Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Harvard vs London Business School

So it's official. I will be applying to business school in Round 2 this year. I want to start my own business, and Harvard and London Business School both seem to have a pretty good curriculum and support in place for budding entrepreneurs. Any idea which one's better?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

BoB Nominee!

Yes, I realise I have realised this very, very late! But I wasn't really around the last few months, so I'm elated NOW!
I was a Best of Blogging Nominee :)
And my blog won under the Best GMAT Preparation Advice category! Wow, this feels really good! Although, since I didn't campaign for getting any votes, I really do want to know how many votes came in. Because if I've won with a grand total of 3 votes, I'd feel silly placing any importance on the win. So, how happy should I be?

Also, I want the java script for the "BoB Nominee" or "BoB (something!)" box! Anybody?

Monday, May 23, 2011

An MBA education costs HOW much?! *fainting with a thud on the ground*

What I've learnt today after a full day's research:

1. Cost Matters (pun intended) -
MBA from top US B-school: atleast INR 70 lakh
MBA from European B-school: INR 50 - 57 lakh
MBA from ISB Hyderabad (12th ranked in the world?): INR 20 lakh
Damn, if I got into ISB Hyderabad, I'd feel super guilty about opting for a US B-school. That's a 50 lakh difference! Half a freaking CRORE of a difference!!!

2. What exactly is Investment Banking?
Found this beautiful description on GMAT Club:
Investment bankers serve a variety of functions, depending on their specific position. They advise clients on financial organization; underwrite, sell, and trade stocks and bonds; and manage assets, among other responsibilities.

If you are working in corporate finance, you will serve as a financial consultant for corporations. Often banks will assign bankers to work in a certain industry (health care, communications, finance, etc.); you’ll be responsible for helping firms execute financial strategies, analyzing their financial needs, determining valuations for new offerings, and underwriting equity and debt offerings, among other responsibilities. Mergers and acquisitions is related to corporate finance and sometimes serves as its own department; if you’re an M&A banker, you’ll give advice to companies that are merging with or being acquired by other companies. M&A requires a detail-oriented, strategic mind to ensure you’re able to work out all the specifics of the merger or acquisition deal.
If you are working in sales and trading, you will buy and sell securities and commodities; traders must keep track of the markets constantly while communicating with buyers and sellers.
Research analysts become experts in their given industry. They use their expertise and do continued research to predict the movement of stocks, usually either in fixed-income or equity. Traders rely on their educated advice. Research analysts do many different types of research on a company’s financials as well as economics trends in general.

3. Can you take mini-MBA-lessons and get a sneak peak into what you'll learn during your MBA?
Yes you can! At this Financial Times MBA Gym.

That's all for today. Hopefully I make use of tomorrow's holiday equally well. Happy studying and researching!

PS. I am open to any suggestions on how to raise a substantial amount of MBA financing funds over the course of the next 2 years. Anyone?

Update: There are full-scholarships up for grabs, according to this BusinessWeek article. Although it was written in 2008, I guess it must still be somewhat relevant. Also, not sure how many of these are given to non-US citizens. Still, there is hope :-). When else will the Secret come into use right?

Kick-starting Career (read:MBA) Planning

Look who's back!
So the last 4 odd months have been spent on a 5 day Mauritius/Dubai holiday, getting back to a super-light workload followed by a 6 week back-breaking workload. I honestly have not spent too much time thinking about my MBA plans. Till my father kindly kicked my a** back into gear yesterday.
We discussed how I will probably want to continue down the consultancy path - I enjoy working in this kind of a role, the wide scope it offers in terms of experience across sectors, and obviously I seem to be doing well for myself here (see how I have so quickly forgotten [read: stopped giving a rat's a**] about parallelism rules).
But, there are still a LOT of other things to consider. Let me break it down -
1. Career options - consultancy, finance (investment banking/private equity), media/publishing (management side of it), entrepreneurship (restaurant industry), non-for-profit (or NGO, as we call it in India). Yes yes, it does seem to be all over the place. But, I could potentially do something in any of these.
2. Qualification - The one thing that ties together all of the above is an MBA. That degree will (I hope & assume) give me the skill-sets and foundation required to get onto any of these career paths.
3. Secret ambition - to become a renowned writer :) but I'm keeping that aside for the time being. I need the security of bank balance amount containing many, many, many 0's to be able to consider this seriously.

Anyway, keeping aside #3, you can see how I need to seriously start chalking out my career plans now. I'm not quite sure yet how I'm going to go about figuring my life out. I need some serious help. Action points anyone?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Got a 730 (96%)
Q48 (82%)
V42 (95%).

