Being a man with high aspirations, Arnav couldn’t give up on his dream of a premium business school just because of a failure that he faced in his GMAT prep. To boost his GMAT prep Arnav learned a methodical way to learn GMAT concepts. Read on or watch the video to know how a change in resources and strategy worked like magic in his GMAT prep and helped him improve from a V23 to V40 and score a 710.
00:52 – Problems faced in the first attempt
03:34 – What changed with e-GMAT
08:12 – How Scholaranium helped in improving Verbal score
09:52 – Difference in strategy for Quant
11:39 – Deciding on the target scores
13:18 – Strategy for applications
GMAT Prep – V23 to V40: 140-point improvement
|Second Attempt||Third Attempt|
Rajat: Congrats on scoring 710. It’s an incredible improvement that you have achieved from a score of 570. How do you feel?
Arnav: It’s a relief that I could score this much
Rajat: So, how was your GMAT prep?
Arnav: In 2017 I joined a local institute to prepare for the GMAT. I used to be regular in their classes, but I was not satisfied with their approach to the subject. Also, they used to change trainers regularly which affected the momentum, and also many important portions were missed out during these lectures. As I had a full-time job, even attending the classes made my schedule very tight.
Rajat: So, when you went for the first exam, what score were you expecting?
Arnav: I was very overconfident and was expecting a 650. I hadn’t even tried any mock tests to assess my position in the pool. This was because the level of questions provided to us by the coaching center was very easy and I could easily solve all of them. They had not focused on getting questions hard enough to cross the 700-level mark. So, I was under the impression that GMAT is an exam where I could score pretty easily.
Rajat: Being a tech-savvy guy with a history of being employed by TCS and currently working as an analyst in JP Morgan, why did you choose a local coaching centre, an offline medium rather than all the online options available?
Starting from my 12th std, every time I had to prepare for something, I had always preferred offline mediums. This was because of the credibility offline mediums had compared to online mediums which were not considered to be trustworthy. But after trying out e-GMAT’s course I would surely recommend an online course over any offline courses due to the privileges that they have to offer
Rajat: Glad to hear that. Let’s talk about your second and third attempt. How did the preparations go?
Arnav: I chose e-GMAT right after my first attempt and decided that I will religiously follow the approach that you were offering. The approach was structured and refined, and anyone could easily follow it. I was very impressed with the forum as the mentors were very active and I used to get responses in less than 12 hours.
The forum also had a lot of questions from other students which really helped me clear many of my doubts also. Also, the meaning-based approach, rather than jumping hastily to the answers, that e-GMAT followed was of great help to me.
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Rajat: As you progressed through the test, were you tracking your scores?
Arnav: During my second attempt, I started giving the mock tests one month back. At one point I was consistently scoring 700+ and this made me really confident. But on the day of the exam, the pressure got into my head and I cracked which eventually led to my low score. I had not given much concentration on Scholaranium during my second attempt, but I really utilized it for my third attempt and the result is very evident.
Scholaranium demands time and a dedicated effort should be put into solving the tests as those cannot be paused. It had topic-based mocks also which really helped me upscale my expertise in certain areas where I was weak.
Rajat: So which topics did you find problems with?
Arnav: Mainly I had problems with RC and CR. I could upscale in CR very quickly, but the RC was still a problem. This is where Scholaranium came to my rescue and I improved a lot in RC soon.
Rajat: What were the scores you obtained initially while using Scholaranium and how did it improve with time?
Arnav: When I started my accuracy was less than 20 percent and I was devastated. I was not used to being in a time-scheduled environment only for RC. Scholaranium perfectly emulated the situations that I would face in the GMAT exam and pushed me to put more effort to improve myself. It was a gradual process of improvement from 20 percent to 90 percent.
Rajat: Good job there. In Quant, which topic did you find the least comfortable?
Arnav: I had problems with number properties. Maths was one of my weakest links since school, but GMAT required quantitative reasoning which was a relief. When I was doing classroom coaching earlier, they used to go into details that were not required and made it very complicated. But e-GMAT focussed more on the quantitative reasoning approach along with questions similar to those which were asked in the GMAT exam which turned out to be really helpful.
Rajat: While preparing for your third attempt, did you have a plan in mind as to how much you should score?
Arnav: I had targeted a 700+ score in GMAT. When I attended a strategy webinar, we were provided with the splits. So according to that if I scored around a 38 in Verbal, I would have to score a 50 or 51 in Quant. But if I could concentrate more on verbal then a score of 46 or 48 would have been enough. I contacted the forum raising my concerns and was advised to capitalize on my strengths. So I concentrated more on Verbal and got a Q48 V40.
Rajat: The good thing about getting a Q48 is that it gives you a competitive space for any business school as most of them look for candidates who have a score higher than a Q47 or Q48.
You are aiming for schools like ISB, HEC Paris, INSEAD and a couple of other schools. How are you going about your application right now?
Arnav: I am still shortlisting the schools based on the average scores and their rankings. I have created 3 categories, the difficult one where I might get into, the sure-shot one where I will get into and another one where I would definitely get into. I am still going through the process but still, I put ISB in the difficult category owing to my background as an Indian engineer male.
Rajat: I am just looking at the macro-dynamics that is happening this year in the industry, I would say that ISB would not be that long a stretch for you. But the work experience that you have is on the higher side and if you position yourself well it is just a matter of how you perform on the day.
Arnav: I am still looking for a good consultant as this is a relatively new field for me. I’m searching for someone who will be compatible with me and will provide the necessary boost for my application.
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