Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Glass is Half Full Cliche

Its a cliche and is often overused. But very true and life saving quote. Count your blessings. There is nothing in this world that is black or white. Everything is in shades of gray. A successful person only focuses on the white portion. A depressed person always focuses on the black portion.

We attract negative thoughts more easily than positive ones. And we know that thoughts become reality. Now what we can do to be more positive. Let me produce some tips here from my journals.

1. Mind becomes what you eat - Literally, its true. Feed on natural food. Lesser and lesser fast food or processed food.

2. Yoga - Yoga helps. A lot. Period. How and why will make this article into a book. So not going there. But just do it.

One more tip that I personally use is that you should count your challenges too. But look at them and be happy that you are still doing great inspite of them. Let me do a similar analysis of my job here.

Challenge no. 1
Shift timings - I work in shift timings. Every week shift changes. Only one day off per week. Timings are morning 6 to 2, then afternoon 2 to 10 and night is 10 to 6 morning.
Blessing no. 1
Only 8 hours - I have to devote only 8 hours here. No more no less. Commute takes only 15 minutes. So I am getting a lot of time for preparation.

Challenge no. 2
Pollution and Hazard - There is no doubt that it is there. Flue gas, dust, graphite particles and heat emitted by molten steel are just the pollution creators. Talking about hazard; everyday climbing up the cranes, risk of carbon mono-oxide at top floor, faulty structures...
Blessing no. 2
Conditioning - I love toughness. I am talking about tough, army like men. For quite a time, I was working to be more like it. God has given me this opportunity to do it more quickly. Now I am much bold and fearless, thanks to my surroundings.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Seeking Frequent Help is Surest Way to Stall

Growth requires resistance. Without resistance, there is no addition of potential. So when it comes to GMAT preparation, if you come across a difficult problem, seeking solution immediately is stopping yourself to grow out of that problem.

When you come across a problem, your mind starts to find solutions to that problem. You should gift your mind that opportunity. After brainstorming, if you seek help, then it is going to be branded in your mind forever. Also the mind has its share of exercise and practice. This is the way to learn any trade and making it the second nature.

Personally for me, Mathematics is my second nature and I do not have to exert myself or brood over math problems. But for Sentence Correction, I sometimes spend up to 30 minutes on a single problem and still ends up being unsure of the answer. It is because its various rules are still not itched into my memory and to burn them I need to bear the pain of thinking hard. So basically I try not to seek the solutions and instead try my level best to come with an answer with an explanation. After that, when I see the solution, there is an AHA moment and the learning remains with me forever :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

When you get an MBA, you never know who you will meet at the top

The business world has more variety than ever, and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs are a part of that. From new students at business colleges to the top online MBA programs, the young people aspiring for a business degree show off a wide range of experience and ability. I wonder and try to figure out what kind of achievements B-Schools look for in an aspirant. Nowadays people are distinguishing themselves in quite innovative ways. Today I came across this article about eclectic mix of people at ISB-2012 class. Just reproducing here from the article few lines that matter.

Class of Achievers

It is not just academic excellence and work experience that the ISB looks for. Many of the students who joined the class have demonstrated multi dimensional leadership abilities. They are strong achievers in their own sphere of work and also across areas that they choose to focus on. Among this talented group are -
• India's first Audio Book Author
• A doctor, who is also a State Home Secretary
• A commander in the Indian Naval Force
• Film Directors, Playwrights and Poets
• Trained Dancers and Choreographers
• Certified Sky Divers and Scuba Divers
• Several Academic Rank Holders

So next year, when you enter into your dream B-School, an army of smart people will be there. Be ready to belong there :)

Goodies along the Way

One great thing with GMAT and MBA apps for International B Schools is that you get so much encouragement in form of scholarships. Recently found a great one, thanks to A and CrackVerbal.

This is a chance to study at Stanford for free of cost under Reliance DhiruBhai Fellowship Programme. The deadline is near - 31st May 2011. So hurry up. Finish the application and give your best shot.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Past week was tough since I had to manage home-shift along with my job. I am feeling its impact now and not feeling well from this morning. 20 min yoga and a light breakfast did help. Also I am happy that I solved 40 questions of CR from OG-12 and got 37 of them right. Also the incorrect ones were also just-missed.

I am performing quite well in RC and CR recently. My accuracy and speed both has increased. Now why this happened? I believe for me the catalyst was the understanding of one crucial point. And that would be that there is seldom perfect answer rather there is a best answer. When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. So the trick is to eliminate the impossible ones and then choose the most appropriate ones from the remaining options. This realization has worked wonders for me.

After completing CR today, I moved to SC. And there all my high went down. I quickly realized that SC is going to be my Achilles Hill. I was taking a lot of time on each question and was also unsure of the responses.

To improve SC score there is unanimous advice given by everyone. Manhattan SC guide. I have that guide and I was planning to use it after finishing OG-12. But it seems I would have to change my strategy.

The preparation is going in the right direction so far. Once I start taking mocks, it will be on a totally different level.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Journey So Far...

With just 43 days left for my G-Day, I would like to see how far I have come.

1) Finishing OG-12... Well I have not finished OG-12 because my strategy of finishing was not giving me full benefits. Instead I am nowadays reading Manhattan's strategy guides and solving OG-12 questions along the way. This is working more beneficial as I understand the concepts in a better way. Also the study is more methodical. I am already done with more than 60 % of OG-12 and hope it would be finished by 10th June.

2) I have written one Mock GMAT so far. Thats OK and I am satisfied. There will be one more mock in the month of May and the whole June would be dedicated to mocks and reviews. Mocks are very important and I intend to appear for as many as 12 mocks.

3) So all in all, I am going to finish OG-12, Manhattan's 8 strategy guides, 12+ mocks and if possible Princeton's Verbal Workout. It feels right. I want to say here that Manhattan's material is excellent and I have simply fallen in love with it. I don't think I need any other material other than it.

Please let me know if you agree with me? Are you also studying the same way? I have feeling that this strategy is laser focussed and well rounded. I need your opinion on this.

Take care then..

Sentence Correction - Subject Verb Agreement

Yesterday's Mock taught me the importance of practicing daily and remembering the rules. Subject Verb Agreement in Sentence correction is easy to do if one has done an intensive reading through out his life. That person will be easily selecting the right answer without even knowing the grammatical rule behind it.
I too got quite success like this. But I believe its important to know the rule also. Because GMAT creators know this and they might tweak with the question. Therefore I am trying to familiarize myself with the rules. Instead of memorizing them, I am looking at them regularly so that they become my second nature. I am posting here one such revision note.

All the best for your journey fellow Bloggers.

My First Mock

I today appeared for my first mock GMAT. It was the GMATPrep-1. I scored 690(Q-49, V-34). Not so happy with my performance. It should definitely go up.
One thing is reaffirmed that Mocks are very essential. Start them early and appear for many mocks. They are going to help immensely in the preparation.
So now I will take a break and after that will proceed to complete my essays for BTG scholarship.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Sine Curve that is my Inspiration

Success depends on continued efforts. Make more efforts. Main cause of failure is fading of inspiration. I am having these moments in my life when I have to put effort to meet my goals. The motivation and the resolution just slips away. How skillful you maintain your motivation is indeed an art.

That rage of fire is missing. I need that fire every minute in my life. Otherwise the game is over. I today went for walk as the weather was pleasant. Following things came to my mind as the reason for my sluggish progress.

1. Believing I can do everything - When I started my GMAT journey in April, I had only 4 goals for the next 6 months. First is 8 hours of sleep. Second is 2 hours of yoga, meditation and exercise. Third is 8 hours of duty in the plant. And fourth is devoting my remaining time for the preparation of GMAT and MBA apps. But over the time I started to get involved in other things. Like playing guitar, attending functions, watching a movie. People say taking occasional breaks is good but this is not working for me. I always think that today I will relax and from tomorrow I will be super disciplined. And it never happens. So the message is clear. Be BRUTALLY clear to your initial commitment and stick to it like fevicol. You have to SACRIFICE. There is no other option.

2. Forgetting my Failures - I was highly motivated to crack GMAT because of my previous failure in 2-3 affairs. Simply remembering my failing moments make me strong and more determined. I instantly forget all my pains and start putting more efforts.

So I am going to try these two actions items and watch the outcome. I have to study and finish one chapter from Manhattan SC guide everyday. Also on Monday I will be writing my first ever mock GMAT. So I will update the score that day. Now I should leave and study. Bye.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

And Essays

Today in the morning when I was feeling helpless, I started thinking about life after gmat. To calm my nerves, I started imagining that I have scored a perfect score in gmat. But the next step scared me. Application essays seem like an ocean with no predetermined formula or structure. In GMAT, I can quantify my progress and have a rock solid plan but for essays I had nothing.

To be honest essays are haunting me from last one month. I assume my fellow gmat-takers would agree that its difficult to focus just on gmat and not worry about the apps. People say to me about not worrying about them and just focusing on gmat. But I am not able to do that.

In my spare time especially in plant when production is happening smoothly, I tend to think about my achievements, my goals and my influences. I think think think but nothing concrete comes up. Also I am not able to pen down my thoughts because I am unsure what I am doing.

"Begin with the end in mind" - I remembered this line and realized I must understand the essence of admission essays. And right now I am totally clueless about it. Understanding the essence or core is more like a zen thing. Its like understanding poetry or philosophy or music. Only after a person has spend a considerable amount of hours spending on these things, they start to truly understand it.

After preparing for 1.5 years for CAT(Common Admission Test), I now truly understand CAT. After failing 3 job interviews in a row, I now truly understand interviews. After spending 4 years or so reading books about philosophy and spirituality, I truly understand it and after spending 20 years with 4 musical instruments(in an amateurish manner), I truly understand music(at least I think I understand).

I have started to understand GMAT too. But I am a new pupil for admission essays. So again the same line - "Begin with the end in mind" helped me. I have decided to read 3-4 sample admission essays daily to understand what end product I want. There is some pretty good material on the internet along with the adcom's comments. It really really helps. I can get a feel of its powerful impact just in one day when I went through 3 admission essays today morning.

My dear fellow GMAT takers, please try doing this and let me know your opinion...


Monday, May 9, 2011


My detailed plan is not working. Something or the other is coming up and breaking my concentration. Its summer and heat is unbearable. After finishing everything, I planned to sit for my study today at 9 and there was a power cut. Cannot study as I study from my laptop.
I got so frustrated. Got out at 11 and found one cafe opened. Now sitting there and contemplating the situation. Clearly this is a test and a pretty tough one. I got to keep going in spite of setbacks. Got to remember these lines in tough times

"For all your days prepare,
And meet them ever alike:
When you are the anvil, bear-
When you are the hammer, strike."

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Detailed Plan for MileStone-1

MileStone 1 – Finishing OG-12 (By 15th May 2011)
PS - 230
DS - 174
RC - 139
CR - 124
SC - 140

I am already done with some questions. So subtracting that, my target would be
PS - 198
DS - 140
RC - 131
CR - 114
SC - 105

With a total of 8 days with me, My daily target would be
PS - 25
DS - 18
RC - 17
CR - 15
SC - 13

AWA would be done on the off day. Also your first mock has to be taken on the off day.


Scholarships are great motivators. Beat the GMAT 2011 is having this scholarship for all the international applicants. I recommend everyone who is writing GMAT this year to apply for it.
I want to thank Beat the GMAT for encouraging students.


My itinerary is simple. I do not foresee any hiccups except one. And that would be this.
I am expecting the maximum damage to be of 6 days. And in those 6 days also I am hoping to get an hour or two to be in touch with the material.
I am allowing this interruption because it is very much in line with my goal and I have a plan for using this idea and starting a club in my dream college. My IT background plus experience in developing programs and games should help me here.

Take Off

Still not started properly with my preparation. There are some other chores which are keeping me from GMAT prep. Meanwhile I will share my study plan -

/* Taken from my gmat diary */

It is always advisable to start with the OG. Therefore my first milestone would be to finish OG-12. The second milestone would be to finish Manhattan’s material which would give me ample practice with the problems. I am targeting 8-10 mocks before the D-day. Mocks are going to start from 8th May 2011 onwards.

1. MileStone 1 – Finishing OG-12 (By 15th May 2011)
2. MileStone 2 – Finishing Manhattan’s Series(By 31st May 2011)
3. MileStone 3 – Finishing Princeton’s Material(By 15th June 2011)
4. MileStone 4 – Finishing Kaplan plus other Material(By 30th June 2011)
5. 8 Mocks(To be updated)
Accumulating Mocks -
2 gmatprep
1 manhattan
2 barron
1 veritas
Total 6 so far(To be updated)

I hope I stick to the plan and the schedule.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Beginning

Today I registered for the GMAT. I have been preparing for it for last one month. After skimming through OG and surfing through internet, I believe that GMAT can be cracked in 2 months. My D-Day is going to be 7th July, 2011
It is a feeling of satisfaction. Now the game is serious. I can feel the focus developing inside me.