It’s Do or Die Time As My GMAT Deadline Day Approaches

It is a long and grueling 46 days before my GMAT D Day. With every passing day, I am feeling a lot of anxiety and restlessness. To my horror, I have started imagining scenes from the movie “Inception.” They are popping into my head like nightmares these days. Sometimes I see myself getting drowned in a bathtub or falling into a deep hole in a road. (It’s been raining continuously here in India for the past 10-11 days.)

I am still not that confident that I’ll get the GMAT score I really want. Since I began studying in early April, my goal has been to reach or exceed a score of 750 so I can get into my dream school: Harvard. I feel I need to use every moment available in the most optimum way before my test date of Sept. 25th. I’m trying to complete as many practice questions as I possibly can before that date. Luckily, I tend to perform well in pressure situations, so I’m loving the fact that I am a little anxious about the test.

I am a software engineer by profession and a farmer by heart, having grown up in a village in India where I helped my family tend the fields. I used to go into the fields early mornings every day to help my father who got this land from our forefathers. He cultivated the land while also being a supervisor for a sugar cane mill. Working that land with my father made me strong, mature and down to earth.

Being male, Indian and a software engineer, I know that I belong to an over-represented group taking the GMAT. So from the start, I have approached my MBA prep as if preparing to wage a war on the GMAT test itself. My schedule is something like this: I study four hours every weekday, devoting half the time to the GMAT’s verbal section and half the time to the math section. On the weekend, I try to put in six to eight hours, reserving Sunday to do a practice test.

I’m a big fan of this post at the Beat the GMAT forum that essentially advises that you must have all the required tools to wage a war.

My war chest has included:

1. GMAT official guide (OG 11)

2. Kaplan premier 2009 edition

3. Kaplan math workbook fifth edition

4. Kaplan verbal workbook fifth edition

5. Manhattan Sentence correction (SC) guide

6. Quantum CAT by Arihant publication (It’s very good for basic concepts in math, but the difficulty level is quite high).

Whatever books or materials you have, of course, is less important than your effort and determination to do well. Chairman Mao Zedong said this very well: “Weapons are an important factor in war, but not the decisive one; it is man and not materials that counts.”

In my practice sessions, my verbal accuracy has reached the 80-90% level, and I am quite happy about that because I am a non-native English speaker. I have never had the opportunity to study in an English medium school or college before my graduation. So I took on challenge to dramatically improve my English and do well o n the GMAT’s written and oral sections.

I am still struggling with some of the data sufficiency questions, but I am sure that in the next one to two weeks, I will be able to iron out all the possible problems in the math section of the test.

To inspire myself, I turn to one of my favorite writers, Paulo Coelho, who said: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.”

This post is adapted from Mbayogi’s Blog written by Varun Saini in Pune, India. You can read all of his posts at Mbayogi Blog.