This is why I am avoiding GRE

In this serious blog about dreams and MBA, Here is a humurous post 'This is why I am avoiding GRE'

A NORMAL PERSON : People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
GRE STUDENT : Individuals who make their abodes in vitreous edifices would be advised to refrain from catapulting perilous projectiles.
NORMAL PERSON : Twinkle, twinkle, little star
GRE STUDENT : Scintillate, scintillate, asteroid minim.
NORMAL PERSON : All that glitters is not gold.
GRE STUDENT : All articles that coruscate with resplendence are not truly auriferous.
NORMAL PERSON : Beggars are not choosers
GRE STUDENT : Sorting on the part of mendicants must be interdicted.
NORMAL PERSON : Dead men tell no tales
GRE STUDENT : Male cadavers are incapable of rendering any testimony.
NORMAL PERSON : Beginner's luck
GRE STUDENT : Neophyte's serendipity.
NORMAL PERSON : A rolling stone gathers no moss
GRE STUDENT : A revolving lithic conglomerate accumulates no congeries of small, green, biophytic plant.
NORMAL PERSON : Birds of a feather flock together
GRE STUDENT : Members of an avian species of identical plumage tend to congregate.
NORMAL PERSON : Beauty is only skin deep
GRE STUDENT : Pulchritude possesses solely cutaneous profundity.
NORMAL PERSON : Cleanliness is godliness
GRE STUDENT : Freedom from incrustations of grime is contiguous to rectitude.
NORMAL PERSON : There's no use crying over spilt milk
GRE STUDENT : It is fruitless to become lachrymose of precipitately departed lactile fluid.
NORMAL PERSON : You can't try to teach an old dog new tricks
GRE STUDENT : It is fruitless to attempt to indoctrinate a superannuated canine with innovative maneuvers.
NORMAL PERSON : Look before you leap
GRE STUDENT : Surveillance should precede saltation.
NORMAL PERSON : He who laughs last, laughs best
GRE STUDENT : The person presenting the ultimate cachinnation possesses thereby the optimal cachinnation.
NORMAL PERSON : All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
GRE STUDENT : Exclusive dedication to necessitous chores without interludes of hedonistic diversion renders Jack a hebetudinous fellow.
NORMAL PERSON : Where there's smoke, there's fire!
GRE STUDENT : Where there are visible vapours having their provenance in ignited carbonaceous materials, there is conflagration.


Pacing for Each Question

So, generally, people run out of time at the end because they're spending too much time on other problems earlier in the section. Here are the guidelines you should be following:

SC - about 60-75 sec; max of 90 sec

CR - about 2m; max of 2.5m

RC - about 2.5m (short) to 3.5m (long) to read; about 1 min for general purpose questions; about 2 for everything else

In general, on any problem, don't spend more than 30sec beyond the guidelines. You mention some types above that are the slowest for you, but really measure everything against these guidelines - anything going beyond these is too slow.


Timing exercise

I think you would benefit from a timing exercise,It is learning about how long one minute is without looking at a watch or stopwatch. If you don't have one already, buy yourself a stopwatch with lap timing capability. When you go to do a set of problems, start the stopwatch but turn it over so you can't see the time. Every time you think one minute has gone by, push the lap button. When you're done, see how good you were - and whether you tend to over or underestimate. Get yourself to the point where you're within 15 seconds either way on a regular basis (that is, you can generally predict between 45 sec and 1min 15 sec).

Now, how do you use that when doing problems? If you're not on track by one minute, make an educated guess and move on. (The general idea is that if you're not on track by the halfway mark, you're unlikely to figure out what's holding you back AND have time to do the whole problem in the 1 min you have left.) For SC, if you're at the one minute mark and you've dealt with everything that you definitely know how to deal with, pick something from among the remaining choices and move on.

Remind yourself that you only need to get about 60% of the questions right. It's okay to get this question wrong - if the question's driving you crazy, forget it!


Notes of RCS

Think of your notes this way: you're just trying to make a short table of contents so that you know the main ideas and so that you know where (in which paragraph) specific types of information can be found. You should be able to answer any "big idea" questions without going back to the passage but you should NOT be able to answer any "specific detail" questions without going back to the passage. Instead, you should be able to decide quickly from your table of contents which paragraph you need to go to in order to answer the specific detail question - and then you go to that paragraph and learn what you need to learn.
This allows you to take notes much more quickly on the first read-through and also allows you to use the information efficiently. We don't want to get too into all of that detail on the first read-through because they're going to write about twice as many questions as they're going to give any one person. In other words, I know I'm not going to get questions about all of the detail, because I'm not going to see all of the questions that were written for this passage!

Use serious abbreviations, label your info by paragraph (P1, P2, etc), and know that it's rare to have more than one line of notes per paragraph - maybe a mix of 5-10 words / symbols / abbreviations per paragraph. (That can obviously vary depending upon your short-term memory.)



You can practice GMAT RCs from


Personal MBA experience

As of my experience I got placed in Hewlett Packard from my college and had lots of hope and aspirations to excel in IT. But after working for a year, realized that IT is not my cup of tea as I had dreams of starting my own company b-fit, so started preparing for CAT 2007 seriously from november 2006, I had joined the time coaching class and was following things properly .But things did not work out as my AIMAT mock exams score were very low. I was looking for all options of MBA in 2008 in India and Asia, Came across IIFT which takes GMAT score, So I thought lets give GMAT a try, though that the GMAT preparation will help in my verbal for english also, So had taken a date of october 26th,2007. I had prepared very hard for GMAT but it was not effective enough and I get real bad score and was depressed for around 3 days and then geared up for CAT , I was giving some mock exams and analysing previous CAT papers, CAT 2007 also went bad for me as I did silly mistake in quants and verbal was a blow. After so much preparation and giving these two exams, I realized that my verbal sucks. Kept giving all exams like JMET , SNAP , NMAT, IBSAT,XAT and SPJAT, I had a few interview calls like SP jain Dubai, IBS,AIM and IMT Dubai . I converted IBS and IMT Dubai , but the college I wanted, SP jain Dubai and AIM , gave me a reject. Will tell you about my AIM,manila story in other post. By Febuary 2008 things were clear and there was work pressure too. Actually I had taken 2 months leave for CAT and GMAT which caused lot of negative effect in my workplace, So FEB 2008 was a crucial time to gain back the confidence to stay in the company, So gave a break to GMAT/MBA preparation for 2 months and then joined princeton for GMAT, It helped me alot by giving me confidence and making me meet like minded people. I really geared up for GMAT and had taken Augut 2nd 2008 as the date , preparations were more systematic this time I had given and analyzed tests properly, was carefull with silly mistakes and pacing. I had made some improvements on the test day but was not at all enough, I had got 580 Maths a 48 which is 91 percentile good enough and verbal was 21, As the 1st RC took me down, I have written about the GMAT experience in Detail in Previous post . After that was again in state of dispair, again work related problems my project got completed and I was compelled to take a project soon or quit, So was pressurized to take a maintanence project, settled there and slowly identified on what I had to improve, Sentence correction was aware of outlook but had to basics so read Grammer for Dummies , For critical reasoning was reading PowerScore and RC was going through economic times editorial and some sites like ( and . Was planning to give again in October starting after Ramadhan, but it got postponded and finally have taken date on 12th November for Jan 13th,2009, After that had become little serious with schedule and routines,Will Discuss those in some Other Posts.


Importance of Focus & Attitude

“attitude” is defined as “a way of looking at life; a way of thinking, feeling or behaving ,A organizations value the right attitude more than the level of the aptitude. If you can combine your high level of competence with the right commitment, it will be a real winning combination of great value, particularly in difficult times.Also the need is to be focused, Many of us in India often exhibit a tendency to pursue multiple options at the same time:

1. apply for institutions abroad for advanced degrees (MS / PhD)

2. take the CAT examination to seek admission into IIMs

3. appear for competitive examinations (like Civil Services) while working for a software company .Such a lack of focus often leads to confusion both at the individual level and for the organization that employs them. By spreading your energies too thin, you end up doing poorly on all fronts; in turn, it leads to poor performance, while you could have easily come out with flying colours, if only you had focused your energies on one activity. In today’s competitive world there are more options available to young college graduates; but there is intense competition that must be faced if you want to pursue any options. Evaluate your strengths and your aspirations; prioritize the options and pursue the most relevant option that suits YOU.


