My GMAT Story

April 11, 2007

Yeah I know its totally confusing as to why I am posting this after so long. Funny thing is that I don't have an answer. But I always wanted to post my story here. You can find this post on couple of forums...so why not on my own blog.

I as a person believe that what makes one an achiever is passion. If you love what you are doing, you will do it. While the prepping period, if I was not studying for GMAT then whatever I was doing was a non-gmat thing. That meant frustration for me. That itch...you know...that constant thing going inside you, which said, "hey! You gotta go back...you're not studying". So when I ever get frustrated or depressed, I just told to myself that things will be just fine if I could go back to studies. Enough of gyan...now the actual story.

I have done my engg. from IIT Delhi '05 class. I took CAT two times and failed miserably. Both the times I screwed up the DI section. It's just not my cup of tea. I scored well in maths and english sections.

I was devastated...seeing all my batch mates go to IIMs and some to big companies like McKinsey, BCG, ML was doing me no good. I felt like a loser. It was not that my prep for CAT was not gud enough...but some things are just meant to happen in a certain way...

I can't express in words how miserable I felt when I had to leave IIT with a mediocre IT job. I did some introspection and got some advice from my sister who's in US...she told me something which now I totally believe..."everything happens for a reason". May be I didn't clear CAT because I have something better. She told me to prepare for GMAT and meanwhile get the feel of the industry. That's what i did. I didn't look for switching my job. I came to Pune and since then I am here...

I didn't expect my prep to start right away...so I waited and it was only in June when I started thinking about GMAT. I took out my Kaplan 2004 guide..which I bought in IIT but never read. Initially the prep didn/t get kick started. The reason was that I didn't have a test date.

Lesson learned till now:

Forget about past failures.
Look forward...try options and always have a positive attitude.
Have a dream and be passionate about it.
Lastly get a test date...keep yourself on the toes and focused!!

I took a test date...on 30 Oct..I can never forget that date...I also took a date for TOEFL on 1 Oct.

My actual preparation started in Aug when I took a date. I started looking for resources on the net. I started looking at the posts in PG, beat the GMAT, score top...I downloaded some stuff from eSnips.

Strategising was not a problem for me...I know how to study to make the most out of it...the trick is simple...I don't think/do anything when I study...and the other thing I do is kinda strange but works for me....I make a commitment to myself and all the time I think about how bad I would feel if i didn't keep that. So I thought I would score a 720 in my GMAT. That was an honest goal for me.

In a month I knew what all I lack...what are the areas where I need to push myself more...I was lacking the accuracy..I was making silly mistakes...and If I could cut down my silly mistakes and brush up some old CAT concepts, a 750 is not impossible for me.

I took GMAT prep for the first time and scored 710...I was happy to see the 700 figure...and happiness is good..especially if you've been depressed all the time!!

It gave confidence and I made a master plan for me. The plan was for Sep and Oct...two months....I made a big chart....its basically a calendar with big blocks for each day....
I collected all the Materials....1000 SC, 1000 CR, OG, Kaplan guide, Kaplan 800, Kaplan verbal, Manhattan, all the tests...Kaplan, GMAT Prep, and IMS Cds.

I made a schedule...and fitted all of it in those two months. Each day I would come after office and without having food, start my study sessions...at the end I would cross out the date...like an executioner....The crosses gave me confidence and a sense of satisfaction. It felt gud to see that the days were not just passing by but I was progressing and getting nearer to my goal.

I stuck post-its all over my place with quotes and motivational stuff...each day when I woke up I would know that I would finish this thing today...I knew that GMAT was the only way to redeem myself...I took TOEFL...which helped me get a feel of the computer test...also I learnt a lesson that always reach your centers early.

I was inline with my schedule...and some days I would not keep up with the schedule...which I would make up on weekends...I had scheduled my sessions taking the possibility of over times...

