Saturday, June 6, 2009

GMAT Prep: My First GMAT Preparation

I started preparing for GMAT in early January 2009. I wanted to prepare for 3 months which is what most people agree upon. I wanted to take my GMAT exam in the first or second week of April. Between my full time job and my GMAT preparation, I could see the challenges that lay ahead of me. I had been thinking about taking my GMAT and applying to Business Schools for quite some time and hence I had done some home work about the GMAT. After talking to some friends of mine, I had decide to use the following books.

The Princeton Review
Kaplan Premier 2009
Kaplan 800
The Official Guide 11th Edition - Review
The Official Guide 11th - Verbal Review

With these books, I felt I had all the right material I needed to crack the GMAT.

January 2009
I started with Princeton Review. I went through the introduction and math section fairly quickly. I spent more time towards the end on the data sufficiency part as I felt that section I little bit challenging. I then moved on to the verbal section which took me some time. I was done with Princeton Review in three weeks. I took the warm up test and scored 34 out 40 questions. I solved the questions in Bin 1, 2 and 3 and decided to take the practice tests later.

February 2009
I moved onto Kaplan Premier toward the end of January and worked on it for the next 5 weeks. It was almost towards the end of February when I finished Kaplan Premier. I took my first Kaplan exam and scored a 580. I asked a few friends of mine and they said not to worry as Kaplan is usually difficult to score high. I started working on the Kaplan 800 and focused mostly on the verbal. I took the second Kaplan exam and score 590. I later took the third one and scored 595. I was getting a little worried.

March 2009
I started working on the The Official Guide - GMAT Review. I only went through the Math section. I then went through The Official Guide - GMAT Verbal Review which took me like a week. I was now getting close to my GMAT exam date.

April 2009
I had already registered on the site. I scheduled my GMAT exam on Monday, April 13, 2009. I downloaded the GMAT prep software and became faimiliar with the software. I was going though Kaplan 800 to go through some tough problems. On Friday, April 10, 2009, I took the first GMAT prep exam and scored a 660. I was haapy to see a score higher than 650. I decide to work some more and took the my second GMAT Prep exam on Sunday morning, April 12, 2009 and scored a 640. I now panicked as I had hope to see something closer to 700. I went through the answers and noticed a lot of silly mistakes. I felt if I could minimize these then I would do well. But this result had totally shaken me.

April 13, 2009
My GMAT exam was schedule at 8:00 am. I reached the testing center at 7:00 am. The testing center did not open until 7:30 am. I went upstairs at 7:45 am. I started my exam roughly at 8:10 am. I went through the AWAs as usual. I took I break and ate half a protein bar. I went in the exam room and took the Quants. I felt I had performed well. I took a break and came out and finished the remaning protein bar. I went in the exam room and took the verbal. I finished the GMAT exam and now I was on the screen that asked me if I wanted it to report my scores. I took a deep breath and selected the report scores and clicked continue. 640! Oh my god! I was devastated. I could not believe it. I was crestfallen. I came out and took the print out from the lady at the front desk. I came downstairs and called my wife. I told her my score. She told me not to worry too much. But I knew I could do better.

May 2009
As you know from my earlier blog, the Chicago chat session and the open house session, made me realize that I should take my GMAT again. In my next blog, we will discuss what went wrong. So stay tuned and thanks for visiting.


  1. HI shashi,

    Congrats.Hats off to your determination, good effort

    Badarinath Joshi

  2. I am 48years old and was postponing my desire to study MBA in a prestigious institution.
    I have my MS comp science from CUNY, NY.
    If I get around 700 in GMAT, do I have a chance to get into MBA in Wharton. Chance for get into regular MBA or EMBA. My background is Pharma Industry in Clinical Trials.
    Any input will be appreciated.

  3. Hi Sankar, my apologies for not replying sooner. I am not sure how things are with you after 2 years. Let me know what you decided. I am curious to find out.