Other Exams

CAT 2008 may not have gone well, not to worry many exams are on the way SNAP is scheduled on December 21, 2008 and would be an objective type test of two hours duration carrying a total of 180 marks. Each question has four responses. The test has four sections. The General English section (40 marks) comprises questions on Reading Comprehension, Verbal Reasoning and Verbal Ability; Quantitative, Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency section carries 40 marks as does the General Awareness section with questions on General Knowledge, Current Affairs and Business Scenario, while the Analytical and Logical Reasoning section carries 60 marks. Deadline: Nov 25, 2008 XAT 2009 on January 4, 2009 would be used by more than 60 management institutes for short listing applicants for their MBA programmes. XAT consists of a two-hour multiple choice type test followed by an essay test of 20 minutes duration. Visit or for details of the application procedure. Deadline: Nov 30, 2008 [issue of XAT Bulletin and XLRI Prospectus) FMS Admission Test on January 11, 2009 will have objective type multiple choice questions to assess English usage and reading comprehension, quantitative aptitude, logical and analytical reasoning skills. Online registration can be done at


Detailed Analysis of CAT

The Data Interpretation (DI) section looked deceptively simple. Unlike last year CAT, DI was relatively tougher this year. There were 25 questions in DI just like the previous two years. Surprisingly, questions based on logical reasoning were back after a gap of five years. Students would have been delighted to see the questions based on logical reasoning which were very simple; however there were only three questions from the set. The set based on six teams playing in two stages was also very easy and hence another four questions from this set could have been solved easily.
Quantitative Aptitude, on the other hand was relatively simpler than data interpretation. There were 25 questions again in this section. For the first time, some questions looked familiar and there was a sense of déjà vu . The question on the last two digits of seven raised to 2008 was a sitter.
There were two questions based on data sufficiency, which were time consuming. There was a direct question from time, speed and distance. The question on five horses participating in a race was tricky and there was high risk of missing out some cases while solving. There were at least 10 easy questions in this section which could have been easily solved.
Test takers comfortable with math would have found this section easy and scoring. The section this time covered almost all topics from maths like arithmetic, algebra, geometry and modern maths unlike last year where there were hardly any questions from geometry and arithmetic. Those who were pining to score from DI would have been disappointed as the quantitative section was relatively easier than DI.
Expected cut offs for both the sections could range between 32-35.
Verbal Ability had a good representation of usage/ verbal reasoning and reading/ comprehension questions. The time allocation for this section, despite the increased number, need not have veered away from the normal one-third, i.e approximately 50 minutes. This was because the reading, comprehension passages were of a much simpler level than those of CAT 2006 and CAT 2007. The topics ranged from a personal narrative to humanities to art. Questions were mainly direct and were a fair bet by virtue of their unambiguous structure. The passage on the ice cream cone was eminently doable and safe attempts would have been three out of five. Similarly, the passage on language had short, crisp answer choices. All that was required was an understanding of the view of the author.
The highlighted words that first made their appearance in CAT 2007 were back. At least two questions could have been safely attempted with a reasonable knowledge of usage. The question type ‘Identify the incorrect sentence’ was slippery territory as it required the test taker to know spelling and punctuation in addition to logical consistency. ‘Double Fill in the blanks’ made a comeback after a couple of years in hibernation. One had to know what ‘disingenuous’ meant and that ‘victims’ and ‘perpetrators’ were at opposite ends of the spectrum and not ‘exploiters’ and ‘perpetrators’.
Fair attempts in this section would range between 18-20 and the cut offs in the range of 46-49.
In the final analysis, test takers employ their strategies based on their areas of strength and weaknesses. The emphasis is still on good old reasoning and cool headedness. CAT 2008 has lived up to its promise of a demand from the test taker of a heady combination of subject matter proficiency, a calm and collected approach and deployment of reasoning.


CAT 2008 General Post Analysis

Analysing the paper post CAT always involves a lot of heartburn but a post mortem sure helps MBA aspirants to evolve future strategies and avoid silly mistakes. After all success on the CAT is a function of selecting the right question, time management and D-Day dynamics. Every year, test-takers attempt the CAT as an aspirational tool to reach the portals of the prestigious B Schools. The surprise element in the CAT has become a sine qua non nowadays and this year too saw the playing out of the unpredictable element! Though the traditional threesection format was retained and the marking system remained the same, what was different was that it was a 360-mark paper with increased weightage given to Verbal Ability. Thus, out of a total of 90 questions, 25 pertained to Quantitative Ability, 25 pertained to Data Interpretation and 40 to Verbal Ability [English]. The rationale underlying this move on the part of the IIMs could be to affirm the fact that basic reading and interpretative skills combined with knowledge of elements of usage are indispensable for effective managerial skills.


New IIM at Ranchi

Decks have now been cleared for setting up of an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ranchi with the state government offering no-objection certificate (NoC) for a 200-acre landsite near Kanke, 11 km from the district headquarter.The proposal for establishment of IIM in Jharkhand was cleared by the Union Human Resources Ministry last year, for which the Centre had also agreed to provide Rs 250-crore financial support for the institute, which is slated to become functional by next year.Jharkhand Higher Education Director Anjani Srivastava said that the Ranchi Divisional Commissioner (DC) has given his nod for the land identified for the IIM."As the entire plot belongs to the state government, there would not be any hitch in starting construction," he added.Anticipating positive approach from the district administration, the State Directorate has already forwarded the detailed project report (DPR) to the Centre to complete the formality for procuring the fund.The state government is relying on the Kolkata-pattern of IIM for development of infrastructure for the proposed institute in Ranchi.Initially, the Kanke IIM is likely to have 120 seats. However, the Director said that he would go to New Delhi to finalise the structural aspects of faculties with senior officials and also to facilitate experts' visit for the site by the end of this month.


Forms of GMAT RC

There are two forms of RC
1. long passage - It has more than 50 lines(usually 70 lines)
2. short passage - It has less than 50 lines (usually 35 lines)

Overview of long passage
It has more than 50 lines(usually 70 lines) and contains 4-5 questions .It will be made boring and tedious as possible by using dry,clinical language, replete with long, detail laden sentences. The issue is there is too much information to absorb in one reading and in less time. The solution to this is to create a SKELETAL SKETCH of the passage during your first reading which serves the purpose of retention and getting a general idea. The SKELETAL SKETCH provides a search tool for answering SPECIFIC questions. Also SKELETAL SKETCH provides readymade answers for GENERAL questions.These types of question will be discussed in other post.

Overview Short passage

It has less than 50 lines (usually 35 lines) and contains 3-4 questions.There is sufficint time to outline short passages in thier entirety. We have to make a detailed map which serves purpose of retention of text, general structure and gives key details of the text . DETAIL map will help answering both SPECIFIC questions and GENERAL questions.


GMAT Day Tips

If someone gives you list of questions and guarantees that those questions would be on the real exam - what would you do? Mug them by heart - know the correct answer choices? Practice and re practice variations? Sadly, knowing what questions are on the exam is impossible [legally]. However, I can GURANTEE that the following things will be tested on the exam

i) Ability to focus for 3 hours at a stretch:
Yea I know, you've heard this before. But what is important is have you done anything about it? Concentration levels don't jump up in a day. So giving 4 tests in exam conditions and believing that to be your 'preparation' for the endurance level required to beat the GMAT is the reason why you probably won’t end up beating the test. I suggest that every time you study – ensure you do so in stretches of 225 minutes with no more than 10 minutes break every 75 minutes. By doing this, you are fine tuning your mind to work in the real exam environment. Make sure you are in a ‘real’ environment and emulate all ‘real’ environment settings. For example, if you are a smoker and smoke during your practice exams – this does no good. You CANNOT smoke during the GMAT exam (while you are answering questions). However, you can do during the breaks. If you are a chain smoker and need to smoke every twenty minutes – you are in trouble. Do your practice tests without smoking when you are answering questions. Get hold of Nicotine Chewing Gum / Slow release Nicotine Tablets. You can use it as ‘medication’ during the exam [Confirm this with your test center before the exam] A bit more about ‘real’ environment settings and I promise to close this chapter. When talking about giving practice exams in real settings, we mean REAL settings. NOT close to real or as real as possible or as real as you think is best for you. This essentially means cell phones shut, IM windows shut, web browsing shut, no disturbances, music off, pausing of tests not allowed (even if you want to wish your girlfriend good night for a quick second and do not read the question prompt until you’ve resumed the test). Pausing the test and doing something else for 5 minutes (even if it is not intended to gain more time for the test by reading the next question in paused more) is cheating on the practice exam. You are allowing your brain to go into a state that is different from the state that it would be allowed to go to during the real exam. This is bound to have an impact on your final score (negative or positive is debatable, but I would give my vote for positive). This is one of the reasons why some people see a 700+ on their practice exams and a lower score on the real one. If you want your practice scores to mirror the real GMAT score – REAL ENVIORNMENT SETTING is what you want.

ii)Ability to beat Stress

The 1st time I appeared for the GMAT I had an interesting problem, which I was not prepared for. Stress. Any exam induces a certain degree of stress – but the fact that GMAT is so important in your life (else you won’t be reading this post) and that you want to get into Harvard (who doesn’t) makes this stress LOT more intense.

The 1st time I appeared for my exam – I was jittery. Couldn’t stop my hands from shaking. Felt weak on my knees. They had to scan my palm 2 times to get a print (because I was shaking so much). Had to read essay prompt 5 times before it actually went into my head. Spent 1 minute doing two digit multiplications and yet got it wrong. Stress does all this.

For my second attempt, I did a few things that helped

a) Calculate your bare minimum achievement level and probability of obtaining it (I’ll get to this in the new few posts)

b) Once you stop studies for the exam – I suggest everyone to stop studying at least the night before or 4 hours before your exam – DO NOT THINK about the GMAT. Usually people try ‘remembering’ quant formulae, or CR tips and the like. Do not do this. Do something that completely refreshes your mind [Sleep for an hour or so if your exam is in the afternoon, watch TV].

