710 - Tips for you, suggestions for me!

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Took the test 2 days ago. I got a 710 :: :: :: I really wasn't expecting it so I'm super happy!! General tips for people appearing (take my advice with a pinch of salt, I'm a twice frustrated CAT student) in 15 easy steps! :P...
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Thanks noneDone for ur post! It was really encouraging..

I am appearing for GMAT on 4 October.. gave a prep from PowerPrep this Sunday and scored a meagre 650 :-(... am very disappointed by that ! my score was 49- Quant and 31- Verbal... as u wud see my score in verbal is cause of concern!

till now, i hv covered og 11 and kaplan premier book (yet to cover tests in CD though) ... cud u please guide what shud be my next line of action be considering there are 23 days left.... i m planning on following.. please feel free to comment/ update that --
1. revisit SC again from og 11, make/prepare notes... my acuracy has not been more than 70% here on an average..
2. also see sc1000 and practice atleast 500 questions...
3. rc is again a problematic area... acuracy here keeps fluctuating b/w 60 and 90... plan to see RC 1000 here too..
4. DS ??? - wud u hv an idea where can i get good DS questions?
5. also start with kaplan 800 book...

Thanks

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Thanks BaccardiSprite. I don't think I have the flexibility of adding any more years of work ex. It must be Fall '07 for me (many external and internal pressures).
I'll be looking at US-Schools only, so do you think I should give schools above this list (Emory, NYU-Stern, Darden, Kellog even?) a chance? It's little overwhelming when you see their class profile, so I don't know what to do!?


Tough call mate. Go for schools like Kellogg and Darden (not joking) in round 1 giving them all you have in your essays. See what happens, and work your options.
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With a 710 GMAT, and a profile that's comfortably non-IT, and career goals that seem to make sense - you might have a decent shot at the US Top 10 or EU Top 5. If the far east appeals to you, check out CEIBS in China (Shanghai). All these schools have the widest choice of recruiters in the Branding / Marketing and Consulting space. If you make great professional progress in the next couple of years and write sharp essays - US Top 5 and EU Top 3 is within reach as well.

You're young and have a good way to go. Aim high (goes for the school choices as well).

Three things:-
a) Unless already doing so - start saving, might not make a financial difference, but will teach you financial discipline.
b) Try and get into projects that will afford you maximum visibility and opportunity to progress
c) Privately and objectively record everyone of your successes and failures and what you learnt from them. Will help you with your essays later. Introspective essays tend to be the best ones.


Thanks BaccardiSprite.

I don't think I have the flexibility of adding any more years of work ex. It must be Fall '07 for me (many external and internal pressures).

I'll be looking at US-Schools only, so do you think I should give schools above this list (Emory, NYU-Stern, Darden, Kellog even?) a chance? It's little overwhelming when you see their class profile, so I don't know what to do!?
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With a 710 GMAT, and a profile that's comfortably non-IT, and career goals that seem to make sense - you might have a decent shot at the US Top 10 or EU Top 5. If the far east appeals to you, check out CEIBS in China (Shanghai). All these schools have the widest choice of recruiters in the Branding / Marketing and Consulting space. If you make great professional progress in the next couple of years and write sharp essays - US Top 5 and EU Top 3 is within reach as well.

You're young and have a good way to go. Aim high (goes for the school choices as well).

Three things:-
a) Unless already doing so - start saving, might not make a financial difference, but will teach you financial discipline.
b) Try and get into projects that will afford you maximum visibility and opportunity to progress
c) Privately and objectively record everyone of your successes and failures and what you learnt from them. Will help you with your essays later. Introspective essays tend to be the best ones.

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Beauty of a post man!!

Best of luck with the apps!!

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Took the test 2 days ago.

I got a 710

I really wasn't expecting it so I'm super happy!!

General tips for people appearing (take my advice with a pinch of salt, I'm a twice frustrated CAT student) in 15 easy steps! :P

1) Study by yourself. The classes and tutors don't really contribute to your preparation.

2) Buy Official Guide 11 and OG Quant/Verbal Review as well. It's worth the money. Also additionally, buy PrincetonReview if you can spare the extra cash.

3) Give yourself a clear 2-3 months, depending on how prepared you feel academically (I needed two, since I'd already done plenty for the CAT)

4) Take a Zero-Day test with the official GMATPrep software www.mba.com]. Note down your sectional + overall scores (this is important, because it's only shown to you once, after you finish the test- later you can't access your score)

5) Start off your prep with PrincetonReview. The 2007 edition has only 200 questions and 4 online tests. Read their tips and tricks. It shouldn't take you more than 3-4 days to go through the theory in the book. And besides, imo it's written really well, from a complete beginners point of view.

6) Take the PrincetonReview diagnostic written test, as well as the OG11 diagnostic written test. Note down your scores/accuracy percentages and time taken.

