Friday, 30 September 2011

BBC Video: Baby Animals

I found the following video as I was randomly spending time at work browsing through blogspot. Yes, you might argue that I should spend the time reviewing my GMAT, but there's only so much you can do before you take a break. Get Lite posted this BBC video of baby animals, and it cheered me up to no end. So if you're stressed/depressed/just not having the best of days, check this out:

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Manhattan GMAT Practice CAT 1

I've been terribly ill since yesterday, having a horrible cough and full body cramps. It sucks. I spent almost the whole day yesterday in bed, hugging my hot water bottle for dear life.

This morning, I felt fresh after 12 hours of sleep, and sat down (with my hot water bottle!) to take another GMAT practice test. For those who don't remember, my last two tests scores were as follows:

GMATPrep 1 (before starting my prep): 600 (Q42,V27).
VeritasPrep Free Practice Test 1: 620 (Q45,V31).

And today, I took Manhattan GMAT Practice CAT 1: 690 (Q47,V37).

So although 690 is well below my target score, I was mighty pleased with my result. I was steadily improving, in fact, my verbal score has drastically improved in the last 2-3 months, and I'm thrilled about that. While not much should be made about scores from companies apart from GMAC, I'm going to take it as a sign that I'm definitely getting better and better, as I try to crack that 700-score barrier.

One thing I really like about Manhattan GMAT's practice test is the review they provide at the end of the test. From what I briefly saw for each question, they not only provide you with the question type, the topic focus, and the time taken to solve it, but also the difficulty level and the estimated percentage of students who have answered the question correctly. I think this is a great tool to gauge your level - all my mistakes were in questions with a difficulty level of 700 to 800, thereby showing just why I scored a 690.

Exactly 2 weeks left till the big day.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

GMAT Update: I don't even know what week this is anymore

I haven’t been here in a while.

It’s ridiculous just how hectic my life is, just when I need as much free time as I can get for the GMAT. I’ve spent the last few weeks visiting Cologne, Siegen, and Switzerland, each time meeting up with high school friends whom I haven’t seen for at least three years. It was amazing to know that the distance didn’t change a thing – no awkward silences, no feelings of let-down, it was all just wonderful and ended far too quickly in my opinion.   

I was going to post last weekend, but then Liverpool lost to Tottenham in a 4-0 humiliation, and to make matters worse, Novak Djokovic suffered from a partial muscle rupture on his back, and had to retire from his match after writhing on the court in agony. Not a pretty sight. I then managed to break a wineglass in the kitchen, made a chicken curry without a key ingredient as I’d forgotten to buy it, and checked my email to find an unnecessarily  rude message from a Professor at University giving me stick about my late arrival. All this gave me a major headache and I just couldn’t do anything else really.

This is officially my last week in Berlin. Next week I’m off to Paris, and will spend the weekend there before heading home. Sadly, my European adventures have come to an end. But I’ve had a brilliant 13 months, almost irreplaceable really, and I know I’ve met some people and seen some places that I’ll never forget in the years to come.

How can I concentrate on the GMAT when my time in Europe is coming to an end? It’s awful to have such expectations really. But I do try. I have finished all my strategy books, and it’s all OG from now on – practice, practice, and more practice. My scores are alright in the practice problems (as expected, RC being my least scoring section of the test, and SC the highest), but when it comes to taking a full length test, I tend to rush through, subconsciously panicking about the thought that I wont finish the test in time. I therefore end up with some very foolish errors, errors I would have never made had I more time. And I do have more time – when I took a test last weekend, I finished the quant section with 20 minutes to spare, and the verbal section with 16 minutes to spare. That’s crazy; ideally I shouldn’t have more than five minutes left at the end of each section.

Dad’s coming to visit me this weekend (to take some of my luggage back more than anything else really, I really don’t know how I’ve managed to accumulate so many things over the past year), but I still hope to take another test. This time, I shall treat it as a sequence of practice problems so that I don’t panic. Fingers crossed my scores improve!