My exam was at 3. I slept at 12am the night before, woke up at 9. Read through 2-3 essay templates and sample essays. Stopped studying at 11. Watched 2 episodes of Seinfeld. Had lunch, slept for an hour and then went to give the exam [again watched Seinfeld on the way to the test center]. When I was at the exam center, I certainly felt refreshed and stress levels were evidently low.

Contributed by Sumit, 730


GMAT score Transform Table

MV 10+ 15+ 20+ 25+ 30+35+40+ 45+ 50

10 210 260 300 330 360 400 430 470 500

15 260 300 330 360 400 430 470 500 550

20 300 330 360 400 430 470 500 550 580

25 330 360 400 430 470 500 550 580 610

30 360 400 430 470 500 550 580 610 650

35 400 430 470 500 550 580 610 650 690

40 430 470 500 550 580 610 650 690 720

45 470 500 550 580 610 650 690 720 760

50 500 550 580 650 650 690 720 760 800


Cut Offs and your Colleges

Quant Expected Cut-offs - 34-37 (Out of 100)
DI Expected Cut-offs - 32-35 (Out of 100)
VA Expected Cut-offs - 48-52 (Out of 160)
OVERALL Cut-Offs :
To get 1 call : 126+

To get 2-3 calls : 134+

MDI,SP Jain : 110+


Other A class B-schools : 100+

CAT 2009 : >100


CAT 2008 Analysis

CAT paper was surprise for us with 90 questions,25 in quants,25 in di and 40 in va.

4 marks for right and with 1/4 negative marking.

quants was easier than previous exams. DI,there were some calculation work more Wish it could have replaced quants questions were on data suffiency,bar graphs,matches played and percentage based.

Took longer time to attemptVA 4 RCs were there but not too long 1s.More of vocab based questions and correct english based questions


CAT 2008 Answer Key


CAT Exam Day Tips

As you prepare for the final countdown to CAT, here are some tips to keep in mind as you take the exam.How to beginYou will be given the Question Booklet in the beginning and have some time to read it and go through the instructions. Go through the instructions in the booklet very carefully for it will give you information on various topicsScanning the paperScanning the paper is the most important thing to do in the beginning, as soon as you get the CAT paper. Spend at least the first three to five minutes glancing through the paper at the outset. Try to quickly grasp how many sections, number of questions in each section, what are the kinds of question sets, the marking system (is there differential marking or not: ie some questions may have two marks and some may be of on emark etc). This should play an important role in deciding your strategy. Deciding your final strategyIt is only after you scan the paper that you can decide your final strategy. This will include all the following: How many questions you wish to attempt and try to solve What you think the expected cut-off will be. Remember, the marking system is relative -- this means that it is does not matter whether the paper is easy or difficult. Whatever the nature of the paper, the top one or two percentile of students will get a call. The easier the paper, the higher the expected cut-off in each section. Thus you will have to make a quick call on how many questions you should attempt in the given time limit to clear the cut-offs and further maximise your score. It is here that all the mock-tests and practice CATs will help -- in estimating both sectional and overall cut-offs. Attempting the paperMake sure you are conscious of time: It is amazing how often students get so involved in the paper that they lose track of time and suddenly realise that they have far exceeded the time they allocated for a given section! Try to stick to your strategy: Don't let panic make you forget your strategy. If you find a particular section extremely difficult, remember that it is so for everybody and hence there is no need for you to panic and forget your basics. Make sure you have planned correctly: Attempt the paper in a smart manner. Some types of questions, such as Reading Comprehension and Analytical Reasoning may require your mind to concentrate intensely and without too much time pressure. Do not leave such types of questions for the end when you are likely to be mentally tired and exhausted. Accuracy: Accuracy is of paramount importance in business school entrance exams. This is because most exams have negative marking for incorrect answers. Candidates should attempt to have accuracy levels of close to 80 percent overall. Strategies for questionsUse the answer choices for solving some questions. Some questions in the Quantitative Ability section can be solved by using the various answer options -- always watch out for these. Locate the sitters: Every section has some fairly easy, straightforward questions that are termed as 'sitters'. If you have practiced regularly, you will find these easy to solve. Look out for these while attempting the paper-it is here that the initial scan of the examination question paper before you start attempting it should help. Make sure you do the questions that give the maximum return for your time: You have to spend whatever time you have on hand in the most profitable manner possible. This may mean doing the questions that take the least time to solve individually or doing sets of 'linked questions' or caselets. While solving these may take time, you get the answers to a set of 3-4 questions and hence more marks once the problem is solved. Watch out very carefully for the 'speed breaker' questions in the CAT exam. Such questions can end up wasting your time as they may take too long to solve. Questions on Vocabulary, GK/ Current Affairs: Make sure you attempt the questions on Vocabulary and General/ Business Awareness or Current Affairs (for the examinations that have such questions like MAT, SNAP etc) as these questions take the least time to solve individually. It should not take you more than 10 seconds to do each individual question on General Awareness -- either you know the answer or you don't, you do not have to solve anything!Other tips~ Make sure you are marking the answers on your OMR sheet periodically while solving the questions. If you leave this for the end when there is no time left, you may make a mistake and circle the wrong option even though you have marked the correct answer on your question booklet!~ Make sure that all the circles you make are made properly -- circles must be darkened completely and there should be no stray pencil or pen marks on your OMR sheet.



GMAT passages cover variety of topics, but thet come from primarily three areas, So we can divide these into three categories.
1. Social Science :
Social or historic issues, such as civil rights movement, labor rights or World Wars
2. Science:
science(biology,geology,physics etc) topics like worms, lizards, genes , chromosomes, black , genetic mapping (things u can't even imagine)holes ,etc
3. Bussiness:
The topic we all are familiar with, but don't let your knowledge make you answer the question. bussiness related topics, such as management stratergies or the trade laws.

RC is one of the toughest section of GMAT , You should b able to comprehend the passage in 4 mins and answer all the questions in less than 5 mins. In my next post will give the source and practice materials for RCs.


Indian B-schools That accept GMAT

These are colleges that accept GMAT score for some of thier programs, So options are opening up for GMAT takers in India, Will be updating this list if I come accross more colleges

1.ISB, Hyderabad - Nov 15 2nd round deadline
2.Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai
3.S P Jain, GMBA, Dubai & SIngapore
4.Narsee Monjee, Mumbai
5.S P Jain Mangament and researh , Mumbai
7.IIM Kolkatta(PGPEX)
8.Indian Institute of Management IIML Lucknow and Noida Campus, IPMX
9.XLRI Jamshedpur PGEX
10.IIM Banglore
11.IMT, Dubai
12.MICA, Ahmedabad
13.FORE School of Management
14.MDI (Management Development Institute) Gurgaon


More GMAT Taker in India

The number of GMAT takers in India is growing every year. And experts predict the number to grow at between 20 to 25% over the next three to five years. Here�s what�s attracting Indians towards this international test.
From less than six thousand in 2001, to over 16,000 last year, the number of Indians opting for GMAT, is increasing every year. Out of the two lakh people taking GMAT every year across the world, about 5% are from India. Experts say the number of GMAT takers in India is growing at 20% per annum already.
Chad Troutwine, Co-Founder, Veritas Prep said, "It’s one of the 5 most popular in the world. It’s also the fastest growing. Just three years ago, less than 10,000 students took the GMAT exam in India, so it’s not only an ideal market, it’s the fastest growing. And, we think, it could also be an indicator where growth could be in other countries in Asia”.
Experts say, the number of GMAT takers from India, will continue to grow at 20 to 25% per annum for the next 3 to 5 years. The increasing interest from Indians to study abroad is cited to be the main reason for this growth. But that’s not all.
Nikhil Mahajan, MD, Career Launcher said, 3 to 4 of the IIMs have launched a one-year executive program, which used GMAT score as their entry criteria. ISB is probably the biggest GMAT user within the Indian market”.
With this increasing interest, not only from students but from educational institutions as well, GMAT it seems has taken off in India.
Reference: moneycontrol


New IPMX course at IIM L

Eligibility:Executives with Bachelor’s Degree in any discipline or equivalent of 6 years full time post-qualification professional experience as on 31st March

GMAT score obtained recently

IPMX, the first, full time, one-year residential executive programme would be launched in April 2008 at the Indian Institute of Management Lucknow-NOIDA Campus. The International Programme in Management for Executives, is designed for mid/senior level professionals, to prepare them for leadership roles. The programme is designed to develop business education that is grounded in the Indian and international business environment. It will accelerate understanding of business at functional and strategic levels, and prepare students to manage enterprises engaged in global business. The curriculum would focus on a strategic understanding of business, rooted in practical skill development through action learning projects and industry interface. A core component of the programme is an international module of 4-5 weeks at Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University, Montreal Canada which will provide students with the opportunity for an international learning experience to equip them with the knowledge and perspective relevant to current global business issues. The programme would be rigorous as well as rewarding as it would provide ample opportunity for personal development and professional growth through inquiry and insight in an interactive learning environment. NOIDA being the hub of commercial and industrial activity, the locational advantage of the NOIDA Campus would also extend to the learning process where industry related assignments and real management contexts form an integral part of the course curriculum. The delivery is oriented towards best practices, an integrated strategic perspective, project work and constant engagement with industry The Corporate Resource Centre of the Institute would facilitate in providing placement services for non-sponsored students. .
Programme Objective
The overall goal of the programme is to broaden the core managerial competencies to further enhance the professional growth of students. The specific objectives of the programme are to:

Provide students with the fundamental principles of effective management of modern business organizations

Develop understanding of the roles and responsibilities of business managers in increasingly global nature of social and economic orders and corporate operations

Sharpen diagnostic and analytical skills for effective decision making in complex business perspectives

Sensitise students to the issues of cultural diversity and develop skills for effective management within multi-cultural work environments
Strengthen strategic leadership and team working skills

Reference : IIML site


Keep The spark Alive!

