Working in rotational shifts with no fixed schedule? Working on weekends as well?
Sanchit overcame the above obstacles and more to score a GMAT 750 in this first attempt. He credits his success to a methodical and structured approach to GMAT preparation and a focus on the basics. In this article, we will take a look at his GMAT preparation Journey and GMAT strategy.
Bonus: Sanchit gets some useful advice on how to select his target business schools and about the real value of business school.
Rajat: Congratulation Sanchit on your GMAT 750 score! How did you start your GMAT Preparation?
Thank you, Rajat. I started preparing for the GMAT around 3.5 months ago. I have taken the CAT exam earlier, the entrance test for admission into Indian MBA programs. However, I was not able to clear the sectional cut-off for the verbal section. Thus, I focused on preparing for the GMAT to pursue my MBA dream.
After researching online and speaking with other people who had taken the GMAT, I enrolled for the e-GMAT course. One of my friends had also strongly recommended e-GMAT on seeing my CAT Verbal score. This was the earnest beginning of my GMAT preparation.
I took sectional mock tests to understand the format of the test and the types of questions that are asked. Being from an engineering background, I was fairly good in quant, to begin with. However, the sectional mock test helped me realize that GMAT SC was my weakest subsection in verbal.
Rajat: How did you prepare for the GMAT Verbal section?
Verbal had always been my weaker suit since the beginning. Thus, I focused most of my preparation on GMAT Verbal. I exclusively used e-GMAT resources to prepare for the Verbal section. The e-GMAT SC module is the best when it comes to preparing for the GMAT. The amount of research time and effort put into creating the course shines across during preparation.
GMAT SC Preparation
I made notes for each and every concept taught for GMAT SC in the e-GMAT course. I would make it a point to revise these notes every week and before every mock test I gave. This helped me ingrain the logic and meaning based approach and the various grammar rules in my subconscious mind. It is very difficult to remember all the grammar rules, however, using a meaning and logic-based approach is what helped me improve consistently in GMAT SC.
GMAT RC Preparation
For the RC section, I inculcated a habit of reading at least 1-2 hours per day. This habit helped improve my reading comprehension and reading speed. And I utilized the time I saved on solving RC questions to solve SC questions on the GMAT.
GMAT CR Preparation
During my preparation, I realized that CR was my stronger verbal subsection. I made notes similar to the notes for GMAT SC, however, these were much more concise.
In the end, I think the e-GMAT meaning and logic-based approach to solving questions, the consistent revision using the notes that I had prepared and focusing on basics rather than using tips and tricks helped me in acing the GMAT Verbal section.
What was your mock test strategy? How did you use mock tests for GMAT preparation?
In the course of my GMAT preparation, I attempted 4 mock tests. Due to the rotational shifts at work where sometimes I would be working from 6 AM to 2 PM or 2 PM to 10 PM and not having weekends off, I used to take mock tests on Wednesday every week. The reason for this is that I had my weekly off on Wednesdays.
I would make it a point to revise my notes before the mock test. Revising the notes used to take around 2 hours, however, I did not do it at a stretch. Based on the analysis of the mock test I would figure out the focus areas of preparation for the next round of studying. GMAT SC continued to be a focus area throughout my preparation.
Learn how to analyze mock tests in 2-steps by reading this article.
I would like to emphasize the importance of analyzing the questions which you get wrong. And the reason due to which you wrongly answered a question. Also, it is important to not get disheartened by low mock test scores early on during your preparation. As you master the concepts and their applications the mock test scores will improve.
Another factor that helped me in preparing for the GMAT was studying with a group. I used to study with a group of 2 other people who were preparing for the GRE. This enforced a consistency as we were accountable to the group for meeting up at fixed times for our study sessions.
In summary, a consistent approach to GMAT preparation with a focus on basics and the use of meaning and logic rather than tips and tricks are to credit for my GMAT 750 score.
How was your GMAT test day experience?
On test day, I started with the AWA section which went reasonably well. In the IR section immediately after AWA, I spent much more time than required on the first question itself. This induced some panic and I did face a time crunch in the later questions.
In the break between IR and the quant section, I got a chance to recollect myself and refocus my efforts in pursuit of a good GMAT score. I knew that Quant is my strength and with this confidence, I went into the Quant section. As soon as the first quant question appeared on screen, I had no time to focus on the result of the previous section and was solely focused on doing well in Quant.
After I was done with Quant, next up was Verbal. My strategy was to save time in CR and RC question and use those time savings in SC questions. However, CR questions were time-consuming to solve and I could not save any time there. The first few SC questions were fairly easy, and I was able to solve them in a shorter amount of time than usual. This helped me in the tougher CR questions.
After everything was said and done, I had scored a 750 on the GMAT. My apprehension about a poor showing in the IR section was true as I only scored a 4. In the end, I am still elated about my GMAT 750 score and looking forward to the rest of the business school application process.
Rajat: Congratulations once again, so what’s next after the GMAT?
Currently, I am in the process of shortlisting my target business schools. My short-term career goal is to move up to operations management. My long-term goal is to start my own fresh fruit juice production facility. I’ve sent my GMAT score to HBS, Stanford GSB, Wharton, ISB and INSEAD. I believe that an MBA will give me the right global exposure to be successful in both my long term and short-term career goals.
Rajat: Here is some advice that you may find useful
Real Value of Business School
The major value of business school is derived from the peers that you will be studying and working with, in the course of the MBA program. While HBS and Wharton are great business schools who have consistently performed well, in my opinion, they would not serve your career goals very well.
The Wharton MBA is known for its strong quantitative finance program and places most of its graduates in either the finance or the consulting industry. Considering your short and long-term career goals is in the operations field, you would be served better by programs which focus on the same.
Is Wharton your dream school? Learn more about the Wharton MBA program and its employment statistics in this article.
Harvard Business School arguably is one of the best business schools in the world. But much like Wharton’s MBA program, HBS focuses on corporate strategy consulting and finance. And that is where the most recruiting activity happens. Thus, it too does not serve your goals well.
How to choose/select your target business schools
Based on your career goals you should look at schools in the Michigan area as it is known to be a strong center for operations recruitment. Michigan Ross school of business is a great school that comes to mind. Amazon recruits heavily from there I believe.
One way to look at the business school selection process is to research if your target employers recruit from there. This gives you an idea as to what the business school’s focus area is and which industries it sends its graduates post-MBA.
Learn more about the factors you should consider while selecting your target business schools.
Another way is to go through the program and look for the kind of courses they offer and if they pertain to your fields of specialization. According to your career goals, you should be looking at courses in flexible production facilities and operations and supply chain management.
Selecting the right business school is important for the following 2 reasons:
- Improves your chances of getting an admit.
- Improves your chances of getting scholarships and fellowships. Thus, reducing the cost of your MBA significantly.
Sanchit: Thanks, Rajat, I will focus my business school research based on the above-mentioned aspects
We hope Sanchit’s story of perseverance inspires and motivates you further in your own GMAT preparation journey. In case of further questions, please write to us at email@example.com