Kumar Anshul is a Dentist-turned-Manager who is currently working as a Marketing Manager at Oliveboard. He also has his own venture- Founder and Editor-in-Chief of International Dental Journal of Students’ Research. He also works for The Bootcamp, where they help students to prepare for GMAT to get through ISB Admission process. He has an Early Entry Admit to Indian School of Business and will be joining the batch of 2017-18. He is an avid reader. He loves learning new languages and has cleared basic proficiency level exams in Spanish and French and is currently learning Italian (Online) and Japanese (Weekend Classroom Course) simultaneously.
Why did you decide to choose management over dentistry? Did Management studies always interest you?
If you would look through my profile thoroughly, you will realise that this is not a random and abrupt career shift but a smooth transition. From my 2nd year itself, I have worked remotely for various national and international organisations. After winning the Global ambassador competition by Iversity (a German education startup), I worked with them for 3 months in 2012. Immediately after that, I got selected for the coveted position of an ESA (Elsevier Student Ambassador), after clearing the rigorous 3 levels of a quiz, an essay and an interview over the phone. I got a chance to work directly with the Marketing Head of Elsevier India for one year and I also ended up winning the ‘Judge the Book’ contest among the 55 ambassadors from 5 countries of the Indian Subcontinent. In my 3rd year, I worked as the National Director of Memberships (Executive Board Member) for India’s largest medical student association- MSAI (Medical Students’ Association of India). Meanwhile, I had started my own venture with two of my friends- IDJSR (International Dental Journal of Students’ Research) in 2012 (in my 2nd year) and I got it registered under my startup in 2014.
So my decision of pursuing an MBA and learning the intricacies of business and management was nothing but an obvious choice post-graduation. That was the major reason behind my decision to join Oliveboard as a Marketing Manager, instead of working as a Dentist so that I can learn more while working full time in an actual workplace. I am looking forward to the day when this transition actually happens and I begin my MBA journey.
You scored 730 in GMAT in your first attempt. What was your preparation strategy for GMAT? How many months before your test did you start your preparation?
I had only one strategy in my mind- To do good at Quants (as I am not from Maths background) and make my Verbal better (as being a voracious reader, I was already comfortable in it). I prepared religiously for 3 months but was in touch with books on and off for 6 months before I took my GMAT.
What was your strategy for individual sections? (Quant, Verbal, Integrated reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment)
Quant- As I mentioned, I am not from Maths background so the Quant section was always a nightmare for me. I Bought Manhattan Strategy Guide and completed all topics. Then I got myself GMAT Club Tets, tried 10 questions from 700 level but couldn’t solve a single of them. I decided not to touch those questions. I solved around 100 ‘600 level questions’ with 70-75% accuracy. Hence, out of 1500+ Questions in GC Tests, 1000 are still lying unsolved.
I solved OG 2015 + Quant Review 2015 + OG 2016 + Quant Review 2016 cover to cover. I also marked the questions I got wrong and revised a few days before the exam. There are 25% new questions in 2016 versions of both the book and many questions which were present in 2015 editions are omitted from 2016 editions. So, it is a good idea to get all 6 books (OG 2015, VR 2015, QR 2015, OG 2016, VR 2016 and QR 2016).
For Verbal, I got E-Gmat Verbal Online subscription. It's SC is amazing (but you still need to be thorough with OG). I didn’t find anything spectacular in its CR. Didn’t touch its RC (neither the lessons nor the questions). After finishing, I started with its Scholaranium (700+ Questions). Did around 150 questions from SC (82% accuracy) and 80-100 questions from CR (72% accuracy). I got bored and didn’t attempt the rest of the questions (So, 60-70% of my Scholaranium is left unsolved as well). As already mentioned, I didn’t attempt its RC.
CR– I also tried to do CR from CR Powerscore Bible. Couldn’t solve many questions and gave up in the mid. CR was always frustrating for me. In the end, I decided to stick only with OGs and VRs (both 2015 and 2016 editions). Also, did a few (around 60 ) questions from Gmat Prep Question Document downloaded from GmatClub three days before the exam.
SC– Re-revised all questions from OG 2015, 16 and VR 2015,16 2-3 days before the exam. I was confident as accuracy in these questions was 90% (and had done well in E-Gmat SCs as well).
RC– I had only attempted 5-6 RCs (all from OGs) before the actual exam. Comprehension was never an issue as I have been a voracious reader (My Goodreads analytics show that I have read 43 books in 2015 and 12,500 pages in total). Even last night before the exam, I read one short story by Alice Munroe.
AWA- I just read a few templates one day before exam. Never prepared anything for AWA but still ended up with a score of 5. I don't think this section needs any serious preparation if you are comfortable with the Verbal Section.
IR- Never prepared for IR as ISB has specifically mentioned in its info-session that they don't consider IR scores. And hence, I ended up getting an abysmal score of 1 (not very proud of it, but no regrets whatsoever)
Mocks- Princeton 1- 630, Princeton 2- 650, Gmat Prep 1- 700 (got a few questions which I had already solved before in Verbal) , Veritas- 650, Gmat Prep 2- 620 (10 days before the exam). I didn’t bother to look for the solution of questions I did wrong as I was too frustrated and had almost given up (But had to take the exam anyway as I had booked the dates during the beginning of preparation itself). Never took any mocks after that and decided to build upon what I already knew.
It was an amazing feeling to score 730 (Q 50, V 39, AWA 5.0) right on my first attempt after 3 months of preparation.
What was your strategy for the D-Day and what do you think you executed the best on the D-Day?
I was not very well prepared on the D-day. I had low scores in Mock Tests consistently but I had decided that no matter what I will keep calm while attempting the questions and won't spend must time in a particular question if I get stuck there.
What message would you like to give to students preparing for GMAT?
Always remember that "Official Questions are God". You must be thorough with at least two editions of OG, VR & QR respectively and then also try to solve all official questions from GMATPrep Software, GMATClub. Exam Pack and Question Pack. Invest your time in unofficial questions only when you are done with the official ones.