This is an Inaugural Speech by Chetan Bhagat after having gone through the same again and again I feel this is one of the best articles I have read ever.A great one to start your day, everyday!

Good Morning everyone and thank you for giving me this chance to speak to you. This day is about you. You, who have come to this college, leaving the comfort of your homes (or in some cases discomfort), to become something in your life. I am sure you are excited. There are few days in human life when one is truly elated. The first day in college is one of them. When you were getting ready today, you felt a tingling in your stomach. What would the auditorium be like, what would the teachers be like, who are my new classmates - there is so much to be curious about. I call this excitement, the spark within you that makes you feel truly alive today. Today I am going to talk about keeping the spark shining. Or to put it another way, how to be happy most, if not all the time.
I see students like you, and I still see some sparks. But when I see older people, the spark is difficult to find. That means as we age, the spark fades. People whose spark has faded too much are dull, dejected, aimless and bitter.
That is what happens when the spark is lost. So how to save the spark?
Imagine the spark to be a lamp's flame. The first aspect is nurturing - to give your spark the fuel, continuously. The second is to guard against storms.
To nurture, always have goals. It is human nature to strive, improve and achieve full potential. In fact, that is success. It is what is possible for you*.* It isn't any external measure - a certain cost to company pay package, a particular car or house.
Most of us are from middle class families. To us, having material landmarks is success and rightly so. When you have grown up where money constraints force everyday choices, financial freedom is a big achievement. But it isn't the purpose of life. If that was the case, Mr. Ambani would not show up for work. Shah Rukh Khan would stay at home and not dance anymore. Steve Jobs won't be working hard to make a better iPhone, as he sold Pixar for billions of dollars already. Why do they do it? What makes them come to work everyday? They do it because it makes them happy. They do it because it makes them feel alive. Just getting better from current levels feels good.
If you study hard, you can improve your rank. If you make an effort to interact with people, you will do better in interviews. If you practice, your cricket will get better. You may also know that you cannot become Tendulkar, yet. But you can get to the next level. Striving for that next level is important.
Nature designed with a random set of genes and circumstances in which we were born. To be happy, we have to accept it and make the most of nature's design. Are you? Goals will help you do that.
I must add, don't just have career or academic goals. Set goals to give you a balanced, successful life. I use the word balanced before successful. Balanced means ensuring your health, relationships, mental peace are all in good order.
There is no point of getting a promotion on the day of your breakup. There is no fun in driving a car if your back hurts. Shopping is not enjoyable if your mind is full of tensions.
You must have read some quotes - Life is a tough race, it is a marathon or whatever. No, from what I have seen so far, life is one of those races in nursery school, where you have to run with a marble in a spoon kept in your mouth. If the marble falls, there is no point coming first.
Same with life, where health and relationships are the marble. Your striving is only worth it if there is harmony in your life. Else, you may achieve the success, but this spark, this feeling of being excited and alive, will start to die.
One last thing about nurturing the spark - don't take life seriously.
One of my yoga teachers used to make students laugh during classes. One student asked him if these jokes would take away something from the yoga practice.
The teacher said - *don't be serious, be sincere*. This quote has defined my work ever since. Whether its my writing, my job, my relationships or any of my goals. I get thousands of opinions on my writing everyday. There is heaps of praise, there is intense criticism.
If I take it all seriously, how will I write? Or rather, how will I live? Life is not to be taken seriously, as we are really temporary here. We are like a pre-paid card with limited validity. If we are lucky, we may last another 50 years. And 50 years is just 2,500 weekends. Do we really need to get so worked up? It's ok, bunk a few classes, goof up a few interviews, fall in love. We are people, not programmed devices.
I've told you three things - reasonable goals, balance and not taking it too seriously that will nurture the spark. However, there are four storms in life that will threaten to completely put out the flame. These must be guarded against. These are disappointment, frustration, unfairness and loneliness of purpose.
will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don't go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades - how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it's life.
If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge.
And remember - if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that's where you want to be.
Disappointment's cousin is frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don't know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved - movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result - at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan - I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life
- friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.
Unfairness - this is hardest to deal with, but unfortunately that is how our country works. People with connections, rich dads, beautiful faces, pedigree find it easier to make it - not just in Bollywood, but everywhere. And sometimes it is just plain luck. There are so few opportunities in India, so many stars need to be aligned for you to make it happen. Merit and hard work is not always linked to achievement in the short term, but the long term correlation is high, and ultimately things do work out. But realize, there will be some people luckier than you. In fact, to have an opportunity to go to college and understand this speech in English means you are pretty damm lucky by Indian standards.. Let's be grateful for what we have and get the strength to accept what we don't. I have so much love from my readers that other writers cannot even imagine it. However, I don't get literary praise.
Finally, the last point that can kill your spark is isolation. As you grow older you will realize you are unique. When you are little, all kids want Ice cream and Spiderman. As you grow older to college, you still are a lot like your friends. But ten years later and you realize you are unique.
What you want, what you believe in, what makes you feel, may be different from even the people closest to you. This can create conflict as your goals may not match with others. And you may drop some of them. Never, ever make that compromise. Love yourself first, and then others.
There you go. I've told you the four thunderstorms - disappointment, frustration, unfairness and isolation. You cannot avoid them, as like the monsoon they will come into your life at regular intervals. You just need to keep the raincoat handy to not let the spark die.
I welcome you again to the most wonderful years of your life. If someone gave me the choice to go back in time, I will surely choose college. But I also hope that ten years later as well, your eyes will shine the same way as they do today. That you will Keep the Spark alive, not only through college, but through the next 2,500 weekends. And I hope not just you, but my whole country will keep that spark alive, as we really need it now more than any moment in history. And there is something cool about saying - I come from the land of a billion sparks.


Structure of GMAT

This is a simple structure of GMAT exam.
After entering the exam hall you get a scratch pad a erasable marker You can take a ear plug and some tissues.
The sections on the system which will decide your MBA chances

1.Choosing your 5 colleges for which GMAC will send the score to for free. After GMAT exam if you want to send the scores you have to pay $30

2.The Introductory Computer Tutorial (untimed – you go through it at your own pace)

3.Analytical Writing Assessment (60 minutes) AWA
Analysis of an Argument (30 minutes)
Analysis of an Issue (30 minutes)

4.Optional 10 Minute Break

5.Quantitative Section (75 minutes) Algebra Arithmetic Geometry and much more..
It includes two type of questions
Problem Solving (23 to 24 questions) PS
Data Sufficiency (13 to 14 questions) DS

6.Optional 10 Minute Break

7.Verbal Section (75 minutes)
It contains three types of questions
Critical Reasoning (14 to 15 questions CR
Reading Comprehension (4 passages with 12 to 14 questions) RC
Sentence Correction (14 to 15 questions) SC

8.Feedback Section
9. Score Acceptance, It will give you ten minutes to ponder whether you want to report your score. You have to make a analysis, If you have really screwed up then better Cancel your score. If little bit screwed then take a chance as GMAT is a very unpredictable exam , you may feel its tough but tougher questions means you have been faring well in GMAT and your score is in higher ranger . Best of Luck!

The test is of 3 hrs 50 mins


GMAT Quotes 2

This continuation of GMAT quotes from previous post do read and get motivated

“The #1 rule of approaching GMAT questions is QUALITY, not quantity”

“One mistake I recently made is not paying attention to what is being asked.”

“Here are some common strategic errors you can make: I got that question right. I dont care if I guessed. I dont need to review the explanation or take a second look at it.”

“Frustrating will not do a thing for you. If you really want to tame this beast, then sit down and study it until it is not mysteriously frustrating any more. “

“I am probably the biggest proponent of the benefits of solving hard problems”AkamaiBrah
“AWA does count, not only in the eyes of those who will be reviewing your application but in the in the overall manner in which you manage your energy.”

“If you see a problem that looks really hard and you know it is going to take a ton of time to work through it and even then you might not get it right, just skip it.”

“your training involves two goals: 1) learning WHAT to study, and 2) studying that.”

“a key to getting a high score is probably working quickly and efficiently through very difficult questions”

“Today, I took the real exam. This is a score I never in my wildest dreams thought I could get.”


GMAT Quotes 1

These are some quotes taken from GMAT club. Very inspirational

“Eventhough, I improved my score, I knew I had to improve. I made a decision to score a 700. I was no longer going to be complacent with myself. So I started to make changes in every single aspect of my preparation.”

