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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

GMAT : Just do it

You might have heard these before, but let me tell you just once more.

#1. More than anything else, GMAT is an ENDURANCE test.
225 minutes=AWA 30 minutes (Analysis of an Issue)+ 30 minutes (Analysis of an Argument) + 10 mins (optional/scheduled break)+ 75 Mins QUANTITATIVE (Problem-solving + Data sufficiency) + 10 mins (optional/scheduled break)+ 75 Mins VERBAL( Critical Reasoning+ Reading Comprehension + Sentence Correction)

You have to get used to sitting continuously without moving your a#$ too much, without drinking water and without going to the loo.
Only the scheduled breaks between the sections allow you 10 minutes each.
Any unscheduled break in between results in deduction from the test time.
It is best to make best use of the optional breaks. Stretch yourself, keep breathing (silly it might sound, but don't stop breathing out of nervousness- your brain needs all the oxygen it can have)

2.For the test takers in and around Delhi who have
Pearson Professional Centers-New Delhi, India
18,Ramnath House
Yousuf Sarai Community Centre
Above Hyundai Show room
New Delhi-110016

From AIIMS / SafdarJung Hospital crossing take any bus going towards IIT-Delhi. Get down at about 2 km at Indian Oil Building at Yusuf Sarai. Take a left turn. Ramnath House is in Yusuf Sarai Community Center, above Hyundai Showroom, opposite to Jet Airways office.

What they won't tell you is that the centre is on the 4th floor of the building and you better take the elevator even if you are claustrophobic.

3.Keep your cool.
Meditate prior to the test if necessary. But please don't think about your boyfriend(s)/ girlfriend(s) during the test. Think about nothing else.

4.Full -length-tests (FLTs) give you more than just confidence to face the test on the test day. It helps you build up your system to face reality.
At the beginning, I had difficulties in concentrating, and by the end of the 3rd section I used to feel.."Baas ab khatam ho"
Such thoughts are fatal. Get yourself conditioned. Get enough practice.

5. It's about attitude. The test takers are testing your LIMITATIONS. Don't lose your nerve if the questions become increasingly difficult. It only means you are doing well. You will need to be familiar with how the Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) works to understand this. (The computer assumes you have an average score in the beginning of the test and decides the next question depending on your response- hence, you can not get back to the previous question once you have confirmed your answer)

6. Treat each question as if it were scored. Smarties know there are "experimental" questions scattered all over the test. Only fools will try to guess which ones.

7.Answer every question. Leaving questions in a section will face more penalty than getting them wrong. If you are left with very less time at the end of a section, you have to make intelligent guess and move on. Don't struggle with a question. It's not worth it.

8. Pace yourself. Here again, the only saviour is PRACTICE.

9. If you are taking the Kaplan tests, don't let the scores disappoint you. You will have an increase of 60-100 in the total on test day. Trust Jai!

Now, with the easier part of applying to B-schools over, get ready for the next step.

*** Also, have a look here

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The day I was proven wrong

This post is dedicated to Rachna and Siddharth who have restored my faith in humanity.

It began just like any other day. I was still solving some RC questions in my dreams when I woke up in the morning. By afternoon I decided it's time I watched Dhoom-2. (We were supposed to go for it on Monday, but my phone was on silent as usual.. and after 14 missed calls my friends gave up hope of reaching me)

In the evening, we tried Chanakya first..all the shows were housefull. Then we tried Sangam, got the balcony tickets (I had forgotten they existed. Courtesy: multiplexes)

We had some time before the show began so we decided to got to Qutab Institutional Area to have my fav Chicken paranthas in the Dhaba just opposite to IIFT.

But when we returned to Sangam, I realised I had lost my wallet on our way back from IIFT and it had the movie tickets in it, a debit card, some cash.. but most importantly -pics of my family.

There was no question of watching the movie ..I wasn't in the mood anymore.
I came back home and tried to call up the Citibank Helpline number. But everytime I tried to feed in my account number the voice said the ATM account has been closed. In a while, a Citi bank officer named Bhavna called up and I reported my loss. She said that the wallet has been found and a lady named Rachna has it. She wanted to verify a few details about my date-of-birth, mailing address etc. But I got suspicious. I asked her
"How can I give u my details just like that? How do I know u r really a bank officer and not somepone trying to misuse my card?"

My cynicism was met with pleasant amusement and she asked me to call up a Citibank helpline number and talk to a officer there.
I called up and gave my details. The contact number of the lady who had found my wallet was provided to me. She had taken the pain to get the card blocked.

The rest of the story is quite simple.
I called her up, she said her husband would be heading for Noida soon and I would get my wallet back. I was curious, I asked -How did u find my wallet??
She replied a man had found it lying on the street and not without a little stricture she said that fortunately it was found by someone who was not interested in the money. I asked if there were some photographs. She replied in affirmative and said that my passport size photograph had "Elsevier" written on its back. I confirmed it is the name of my project. And she added a word of advice: You should be more careful with your belongings!
But my bewilderment was more in intensity than my gladness.

She asked me where I lived and informed that her husband would be heading for Noida soon for his office.
I reached the gentleman's office and picked my wallet in due time (not without his verifying I was the girl in the photograph first ) . I just couldn't thank him enough.

He kidded about wanting to go to the movie themselves. I said" Oh you should have! At least the tickets would have been utilized!"
But then he said they had an one-year old kid and he had to come to office anyways.

I was still feeling incredulous.
And even while I script this post I can't help but wonder what made me lose the faith I had in people. Exactly when did I begin to believe that most people suffer from autism and view the world in terms of their needs and desires?

When did I become so skeptical of human nature and I found it difficult to believe the designs of my own species?

Rachna and Siddharth, I can't thank you enough. But if you are reading this I want to you to know- you have returned me more than just my wallet.

24-hour Citiphone Lines
Noida 0120 255 2484
Delhi 95-124-254-2484

Other citibank helpline numbers