Time passes

For the first time since I started my preps I am feeling the rush of the approaching exam & the apping journey thereafter. From reading applicant blogs to talking to ppl abt their MBA journey and beyond, is making me feel much more involved than I ever have in the race to this year’s deadlines. 


But first things first, here is a lowdown of this week’s stuff : 

  • Didn’t study at all the first three days, had to work till late on two occasions and was just too tired on the third. But Thursday came and I gave PP2. I had felt much more confident while attempting PP1’s verbal section, though my scores would tell a different tale. I ended up with a nice looking 750 (q50/v41). Though my second q50 in a row left me with a bitter aftertaste, having made a determined effort to avoid silly mistakes. Nevertheless, with this score in my hand I am more or less certain to take my GMAT by the first week of July (as long as nothing unexpected happens in between). I am constantly referring to mba.com to see the dates available in late June/ early July. A word here, about a month back very few dates were available in June/July, but with every passing day more  &more dates are getting freed. I guess lots of people cancel as the D-day comes close. Butterflies in the stomach/unexpected situations/ change of mind mid-stream could be the reason. But I am sure there is a threshold till which I can wait. After that the dates will start getting gobbled up by people like me, who are patiently waiting for the date of their choice to become available. 
  • I digress. With PP2 out of the way, I could re-focus my efforts on OG (It was a conscious decision to not touch OG till PP2 as the question bank is the same. That I ended up not studying at all is a different matter..! 😀 ). So I picked up the RC section of Kaplan, revised its guidelines and started off with OG 11’s RC. I did about 15 qs (as per my plan.. short question sets of different kinds every day). Then I also attempted a couple of sets of PS problems. The level towards the beginning of OG’s PS section is very low. I figure I would be better off revising the basics and formulae. I have been caught off guard many a times by things like median & mode, the definitions of which I have more or less forgotten. I need to brush those up. 
  • Along with this, I have taken up Manhattan SC again. Only this time, I am looking at its question grid and doing SC questions from OG 10 according to the chapter under focus. I have only looked at the Style chapter so far, and have gone through only around 40 questions or so. Slow start. Hope to make it better.

That is more or less all that I  have done the past few days. I have mostly been reading/surfing today. By the way, some deadlines for this year’s fall term are up. INSEAD & Chicago Booth have set up their deadlines. For my convenience, and for that of any stray visitors to this page, I’ll set up a separate post/widget sometime for the deadlines of the 30-40 odd B-schools I will be looking at. 

I have been reading a bit at ClearAdmit (even started following it on twitter). It seems like a wonderful place for reading up on the latest updates to this fall’s B-school admission process. I guess I’ll be living off this site for quite some time. Another site that I tried today was TotalGadha GMAT. It has a nice collection of resources I can refer to for my GMAT study.

Well, that’s all I have for now. I will continue with focusing on SC while doing a little bit of everything, to keep the topics fresh in my mind. Next week’s really crucial for me. Have to finish off with SC and start off with basic research about the schools as well. 


Till then. Ciao.

Another month has passed and my track record is just as before. Though the last few days have been of frantic activity. As per my timetable, I was supposed to finish off OG 11 by now and should have started off with AWAs and revision by now. But that is far from the case. Here is a lowdown of what I have done these 3 and a half weeks:

1)  Picked up Manhattan SC Guide and went through it. Both the concepts and the questions there-in. But since I have the 2003 edition, which has a question grid for OG 10 and I have OG 11, I haven’t practiced the SC questions category-wise. But I did make it a point to do the Manhattan SC Question Bank (a set of 25 great quality questions). 

2) I also made it a point to jot down any new concept/point worth noting on a flash card. So far, I have managed to make quite a few, and I try to go over all of them about once a week ( I should increase this frequency!)

3) I have also started the OG 11’s SC part. I have done only about 30 questions so far, before I realized that I am still not doing the questions the right way. I need to focus on one section at a time, while doing small sprints of other sections at the same time. Something I have known for about a month now, but am still not practicing.

4) I have decided that my GMAT date is going to be between mid-June and mid-July. I have also decided that I need to start shortlisting my schools, start the self-introspection phase, start thinking of how to add to my profile and all that RIGHT NOW..! The realization that I do not have much time left is dawning pretty quickly now. 

5) To kind of get a better idea of my GMAT date, I just gave Power Prep 1 fetching a score of 730 (q50, v39). I made too many silly errors in both sections. This did come as a slight setback, and pushes my target date more towards July than I would have liked.

But, whatever. I have got to move on with my preps and with OG 12 also in the market now, my study material just increased by an order of magnitude…!

Procrastinator that I am, I thought that I should take my prep one step at a time. First target GMAT and then move over to the apping process. But with the really scanty amount of time left, I need to do things in parallel now. I have begun my non-GMAT part (for want of a better word) of the journey by talking to a colleague who is going to join Emory this fall. I am trying to pick his brain now, of how best I should manage my time now to make sure I don’t end up wasting this year. 