"Don't waste your time trying to get too many resources and over complicating things. Spend your time on the materials guaranteed to help you on the GMAT."

"I think no question is worth 2 or 2:30 minutes. If you are spending, more than 2 minutes on a question, you are digging your own graveyard."

"Study OG diligently as if it is the Bible."

"Play the GMAT like you would play chess - sacrifice a few pieces to win"

"Studying for a big test like the gmat, i found, is similar to lifting weights. when lifting if you do the same exercises every time you lift, your muscles will adapt and you will eventually plateau."

“Preparing for a 7XX GMAT is a bit like training to go into space; one must strive for optimum mental and physical condition levels to best complete the mission. A key component to getting that extra 5-10% on T-day is to minimize stress by staying healthy and alert.”

“Succeeding GMAT quant is not about knowing enough math techniques for solving problems, but rather - using as few math skills as possible to solve them.”

“it's just a matter of persevering!”

“Most common silly mistake is to spent too much time unnecessarily on some question and then making most of the other question wrong in the end. Fix some maximum limit for each question.”



Do I get negative marks even for questions that I do not attempt at all?

No. Questions that you do not attempt at all will not attract negative marks. Only questions that you have attempted and got wrong will attract negative marks.

Should I send mark lists of each semester along with the CAT application form?

You need to attach a copy of mark sheet indicating percedegree education has been completed, or the latest available mark sheet in case you are in the final year. ntage marks scored in graduation if your

Should I start applying to other institutes also or should I wait?

You can start applying to institutes once they start accepting applications.

How many institutes should I target?

The cardinal principle is that to safeguard your interests and reduce your risk, you should apply to institutes in at least three different categories. The categories will themselves depend on your position in the Mock CATs that you are writing.

Let us say that you have decided to apply to seven institutes. First, check where you stand in your AIMCAT scores. What is your percentile score?

Let us say you are in 85-95 percentile in TIME AIMCATs. Then apart from the IIMs, you will need to apply to three institutes in A+ category and two institutes in A category.


CAT, India FAQs- 1

As this is the CAT month, AIM MBA has brought to you FAQs of CAT answered by TIME . This is special FAQs Post, Divided in 2 parts

1.What is the duration of the CAT?
The actual time for answering the question paper is two and half hours.

2.Is there a minimum cut-off in each section of the CAT paper?
You should remember that CAT is used as an admission test by more than 100 institutes including the IIMs. And the CAT score is just one of the components of the admission process for most of the institutes. Some of these institutes (including the IIMs) expect you to cross a cut-off mark in each section. But the cut-off marks themselves will differ from institute to institute. Further, a lot of institutes DO NOT have section-wise cut-offs for admission.

3.Can we get the question paper back with us after we write the CAT?

Yes, you can retain the test booklet after you complete the test.

4. Is there negative marking for wrong answers?

Every year, CAT has been awarding negative marks for incorrect answers.

5.What is the level of negative marks given for wrong answers?

On the basis of the analysis that we at TIME have done over the last 16 years (when the level of negative marks were not specified) as well as the information that has been released by the IIMs over the last couple of years, it is observed that when questions have four choices, one-third of the marks allotted to the question are deducted for wrong answers and when questions have five choices, one-fourth of the marks allotted to that questions are deducted.


The Final Countdown

In those 10-odd months before I began the application process, I had been through enough literature on an international MBA to last me a few years. It was time to make a decision. My rather complex database and evaluation model threw up the suspects:

USA: Anderson (UCLA) and Stern (NYU)

UK: Said (Oxford) and Judge (Cambridge)

Europe: RSM (Rotterdam) and HEC (Paris)

Australia: AGSM (UNSW, Sydney)

Singapore: NUS

With this eclectic mix of eight schools on my target list, I braced myself for the next phase -- figuring out the details of application and funding.
Prospective students, if the foregoing ramblings make the rigmarole seem like a labyrinthine process that presents a risk of getting more entangled rather than a solution to getting sorted out, do not despair! As you immerse yourself into it, you will realise that several options have a tendency towards self-elimination because of the sub-conscious bias or preference you have towards certain attributes of a school. The true test comes only after you have arrived at your target list of 6-10 schools and must decide which ones to dedicate application resources to. Until then, you may as well bask in the attention when a colleague or peer taps your knowledge bank for advice on deciding which B-school to choose.

Author is Maithilee Shirgaonkar, who has done her MBA from Said Business School, University Of Oxford.

Reference; rediff,testfunda


International MBA: Making the decision Part 2

As stated in previous post will mention the next two Ps of the four Ps of b-school decision making"

Having spelt out the critical determinants, the value proposition and the payoff, I decided to flip the coin and take stock of the constraining factor -- the moolah! What price would I be paying for the payoff?
Expectedly, the schools higher on the rankings tended to command a higher price. With US schools dominating the rankings, they happened to be the most expensive at least in terms of tuition fees. The European schools, in general, were more cost effective because of the shorter durations of programmes, which also offset the opportunity cost of an extra year of education that one would go through at North American schools. However, they were more expensive in terms of living costs (think London [Images] or Paris). The Australian and Singaporean schools were, by far, the cheapest options.
Funding options only at the best schools in the US, UK and Europe were sympathetic to international students. That also meant tougher competition, with every candidate vying for the handful of MBA scholarships, teaching assistantships or university jobs. At the very least, I had to get an acceptance to be eligible for a loan under the funding programmes co-sponsored by the schools and reputed banks. Schools with these options got additional points on my personal ranking system.
I also did a quick calculation of visa requirements, fees and timelines for visa processing. Australia [Images] suddenly started to seem more distant, courtesy the stringent visa norms. Of course, USA had not got any friendlier to students in the aftermath of the September 11 bombings. I remained apprehensive about the US schools but retained a couple on my shortlist.

Finally, I had to rely on my overall feel of the programme. In my research on B-schools, I had made it a point to speak with as many alumni as I could contact from as many schools as possible, to understand their own motivations for doing an MBA, especially from the chosen school. Most times, I contacted the schools directly to gain correspondence details of alumni and/ or current students. From the responses that I received from schools (some were very prompt and open, others elusive and guarded) and the actual conversations with the ex/ current students, I learnt about the culture and the people, apart from the typical programme-related information, at the various schools. After all, an MBA was not meant to be only about study; it needed to have a 'fun' element too.
In my book, one of the greatest take-aways from the MBA experience would be the alumni network that I would become part of. One impact of this conclusion was that the school needed to have a sizeable alumni network. Also necessary was the composition of my class, an important factor in determining whether I would thrive or not. Having learnt through personal experience that a diverse group usually makes for greater learning, I championed the diversity cause at every opportunity I got. Having a fairly diverse profile myself (non-engineer ie economist, law graduate, financial services professional, female) made the cause seem even more worthy.
I, therefore, assigned high weightage schools that had a high 'diversity quotient'. I defined this score based on an amalgam of several factors such as the ratio of men to women in a batch, the proportion of international students in the batch, the number of countries represented in the class, and the type of backgrounds students came from.
In general, the European schools tended to score much higher on these counts than North American or Australian/ Singaporean schools. This was partly due to the fact that the small size of the home country mandated attracting larger proportions of students from outside the country. However, a more interesting and important characteristic was that these schools had slightly older students than the others -- the average age at a European school being 29 or 30 years as compared to 26 or 27 at others -- which also meant that they had greater work experience. Although I would have been an outlier on the (lower) range of ages in the class, I was more attracted to the mature profile of students at the European schools.
My interactions with alumni showed that this factor played a great role in the way applications were evaluated by the Admissions Committees of schools. In general, at schools with a younger candidate pool, the relative shortage of work experience and work-related achievements forces the AdComs to focus more heavily on academic performance and GMAT scores of candidates. However, at schools with a more mature candidate pool, there is more for applicants to talk about in terms of their experiences at work, and a sharper articulation of their motivations for pursuing an MBA. Thus, the AdComs indulge in a well-rounded evaluation of the entire application.
This realisation meant two things to me: (1) that a more mature class would provide me with a wider opportunity to learn from and share with my peer-group and (2) that my application would get a balanced reading, improving my chances of acceptance to the programme


International MBA: Making the decision

I believe I used a framework that I would like to call "the four Ps of b-school decision making". The four Ps (no connection to Jerome McCarthy's theory on marketing) are Programme, Prospects, Price and People.

I had seen many of my fellow applicants recite B-school rankings at the drop of a hat. Rankings, thus, seemed like the logical place to start the investigation. Since the brand value of an MBA is one of the key components of the money you spend on the MBA, I felt that the total value of the programme would be reflected, to a great extent, in the rankings.

However, to ensure that I was not swayed by the "one-year wonders" (schools that suddenly peaked in one year and slipped off the rankings thereafter), I tabulated rankings for schools over three or four years. To make sure that my impression was correct, I also looked at rankings from about five publications. The emerging pattern showed that certain schools maintained a respectable position consistently, about 15 of which I put up on my shortlist.

Then I considered the specifics of the programme itself such as whether it had a one-year or two-year format or anything in between, assigning a higher weightage to those of shorter durations. I pored over the brochures to glean information on the specialisations the programmes were known for. I attached a marginally higher weightage to those with strengths in corporate finance, my main area of interest.

