GMAT Exam Day Tips - Pacing the GMAT Test , Redbull and Chocolates

Categories : GMAT Exam Day Tips

Right- it was time to move forward. Time to charm the pants off the evaluators with my essay writing skills. I hadn’t practiced it a lot, and was hoping that my English skills would be good enough to do the trick. Before I took the TOEFL exam, I had started a blog in order to practice my writing skills. No such bravado this time around, probably because I had more work to do during the morning hours at my company. There were a few questions about the value of having an International MBA, and another about cultural diversity and its implications. I ended up finishing the essays five minutes before the allocated time.

Two ten minute breaks are provided during the GMAT exam. One, after the AWA section and one, after the Math section. Going out when fewer people were around, I did my thing, and got back in quickly. Before which, I had downed half a bottle of the RedBull and grabbed a couple of bites of the Cadbury that I’d kept in my backpack.

The Quant section warranted all my attention. The proceedings started off well, with the questions getting progressively harder. That’s always a good indication that you are doing well. It reached a point where I was getting questions I wasn’t sure how to answer. I remember there was a question with a polygon in the picture. I had no idea how to measure the angle or the length. There were some comparisons to be done. I ended up measuring the polygon with my pencil! I got it right apparently; because the next one dealt to me by the system was quite a monster. The main theme with Quant is getting your timing right. You can of course solve...

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GMAT Exam Day Tips - The Test Centre

Categories : GMAT Exam Day Tips

The day of reckoning has finally arrived. You’ve practiced long enough,  honing your skills against similar opponents. The last few months have all been leading up to this moment. You’ve gathered whatever knowledge or insight you could gain into the way the adversary operated. Your strategies have been formulated.  Time to pit yourself against the machine- you got that right- it’s a battle of wits against a machine. You are going head to head with the GMAT engine, prepared by the folks at MBA.com.

My preparation for the exam started three months prior to the actual d-day. I pored over all the forums, from MBA.com through Pagalguy - looked up the suggestions given by high scorers. Some sounded insane, and some downright condescending. As if, you are gonna take it easy on exam day! The butterflies would have gone into hyperdrive mode, by then, in your stomach. That’s only natural. I came across a guy who had mentioned chocolates and another one who had mentioned using an energy drink. I had my concerns on the effects of combining the two, on exam day. Thankfully I tried it on the penultimate day. It was not something I’d do normally.

However, I was still standing, and not doubling up or running around like Hammy the squirrel from Over the Hedge. This was a good sign. I also took a couple of tests to keep the momentum going.  The last test I took was on the day before the exam. I had set aside the final test of the GMAT prep software, for this purpose. Of the two practice tests provided by the makers of the exam, I had taken one quite early in the course of my preparation, in order to assess where I stood. I also went through the test results from my...

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MBA - A Good Idea during Recession?

Categories : MBA


Do you constantly feel that you were made for better things in life? That you are constantly underachieving? Do you wake up every single morning, feeling...? Just knowing that you can do a better job than your boss? If only you were equipped with the right tools, do you think that you can put other high fliers in your company to shame? No... I’m not paraphrasing the opening sequence of the movie - Wanted, before the dorky McAvoy was courted by a bad-ass Angelina Jolie… If you nodded your head in the affirmative for the questions, maybe it’s time you considered an MBA, and thereby moved up the value chain.

There’s never a perfect time to get an MBA, just like tying the knot or getting your butt kicked by the town bully.However there are a few factors that might positively influence your application. Like experience and versatility.

Right now, there might be a few, make that quite a lot, of people who are second guessing their earlier decision to enter the MBA rat race. With the recession not quite bottomed out yet, it’s hard to refute their concerns.

Look on the bright side though. When the business world gets mauled beyond recognition, you are safe within the confines of a school environment. It’s similar to a ringside view with live commentary in a boxingmatch. You watch the rank novice getting bashed up, again and again and yet again....

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When should I take my GMAT?

Categories : GMAT Study Plan, GMAT Tips


Now that you’re convinced of your reasons to pursue an MBA, the next step would be to decide which school and what intake you want to aim for. A large majority of students aim for the September intakes, when the majority of B-school admissions occur. The focus was always on US schools. The spring admissions have been considered to be fewer in number and financial support harder to get during that period.

However, with the B-school umbrella now spread over Europe, Asia and Australia too, September is not the only realistic option left for aspiring management gurus.  Many schools around the world have rolling admissions- in which they consider applications all year round. Some schools have one batch starting in September and another starting in Jan/March.It comes down to your choice of college and your convenience, to finally decide which intake to target.

As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea take your GMAT at least a year before you plan to join a B-school. Invest in a good prep course. If you plan to aim for the September intake, June/July would be a good period to appear for your GMAT test. The admission process in most of the top b-schools is carried out in two or more rounds. You can almost be sure that the good ones start considering...

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Why should I take an MBA?

Categories : MBA

It’s been nearly a year since the fine sunny day in spring, when I flew into one of the design capitals of Europe- Milano. A greenhorn, with respect to actual business practices, I was intrigued enough in how the world of money and power worked, so as to give up a steady job and go back to school to earn my MBA degree.

Now, let’s put that into perspective. I wouldn’t buy a car from a new company even if it looked wicked and sexy and promises to beat a Lamborghini in a 0-60mph sprint, without reading the reviews and taking it out for a spin. Even better, I’d like to wait and ask people who have owned the car for further feedback. That’s where established companies have a competitive advantage. They have wild drives, which have withstood the tests of time. Let’s take the Ferrari California, the latest release from the prancing horse stable as an example. You “know” that even if it turns out to be a damp squib in the long run, the engine and the engineering are gonna be awesome. Ferrari ensures this by making sure that their production, design and supply chain follow certain rigorous standards and use the best components available.  After a while, the brand overpowers the product. The same is the case with B-schools. They want to make sure that they have the right raw materials - clay with the right attributes which can be molded and polished into a really good product.

Friends and relatives would be more interested to know if you have lost your mind...

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