But I am being too unstructured in my post here. So here’s a fresh start. The following is the rough plan for the immediate future:

May 04 -10 :

  • Go over Manhattan SC once more
  • Start practising idioms. As much as possible
  • Give PP2 (max by Wednesday). After that,
  • focus on SC : OG 10 with Manhattan question grid & OG 11. At the same time doing 10 questions a day of two sections out of CR, RC, PS & DS. EVERYDAY…!

May 11-17 :

  • By the end of this week I hope that I feel confident about by SC. I should have looked at lots of idioms, made a list of common errors (or at least gone over them here & some here as well), and finished up at least 80% of all OG SC questions.
  • I also want to finish a bit of the remaining 4 sections. 10 Qs a day for two types – means 20 questions. 14 days * 20 qs means 280 questions. That is sizable. 
  • I am not taking the extra time I hope to have on weekends/holidays into account. I can use that for the research that I need to do. For a more structured research I will depend heavily on the tonnes of advice found at each of the blogs on my Blogroll . By the end of this week, I would like to be aware of some rough parameters for choosing my B-School, and have a rudimentary list of possible B-schools I could go to as well.

That’s it. That is all I would plan right now. And I want to beat  the schedule. Earlier I had planned for an entire month, only to see my initial gains slip up  by the end of the month. I will take it in small steps this time, keeping in mind that I need to not only give GMAT (with a good score) by the end of June-early July, but also have a final shortlist of the schools that I would be applying to, with very specific reasons, by that time. Anything else would be a bonus.

This time, I’ll be back much much sooner.

3 Weeks On…

Exactly three weeks since my last post here, and I don;t have a frightening lot to show for this time. I have been studying even more haphazardly these three weeks, barely sudying at all during the weekdays, and with the realization of time & opportunity wasted dawning ,usually, sometime every Saturday, I sit down to study on Sundays. 

Well, whatever might have been the routine till now, I have managed to wrap up Kaplan Premier (excluding the sections on the AWA & the Word Problems). I have religiously mainitained a sheet, though, of all the questions that  I am getting wrong (should I maintain a separate list of the ones where I had a doubt, but chose the right answer as well? Maybe..) I picked up this idea from somewhere on the blogosphere itself, probably the BeatTheGMAT blog, but I forget. 

So, with a small part of my prep over, I head over to the biggest part, the OG. Here is a rough schedule that I had initially drawn up and am trying to follow:

March 15-21 : Finish Kaplan SC, CR

                           : Pick up Kaplan PS, DS

March 22- 28: Finish Kaplan PS, DS

                            : Pick up Kaplan RC

March 29 – April 4 : Finish Kaplan & Pick up OG 11’s SC & CR

Till April End / May 1st week : Finish OG, Start practicing AWA’s

Till May End : Revise OG & Kaplan

June 1st week : (Hopefully) Give the GMAT


Already I am lagging behind, the April 4 week is gone and I haven’t yet started off OG 11. I can see a few loopholes too in my prep plan. First of all, I SHOULD TAKE A DATE.. and then study, atleast that would make sure that I do not keep pushing things off for later. Secondly, I should not stick to one aspect of teh prep only. While I am studying SC, for instance, I should also be going through like 10 questions a day, of  all other topics. This would make sure that the tips that I have learnt while doing a through study of any one section do not fade away from my memory.

So, well. Time again to put my preps back on track. I will be starting off with OG today. And I think I need to download some of the more famous Verbal notes that are there on the net, such as Spidey’s or Sahil’s. They can be found everywhere. 

Here I go. Wish me luck..!

Today, I start :)

Actually, I had started my GMAT prep almost a year back, studied irregularly for about a month, but eventually decided not to give GMAT that soon. So, for all practical purposes this is the start of my GMAT journey.

I hope to keep an account of my GMAT prep here, so that even I don’t forget what shape it is taking, and later on (hopefully) I can come back and read my experiences early on in my preparation.

About two weeks back, I had taken the GMAT Prep’s Practice Test 1, and got a score of 780 on it. I don’t remember my Verbal Raw Score, but my QA raw score was 51. I believe that it was a one-off score, and am not so sure how much GMAT-like the practice test of the GMAT Prep is, but it is a confidence-booster nevertheless, and a nice way to start off my prep 🙂

For the last two weeks I have been studying very sporadically; I have been going throgh the SC & CR sections of the Kaplan Premier Program 2008 Edition that I had bought last year. So, just to rejuvenate my already flagging prep, I took Practice Test2 of the GMAT Prep, and was, well, shocked with a score of 730 (QA : 50, Verbal: 38). I remember giving a few practice tests last year too, and this is definitely my lowest score so far. So, yeah, a wake-up call for me, reminding me that I have only just begun.

I plan to be a lot more regular in my studies now, let us see where I go.