I jotted down the flexibility available in choice of electives. I also performed a reality check by noting the acceptance rate at the shortlisted schools. The best schools would also have the highest number of candidates competing for them, right?

In the case of business schools from non-English speaking native regions, an additional (cultural) feature caught my attention and my fancy -- the bilingual study methods -- ensuring that every participant would have an advanced (business) level of proficiency in the local language. This was peculiar to some European programmes and given my personal interest in languages, I gave them an additional vote.

The purpose of the MBA, at least in the immediate term, was to accelerate my career path, which subsumed the aspiration for a more lucrative work opportunity. Therefore, the work prospects after the programme would be a key determinant of my decision. I examined the employment/ recruitment statistics at the shortlisted schools -- the percentage of students placed through the school's career services, the major sectoral groups that recruited them, the range of remuneration they were offered, and the locations they were offered positions at.

This consolidated picture told me which schools were preferred by which employers for what type of candidates at what locations and for how much money. It also suggested to me the extent of personal initiative an international candidate might have to take to balance the support provided by the schools' career offices in job search.

The other two Ps Price and People willbe discussed in next Post.


Why an MBA from abroad?

Some of the main reasons why people decide to do an MBA abroad are:

They want to work in a particular country -- employers are keener on MBA graduates who have studied in the country where they operate.

They want a brand name that is recognised globally on their CV.

International MBA classes tend to have a more diverse population in terms of nationalities, backgrounds (educational and professional), genders, etc, which enhances the quality of the environment and the learning.

International B-schools tend to have a more global coverage of topics in their syllabi.
International B-schools are more likely to have access to a wider base of resources such as alumni network, faculty, guest speakers, libraries, employers, etc.

Some schools offer shorter duration formats such as a 10-month/ 16-month MBA, allowing candidates to return to work quicker

Almost all the reasons applied in my case. To future MBAs , I recommend that you come up with reasons that resonate most with your aspirations and the kind of experience you are looking for. If this will be your second MBA, then it will be imperative to articulate the thinking since you will most likely be asked this question in your interview.

It is all right to continue to fine-tune this reasoning during the process of MBA prep, but ensure that there is a consistent thread in your story. I cannot emphasise enough how critical your belief in this story will be and how many times this belief will be questioned during and after the process.

Reference : rediff,testfunda


Why MBA?

I needed to answer two questions: why an MBA? And, why abroad? These remain important for any candidate.

Why MBA?

So, why did I do an MBA? When faced with this question, I put myself through the 'ART' test. The test asks three questions of a candidate considering doing an


Do you want to Accelerate your career in the current industry?
Do you want to Rotate to a business/ corporate function within the current industry?
Do you want to Transform your skill-sets to change to another industry?

An affirmative answer to any one question is, superficially, sufficient reason to want to do an MBA. The important thing for me was to identify exactly where this career move was focused. I decided that A -- Acceleration resonated the most with me.

I was working with a group of bright, motivated individuals. My superiors provided me with learning opportunities now and then. However, I had reached an invisible hurdle beyond which growth demanded an additional set of skills, which I felt an MBA would address. Now that the toughest part was over, the next step was to elaborate and justify this answer with valid reasons.

It is completely acceptable for you to want to achieve more than one of the above objectives through an MBA. But a careful drilling-down into the story is critical.

This could be in terms of the number of steps of the hierarchy that the MBA will help you to jump and/ or the amount of money it will enable you to demand in the job market. It could also mean an accelerated career path, a fast track, which your organisation can provide you with by virtue of your MBA degree.

There could be environmental factors, such as a dynamic industry scenario or a downturn, that warrant different skills and techniques to successfully handle business realities. As a middle/ senior manager or as a businessperson, you may feel the need for an MBA to ensure that you maintain or increase the pace of growth of your business.

You have made good progress on your career path, obtaining a promotion every year or two, handling greater responsibility with each, and drawing a larger pay packet at each level. However, the growth is unidirectional, with a greater volume of work supervised at each level, but no additional faculties being developed. You wish that you could gain a broader perspective of business and contribute in a wider spectrum.

What you really want is to have a cross-functional understanding of your industry and carry over the learnings from one role to another, thereby adding to your set of skills. The MBA will help to provide you with the tools and techniques to comprehend and assimilate nuances of the various aspects of running a business.


There may be a better word for this route, but an MBA is based on the premise that you will use the learning in the programme to transfer the skills you developed in your career pre-MBA to the role and industry you move to post-MBA. Hence, what you want to achieve is a transformation of your skill-set, through a set of frameworks and techniques learned in the MBA, which will help you to contribute, to a new role, in a new organization, in a new industry.

You could well want to be your own boss, fan that entrepreneurial fire burning inside, but know that you will have enough of a business perspective to create a successful venture. You essentially want to change careers, without having to start at the bottom of the new ladder, and be taken seriously in the new role, based on your past work experience and the new skills developed through the MBA.

Another way of checking whether you have nailed the reasons is by asking yourself whether any other route will help you achieve the same results. For example, if you believe that you have sufficient experience of the marketing and project management areas but find yourself wanting when it comes to financial concepts, then you may want to consider a short-term course that provides you with basics in finance.

If, however, you want to be the finance whiz kid, then consider a Masters in Finance or a Chartered Financial Analyst programme. It is important to understand the level of specialisation you desire. An MBA is usually oriented towards general management, with some scope for specialisation. In my case, I was quite certain that I wanted skills that were tangible across functions and industries. No specialised course could have addressed that requirement.

Why am I emphasising the need for this reasoning so much? Because the Admissions Committees stress on it. The reason that Admissions Committees are extremely keen on understanding your motivation for pursuing an MBA is a significant investment in your development. They want to ensure that the candidates they recruit to the MBA class are mature professionals who have weighed the benefits of the MBA adequately before making the investment decision. Additionally, they want to be certain that when you graduate, you will have gained something tangible in line with your expectations, and, thus, will be a confident brand ambassador for the school.

The thought process that I went through in this stage of my MBA prep was tested several times during the phases leading up to the admissions -- when I decided which B-school to apply to, when I took my GMAT, when I wrote my essays (especially here!), when I was arranging for the funding, and when I appeared for my interviews (probably the deal-breaker). So it helped tremendously to have clarity in advance.

Author is Oxford Alumni
Reference: rediff, testfunda


CAT 2008: What can one expect?

The only information disclosed by the IIMs so far is that the paper will be of 150 minutes and that there will be three sections akin to CAT 2006 and CAT 2007. To understand what one can expect to see in CAT 2008, one must understand the history of CAT. CAT has always bucked the trend and has consistently sprung surprises when students least expected it to.

Therefore, the best way to prepare for CAT 2008 is to go with an open mind and have a plan in place for any kind of paper that is given. Since the paper is given 10-15 minutes before the start of the exam, one can read through the directions on the cover page and prepare for the surprise in terms of the pattern, number of questions, and number of choices.

Source: Time


CAT Briefing

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is an all-India test conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) as an entrance exam for the management programmes of its seven business schools.

The test is multiple-choice based with negative-mark penalties for wrong answers, and traditionally comprises three sections that span the domains of arithmetical problem solving, geometry, statistics, data interpretation, logical reasoning, puzzles, and English language skills. It is held on the third Sunday of November each year. The test duration was two hours prior to year 2006, but since 2006, it has been extended to two and a half hours. The total number of questions has varied from 180 (prior to year 2000) to 150 (from 2001 to 2003) and has gradually decreased to 75 (in 2006 and 2007). This trend has seen the CAT evolve from a speed-based test to an exam that evaluates fundamental abilities of candidates in the aforementioned areas.In future CAT is going to be tested on computer, It is following on foot steps of GMAT.

It is neither expected, nor possible, that all the questions be answered, so the CAT is also said to test the candidates' ability to prioritize under pressure.

The CAT is the first step for admission to the IIMs. After the test, by the second week of January next year, the IIMs declare exam scores and put up a list of candidates who are eligible for the next stage of a group discussion and an individual interview. The scores are relative and are calculated on a percentile basis for individual sections as well as for the total. Candidates invited for the next stage usually possess total scores that are in excess of 99 percentile and, more importantly, also possess balanced high scores across all the individual sections.

More than 200,000 (230,000 in the year 2007[1]) students compete for about 1500 seats in the IIMs. This is said to make the IIMs more selective than the Ivy League Universities.

This year CAT is on November 16th, 2009. All the best to CAT aspirants.

