Thursday, June 26, 2008

Studying, Scandals, and Puppies

There's just over two weeks to go for my GMAT appointment. I keep working through the quant parts of OG11 (my verbal is pretty good, so I'm not focusing too much on that), slowly going through the last few questions and beginning to focus on DS. I've got one more MGMAT prep test, and of course the two GMATPrep tests. I'll definitely do at least one this weekend, maybe two. I'm excited to take a GMATPrep, as they're the closest representation to an actual GMAT score.

One thing I've been focusing on is slowing down. It may sound strange, given there are about 37 questions that need to be answered in 75 minutes, but some of my problems on quant are that I move too fast. This has lead to careless mistakes (ie, I know the answer is c)4, but I pick D as my choice because I'm flying through). I've also started double-checking my work in order to be as sure as I can. Another skill I need to learn is knowing when to cut my losses and move on. This happens often on the geometry questions, especially the 700-800 level ones. I'll try and figure it out, but become hopelessly lost. This results in time wasted on a problem you can't answer, forcing you to move even faster in later questions.

Just some random thoughts on the whole GMAT cheating scandal: Getting into a top notch MBA program is filled with lots of pressure, and the prospect of spending thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours studying and preparing and yielding zero results has led to people making poor decisions. As Tinydancer said in her blog (and detailed on the Clear Admit blog and over at Businessweek), this is not the first time a cheating scandal has happened, nor will it be the last. Those I feel truly sorry for are the ones who didn't know what ScoreTop was about, and who thought they were simply buying a question bank to better prepare themselves for the GMAT. This could potentially hurt legitimate prep resources, such as the GMAT Club question sets, or Manhattan GMAT, as prospective applicants wonder where the questions are from. I know it made me pause and think for a moment. In the end, those who used the service may find themselves unable to apply to most top schools (as their scores were cancelled and they are banned from taking it again), and students already in school may be expelled.

This weekend there's not much going on outside of GMAT-related activities. The Humane Society is selling tickets for a wine tasting, so I'll be helping out with that, and we've got some adoption events. I've been planning something for the HSGA, and hope to sit down with the volunteer coordinator soon and show her what I've got in mind. It would make things a lot easier for everyone involved, and hopefully lead to more volunteers!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Not Too Smart!

Apparently I hadn't actually confirmed my GMAT appointment for June 28th. I was checking it a bit ago (procrastinating once again!), and I realized I hadn't followed through. And, naturally, that date - and all around it - are full. Next available slot: Saturday, July 12th, at 12:15PM. Maybe this is actually better, as it will give me more time to buckle down. I just hope it doesn't lead to me procrastinating since the test isn't for a few weeks now.

Last night I got three straight PS questions wrong in OG11, all in the 170s. I nearly wanted to throw up when I checked. I blame it on a brain fart; definitely shook my confidence a bit. I studied the correct answers and really tried to shore up what I had done wrong. Sometimes it feels like I'll learn from a mistake, only to be done in by the new process when I see a similar question! Frustrating.

I've also thought about my target schools. With my GPA (2.82 at WFU), are they realistic? Could I even get an interview at USC/UCLA/NYU? Should I start looking more at the 25-45 range of schools? It's disconcerting to see my GPA below the 20% mark.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Some People Have It All...

While attempting to avoid work and responsibility, I came across this article in the NY Post about an 18-year-old high school senior who was accepted into every single Ivy league school. Talk about hitting the jackpot! To be able to make the choice of where you want to attend college (although MIT rejected him) is insane. Some of in the MBA world are praying for admission to ONE school on our lists, and this got went 17 of 18. Unreal.

Talk about a motivating factor...

Monday, June 16, 2008

2 Weeks to Go

June 28th is rapidly approaching. I took MGMAT #5 and got a 680...a bit down from MGMAT #4 (700). My verbal held steady at 41, while my quant dropped back to 41. It's very clear that quant is my weak area...I feel fine going through practice sets in OG11, and get the overwhelming majority of them correct. For some reason, doing the Q portion of the MGMAT tests kicks my butt! I don't get it. I'm going back through the MGMAT books, to sort of kick-start my brain and bring me back above the 70% mark, which I clearly need to get a 700 or higher. Pretty soon I'll start with the GMAT Prep tests that you get when you sign up for the test. I've heard they are the most accurate representation.

On a side note, yay me for getting mention in last week's Fridays From The Frontline on the Clear Admit Blog. People do read this! Yay!

I'm up for a new position at work, moving more into a marketing/analysis role than the data role I've been in for the past 2 years. I know this may look strange on my application, that I'm taking another job (albeit within the same company) so close to application time. I just don't feel that, because I plan to apply to an MBA program in the fall, to begin in fall of 2009, I should pass up any other growth opportunities until the app season sorts itself out. I think the only downside that can't necessarily be explained is why I'd put my firm in a position where they put me in this job, train me, and I leave in a year. Any thoughts?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Mythical 700

I took Manhattan GMAT test #4, and got a 700. Midway through the quant portion, I wanted to quit and start over, as I felt I was doing terrible. Verbal felt good. When I got my score report, it was Q43/V41, a 70/93 breakdown for a total score of 700. I love my verbal score, but disappointed in my quant. My problem solving questions have gotten worse from last time (though my DS has gotten better), and I'm just not improving as much as I need. Still, going from 580 to 700 isn't a bad jump!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It's Been Too Long

Sorry for the lack of updates. I seem to be posting once a week. Maybe it's just because it's the summer, and I can only comment on my GMAT studying so many times before all seven of my readers shout out "Enough!" Studying has been going ok...I think I'm doing well, especially when I get into a mental fight with OG11. I swear, sometimes I know my answer is right, and the book is wrong. I did the first 50 RC questions and got 45 correct, so that's pretty good. I'm through the first 140 PS questions, and I'd say I've gotten 120 correct on the first pass. I really want to take a GMAT Prep test to see how I'd do on a legit test, instead of relying on my Manhattan GMAT scores (660). Maybe Sunday.

The work situation hasn't improved much. It's just so frustrating sometimes. I have a meeting with my manager on Friday to discuss some things, and my future. Hopefully we can have a constructive conversation and actually move forward. I'm heading out to go golfing for the first time, hopefully I don't do too poorly.