Yey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Off to holidayyy now.

Update: Got 6.0 in AWA. Yey! But why is 6.0 only a 91%?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

700 (+100) :p

Got a 700 on GMATPrep #2 on Saturday afteroon. Q47 V38. Will try not spending over 2 minutes on any question which is leaving me feel blurry in my head... :) whatever that means!
All that's left to do now is revise my SC notes - mainly the 2 chapters I didn't get to revise before the test. Might flip through the condensed Math notes I made. That's about it.

Ready to hit it, and smash it :) on Tuesday morning. Can't wait!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Who vs. Whom

Both of them should be "whom".

This is the man to whom I wanted to speak...

Marvin wondered to whom he should give the message...

We use "whom" when we're referring to the object of the sentence.

We use "who" when we're referring to the subject.

There's a very simple test you can use to figure out which version to use:

Turn the statement into a question and answer it with a pronoun.

For example:

This is the man to whom I wanted to speak.
To whom did I want to speak? I wanted to speak to HIM.

I really hate the guy who stole my girlfriend.
Who stole my girlfriend? HE did.

If you answer the question with him/her/them, then "whom" is the right choice.

If you answer the question with he/she/they, then "who" is the right choice.

As explained by Kaplan instructor Stuart on BTG.

Final Stretch

Hey...so I'll fill you in real quick. I gave an MGMAT test on Sunday morning and scored a crappy 670 (Q45 V36). Felt really crummy post that, obviously. And then I fell sick on Monday, and have had fever since. I've tried studying a little from OG. Finished reviewing my Math FCs today. Now I need to buckle up and really revise my SC notes from MGMAT's guide, and probably practice a few questions from OG to reinforce those rules. Other than that, today's the first day I've not had fever. So I guess I'm getting better. Feeling a little tired though - I guess it's just a little weakness.
I know I wanted to do a whole lot more of fine-tuning before my actual exam, and obviously the falling test scores weren't helping my confidence either. But, you know what, I think I've put in a lot of effort over the past few weeks, and hopefully I shall be fully fit to give my exam on the 1st. I don't feel like giving up just yet. The only change in plan is that I will give my final practice test - GMATPrep #2 on Sunday instead - so that I can review/practice a little bit more before the test. I'm sure the practice test will go well, and I'll be on my way to scoring well on the GMAT.

Parting words for today...

"I promise myself...
To be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.
To think only of the best... and to expect only the best.
To be too large for worry, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
To live in the faith that the whole world is on my side..."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


710 (Q49 V37) on GMATPrep v1 #1 - DO NOT USE THIS TEST. It has repeats from the OGs and from GMATPrep v.2 (more than I would've liked).
Argh! Q49 can be partly attributed to repeat questions, although I had to redo them. Still, it means I might have known how to solve them.
And V37 to overconfidence? Yes, I thought I was having trouble with the questions because they were "too difficult". Haha, no. I was just being lazy/tensed. I don't know. 7 SC mistakes - why is this on the rise? I need to review my MGMAT SC notes - maybe I'm forgetting things? :( 5 CR mistakes - some were confusing, in some I didn't feel like thinking. :( Was very tired after AWA and Quant.

I'm getting a little frustrated. Today's practice test might as well have been a waste of my time, since Quant had so many repeats, and I got complacent in Verbal. Hmmm...or maybe it wasn't. Now I know NOT to use GMATPrep v1 ever again, and also to NOT be complacent during Verbal. Oh, and I finished Quant on time. Other than seeing repeats, I realised one thing. If I'm calm, my accuracy increases in Quant. Or I don't let anything I can't solve get in the way of trying my best to solve the next question. Useful to give this test then? Yes, maybe.

I don't think I'm going to study today. Feeling like, well, to put it straight, crap. I'll moan over this for a while more and then move on.

Thanks for listening! Keep up the good work with your padhai!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

13 days to go!

Hello! I went through incorrect questions on last 2 tests, and found 2 math topics to focus on: Number Properties (specially Divisibility & Primes), and Inequalities. Done going through all the Number Properties questions from OG11, 12 and OG Quant supplement. Might go through "Integer Properties" category of questions from my BTG account.
Going to do the same for Inequalities today.
Finished Modifiers from MGMAT SC. Need to go through my notes again, and practice some more questions from OGV for those topics.

Another practice test tomorrow morning.

Happy studying you guys!!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Practice Test - GMATPrep - 720

GMATPrep #1.
720 (Q47 V42) - with AWA (most of my practice tests are with AWA - FYI).
Ummm...so...good to know that the 740 on MGMAT last time was not a fluke. I guess I did get better over the last 1 month.

