It’s Over


Peanuts_-_school_advice for blog

It’s over. My first GMAT test is officially over. I don’t really feel relieved. Well, I’m not exactly sure what to think of my GMAT score. I took the test last week for the first time after studying for about two months. I knew I wasn’t ready for the test, but with the shortened timeline I’ve given myself, I wanted to take the test twice.
Most people aren’t as open about their progress and wouldn’t even think about sharing their scores. I’m going to be honest because I think it’s part of the story I’m telling. I got a 570. Obviously I’m far from where I want my score to be, but for a first try, I’m not devastated.
Overall I performed better on the Verbal section than Quan. Not surprised there. I did especially well at IR, and I think I did pretty well on the writing section. Typically schools don’t look at those sections too closely. I’ve heard they really look at the overall score (the 400-800 number) and the individual scores for the Quan and Verbal section.
One immediate learning point I noticed is I did not manage my time well. I had to guess for quite a few questions at the end of each section. I’ve always been a slow test taker. In high school they gave us as much time as we wanted to take tests. Maybe the luxury was really an evil.
Well, time to hit the books again. My next test is in just over a month.

The First Test


Well, this is it. The day has finally come. I’m taking my first official GMAT test later today. I’ve never been this nervous for anything. I’m usual pretty good under pressure. Whether it was a big exam or a big presentation, I usually kept my cool in undergrad.

There was one exam that I was a bit anxious about. My first exam in my undergrad program was a calculus exam. It was scheduled for 8AM on a Monday morning, of course. We had typical Michigan weather, a snowstorm. The drive in to the school was enough to make me anxious, let alone taking my first exam. The student in front of me had a cold, so for 3 hours straight all I heard was a sniffing noise. Usually those things don’t bother me. But as we all know, we’re not always ourselves in these types of situations. I wonder what I’m going to remember about today when I look back.

I have been very dedicated to my studies lately. I even studied on my birthday. Who-hoo. But, I still think I should’ve began studying a few months earlier. I am hoping this will be an exam to get my feet wet. I already scheduled another exam for the end of December.

I’ve done quite a bit of reading about what to do to prepare for the test day. They say you should relax the night before and do something fun. I heard the same advice before taking the ACT. How can you relax when you’re about to take a really big test? I want to cram in as much studying as possible. I studied quite a bit last night and even this morning. I did get a lot of sleep though, and ate a good breakfast. Hopefully that helps. I’m also lucky that there are several test facilities nearby so I won’t have a long drive. I also picked a mid-morning test time. I’m not a morning person. They do say it’s best to schedule a test as early as you feel comfortable with. The test alone is 3.5 hours and you have to be there a half hour early. Add in the commute time and half of your day is almost gone. No one wants to be taking a test during the “afternoon crash” time.

We’ll see what happens. Wish me luck!

Nothing in Life is Free, but Some Things Actually Are…


Taking the first step toward my MBA has been a big financial investment, but I’ve also been fortunate enough to find a lot of free resources as well. Many of the top GMAT study programs offer free trials, study materials, and practice tests. There are also quite a few websites that offer great study tips. Additionally, there are other blogs out there that offer good tips from future applicants and prospective students. Here are a few of the resources I’ve found.
The Economist
Free 7 day trial software and one practice test:
Princeton Review
Free practice test and look into their online workshops:

Free practice test with video review and one free question a day:

Free test and high level study materials:
Free online classes and study tips:

Free practice test and mini tests: