Archive for the ‘AWA’ Category

Got the official score yesterday, and the AWA score sucks 😦

With 99 percentile on the Total (and on V/Q), the AWA score of 5.0 (61%) looks horrible. I was hoping against hope for a 5.5, but I guess this is what I’ll have to be content with.

Dont know whether I’ll need to address this low score on my additional essay – it doesnt reflect my true potential; though I surely know (hate to think so) that it reflects my performance on that day. I guess I’ll just let it pass…

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More on the GMAT

Some finer points for the actual test:

1. It seemed a bit tougher than the two GMATPrep tests I had done – but that was possibly due to the fact I was tense.

  • The question types were very similar to OG, none of the vague Kaplan Qs.
  • The level of difficulty (in both sections) kept increasing till about the 30th/33rd, then came back to easy/medium – don’t get scared thinking you’ve really screwed up (I was!), its prob becoz you’re thru with all difficult ones 🙂
  • Pace yourself well, with target time of completion 2 min before actual time – you never know you might get a really calculation intensive / twister at the very end (I did – my last Math Q was so, couldnt do it in 2.5 min!).

2. The forms to be filled before the test dont take much time – but then there’s no need to take less time than they provide. Use this spare time for steadying your nerves, praying, or just plain self pep-talk.

3. Its even better if the above spare time is also used for checking out the keyboard. Mine had a few problems, everytime I pressed “h” I got “hh” or sometimes “hhh”, and the “r” had to be hit harder than usual. Just pisses you off, and as in my case de-focuses on the task at hand. (The AWA obviously come from the lists. But being first off, the keyboard is very important)

4. Take all ‘optional’ breaks. Even if you feel you dont need it immediately, you’ll need it sooner rather than later, and then you’ll not have the option.

5. Last but not the least – check out the water cooler, rest room, and maybe the smoking area beforehand. It’ll save on critical time during the breaks.

Hope this helps…

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“Do not follow what I did, if you want a good GMAT score!”

Now that I’ve got a headline-grabber, let me assure you: I’m serious – despite getting a good GMAT score myself, I’ve thought about what I did for my preparation, and whether I would do things the same way again – the answer is a strict “NO”. Thats exactly what I’ll tell everyone who’s still to give his/her GMAT… dont do what I did, I wouldn’t either.

Now there are 2 ways of looking at this. The first is that this guy has been thru it and knows what he’s saying. The other is that his score has gone to his head and he’s saying that he got there despite his study process, because he wants to believe that he’s very intelligent, a born genius, blah, blah…. So while I’d recommend the former, you are at will to decide your own path. It’s your GMAT after all.

I’ll start with what I did, then try to highlight what I consider wrong, and possibly my alternative ‘non-wrong’ method (I say this because I sincerely believe there is no one ‘right’ way, but some ways are definitely ‘wrong’)

1. I started 2 months before my target G-date

Now this in itself may not be a suicidal idea, but for someone who’s not picked up his books for 7-8 years, it may be a problem. Thankfully, the sound math fundamentals helped me in saving on a huge amount of time to focus on the verbal. But this may not work for everyone, so make sure you’re giving yourself atleast 6 months esp. if you have a strenuous and traveling job like mine. That would also give you scope for retest which I didnt have. And give you enough time for essays unlike me, who’s scrambling to start now. Maybe even a 2-3 week break btween the GMAT and essays, which is much needed, believe me.


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Its finally over… Whew

Yes! I’m finally thru with the GMAT – it went really well, though I think I screwed up my AWA a bit

Got the exact score that I’d targeted, which was a good 30 points more than what I was expecting – so yesterday was party-time, and today’s hangover-time 🙂

Now that one hurdle is out of the way, what do I expect to change in my life? Here are a few things in increasing order of difficulty (for execution)

1. Dispose off the OG & other books, and clear my shelves / study table

2. Stop thinking about subject-verb agreement errors in every mail my boss sends across (believe me there are plenty)

3. Start my essays – atleast the 4  (H, W, Chi, Col) due in early October

Anyways, I’ll come back to the blog l8r for a more detailed update esp for those yet to appear for the test – Right now I still have my glass full; Cheers!!! and a very Happy Independance Day to all Indians.

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Murphy’s Law

“If something can go wrong, it will”

Thus said Murphy (God bless his soul) – without possibly having me n my GMAT in mind.  So after various ups and downs last week, all conspiring against my last lap of GMAT prep, I’ve been done in yet again. Down with a cold, with a leaky nose & watery eyes for the added spice! Serves me right – never use superlatives like “the worst has happened” – you never know when things get even worse…

Now before this post becomes even more whiney, I’ll take a quick stock check.

I tried my best to do a full length CAT y’day, and though I did complete it the V-score sucked. 34! I’d like to think the overall 680 (with M-52) was fine, and that by the V-section, my concentration had given way – but I know better. I was just not upto it, and desperately need to brush up my CR and RC.

Also did 6 randomly-selected Issue AWAs, and 2 Argument ones. In addition to the ones on the CAT. (Plan was to do atleast 8-10 each over the last 2 days, but the cold….. urrgh!)Though I’m not there yet, I think I can get past the 5-mark. Unless lady bad-luck shines with all her vigor and gets me something I’ve no clue about.

Now I’m at the cross-roads. How do I best utilize my time in the next 48 hours? Do I attempt 1 CAT each day, along with 2-3 additional AWAs, and some basic Verbal revision? Or should I start thorough revision of the Verbal section, do the AWAs, and just stick to the last (2nd) GMATPrep test I still have left?

Hey, any suggestions from any of your experience? S.O.S.

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What a waste

And to think I wasted this whole week consolidating my last 5-6 month’s work on the project! So it seems I’ll need to continue on this project after all, just when I had another one almost lined up.

Word of mouth: Apparently the partner got to know that I was being rolled off, and he yelled at the principal manager – he felt it was better to keep me than risk my  getting ‘stolen’ by another partner! Well, makes one feel good, atleast some credibility has been built in the past two years. At the same time, I was looking forward to getting a much needed 2-3 weeks break so I could start (and poss. finish) my essays.

Plan of Action: I have taken leave tomorrow to finally get down and do the AWA bit – unlike last weekend, I plan to complete it in the next two days. Then do 2 full length tests on Saturday night & Sunday evening, and there, I’ll be done with my prep for good. Plan to completely chill-out on Monday, so that I can go fresh for my GMAT on Tuesday. Actually I need a bit more work on RC / SC, so I may need to squeeze out some time from AWAs.

HELP: Anyone know how important AWA is, and whats the min acceptable score for top schools? Is 5 enough? How about 4 (ok maybe I’m stretching my luck here…)?

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The weekend gone…

… and back to square one!

But first a recap of my optimistic planning (as discussed in my last post) !

Day 1: Saturday

                                         Planned                                     Done

AWA Issue                           10                                           –

AWA Argument                   5                                             – 

Day 2: Sunday

                                         Planned                                     Done

AWA Issue                           10                                           2

AWA Argument                   5                                             3

The only silver lining was MissionMBA’s comments on my plans: “…I feel that’s an overkill…”

Apart from that, this just showed my utter lack of planning and fore sight! I’m so disgusted, I’d DING myself from all B-schools in the top 25000 in the world…

 So let me try n analyze what went wrong:

1. First & foremost, the 760 on Friday made me smug: if i can get that score on a prev. GMAT test – while watching a movie, having dinner, and sitting / lying down (I cant explain further how a 45deg. with a laptop tucked up on one’s knees can be described), then I desrve an 810 on the GMAT


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