My journey to becoming a “GMAT assassin”, as they call them who break the 700-mark barrier, began immediately after my engineering. The road to becoming the highest GMAT score holder at IMT, Ghaziabad, was not an easy one. I took the decision of appearing for GMAT during the final year of my B.Tech. But, I began the preparation only after my final year exams. Till then, I was doing my bit of research on the institutes that I want to apply to. However, work experience was something that I was lagging in, and hence, was not able to apply outside India to the institutes that demand at least a 2-year experience. So, I decided to apply at Indian institutes via GMAT.
Immediately after my final year exams, I dived into GMAT preparation. But, first I wanted to see where I stood. So, I appeared for GMAT as a test run, and there my score was, a 660! Obviously, this was not enough. So, I began with online study material, and mocks. The 2 mocks that were present in the GMAT official guide were something that I was saving for later. Must say, GMAT club was an online portal that played a huge role in my preparation. I always turned to it for motivation, and finding longed-for answers to my unlimited queries.
I divided the 3 month’s-time, from June to August 2017, in such a way that I keep the last month to brush up my skills, and get myself adapted to the habit of going through the exhaustive almost 4-hour long exam. In the initial 2 months, I divided each section of the exam into sub-parts, such as Verbal into RC (Reading Comprehension), SC (Sentence Correction), and CR (Critical Reasoning), and divided Quant topic-wise. Doing so, I focussed the majority of my time in improving the sub-parts that I was the weakest in. After absorbing the study material, I began practicing questions, solving them in a timed manner. I marked the questions that I found difficult during these small exams itself, and used to come back to them after the exam, also analysing the questions that I had got wrong. Performing such analysis helped me big time in getting a feel of the questions that were classic of the GMAT exam.
Giving entrance exams is an art in itself. As much as your preparation matter, so does your state of mind in the exam. One thing that impacts this state of mind is the flow of the exam that one chooses. As far as I am concerned, I chose to begin with the section that I used to find the most exhaustive – Verbal, so that my initial fresh state of mind helps me in going through with it. After Verbal, I chose to keep Quant, something which I enjoyed, and treated it as a break till the next exhaustive section – Integrated Reasoning. I used to keep my hobby for the last – Essay writing. This was the flow of the exam that I chose based on my capabilities.
My Success Mantra
One thing that is worth noting is that initially, I was not scoring well in mocks, scoring in the range of 680-700. However, I soon stopped taking GMAT rules’ word for it, and began asking the great question – “Why? Why is the rule saying so?”. Soon after I began going to the depth of the rules, knowing the rationale behind them, I got to the epitome of my scores – 760-780 in mocks! But, this was not until the third, and final month of my preparation. Till that time, the only motivation that was keeping me going was that I was getting to learn something new each day, through real-world problems mentioned in GMAT questions.
When I began scoring 780 frequently in mocks, taking them every alternate day, I decided to appear for D-day. I fixed my birthday as the day of my GMAT exam, August 31. I fixed my exam for evening, thinking that I should have some buffer time in case I don’t get a good night sleep thinking of the exam. The next day, I woke up late, sleeping in bits and pieces, and went to the exam centre. After over 4 hours, there was the sweetest birthday present ever on my screen, a 720!