CAT official website :


US Colleges Application Deadlines

Dartmouth / Tuck Deadlines 2008-2009

Early Action
Application Due: October 15, 2008
Applicant-initiated Interview Completed by: October 15, 2008
Notification: December 19, 2008
November Round
Application Due: November 12, 2008
Applicant-initiated Interview Completed by: November 12, 2008
Notification: February 6, 2009
January Round
Application Due: January 7, 2009
Applicant-initiated Interview Completed by: January 30, 2009
Notification: March 20, 2009
April Round
Application Due: April 1, 2009
Applicant-initiated Interview Completed by: April 1, 2009
Notification: May 15, 2009

Columbia Deadlines 2008-2009

January 2009 Accelerated Program
Application Review Period Began: April 30th, 2008
Decision Period: Within 8 weeks
Application Deadline: October 8th, 2008
September 2009 Early Decision
Application Review Period Begins: August 13th, 2008
Decision Period: Within 10 weeks
Application Deadline: October 8th, 2008
September 2009 International Applicants
Application Review Period Begins: January 7, 2009
Decision Period: Within 12 weeks
Application Deadline: March 4, 2009
September 2009 U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents
Application Review Period Begins: January 7, 2009
Decision Period: Within 12 weeks
Application Deadline: April 15, 2009

UVA / Darden Deadlines 2008-2009

Round 1
Application Deadline: October 28, 2008
Interviews Conducted: December 5-19, 2008 and January 5-9, 2009
Decisions Release Date: January 30, 2009
Round 2
Application Deadline: January 7, 2009
Interviews Conducted: February 16-March 2, 2009
Decisions Release Date: March 25, 2009
Round 3
Application Deadline: March 4, 2009
Interviews Conducted: April 9-17, 2009
Decision Release Date: May 8, 2009

IESE Deadlines 2008-2009
Round One
Deadline: October 27, 2008
Notification: December 5, 2008
Round Two
Deadline: December 8, 2008
Notification: February 6, 2009
Round Three
Deadline: January 19, 2009
Notification: March 20, 2009
Round Four
Deadline: March 2, 2009
Notification: April 24, 2009
Round Five
Deadline: April 20, 2009
Notification: May 22, 2009
Round Six
Deadline: June 8, 2009
Notification: July 3, 2009

UT Austin / McCombs Deadlines 2008-2009

First Deadline:
November 1, 2008
Second Deadline for Domestic Applicants/Final Deadline for International Applicants:
February 1, 2009
Final Deadline for Domestic Deadlines:
April 1, 2009

Yale Som Deadlines and Essay Topics 2008-2009

Round one:
Deadline: October 22, 2008
Notification: January 16, 2009
Round two:
Deadline: January 7, 2009
Notification: April 10, 2009
Round three:
Deadline: March 18, 2009
Notification: May 8, 2008

UCLA Anderson Deadlines and Essay Topics 2008-2009

Round 1:
Deadline: October 9, 2008
GMAT/TOEFL taken by: September 30, 2008
Decision released: January 8, 2009
Round 2:
Deadline: January 8, 2009
GMAT/TOEFL taken by: December 31, 2008
Decision released: March 26, 2009
Round 3:
Deadline: April 2, 2009
GMAT/TOEFL taken by: March 31, 2009
Decision released: June 4, 2009

Cambridge / Judge Deadlines 2008-2009

Round 1:
Deadline: October 1, 2008
Interview Notification: November 7, 2008
Interview Day: Late November/Early December (exact date to be decided)
Final Notification: December 10, 2008
Round 2:
Deadline: January 7, 2009
Interview Notification: February 13, 2009
Interview Day: Late February/Early March (exact date to be decided)
Final Notification: March 11, 2009
Round 3:
Deadline: March 4, 2009
Interview Notification: April 9, 2009
Interview Day: Late April (exact date to be decided)
Final Notification: April 29, 2009
Round 4:
Deadline: April 15, 2009
Interview Notification: May 8, 2009
Interview Day: Mid-May/ Early June (exact date to be decided)
Final Notification: June 3, 2009

Oxford / Said Deadlines 2008-2009

Stage 1:
Deadline: October 24, 2008
Interview Notification: November 14, 2008
Final Notification: January 9, 2009
Stage 2:
Deadline: January 16, 2009
Interview Notification: February 6, 2009
Final Notification: March 27, 2009
Stage 3:
Deadline: April 3, 2009
Interview Notification: May 1, 2009
Final Notification: May 29, 2009
Stage 4:
Deadline: June 5, 2009
Interview Notification: June 26, 2009
Final Notification: July 24, 2009

Carnegie Mellon/ Tepper Deadlines 2008-2009

Round One: October 27, 2008
Round Two: January 5, 2009
Round Three: March 9, 2009
Round Four: April 27, 2009
Round Five: June 1, 2009


Skills for GRE

Verbal Reasoning — The skills measured include the test taker's ability toanalyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it analyze relationships among component parts of sentences recognize relationships between words and concepts

Quantitative Reasoning — The skills measured include the test taker's ability tounderstand basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis reason quantitatively solve problems in a quantitative setting

Analytical Writing — The skills measured include the test taker's ability toarticulate complex ideas clearly and effectively examine claims and accompanying evidence support ideas with relevant reasons and examples sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion control the elements of standard written English


GRE Test structure

The Analytical Writing section is always first. For the Issue task, two topics will be presented and you will choose one. The Argument task does not present a choice of topics; instead one topic will be presented.
The Verbal and Quantitative sections may appear in any order, including an unidentified Verbal or Quantitative unscored section. Treat each section presented during your test as if it counts.Timing and pacing is also very important.


Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

For people wanting another option to get an MBA, can try out GRE. The GRE® General Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills that are not related to any specific field of study.

Total testing time is up to 3 3/4 hours. The directions at the beginning of each section specify the total number of questions in the section and the time allowed for the section.

It costs $170. For more information go to GRE Official Site


1 month to CAT, Gear up!

The most frequently asked question by students at this point of time is "What should be done in terms of preparation for the next four weeks to crack CAT?" In this article we will discuss a strategy/plan that needs to be adopted to take the preparation to the next level in the coming days across each of the three sections that one has seen in CAT over the last few years.
Read these features?

The Quantitative section is the one that most non-mathematics students fear not to mention the scores of engineers. A plan should involve the following:
Students should revise the basics across all chapters. This is recommended because CAT has over the years tested students on their ability to comprehend basics rather than the ability to tackle advanced problems.

The next two weeks should be spent on working out the advanced material from the study material given (Material given out by TIME to its full course students). The focus should not be on time taken to solve the question but rather on the understanding of the method used to solve and the principle involved.

The remaining days in the run-up to CAT should be spent working out the questions from the Mocks that one has taken over the past few months. The Mocks have a standard of questions that is very close to the actual CAT and the learning that one can derive by working them out would be immense.

The Data Interpretation section is the one that requires the least amount of concepts to be learnt and practiced. The plan for this section should be as follows:

The basic study material is to be quickly revised and elementary concepts of Speed Math to be revised (Conversion of fractions to percentages and vice versa, quick addition, percentages computation etc). This activity should be finished in about a week's time.

The next stage would be to practice the sets given in the Mock CATs, which should go on until the week of the CAT. The emphasis here is more on identifying the approach that one should take after looking at the data rather than on the actual solving of the questions.
Students should try and solve some puzzles from puzzle books which are readily available at all major book stores. This is so because CAT seems to be moving more towards the logical puzzles than anything else if the trend of the past few years is any indication.

The section that derailed the hopes of many a student in CAT 2006 was the Verbal/RC section and things might just be the same this year. A plan for this section should be:
Allot atleast 1.5 hours everyday to reading practice. This could be from the mainstream newspapers, weekly magazines or from online sources. In this case it would be a great idea to avoid tabloid newspapers ie newspapers that revel in sensationalising news and not on the good old reporting. This activity should go on till the day of the CAT.

Weeklies like the Frontline, India Today, Newsweek etc are good. Some good online websites with articles spanning the entire spectrum of topics given in CAT like are excellent for this kind of preparation. The reading of articles helps one acclimatise to the different kinds of passages and thereby reduces the 'alien' factor in the exam.

The other area to focus on would be Grammar as quite a few questions come from this. The good old grammar books like 'Wren & Martin' are still the best for this area and a quick revision is the key here.

Some students are unduly perturbed by the questions on Vocabulary as they believe that preparing for it is like swimming across an ocean. At this point of time it is futile to try and improve on vocabulary. However as one reads an article on a daily basis, this activity itself could form the base for new words.

Students should understand that the time on hand is more than sufficient to crack CAT provided one follows the above guidelines


GMAT® Registration

You can register in four ways -

(i) Online Registration

(ii) Registering by Phone

(iii) Registering by Fax

(iv) Registering by Mail/Courier.

You can take GMAT any day, throughout the year, (except on holidays and weekends - Saturdays and Sundays). if you want to give second time you have to wait for 31 days.I have observed in bangalore, hyderabad we don't get dates and we have to book 2 months in advance. But in places like cochin you get dates even 2 weeks before.If you want to book date 2 months beforem, and 7 days before the exam date you feel you need more preparation, you can postpond to another date by paying $50 and if you donot cancel at that time all money goes. If its urgent to give GMAT then you can always try 7 days before the day you want to give GMAT you can easily find a slot. Its a best practice to get around 700 in pratcice test and when feel confident then book a day 7 days ahead and revise in that time. There are 9:00 am slot , 9:15 , 12:30,1:00 , 2:30 , 5:30 and 7:00, the slots keep changing and differs from location too.

