Saturday, August 27, 2011

Stanford Info Session At Bangalore

I was lucky enough to attend an info session by Stanford yesterday at Bangalore.Although, I had expected better organization of the event, it didn't really matter in the end.

An associate director of admissions along with 3 current students (surprising, this) were kind enough to answer our questions and give a brief on Stanford, its culture and DNA. I must say the session was eye-opening in some areas and is making me change my "Why Stanford" essay comprehensively. I highly recommend that folks visit the target schools or atleast attend the information sessions to get a feel for what the schools really stand for - beyond the platitudes. I wish I was able to visit my target schools but I will have to make do with what I have.

My only hope is that I get admitted into all the schools I am applying to and then go to their admit weekends and decide. :D.

Friday, August 26, 2011

What's happening?

It has been very quiet on the blogging front. No updates on the regular blogs I have been following and no updates on mine either. I am going to go ahead and assume that everyone is busy either with last minute GMAT preps, brainstorming essay content or actually writing the essays!

The deadlines for R1 are getting closer and my excitement is increasing every day. I can't wait for the day when I actually hit the submit buttons for my favorite schools :). Of course, there will be some way to go even after that but the applications represent the pulling together of various components and is a big milestone to have completed.

Friday, August 12, 2011

GMAT Strategy

I have been meaning to write this for a while now and I also owe it to some people.

Step 1 - Diagnostic Test
Before doing anything, take the diagnostic test. I know that most people say this, but I digress as follows:

If you have been out of touch with academics for some years now (which I suspect is the case with most people) practice 20 problems from each section with some light revision of the concepts. Take the test after you have completed all the problems. This way, your diagnostic test will give you a true "diagnostic" score and tell you where you truly stand before preparations start full swing. My theory is that if you take the diagnostic test straight off the bat you might get an unusually low score because you didn't remember some silly concept which could be obtained by simply glancing at it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Applications started

So I have been silent for some time now. The last one week has been all about resume writing, frantic research to finalize a 4th school and for the last 2 days, research on the 1st school for which I will write essays.

My schedule is:
10 Days for each school - 2 days for research and 8 days for essay writing

Once I am finished, I will have about 5-6 days for each school to review, revise and submit the final applications.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"Debrief" - 770 (Q51, V44)

Always found the term funny used in this context.

This post is to simply to recount my experience this morning with the GMAT.

I had a an early morning appointment at 8:30 AM. The test center was far so I left @ 7:00 AM to reach at 8:00 AM. Unfortunately, I had a restlessness night and did not sleep too well - don't know why. The effects were going to manifest themselves later. The center was closed even at 8 AM and almost all the test takers were already present. The proctors arrived soon enough and let each one of us in one after another with the usual routine.

770 (Q51, V44) - Woohoo !

So finally I took the GMAT test and managed to score:

770 (Q51, V44)

And man was I excited. Though to start with I was expecting a score like this, I was not so sure when the "Analysis of an Issue" part in AWA left me shaky [more about this later] which then spilled over into my quant section. I took 10 minutes for my first 2 questions! - My God! 10 Minutes ! - and they were easy questions. I just kept making one silly mistake after another. As you can imagine I was completely shaken by this. The next few questions continued to be tough and a dread was all over me. Nonetheless I trudged on and really really focused on the last 20-25 questions and made sure I got them correct [Note: When you have practiced long enough and hard enough, the practice shows in such stress situations]. The irony of it all - I finished my Quant section with 17 minutes to spare - yes, 17 minutes. I wisely used the 17 minutes to calm myself down and tell myself that this was not the end of the world and I should not let the iffy performance in Quants get to me and ruin my Verbal section. After calming myself sufficiently, I took my break - drank water etc. and came back composed. RCs were quite tough; SC was a breeze and CR pretty good. Managed to finish the verbal with 1 minute to spare.