Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Michigan Ambassadors program

When I went to the Meet Michigan Reception in New Delhi, the lady there told me about the Ambassadors program where I could chat with some current students. This was in direct response to my question because I could not find it on the website myselves. She was also not sure how to get to that link.

Today I tried to reach to that page, but not before I wrote to the Admissions Committee about it. I later used Google and found my way to the correct link. Then I read the reply from Admissions Committee. The response was quick, but not upto the mark. The person there copy-pasted a typical write-up on visiting Michigan, arranging for a tour and talking to the current students. It mentioned the Ambassador program, but no links for it. It did give me the link to the page that helps you plan a tour, and perhaps that page has the link to the Ambassadors program, but they did not give me the thing I specifically asked for: the link to the ambassadors program.

Anyways, I have short-listed two Indians to chat with. One is an IITB alum himself.

PS: Sometimes, when I see the profiles of these guys, I wonder if I would fit among these guys n gals...

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Change of plans

Guys n gals,

This blog was used by me to create a scrap book for me that would house all the difficult questions I encountered during my GMAT prep and some concepts I gathered along the way. In that sense, this blog has helped me a lot. I used it to revise the concepts a week before D-Day and later on many other people preparing for the GMAT have used this to enhance their preparation.

Now I have come to a phase where I would be researching schools and getting more data on them. I have been doing this all the way, but now I am planning to log a few of the things on my blog here. This seems to be a natural progression where after taking the GMAT you concentrate on the schools of your choice and log the details somewhere.

I hope others surfing on to my blog shall like this new content that is goign to come here.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Gmat 750

[I posted this on www.gmatclub.com. I am posting it here so that I can share it with others on the Net]

I am pasting the email I had sent to another group as it is (with minor changes marked by []). I can only say that this group has helped me a LOT in gaining the right skills to ace the GMAT. We have highly motivated and 'learned' members who are helping each other by commenting on the questions and clarifying the doubts that arise in our minds. I used the group in two ways. One, I would regularly visit the group, read the new posts, and then comment on them. Second, I would solve problems from other books like G+ and if I had doubt anywhere, I would first search for the same question on the group, and if not found, post it here and ask for help. I have never once been disappointed by our group members.

So here is the post.

Another silent member of the club, I took mine on the 28th of this
month [September] and scored 750 (Q50, V40). Of course, now I feel I should have got atleast 760, but then I was not even expecting 700 when I was taking the Verbal part of the exam.

If you are expecting me to tell you how I have studied for teh exam,
then you are going ot be disappointed. Because if u follow my example,
I doubt if you would get far. I would not study more than 2-3 days a
week, that too not more than 2 hrs a day. I am a very lazy person and
hence could not apply myself to the studies. The only thing I did right was perhaps covering the whole of OG for the verbal part. I did not complete the RC section, but I knew its difficult for me to improve there.

My GMAT was first scheduled for Dec 9, 2003, which got rescheduled to
March 30, 2004, then to July 5, 2004, to Aug 23, 2004 and then once again to Sept 28, 2004. I have wasted so much money on this, but then
the end result is to good to think of all that money. My father, though, is in for a surprise, because till date not even a single penny has actually been charged to his credit card, and I feel all ot that will come in one go. Sorry papa.

I shall tell you what scores I got in my tests. These are in the order I took them, the last 2 being 3 and 3 days before the exam, respectively.

PP1 - 610 (this happened because my firewall program cut short my
verbal portion of the test to 25 questions, and PowerPrep penalized me
for no answering 16 questions in that section. I would have got
something like 720 or more, I guess)
PR1 - 650
Kaplan1 - 600
PP2 - 700
Kaplan2 - 630
PR 2 - 730
Kaplan3 - 650
PR 3 - 720

I did the OG, complete SC and CR, some maths and most of the RC. While doing these, I used to take up anything between 25 and 50 questions in one sitting and would also time them. This meant that I was aware of how much time I was using for answering them. I found that I was very good at CR (got about 20 questions wrong out of 210 questions there in OG), but was not good in SC (more on how I solved that later). I also completed SC and CR of GmatPlus 1 and 2. I used to visit GmatClub forums very often. Sometimes I would post answers, explanations and queries, and sometimes I used to compile the posts in Acrobat (I work for Adobe, so its free for me) and then look at them at home. There are great people posting there and hence its one resource we should all use to enhance our skills.

On the quant side, I was always sure I'll crack it. I would not touch the quant part for weeks, except for when taking full length tests. I would, from time to time, revise my fundae by taking the GmatClub Challenges or some part tests.

I used to log the questions I commit mistakes in, or any new funda I got from any source, on a blog I maintained. Even from that, one can see how inconsistent I was with my studies. The blog is at http://errorlogs.blogspot.com. Feel free to explore it. I took a printout of it a few days before the exam and used it for revision. I also revised all the mistakes in OG SC and CR sections.

The day before the exam, I took the whole day off. This was suggested to me by my roommate, who had taken GMAT ayear ago, and is applying
this year. I just watched TV, saw a few movies, and slept. I did not venture out of my house till it was 9 PM. The funda was to take complete rest and put your mind also to rest. I think it has worked. Towards the end of the day, I was feeling impatient, and wished the exam would start right away.

Now, how the exam went. The first essay was an Argument, and I found
many points of weakness in it. I kept writing till the end of the time. I found it hard to write a 500 word essay and avoid resriting the same thoughts at the same time. The end result was like not to my liking, but thats the best I could manage. I hope I get a good score in AWA.

The quant part started with a question that I took about 3 minutes to answer.I finished the section, as expected, 20 minutes before it was time. I took a long break, opened my locker, took out the biscuits and apple juice I had carried and consumed them. Then I did some stretching exercises (thank God the waiting area was empty). I met a guy who was taking the USMLE. He had arrived at the center at 9, and would not leave before it was 5 (yes, the test takes 8 hours!). Then I went into the room and continued to the Verbal part.

The first two questions were SC, and they were pretty easy. I was happy. But this happiness would not last long. The third question was an RC, and one that had 4 questions, out of which three were very confusing to me. Each of these three had three obviously wrong choices, but two very close ones. I just guessed at them, after spending a good amount of time. And once this SC got finished, I got another one. Thi sone had two difficult questions, and two easy ones. At this stage I felt I am doomed. I then got one easy Sc and one easy CR. Then I thought I am surely gone. But then I ahd spent so much time in the test, I thought of just carrying on. I kept getting easy and difficult ones. Got two bold faces ones, and I would like to kill the person(s) responsible for them. Almost all the options were too close! I lost some time towards the half of the section, but when I came to about 33rd question, I was sure I would complete the section in time. And I actually got about two minutes for the lat question, which again was a rather difficult one.

I was expecting the score to come up next, but the verbal section was followed by a survey GMAC wantes us to finish. I quickly did that and then when the computer asked me whether I wanted to report the scores, I very quickly clicked Yes twice. I was getting too impatient at that stage. And then I saw the score. I had not even dreamt of it, and there it was staring at me right into my face. I don't know whether it was the expression on my face, or the unofficial score report that got printed, that led the proctor to smile at me and say 'Congrats'.

It was some experience. But then this is the easiest part of the whole application process that is in front of me. My whole month of October is going to be spent in that, and some of November. Most of the schools i am targetting have their deadlines in November. [I have decided to apply in the next year, for classes starting Fall 2006]