My GMAT express : Approaching a temporary halt

I know I had barely started off with my preparations but I have to bring it to a temporary halt. The circumstances that have led to this decision were totally unavoidable and this was the best choice (actually there was no choice, it was the only option!). In any case, here is what led me to this decision:

1) Work – I was hoping that post thanksgiving it will cool off a little. But it is getting more hectic, the fact that two of my colleagues will be on month long vacation (one after the other) only compounds this.

2) Vacation – I am planning a month long vacation (visiting India) early next year. This will be our first trip in three years and lots of people are looking forward to meet Rhea (my little daughter) for the first time. What this means is I cannot take any leave since I have to save them all for my vacation. Also, there is going to be a lot of planning involved and yea shopping too!

3) Rhea’s first birthday - Rhea will be turning ‘one’ next week. We are planning for a get together for our friends. Till now Sony (my wife) has been taking care of most of the planning and I feel really bad that I haven’t contributed much, but she has never complained! I am going make sure that I can contribute more to this and make it a really memorable event for all of us.

With that said, the GMAT prep is on hold (for now). I think I will start from ground zero after our India trip.

PS: Sony (my wife) puts a lot of effort to maintain a blog for my daughter. It’s really cute, I am sure you will like it. Check this out yourself –

It’s been lull

Not much has been happening on the GMAT prep front since I gave that practice test. I think it’s my score, had scored less on the practice test it would instilled the much needed urgency; it’s a matter of complacency which definitely is not a good thing. I started going through the OG12 but I am more inclined towards spending time on Quant material (since I like it) than the Verbal (which I am relatively weak at).

I think work too has something to do with my lack of effort here. It’s really getting very hectic and doesn’t leave me with a lot of time. But hopefully next week onwards (after thanksgiving) work will cool down to normal levels and I hopefully I will be able to take a few days off in December. 

Where do I stand?

Based on the analysis of my performance on the GMAT Prep, it’s very obvious where my weaknesses are. I think this is what I have to target in the order that they have been listed.

1)      Verbal :  SC (All concepts)– I thought I could rely on my ear to do a good job. Looks like a lot of hard work is in store as this misconception has been debunked!
2)      Quant  :  Permutations & Combinations. I made a couple of mistakes, the problems were tough but I think with a little bit of effort this can be ironed out easily.
3)      Verbal : RC  - Need to improve my reading speed.

It’s not that I am perfect at rest of the topics, but these are the low hanging fruits and provide me the ability to maximize improvement with the minimal effort (Though I doubt the effort for improvement in SC will be minimal). 

GMATPrep – Not a bad start

The first thing I did after deciding on the MBA path was to research about the GMAT, which obviously is the first step and a prerequisite for the application. I came across a few good GMAT programs and forums with a ton of information. I decided to register on BeattheGMAT forum just because of the quality of the content and the variety they have (Blogs, Articles and obviously the discussion forum).

I figured that the OG materials (the official resource) were a must, so I went to the nearest Barnes & Nobles and got hold of the OG12. I also ordered the Verbal & Quant review (2nd edition) online. The best way to start the GMAT prep was to assess my current strengths and more importantly weaknesses. I downloaded the GMATPrep practice tests and took the first practice test.

Surprisingly I did well on my first GMAT Prep test. I got a score of 720 (Quant  50 (93%)            Verbal 37 (80%) Overall  720  94%). Based on my research this was near or above the average score for the top schools and this is what I had as my target. My work and family commitments really won’t allow me to spend a lot of time and this score does no harm at all. I am really excited about this score, hopefully I will be able to maintain my focus and adhere to a strict routine. Time to get back to the drawing board (actually excel sheet) and track my problem areas. 

The pursuit – A difficult decision and an equally challenging path.

After a lot of self-introspection it finally has come to this – a full time MBA is the way to go. An MBA has  been on the card for some time, but I was unsure whether to go full time or part-time. I bounced my thoughts off my wife and friends. Few of my friends had already treaded this path (full time as well as part time) and their inputs proved invaluable.  

I came across some interesting perspectives, in particular about the full-time vs part-time debate, and I will definitely post them sometime later on this blog. For now it’s time to focus on the GMAT and the selection of colleges.

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”
                                                               -          Gautama Siddharta (Buddha)

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