Archive for the ‘gmat’ Category

For the uninitiated, click on the respective words to know more about the movies here: Inception, Inglourious Basterds

For an engineer from India, Quant is like the movie Inception whereas he should think of Inglourious Basterds for the Verbal section. Here is how:

Quant : Inception 

Now if you’ve watched this movie, you know that Leonardo and his friends try to plant an idea in the mind of some xyz person. They ultimately doze off to sleep and navigate to three levels of dreams (already knowing that the deeper they venture they harder it is for them to come back). Everyone except Leonardo ventures to three levels of dreaming (i.e. dream within a dream within a dream) while Leonardo, the expert, takes a leap into the 4th level as well (dream within a dream within a dream within a dream). I think this much intro is enough to get my point across but you can watch the movie for more details 🙂

GMAT quant for an Indian engineer is like Inception. He always knows that he can fare well in the quant section of the test. Whether he actually screws it up is another story, but there is always a line of confidence that quant can be tackled. That’s why many engineers spend those precious extra seconds to solve a 750 level quant problem on the test when an instructor might have advised them to make a guess and move on. This courage gives them that extra push and they ultimately crack that tough problem. The confidence acts as a booster and they probably will get the next one right too.

Just like the movie Inception, when they knows it’s getting dangerous but they still venture into 3 levels of dreams, a person might find himself devoting 3 plus minutes on a tough problem (thinking that he is going to crack this one). Even if they are lost in the dream, they manage to come back! Similarly is the case with quant. People will devise some short cut (hack) to solve the question.

In the end, they are just comfortable with Quant.

Verbal : Inglourious Basterds

Now comes Verbal. Before that a few lines about the movie – The movie focuses on the two main characters: Colonel Hans Landa, a German who was a specialist in finding out hiding Jews and giving orders to ____ them, and Lt. Aldo Raine, an American who led the Jewish-American guerrilla soldiers and paid back the other force in kind. For more details, please watch the movie 🙂

And how is verbal related to the movie? Each question in the verbal section hides some critical aspect – the aspect you MUST find out (for inference questions and assumptions questions), the aspect that lets you state the intent of the passage (in primary purpose type questions) and the aspects that helps you form an opinion (for evaluate type questions). You need to dig deep into the meaning of the passage and understand it. Here you don the hat of Colonel Hans Landa.

And when you understand what’s being asked or you’ve formed your opinion, or caught hold of the tone of the passage etc, you don the hat of Lt. Aldo Raine. You need to brutally execute the question. And hear bugles of victory in your head 😛

PS: I do not intend to hurt the sentiments of any particular group of people though the issue taken up in the verbal section of the post. I’ve just stated how do I refer to the movies from GMAT perspective. No offense to anyone.



GMAT Takeaways

Posted: October 22, 2010 in gmat, mba
Tags: ,

You might want to read about my GMAT experience here

Here are a few points I would like to share with a larger audience wrt GMAT. I’ll club the points in three sections – AWA/Quant/Verbal.

PS: The details below are as per my experience.

AWA – Don’t stress too hard on this area. Btw, I got a 6.0 in AWA 🙂

The Adcom might consider your AWA scores when they find some mismatches in your profile and the admission essays you’ve written.  This can happen when you get somebody else to write essays for you. Needless to say, never do this.

Anyway, back to AWA – prepare a template ;you’ll find lots on the web but I’ll suggest you to take an idea and prepare your own template.  You don’t want to copy the same template from the web which 100 other guys might  be using. Moreover, this isin’t much of a trouble.

Please let me know if you want to know anything specific here.

Quant – Being an Indian candidate who has prepared for CAT (entrance exam for IIMs), I am good at quant. Got a 50 here.

– Avoid silly mistakes especially in DS.  This is very important. You’ll never know when a couple of silly mistakes will fetch you a 49 in Maths when you ought to get 50.

– Timing is another important factor here. When you perform well in the starting 10-15 question, you’ll tend to get a few very hard questions in the 15-20 range. This is the point where you will need to act smartly and devote not too much time on any particular question. Always remember that “Moving on….” is one of the most important things in GMAT.