Two weeks before the test I started my practice test Marathon. I had 12 IMS tests. 4 Kaplan tests, 1 GMAT test. I finished all of them in those two weeks. My sequence was...12 IMS tests. were not so good. CR was no way GMAT type...maths was good. helped me with time management in maths but totally screwed up in English...because CRs were very short....unlike actual GMAT where it takes time just to read the CR.

Anyways I moved to Kaplan...I was aware of the notorious reputation of Kaplan tests...so I knew that if I managed a 650 average on all 4 tests....I was good...and i did...

I had kept the GMAT prep for the last...because I knew its the fairest approximation...so i took it two days before...i got a 740. I was sure i would get 740-750 on GMAT....

last two days I prepared for AWA. and revised my SC tips, CR pointers and did some reading...random stuff...

Lesson learnt:

keep the GMAT prep test 2 for last day....and yess memorise the format...its exactly the same....even the colors...that is blue...everything is ditto...except the questions

On the final day:

I went to Mumbai a day before....went to my fellow IITian friend's place (thanks Somu!)...had light chit chat....talked bout good old days when all we had to do was play quake and gossip at nescafe....

woke up early...reached the center early...the guard didn't allow me in before time...finally the hour arrived...went in...did some formalities...and entered the test room.....

I know why..but I was totally relaxed...I thought to myself, "Mukul this is your chance buddy...U had taken so many tests and scored well...no reason why you would screw up today...U r going to make it big" and then I thought of my parents and how happy they would be...and started off...

paced through the usual yada lada...and arrived at the AWA section...was good...ten there was the optional break after one hr of AWA...which I didn't take!! should have taken tho...but I was too excited...

I started getting tough problems after 5-6 question..meant i was doing good...got stuck in a question....my IITian ego was not letting me go off the question...but after some time i had to guess and move forward..

Lesson learnt...let go off the question after an intelligent guess..

Overall i felt my Quants section was good...more than 50 I thought...

then took a break....verbal....bold face CR in the 6th quesn...was happy...okkk i am doing good...now time to concentrate and get this one rite at any cost...I guess i did it correctly....after that I don't know why...but I thought questions were easy...i got sad...but didn't let myself be bothered...I finished the verbal well before time....

and thennnnnnnnnnnnnnn..................i was so excited...i just paced through the screens...atleast 10 screens....then it said...show scores???

Hell yesssssss!! I expected a 740 to be honest....

it said 770 !! I raised my hands and literally jumped up....I came out of the room...and the invigilator looked at my score sheet and gave a big smile...

I was ecstatic....guys I am so much more relieved and confident now...
I learnt a lot from my preparations....and I thought I wud write all of it to help you guys....

Hope it helps....

ATB...if I can do it...so can you...

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21 comments

  1. I've been reading ur posts for about a week now and find them useful. But this post is the best as it got my will to succeed back in me! Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi mukul

    I have been reading ur posts on PG and its really a gr8 effort on ur part to start this blog.
    Thanks a lot n best of luck for ur admissions.

    I had a query .. Whr in pune can i get all the four books u mentioned.
    Will used ones help or shud i buy all the new ones?
    Waiting for ur reply

    ReplyDelete
  3. hey mukul,

    Have scrapped u too buddy....

    cheers

    Rajiv

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous8:34 PM

    Hey Mukul,

    Your story is an inspiring one. I totally agree with you on not to dwell on your past failures and have a positive attitude.
    I am planning to appear for GMAT in the end of June this year. I can use your technique of motivating yourself to stay focussed.
    My prep is going ok. But I stray too much and loose my focus. Too many things happening at the same time. Work, family (married), blah..

    Goodluck with your apps.

    Adi.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Mukul
    THats an awesome post! I am one of those guys who screwed up CAT multiple tests (after doing very well in the mock tests). I know how it feels. ATB for your applications!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Mukul.....Great post bro.....I came accross ur blog recently.....really nice outlay......It feels so good to take advice from somebody so young............Can you please your study plan so that it helps me chalking out my plan too.......Thanx in advance

    ReplyDelete
  7. Rahul8:12 AM

    Hey Mukul,

    I was curious as to what is your take on the 1000 DS/PS/SC/CR/RC docs that you can find on the internet?