Q47 - 13 incorrect (9 DS, 4 PS - obv DS seems to be the problem.)
V42 - 6 incorrect (1 CR, 5 SC!!! Hmmm...SC needs a lot more work.)

Now, my problem is Q47. I thought us Indians were supposed to find this section easy? Hmmm...
Plan of attack:
1. Review Math section of last 2 tests and see which category of Math questions need to be handled. Do questions from these categories from OG12 and OGQ (using MGMAT's OG Tracker excel sheet).
2. Finish all Quant questions from OGQ, going through answer explanations for EACH AND EVERY question, even if you got it right (need to figure out quicker ways to solve questions, especially DS - where I end up plugging in too many numbers and am confused by the end of it). - THIS REALLY NEEDS TO BE DONE!

3. Review which SC category questions I got wrong in last 2 tests. See what kind of mistakes I made.
4. Revise SC chapters from MGMAT guide, and also continue going through it like I have been in the last few days.
5. Continue to do CR & RC questions, and understanding why you're getting it wrong from OGV (and some RCs in OG12).


Good luck to the rest of you...
And 800, here I commmmmeeeeee! :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Verbs Video help

Verb Tense help from Ron.

CP #25


The greatest common factor of 16 and the positive integer n is 4, and the greatest common factor of n and 45 is 3. Which of the following could be the greatest common factor of n and 210?


The greatest common factor (GCF) of two integers is the largest integer that divides both of them evenly (i.e. leaving no remainder).

One way to approach the problem is to consider what the GCFs stated in the question stem tell us about n:

The greatest common factor of n and 16 is 4. In other words, n and 16 both are evenly divisible by 4 (i.e., they have the prime factors 2 × 2), but have absolutely no other factors in common. Since 16 = 2 × 2 × 2 × 2, n must have exactly two prime factors of 2--no more, no less.

The greatest common factor of n and 45 is 3. In other words, n and 45 both are evenly divisible by 3, but have absolutely no other factors in common. Since 45 = 3 × 3 × 5, n must have exactly one prime factor of 3--no more, no less.  Also, n cannot have 5 as a prime factor.

So, n must include the prime factors 2, 2, and 3. Furthermore, n is not divisible by 8, 9, or 5.

The number 210 has the following prime factorization: 210 = 2 x 3 x 5 x 7. Thus n and 210 are both divisible by 2 and 3, and both might be divisible by 7, but it is not the case that both numbers are divisible by 4 or by 5:

(A) 3: missing a 2
(B) 14: missing a 3
(C) 30: n cannot be divisible by 5
(D) 42: Correct. n and 210 are both divisible by 2 and 3, and n could be divisible by 7.
(E) 70: n cannot be divisible by 5 and must be divisible by 3.

The correct answer is D.

CP #24


Is the positive integer N a perfect square?

(1) The number of distinct factors of N is even.
(2) The sum of all distinct factors of N is even.

Answer Explanation:
(1) SUFFICIENT: The factors of any number N can be sorted into pairs that multiply to give N. (For instance, the factors of 24 can be paired as follows: 1 and 24; 2 and 12; 3 and 8; 4 and 6.) However, if N is a perfect square, one of these ‘pairs’ will consist of just one number: the square root of N. (For example, if N were 49, it would ahve the factor pair 7 × 7) Since all of the other factors can be paired off, it follows that if N is a perfect square, then N has an odd number of factors. (If N is not a perfect square, then all of its factors can be paired off, so it will have an even number of factors.) This statement then implies that N is not a perfect square.

(2) SUFFICIENT: Let N be a perfect square. If N is odd, then all factors of N are odd. Therefore, by the above reasoning, N has an odd number of odd factors, so their sum must be odd. If N is even, let M be the product of all the odd prime factors (as many times as they appear in N – not distinct) of N, which is also a perfect square. (For instance, if N = 100, then M =5 × 5 = 25.) Then the sum of factors of M is odd, by the above reasoning. Furthermore, all other factors of N (i.e., that don’t also divide M) are even. The sum total is thus odd + even = odd.
Therefore, the sum of the factors of any perfect square is odd, so this statement implies that N is not a perfect square.
This statement can also be investigated by trying several cases of even perfect squares (4, 16, 36, 64, 100), noting that in each case the sums of the factors are odd, and generalizing.

The correct answer is D.


I picked numbers to get to my answer, but made a silly mistake by omitting "1" as a distinct factor in Statement II.

And to the MGMAT explanation - hunh?!