Work out such problems and make an intelligent guess (if need be). Even if you get a question wrong here – you can still land up with a 50. On the other hand, if you get stuck in this trap, chances are high that you’ll lose your timing and might need to guess certain questions in the 30+ range.

– Be thorough with the basics and that should be enough (eg. understand the main concept of median/mode/mean etc)

– GMAT Maths is a bit tougher than OG Maths. Hence, don’t reply completely on OG. Manhattan is good for practise, but that may be a bit tougher than actual GMAT Maths 🙂

Verbal – Okay! I know I didn’t score too well on this section despite my high expectations (got 31) – hence any advice coming on this front may raise eyebrows 🙂 … time to be silent!

Tests – Practice Tests are an important indicator of your progress – hence write practice tests very sincerely.

Here are some of the tests (some paid (P) , some free (F))  in order of importance (comments embedded within the points)

  1. GMAT Prep (F) said to be the best and real indicator of your actual GMAT performance
  2. PowerPrep (F) – second best – these were in existence when ETS used to conduct the GMAT
  3. Manhattan GMAT (1 F, 6 P) – Maths is usually tough than GMAT Maths. Good VA

Caution:  People may agree that GMAT Prep is the best indicator of your potential in the actual GMAT. But don’t take this at verbatim. For this this doesn’t work – I scored a 770 (50/44 – Q/V) in GMAT Prep 2 – 2 days before the exam but ended up with a 680 (50/31 – Q/V).

Hence, find out – what works for you!

Then there are a whole lot of tests available – find their names below in no significant order:

  1. Kalpan (4P) – Algo not very reliable
  2. Knewton (1F, rest P) – okay
  3. Princeton
  4. Veritas Prep (1P, 6P) – okay
  5. Platinum GMAT (1 F I think)
  6. – This is a nice site to attempt questions with user defined difficulty levels with a bunch of other GMAT aspirants in real time.  Definitely some fun! Visit the site to know more. (You might find many variants of OG questions with changed names here)

I’ll stop typing now 🙂

If you have any specific queries, feel free to comment.


GMAT – 680 (50/31 – Q/V)

Posted: October 18, 2010 in gmat, mba

Okay. I screwed up. I have no clue why.

To start with the AWA – it went pretty well. Actually, I’ve been never bothered about AWA – I am confident enough to get through it.

Maths –

To my utter surprise, I found the questions a bit hard … spent almost 4.5 minutes on the first question itself! wow!…. but then kept on doing … had to guess a couple of questions in the 30+ range owing to time contraints. Managed to finish just in time – thanks to a couple of guesses 😐

I felt to that I didn’t perform as well. Landed up with 50.

Verbal –

Now this was a surprise element. I tried every bit to stay limit the time limit for questions I had set … it worked perfectly fine. I wasn’t having much problems deciphering the SCs. RCs went well too (for a change :)) .. I still have no idea what went wrong to give me a 31 in VA. I am just 😐

Hence the score – 680.

Given this score, I need  solid essays and great recos to save me. Starting on school selection – Trying to identify the schools where I “‘fit” … I hope this score doesn’t put me at a disadvantage.

GMAT – Friday the 15th’2010

Posted: October 12, 2010 in gmat, mba
Tags: ,

Finally, finally and …yes, once again…. finally, booked date for the test – Friday’15th 2010 – 3:00 PM IST!

This isin’t concurrent with the dates mentioned in my previous post, but no point cribbing about that now – it’s Friday the 15th for me 🙂

Just want to break in the big league (if you know what I mean :))


GMAT – Just do it!

Posted: October 5, 2010 in gmat, mba

I think I’ve been dilly dallying on this point from quite sometime now. I study and work and study and work and study and work – Whoooaa! What about GMAT?

Deadlines are approaching ….. 😐

Okay! Time to write the GMAT.

Just checked that Monday – 10/11 and Tuesday – 10/12 are both available. Will book a date tomorrow.

Most probably, Monday!