    Are they worth for just general practice?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mukul..

    My story goes in same lines like your's..

    IIT Roorkee 06 -> mediocre IT job-> CAT failed attempts -> GMAT

    I can understand your frustration in past and the passion now to do gr8 things..fortunately everything ended well for you.. and i am still building up my story..

    The story you have put up in your blog is incomplete unless you tell us where you are now?? How did you make use of your score? Which B school are you in now?

    With your kind of guidance i am sure you must be having a lot to share about POST GMAT things..i mean b school apps, essays etc etc..

    Would be really gr8 if you can throw some light on those issues too..

    I m sure if you do that your blog will be one of the bible's for GMAT prep guys..

    Gr8 going...All the best

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey Mukul,

    Would better call you a Bravo.. I thank you for these excellent materials. Above this its your positive attitude that has brought in myself an energy to crack my test. I had prolonged it just for the lack of confidence, which I have gained it from ur blogs.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Excellent and very impressive story. What are you doing now? As I not yet explored your whole blog. May be I find answer from your blog. :)

    I am also going to appear in GMAT test in Nov 2009 for getting admission in Specialized Master Program in any good European Business School so your site will help me a lot to do preparation.

    Thanks dear for compiling and arranging maximum information related to GMAT at one place.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous11:21 AM

    Dude let me tell u one thing your story is inspiring for the guys who really got screwed multiple times in CAT and then finally diverted toward GMAT. The agony due to the failure in CAT surely effect the preparation of
    GMAT. But the way you comprehended your story and delivered the message its eeasy for me to get focussed now

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nice write up!!.Inspiring..i have given gmat twice failed miserably..tht is for sure due 2 lack of prep...These 2 tests were back to back...which i think i did rong..i will be givin gmat now..which for sure will be after complete preparation
    ..Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  13. hey dude..hope you are doin gud...Congrats for ur GMAT score..!! :) hv a bit of query...What kind of PROFILE do b-schools like Harvard or LBS or Stanford look for...What else other than an Awesome GMAT score is the criteria...Is it important tht one should have certain work ex or good past acads...I hv heard poeple saying tht unless you are an Olympics medalist or sum ingenious programming freak don't think of places like Harvard!! Hope you wud give me a better insight into dis.. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Mukul ,

    Im really happy for you . Its amazing to read your step by step progress & how you inched towards your final victory .. Im just an average student & your blog has managed to inspire me .

    Im sure life has loads in store for a kick-ass guy like you ...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Mukul,

    Nice post. I it gives me immense confidence because I had a similar strategy and have been getting similar scores in my Kaplan and other mocks. And I am appearing for GMAT tomorrow, after 2 failed attempts in CAT. So I feel I will do well.

    Glad that I came across this one. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous1:11 PM

    From wher did u do ur mba finally?

    ReplyDelete
  17. If you read the blog...you would know. Matriculating from Tuck, dartmouth 2011. Class of 2013

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous8:39 AM

    Hey mukul,
    I m in second year doing mechanical engg. from Manipal institute of technology, Manipal.
    I would be starting my GMAT preprations from the next year.
    Could u tell me what else do b-schools take into consideration other than GMAT scores like some certificates in some co-corricular activities like participating in MUN or working in AIESEC.?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous8:19 AM

    hey mukul can you plz mail me yor study schedule chart...i have 3 and a half months to go forGMAT and have not even started as of yet...I also have very tight schedules...My college studies, entrance exam studies sideways but I want to score a 800 in GMAT. A rough schedule, if not complete mailed to me would be very kind of you.

    Email: abhilash1603@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous1:47 AM

    Thanks for sharing this!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous12:15 PM

    hey...... i was wondering where did u get the practice tests from?

    ReplyDelete

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