Practice Test #6 (#4 in second round)

740 (Q47 V44)
Had some issues with my connection during quant, so I ended up getting more time than is given. Probably 10 minutes extra. Got 17 questions incorrect, so that could've been atleast 20 incorrect.

Pleasantly surprised with Verbal. Found it a little too easy - during the exam I thought I was doing terribly because the answers seemed to come so easily. However, not sure how much weightage I can give to a MGMAT CAT Verbal score. Got 9 incorrect. Thoughts anyone? Does a V44 in an MGMAT practice test mean you're good to go for the actual GMAT????

Monday, January 10, 2011

Last 3 days, last 3 weeks.

MGMAT SC - Comparisons. Check.
MGMAT SC - Advanced: Verbs & Comparisons. Check.
Buy OG Verbal & Quant Supplements. Check.
30 questions from Quant supplement. Check.
Complete SC from OG12. Almost done.
Complete RC from OG12. Almost done.
10 CR questions from Verbal supplement. Check.
Forget how to do CR and RC questions well due to lack of practice over last few days. Check.

Damn it!

Going to do 1 more SC Chapter from MGMAT today. Then review all DS questions I've gotten wrong in OG12. Then review my Flashcards.

Set to give MGMAT Practice Test tomorrow morning. (Who's waking me up at 6?)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Quote Unquote

"My thinking on the GMAT...is that...pretty good measure[s] of what a standardized test can measure which is not your intelligence but your ability to commit to do well on a standardized test. Nobody walks into the GMAT cold. People prepare for these tests."

- Deidre Leopold, Managing Director of Admissions & Financial Aid, HBS

For some reason, I noticed these words.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Yes, of course I know what a verb is! Oh, ummm...who's Command Subjunctive?

The Verb got Tensed, I couldn't gauge its Mood correctly, and now I'm hearing Voices in my head asking me if the impact of the verb has continued into the present day, and if the hypothetical statement about the future is conditional or not.

Yup, that's what I thought I was reading while going through MGAMT SC Guide Chapter - Verb Tense, Mood & Voice - today. Although it took a lot of time to get through, I was patient with it. I made notes, pretty notes :)
But the most useful part was going through the Problem Set & OG12 questions and understanding why I got an answer correct or incorrect. That's when all the "theory" from the chapter started to sink in, and yes, even make sense! :)

No, I didn't touch anything else today, but this was good. I'm feeling a lot more confident.
And after yesterday's, ummm..."meltdown"(?) :p, I thought through it and realised that I just have to give it my best shot. And the Universe will take care of the rest of it. I should just continue doing what I need to do.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

GMATNinja power required :(

Guys, I must admit. I'm feeling quite demotivated after this morning's practice test. I thought this test was going to be a breeze (didn't want to think otherwise, because it would've created a lot of stress on my mind). I feel like I need someone to help me out. Like, a tutor. But, where do you find a good one in Delhi? And this will sound odd, but I don't want a tutor to help me with content. I just need someone to guide me through the process - tell me when it's time to switch gears to Verbal, how much more to work on CR, if pacing or stress is my problem on the test. You know, all these little things. I've sent an email to GMATNinja tutor Charles Bibilos. I don't know if he, or anyone else will be willing to help out with this. Hmmm...keep your fingers crossed.

I need to shake this feeling off. Any ideas on how to do it? I don't think sitting in front of the TV with a dozen chocolates is helping!

Practice Test - Kaplan - 620

620 on Kaplan test.
Q - 40 (12 incorrect)
V - 35 (16 incorrect)

I had a massive pacing problem on Quant.
I got frustrated with confusing questions, in which I couldn't figure out what the hell they were saying!
I got further frustrated with my slow pace.
This further affected my ability to answer questions I could've answered otherwise.
By the end of it, I guessed on the last 5 questions. Yes, I did that.

I ended up starting the Verbal section without taking a break, by mistake. I did not know how to pause the test, so continued anyway.
I underestimated the amount of time left, so I rushed through 2 RC passages (yes, literally glanced through them).
At question 31, I realised I have 20+ minutes remaining. For some reason, I thought to myself - hey! I have DOUBLE the time left (for some reason, I thought 1 minute per question is what I needed!). So I went slow with the next few questions, and...........you guessed it! I had to guess on the last question.

Damn it!

This is a Kaplan 2007 CD with 4 tests on it. I took CAT #2. I am never touching another test from this CD again. There are spelling mistakes, confusssssssing questions. Argh! I know that's not the only thing that harmed my score today, and that keeping my cool in such a situation is what'll get me through on test day. But today, I just wanted to kill someone! I hated going through the test. And I usually quite enjoy it.

