Sunday, November 20, 2005


Having cleared GMAT with a satisfactory score of 780, I feel a sense of relief. While preparing for the exam, I often searched the internet to read about personal experiences of people who had excelled in the exam. I couldn't find many such articles but a few that I found really guided me towards the right way of preparing for the exam. As a payback, I am writing this article to share some tips and experiences that I gathered during my preparations.

I decided to take GMAT in june 2005 and that is when I started my preparations. The first book I bought was Princeton Review. It is a very good starting point and explains test strategies, test format and test faqs with good clarity. The four practice tests that come with the book are an added bonus. After reading the book I took two princeton tests and scored 680 and 660. I then took one of the power prep tests and scored 660.

A bit disappointed with my performance, I realised I had to take drastic measures to get a better score. I then bought "Official Guide to GMAT" by ETS, which has 1500 real GMAT questions. This is THE book and a must-have for every GMAT test taker. The verbal section is by far the best and the explanations are really helpful.

After finishing this book, I decided to brush up my time management skills and took as many practice tests as I could get my hands on. I scored 570, 620, 630 and 640 on Kaplan tests, 700 and 710 on princeton tests and 740 on powerprep test. I also did Kaplan800 on the side to get more practice.

For essays, I read a couple of sample essays to get a hint. I haven't received my official score so can't say how I performed on that.

During the test, I tried to remain calm and alert all the time. I couldn't solve two of the GMAT quant questions at all but I kept moving on with positive attitude. The last 10 questions for quant were really simple and that scared me a little bit. Verbal was never my strong point but I did fine that day. In the end I guess it was a combination of hard-work and good luck that got me through.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Multiple Personalities

I have come to realize that each one of us has more than one personalities within ourselves. We have a database of experiences that we have been through in our life. The personality that we choose to represent ourselves at any given moment depends upon the match between our experiences and the circumstance itself. It is these personalities, accumulated over lifetime, that decide who we are. We are a combination of life's experiences and the way we deal with them.

When we are faced with a completely new experience, more often than not, we screw up. But an entry is made in our database of what not to do in that situation in future. This is a lifelong process of learning whereby life keeps throwing new experiences at you and you keep learning to deal with different situations.

It is very disheartening when you are not able to deal with a particular situation the way you would want to. It bogs you down and it is very natural to start blaming yourself or worse, someone else. If we stop taking these things personally and try to take it as a training that life is giving us, world would be a much happier place.