Monday, July 26, 2004


A year ago this time, I was into the last days of my preparation for the GMAT. It's that time of the year again and a whole new set of applicants are getting ready to spend a couple of hours under the watchful gaze of security cameras, staring at a monitor trying to crack them multiple choice questions. If y'all get a sudden urge to contemplate the bigger meaning of life and why you are in a dark cubicle in a strange room, rest assured it's a normal reaction. Jokes apart, it can be a pretty nerve-wracking experience. Good luck to every one making the trip to the testing center. Stay calm, go prepared, and hope you get the scores you want.

I followed some links recently from Dave's blog to GMAT forums. They seem very useful, but I am glad I didn't spent time on those when I was studying for my test. Nothing against these excellent resources, but I was quite intimidated when I read thru them last week. Every third question posted seems to have someone replying that they got it in 5 seconds using a particular method. And there are replies that need 10 more posts for clarification of what was being done. I would probably be going around in circles trying to figure out all the information.

Absent these sources, my strategy was pretty low-tech, especially for quant. GMAT questions can be bunched into categories - ratios, permutations, trigonometry, etc. All problems of a kind can be solved similarly. Once I found a way to answer a particular type of question, I worked on a bunch of related questions using the same technique. For e.g., I would convert percentage problems into real numbers using 100 as the base. This is not the most elegant or time saving way to solve these problems, but it was one I was comfortable with. So, anytime I saw a problem of this type, I knew what I was going to do. That settled, the next thing I worked on was speed. Doing problems over and over made me faster. I think that if I had tried to master every new technique of solving a problem that I came across, I would not have been that effective. Essentially, I took out the 'how' of solving a problem from the exam and concentrated on doing it quickly, giving myself time to check my answers and finish in time. Obviously, there are the surprises, and those were the tough ones for me.

Of course, each person has a different way of approaching the exam, and this was mine.


Blogger saurabhblues said...

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08 April, 2007 13:31  

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