I want more official tests. None of this crap. :(
Can't I give ONLY official adaptive tests for the next 3 weeks? :(

Ok ok...on a more serious & calmer note - I really need to be able to pace better on the WHOLE test. I feel like I know so much, and with careful deliberation I will be able to get most of my answers right. I need to feel the way I felt when I was giving those practice questions from OG12 these last few days. So calm, methodical...yes, that's the way I need to feel.

On my next practice exam, I think I should try answering questions in a quick yet calm manner, and probably every 7th or 8th question, take a random guess if I see that the amount of time remaining is lesser than according to plan. That way, I keep my cool, and also answer all the questions I try solving. Down side is obviously that I may guess on questions I could've gotten right in under 2 minutes, but I really think I should try this out and see if it can help on my test. What do you guys think? Any other strategies to pace better?

PS. My accuracy in RC was terrible (as was expected), and was quite good in CR (getting better at taking apart the argument). In Math, Word Problems had the lowest accuracy, and Geometry the highest! But, co-ordinate plane DS questions really get to me, because all that I know are the formulas. I need to get some insight into this.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

OG12 Quant - Check.

Did the remaining questions from OG12 quant section today. Got 11/14 right in DS & 9/11 right in PS. Need to review these now.

Also looked at my error log for Quant (from OG12 only), and my accuracy on most Number Properties topics is 80-83%. Hmmm...what can I do to improve? Not really inclined towards buying MGMAT NP book, not sure if I have time to go through an entire book for Quant. Plan on buying OG Quant & Verbal Supplements today.

Plan of Attack:
1. Quant -
Number Properties & Geometry : Review flashcards, review questions I got wrong in OG12, target practice on BTG account. Should I also pick questions from OG Quant from these topics and do only those for target practice?

2. Verbal -
SC: Complete remaining SC questions from OG12, go through MGMAT SC guide again in conjunction with OG12 and OGV this time, and thoroughly understand and retain everything...*sigh*
CR: Continue practicing from OGV.
RC: Finish from OG12 and move onto OGV.

So...that's pretty much the whole plan for the remaining 26 days now. Will try giving 2 practice tests every week, and let's see where this goes.

Only possible addition to this could be buying and going through PowerScore CR bible, if I feel like my accuracy is not up to mark in OGV CR questions practice. And OG11 questions (those not in OG12) if I have the time.

I should make a plan on how to spread this out evenly over the next 26 days.

Good luck to those of you who have your GMAT date around the corner!


Update: Reviewed incorrect answers from OG12 questions done today. Mostly careless errors, one beautiful question.

So, GMAT Math is truly not difficult. It just requires a calm mind, some determination to find the correct answer through plain and simple logic. The trap only lies in the limited time given. Need to find a way to balance out these two. :)

And another update: Lucky much? I got 16/17 SC questions correct from OG12. I seem to have greater accuracy in more difficult questions! What's up?!

Well, atleast I'll sleep with a smile on my face tonight. :)
Reviewed all 17 - needed to check if the reason why I got them correct was indeed the reason why the answer is correct. Seem to be doing fine at the moment.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

OG12 quant almost done

40 more questions from OG12 done. 19/20 right in PS (avg time: 1:56) and 18/20 right in DS (avg time: 2:16).

I feel more focus was in order while doing DS questions, but there are probably more concepts I need to understand in greater depth in order to get my questions right at a quicker pace.

GMAT Love!

Monday, January 3, 2011

GMATClub m#03, m#17, OG12 (PS&DS)...phew.

Multiple updates are in order!
Day n-4
Did 20 PS and 20 DS questions (timed). Got a little better.
Got 2 wrong in PS and 6 wrong in DS.
Gotta re-review those damn DS questions...seems like concepts are a lot more important than I expected.

Day n-3 & n-2
Ummm...mainly partied and lazed around. I know, not good considering I have GMAT in less than a month, but :p

Day n-1
Took m#03 test from GMATClub (1st Jan 2011). Got 21/37 correct, which is terrible. But when I went through the explanations, I wasn't convince with quite a few. Need to post these on GMATClub forums and hopefully, I'll figure out why I went wrong.

Day n (today)
Took m#17 from GMATClub. Got 28/37 correct, which is a good improvement. Still need to review these.

And damnnnn! I have not put things into one single consolidated error log in very long. I really think I need to do this in order to figure what my improvement areas in Quant. Anyone want to do it for me? :) I'll pay you! Hehe...gotta rush now. So much to be done!

GMAT Love!