun, isn't it. Hope its worth the effort!!

Nothing more to shout about. Will try to update my status later this week. Till then peace out everybody!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Taking your GMAT preparation to the next level.

Why does one need to take it to the next level? Whats wrong with the current level? Well the answer is simple - if you wanna score high you need to prepare harder with some advanced tools/materials. This post is solely for that purpose. I would like to give my perspective on some of the advanced GMAT preparation materials available to people looking to score higher.

Just like preparing for an Olympics 100m race, when preparing in your backyard gym mostly wouldn't yield you a medal let alone gold, preparing to crack the 90 percentile range on a GMAT requires some advanced materials. I personally feel from my experience and from the experience of fellow test takers that the GMAT is actually getting harder or atleast is harder than what is was 5 years back. I have come across some prep materials which contain such tough practice questions which would take off the shock when you take the GMAT after chewing the Official guides several times.

The GMAT Club tests - These are practice tests prepared by the founders of the GMATClub forum. They are highly regarded for their really tough Quant test. Their set contains 25 quant tests and 6 verbal test. Although i haven't tried the verbal tests yet, their quant tests are pretty impressive. They have detailed answer explanations and their blog contains organized links for the dicussion of each question. I felt the price to be reasonable at $79.99 for the entire set or $12.50 for ea if i'm not wrong. Learn more here -

EZ Solutions advanced Math Workbook - This book is prepared by a company called EZ Solutions. This is a work book so dont expect review material here. Although they have a whole line up of topic specific review books. They have a very extensive list of questions and they provide detailed (very detailed) answer explanations. Their question structure is not GMAT-like (with 5 answer choices) but its like a high school exam type of structure only with more tricky questions. Overall i can say that it has really helped me get better. And @ $19.99 you can't go wrong with this.

Manhattan GMAT challenge series - These are also a very good tool to boost your Quant preparation. They contain 250 questions with a difficulty level of 700+. They are honestly the most difficult of the lot. $29.99 for one year access.

Manhattan GMAT Practice test - These are my favourite practice CATs after GMATPrep. Their questions are difficult and more challenging than GMAT and their post exam analysis is excellent. Each question is categorized according to the topic that was tested with the difficulty level and also provide a free diagnosis. 6 tests for $39.99 (one year access). Hint: if you planning to buy any of their strategy guides then dont buy the test set separately. They come for free!!

Kaplan 800 - This book is supposed to be for the Mission 800 student (did the name give it away!!). But i didn't think the quant part was really 800 level. But the verbal questions tend to be more difficult. I just bought this book when i was going thro' a book buying spree!!!

Also want some guidence for tough verbal questions, here is some advice from Jeff Sachmann of GMAT Hacks -

Hope that helped somebody on their way to cracking the gmat!!

Good luck!!

P.S. I would like to thank all my readers all over the world for their interest in my blog. I never expected 16 readers to subscribe to my blog the very next day after i add the subscription service. Thanks!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

A 700 in GMATPrep, pretty good ain't it!!!!

The great optimist that i am, I'm pretty happy with the way things are going lately. Took a gmatprep yesterday and scored a 700 (Q48 V38). The quant started off with some easy candies but then slowly the questions started becoming tougher. The last 10 questions were all word problems. And actually i had to guess and move on with the last 3-4 ones to finish on time. So for the most part, word problems = upper bin problems. Need to work on them. Verbal was actually very stable. I got less number of wrong answers in verbal than quant. But couldn't finish it as the time ran out when i finished the 39th question.

Overall, i'm happy with the results and with that positive note I'm going on to week 5 - the practice drill week. Every day this week I'm planning to practice (timed ofcourse) a set of Verbal questions from OG-12 and a set of quant questions - EZ solutions, GMATClub test (oh actually these contain awesome upper-bin questions).

And btw did i tell you that i attended the IE Business school's information session last week in NYC. The event organizer was an alumni and she was great in answering all our questions. If you are wondering why i went to an Info session of a Spanish school - well you'll have to wait till my i'm done with GMAT, which is when i'll post my target schools and my reasons for picking them :)

Take care and be well!!