Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Random Thoughts...

First of all, congratulations to all the Best of Bloggers award winners and nominees! You guys do an amazing job, and are very helpful. You may not realize it, or set out for it to happen, but I can honestly say that those of you active on Hella's list are an amazing resource for MBA hopefuls such as myself. Congrats to all of you!

The word for the day is confidence. Or, lack thereof. Lately I've been feeling like I may not be cut out for this whole thing. Sometimes it's hard to study. Sometimes I think I'm making headway, then I falter. My GMAT practice scores are 580 and 600, respectively. With my GPA being what it is, I need that score to be 700. I had heard that doing CR questions from the LSAT is helpful for the CR portion of the GMAT, so I took some practice sections. I got 38 out of 39 correct; I started wondering, why doesn't this translate to the GMAT, where I got 4 out of 14 correct on my last practice? What am I doing wrong? Does my mind not work to properly answer these questions.

I read stories of people with 750 GMATs and 3.6 GPAs from Ivy schools getting rejected from every single school they applied to. If they couldn't make it, how can I? What will set me apart and above them? I've started reading current student blogs to see their journeys from start to finish, and it has helped me focus on my dream, but not instill too much confidence. I want to proceed, I want to set my first test date and stick to it, knock the GMAT out of the park, and get accepted and move on.

Any thoughts or words of wisdom blogosphere?


JulyDream said...

Confidence is sometimes hard in the wavering world of the GMAT. It's hard to think that you can attain this awesome score when you can't seem to score near it during practice tests. My story is a bit strange... I originally planned to do a part time program in the Bay Area, shot for a 600 and didn't think twice. Test day brought me to a whole new level - 690! I was shocked, excited and every other word for stunned that you can grasp! The highest I'd scored on a practice test was 640 and I'm not even sure that was accurate. Don't discount your accomplishments. You aren't those people who hit a grand slam in scores, but for whatever reason couldn't make it to the next big game. You are an INDIVIDUAL - show it.

As for the GMAT, practice, practice, practice. Some books are better than others. http://testmagic.com/ is a great place for advice. I remember finding some flashcards there that helped a lot (wish I could give you move detail...) Do questions out of all the OGs. I got to a point where I started trying to simply do the questions rather than time myself... it's one step at a time. I also like Kaplan's Math Review book - did it cover to cover. I had an Algebra I cliff notes book - likely 300 pages - cover to cover. People tell me PR is better than Kaplan for verbal. Honestly, I don't think it matters. Heard great things about the manhattan GMAT though. Look for books that don't teach you just tricks, but sort of teach the material. Let me know if you need any more advice as I seem to be rather long winded today. GOOD LUCK!

PS KEEP YOUR HEAD UP! Realize your dreams.. I know you have it in you.

Jason said...

Don't worry about those guys with 750 GMAT's and 3.6 GPA's that got dings. They got dinged because they thought they could coast on their numbers and not put any effort into their personal essays and application.

The GMAT is obviously important but don't underestimate the personal essays. You can get into any school on your list as long as your GMAT score falls within the school's 80% range of accepted scores and you write some killer essays. Use them to paint a vivid picture of yourself and show the school what makes you special.

Definitely study your ass off for the GMAT, but remember it is not the end all be all to your application. I was accepted into a 2nd-Tier school with a GMAT that was 40 points below the school's average and 50 points below its median. You can do it too.

Soni said...

I have a pretty decent summary of my study techniques on my blog (cheap plug). I suggest using Manhattan GMAT books for practice. They have good techniques but their sample questions are not similar to real GMAT questions. Also make sure to use the official guides. I worked on the harder quant problems (last 100 of each section) and all the verbal problems in those books, I think that helped a lot.
As Jason said, don't put too much weight on the GMAT. IMO it's #3 in terms of value -- 1) essays 2) work exp 3) gmat and gpa 4) recs 5) extra curriculars

Stanford rejects multiple 800 GMATs every year because #1 and #2 aren't up to par. Just try to get around the mean GMAT score for your target schools.

BTW, what part of OHIO? I grew up in a suburb on the east side of Cleveland. Go Cavs!

Omne said...

Thanks for all the kind wishes. You guys definitely helped me put things in perspective.

Soni, I'm originally from Hudson, just north of Akron