7)
a) Spend the next 3 weeks only solving questions from OG 11 and OG Verbal & Quant Review. Steadily increase your time at the desk- the actual GMAT is 4 hours (with 2 ten minute breaks) so you need to have the stamina. Start off with 20 questions at a time, in 30 mins, and gradually move up to solving an average of 45-50 questions in 75-80 mins. All 3 OGs have questions in order of difficulty, so your later questions will be slower and harder. Then ANALYZE, ANALYZE, ANALYZE.
b) Also, intermittently, solve questions from PrincetonReview, since there're only 200, finish it off in 2-3 sittings.
c) FLASHCARDS!!!!! They are the ONE thing that truly helped me get through this- MAKE FLASHCARDS from little mistakes and errors you made along the way. Even if it's something silly, note it down. Review your flashcards EVERYDAY before you start studying.

Start reading stuff online. Forums (such as PG, gmatclub, beatthegmat, etc etc) collect useful tools, programs and guides. And start creating your own stuff.

9) About 1.5 months before your test, start taking mock tests periodically. Plan to take about 6-7 mocks (and be sure you do the official GMATPrep software tests at least TWICE each = 2 x 2 = 4 tests.)

10) Continue solving OG 11, Quant/Verbal Reviews until they are over. If they're over well before your test, start solving them again. They are TRULY like the real thing. Kaplan and Princeton are nowhere close.

11) Keep calm. You may be disappointed with some mock test scores, but that doesn't matter. I didn't touch 700 (or even come close) in any of my mocks. My scores were:
GMATPrep Test 1: 440 (I took this one after I saw my CAT result, so I was mindfucked!)
GMATPrep Test 1 (retake 2 months later- my "Zero-Day" test): 620
KaplanGMAT 2006 CD Test 1: 550 (Kaplan undercuts your score by around 100 points, so don't be sad!)
GMATPrep Test 2: 670
PrincetonReview.com Online Test 1: 650 (Q.40 V.40)
PrincetonReview.com Online Test 2: 640 (Q.39 V.39)

Actual GMAT: 710 (Q.46 V.41)

So you see, the mocks don't matter as much.

12) In the week before you GMAT, stop studying. Give 2-3 practice tests MAX, and solve a little bit everyday. Gradually taper off till the last day. the last 2 days, do NOT do anything (esp. take a mock). I read a really good analogy in PrincetonReview about this- taking a mock 1 or 2 days before the real GMAT is like a marathon runner running 20km the day before the marathon!!.

13) On the last day, just CHILL. Watch some TV, go for a movie. Play some football. If you have a significant other, enjoy some alone time :wink: . Basically don't think about the test. Keep your passport ready, and figure out the 5 colleges you want to send your scores to.

14) On the test day- get there early, carry chocolates/parle G, whatever to eat in the break. Make yourself pee before the test and in every break. And while TAKING the test- C H I L L. Don't try judging how you're doing or what your score will be like (I thought I was getting a 670!). If you don't know an answer, guess and move on. Forget about it and concentrate on the next.

15) Press the "End Exam" button and feel the most nervous 15 seconds of your life!!!! And then be happy with your score :D

Whew, that's all I have to say about that. Sorry for the long post- but be thankful- I summarized!!! It could've been longer :D
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Now for the suggestions for me! This is my profile in brief:

Undergrad:
B.M.S. (Marketing) - Mumbai University- First Class, but only average marks.

Work Ex:
2 years with a graphic/web design company as a designer + 6 months with Lowe Lintas - Mumbai in Client Servicing, working on Unilever brands.
+ Undergrad work ex in Client Servicing, Sales and Freelance design.

Extra-Curric:
State-Level Handball player: 1999, 2000, 2001
District Level Football, Volleyball, Basketball and Chess.
Lowe Mumbai Football team member- Silver Cup runners up.
Organizing Committee Member + Creative Head of my own college fest (Bhavan's- Athletica- if there are any BMS grads out there who remember :D)
Won loads of events in inter-college BMS fests both individually and as part of a team.

Community Service:
A couple of design projects I did for an NGO (for free of course :D)
----
So that's my profile. And this is coupled with a 710 score. I have a lot of faith in my essay writing + letters of reco (I'm on very good terms with my ex boss, my current boss and my college profs) so I know that will be at the least ABOVE average. Now I dunno where to apply to?!!!

This is where I need help! I'd primarily be interested in Marketing/Branding and/or Consultancy so I need to apply to colleges which are know for these programs. Any suggestions???

I have a few colleges in mind, but I have little or no knowledge about their marketing programs + their expectations from Indian students (which I've heard is higher than from everyone else! Apparently, if a class profile GMAT average is 670, you should add another 30-40 points if you're Indian, since they expect more from us!)

This is what I have thought of so far:
UT-Austin McCombs
Univ of North Carolina - Kenan Flagler
Univ of Indiana - Kelley
Ohio State - Fisher
Univ of Illinois - Urbana Champaign
Michigan State Univ - Broad
Texas A&M; - Mays

Any ideas as to which one of these are good + which ones aren't + ANYWHERE else I should be applying to?!? (US Only) Should I even attempt the top 20? (Darden, Yale, etc etc?)

Please help me with your suggestions! And I hope you found my tips useful!
Sorry again for the long post!

(PS: For the sake of everyone else's scrollbar, if you're replying, don't quote the whole post!!)

Thanks!

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