In India, you can register by telephone or fax or mail at Prometric Testing (P) Ltd., Senior Plaza 160-A, Gautam Nagar, Yusuf Sarai, Behind Indian Oil Building, New Delhi 110 049, TEL : 011- 26512114/26531442, Fax: 265229741, Or online on


Indian B-school students can beat MIT-ians

Prof Bala V Balachandran, former chairman of Kellogg School of Business Management, is currently spending bulk time in Chennai as the founder and honorary dean of the Great Lakes Institute of Management.
In 1967, Balachandran went to the US and was with the University of Dayton. In 1971, he moved to the Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, where he taught management courses and also worked on his doctorate. In 1973, he joined the Kellogg School of Management and was with the institute for 34 years before retiring recently.
In an exclusive interview to Shobha Warrier, Prof. Balachandran spoke about his association with MDI, Gurgaon, Indian School of Business and his plans as the dean of the Great Lakes Institute of Management. Read on. . .
How did you get involved with the inception of ISB in Hyderabad and then Great Lakes in Chennai?
My association with Indian management schools goes back to the 60s and 70s. I was a visiting faculty at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, when it was taking shape under the leadership of Ravi Mathai.
In 1991, I was the chairman to the Strategy Planning Committee of Kellogg.
Its rank then hovered between 9 and 11. Our goal was to attain the top position. As I planned to find out what it takes to reach the summit, I gained tremendous experience. And soon we became number one.
I started serving as a consultant to Dr Manmohan Singh when he was the finance minister.
In October 1991, we were ready to train 25 faculty members of MDI, Gurgaon, on how to teach experienced hands at PSUs. Between 1991 and 1996, I brought the entire faculty of MDI in batches for three months to Kellogg.
That was when my involvement with India reached the highest level.
Rajat Gupta of McKinsey and I shared close ties. He came with the idea of setting up a business school in India. We created a committee comprising Indian industrialists like Anil Ambani, Jamshed Godrej [Get Quote], etcetera.
I was in charge of recruiting the dean and the faculty (in fact the first eight faculty members were recruited by me at Kellogg) and I also designed a curriculum for ISB. Then, I inducted a friend of mine named Jitendra Singh from Wharton. Later, London School of Business also became a partner of ISB.
I became the chairman of the dean search committee and faculty recruiting committee. I also taught at ISB from 2001 to 2004. Pramath Sinha became the institute's first full-time dean.
Why did you choose Hyderabad for ISB?
Mumbai was our first choice, followed by Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad. But then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu took so much interest in the project that he came to the airport to welcome us (Rajat Gupta, Anil Ambani, Jamshed Godrej and me)! He gave us a 200-acre plot and a single-window access for all clearances. That was how Hyderabad became the seat of ISB.
What motivated you to start your own business school, Great Lakes, in Chennai?
After we set up ISB, J Jayalalitha, then chief minister of Tamil Nadu, and industrialists N Shankar, Lakshmanan (Rane group) and Srinivasan (India Cements [Get Quote]) wanted me to start a business school in Chennai as I hailed from that place.
That is how Great Lakes came into being. I thereafter cut myself off from the ISB and started working on my new project. Rajat was not happy with my decision. I told him my first child is MDI, Gurgaon, ISB my second and Great Lakes, the third. C K Prahlad, Raghuram Rajan, myself and some faculty from Toronto, Cleveland, etc, are on the shores of Great Lakes. We decided to start the school in a rented building before constructing our own.
Has it not taken you long to have your own building?
Not at all. This is only the fourth year of Great Lakes. It took ISB 7 years to have its own building. Even IIM Ahmedabad didn't have a campus for 10 years. At Great Lakes, in the first year itself, we had 100 per cent placement -- a unique achievement so far. It is often said that ISB has stolen a march over Great Lakes.
That is not true. The first batch of ISB came out in 2001. The plan started in 1997. Great Lakes started in 2004 and in 2009 January, our campus will be ready on the ECR in Chennai.
How can anybody compare ISB with Great Lakes? How can you compare a 14-year-old kid with a 4-year-old baby?
As for me, I don't like any comparison. For, both are my children. How can I say one child is better than the other?
What are your plans for Great Lakes?
The building is getting ready.
The campus is one of its kind in the world. It got platinum rating for its energy-efficient and eco- friendly design. Even though we oveshot the budget by Rs 4-5 crore (Rs 40-50 million) while building, we decided to go for an eco-friendly campus at any cost. Right now, we have a PGPM course and a two-year executive MBA programmes at the institute. We have customised executive education for the Murugappa group, India Cements etc. We have generic executive programme as welll for marketing and sales, mergers and acquisition, financial delivery, etc.
We have 164 full time students and 35-40 students for executive MBA programmes at the moment. Other executive programmes have 25-40 students.
When we shift to the new campus, we will have four sections of 65 students. We will have 260 full-time students.
How different is Great Lakes campus going to be other than being energy-efficient?
My style is Gurukulam where the faculty and the students live together. The two should get a chance to mingle outside the classroom as well. At Great Lakes, not only faculty but guest faculty and visitors are to have quarters too. Even alumni will be allowed to stay and take classes. It will be like one big family. That is why there I am called uncle Bala and not dean Bala or Prof. Bala!
Do you feel there is a disconnect between industry and academia in India?
Yes, in general, there is a disconnect. But now, IIMs and IITs are in for change. In 5 to 10 years, the change will be all- pervading.
In what way are you ushering in change at Great Lakes?
We are for business-relevant academics at Great Lakes. Right from the beginning, our core competence will be the merging of the two.
I will use the words academic elegance and business relevance in this respect. That is why Ratan Tata is our chairman; he is our role model. He comes and interacts with the students. Other corporate giants too are in constant touch with the students.
For example, Venu Srinivasan gives a lecture here on total quality management. At least six professionals, who are business leaders, teach at Great Lakes. Then we have former bureaucrats taking time out to teach. T N Seshan (former chief election commissioner) is a full time faculty here teaching business, society and government along with N Vittal (former central vigilance commissioner) and Dr V S Arunachalam.
At our institute, HR groups of various industry houses comprise a part of the admission process. Where do Indian management institutes stand in the global scene?
We have a long way to go.
Management schools in India get the best students. They are good enough to get admission in the best business schools in the world. Students of IIM Ahmedabad can go to MIT, Harvard, Kellogg and Stanford and can beat any student there. That brilliant they are.
But is the faculty in the schools good enough? I don't think so. The faculty is paid less. And if you pay peanuts, you will only get monkeys. One cannot blame the faculty. Their salaries are poor and there is no incentive to do research. Quality research and publishing papers are extremely important to develop a good faculty.
What factors can make a management institute in India at par with the best in the world?
Three factors can make it the best: best students, best faculty and a quality curriculum. In my opinion, all the IIMs, XLRIs, SP Jain institutes etc have the potential to be the best institutes. However, except for ISB and Great Lakes, no other institute is of the global standard.
What makes a good manager?
A good manager has to understand that change is inevitable. You have to keep a constant vigil on how the world is changing and be prepared to reinvent yourself consistently.It is generally said that the money offered to fresh management graduate is obscene. Do you feel so?
Nothing is obscene. If you don't pay them, somebody else will from some other country. Why do you want to lose them when they are trained here with Indian money by an Indian professor on Indian soil?
Where do you see Great Lakes in five years?
I will spend more time here as the honorary dean -- at least five months a year -- and the rest of the time in the US.
I want to initiate an MBA programme here exclusively on energy management along with the University of Houston because they have the best business school for energy management.
I also want to introduce an MBA course in agriculture management with, say, the University of Illinois.
I want to see Great Lakes among top five business institutes in India in the next three years. In the next seven years, it should be among the top 20 in the world.
Source: rediff


IIML announces executive MBA programme

What: The Indian Institute of Management Lucknow (IIML) announces its one-year residential International Programme in Management for Executives (IPMX 2009-2010) at its Noida campus.

Programme details
It is a post-graduate programme in management and includes a four-week teaching term at McGill University, Canada [Images], for compulsory coursework.
Programme is meant for executives from corporates/ development sector, entrepreneurs, consultants, professionals, defence personnel and civil servants, to prepare them for leadership roles in the global environment.
The Institute would facilitate placement of non-sponsored candidates.

~ Executives with Bachelor's degree in any discipline or equivalent
~ GMAT score obtained from July 1, 2008 to November 1, 2008
~ Minimum of six years full time, post-qualification professional experience, as on March 31, 2009

Last date for receipt of completed application form: November 1, 2008

IPMX Admission office
IIM Lucknow -- Noida Campus,
B1, Sector 62, Noida 201307 (UP) India
Phone: (0120) 6681002

Application form and programme brochure is available online at: or

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Vocab Power Updated Daily

  • COBBLED - Repair or mend
  • ABHORRENCE - Hate coupled with disgust
  • INCUMBENCY - The term during which some position is held
  • MITIGATE -Lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of
  • dubious - Open to doubt or suspicion
  • FOSTERING - Encouragement; aiding the development of something
  • ELICIT- Call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses)
  • PLAUSIBLE - Apparently reasonable and valid, and truthful
  • FORGE - Move ahead steadily
  • BOLSTER (V)-Support and strengthen
  • ECCENTRIC- A person with an unusual or odd personality
  • PATRONAGE - The act of providing approval and support
  • IMPERVIOUS - Not admitting of passage or capable of being affected

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