Wednesday, December 30

2009 -- Memories

There are 52 weeks in a year and i believe that i should have 52 memories at the end of each year, memories that can titilate me in the years to come. 2009 was a year where i conjured up some of the great moments and just wanted to record some of them on my blog"

1. My trip to Mcleodganj with Miss S...we went to Monastaries..travelled to remote places...






2. GMAT -- dated miss G...finally kissed the sweetheart




3. Trip to water park with Miss S on her B-day-- now that trip was awesome...

Dont want to paste the pics ;)

4. Dec-26 -- miss S and i had a blast today-- cloud no. 9 ;)




5. Back Injury -- :'( -- taught me patience -- never to go over-board -- realized  my weaknesses

6. Dad's new car -- pa bought his new car and was really excited --
Van huesen shirt -- $60
Chevy - $15, 000/- {i didn't make the payment ;) }
Watching the content smile on your dad's face -- price less




7. Bro becomes a doctor -- {but i wont go to him for the treatment -- old foes you know :) }




8. Visiting my Alma Mater with friends -- Tears of joy :'( -- miss those days...





9. Starting this blog -- Realized that i can write --

10. Got my passport {how can i forget this}

11. Registered my NGO --"The Illuminati" {and so is the name of this blog}...

With this post i bring an end to my blogging for the year. Wishing you all a very happy and fruitful New Year....

Tuesday, December 29

Permutation n Combination

This is one of the most dreaded topics that a candidate can face in the GMAT exam. But, there are limited patterns that are asked in GMAT and if we can master them then i don't think one will have any trouble in solving these type of questions on GMAT.

I just got hold of my notes and decided to share em with fellow bloggers {there are some good questions that i will paste at the end of this post}:

1 Permutation : Permutation means arrangement of things. The word arrangement is used, if the order of things is considered.

2. Combination: Combination means selection of things. The word selection is used, when the order of things has no importance.

3. Example: Suppose we have to form a number of consisting of three digits using the digits 1,2,3,4,

To form this number the digits have to be arranged. Different numbers will get formed depending upon the order in which we arrange the digits. This is an example of Permutation.

4. Now suppose that we have to make a team of 11 players out of 20 players, This is an example of combination, because the order of players in the team will not result in a change in the team. No matter in which order we list out the players the team will remain the same! For a different team to be formed at least one player will have to be changed.

5. nPr = n!/(n-r)!

6. Note : Factorial of negative-number is not defined. The expression  –3! has no meaning.
7. Number of permutations of n-thing, taken all at a time, in which ‘P’ are of one type, ‘g’ of them are of second-type, ‘r’ of them re of third-type, and rest are all different is given by :-
(n!)/(p!*q!*r!)   

8. Circular permutations

(a) If clockwise and anti clock-wise orders are different, then total number of circular-permutations is given by  (n-1)!

(b) If clock-wise and anti-clock-wise orders are taken as not different, then total number of circular-permutations is given by (n-1)!/2!

Restricted – Permutations

9(a) Number of permutations of ‘n’ things, taken ‘r’ at a time, when a particular thing is to be always included in each arrangement:

r*( n-1) P(r-1)

9(b) Number of permutations of ‘n’ things, taken ‘r’ at a time, when a particular thing is never taken:
(n-1) P(r)


10. nCr = nC(n-r) {general formula}

11. Total number of ways of selecting one or more things out of n different things

nC1 + nC2 + nC3 + ------------- + nCn = 2^n - 1

12. Total number of ways of selecting ZERO or More things out of n different things

(nC0 + nC1 + -----------------nCn) = 2^n


13. (nC0 + nC1 + -----------------nCn) = 2^n {general formula}

14. Number of ways of selecting zero or more things from ‘n’ identical things is given by :- n+1

15. Number of ways of selecting one or more things from ‘p’ identical things of one type ‘q’ identical things of another type, ‘r’ identical things of the third type and ‘n’ different things is given by :

 (p+1) (q+1) (r+1)(2^n – 1)

Some good questions to apply the theory

Q How many ways can 10 letters be posted in 5 post boxes, if each of the post boxes can take more than 10 letters?

Q How many numbers are there between 100 and 1000 such that atleast one of their digits is 6?

Q How many ways can 4 prizes be given away to 3 boys, if each boy is eligible for all the prizes?

Q How many alphabets need to be there in a language if one were to make 1 million distinct 3 digit initials using the alphabets of the language?

Q How many number of times will the digit '7' be written when listing the integers from 1 to 1000?

Q Badri has 9 pairs of dark Blue socks and 9 pairs of Black socks. He keeps them all in a same bag. If he picks out three socks at random what is the probability he will get a matching pair?

Q How many words of 4 consonants and 3 vowels can be made from 12 consonants and 4 vowels, if all the letters are different?

Q If the letters of the word CHASM are rearranged to form 5 letter words such that none of the word repeat and the results arranged in ascending order as in a dictionary what is the rank of the word CHASM?

Q When four fair dice are rolled simultaneously, in how many outcomes will at least one of the dice show 3?

Q There are 5 Rock songs, 6 Carnatic songs and 3 Indi pop songs. How many different albums can be formed using the above repertoire if the albums should contain at least 1 Rock song and 1 Carnatic song?

Monday, December 28

For everything else there's mastercard!!!

Waiting for your beloved on a date, finally watching them come. Grinning and trying to control yourself -- Priceless

Getting an SMS from your beloved, Reading, Re-Reading and Reading that SMS again -- Priceless

Wanting to hold the hand of your beloved and to be able to do so -- Priceless

Fighting with your beloved and making them smile while she is still crying -- Out of the world

To just sit besides her -- sipping the coffee -- watching her talk -- watching her smile -- watching her act stupid and wanting to become one yourself {stupid of-course } -- Amazing

Thinking about your last meeting and re-living those moments -- Aha

I can go on and on and on but the left side of my Brain is now screaming at the highest possible pitch. The poor fellow is asking me to hang up my boots and change the name on this blog from Braveheart to Lovebird

How to tell this poor chap that it was love that inspired William Wallace to fight his enemies and change the course of the history.

"Love is like diarrhea you just can't hold it in" for everything else there's mastercard!

Tuesday, December 22

Miss S

I keep on mentioning miss S in my posts, few of the readers have asked me about her. Well, miss S is someone who lives in my dreams. As i wrote this line miss S screamed...i thought that was scream of joy...but her expressions told me that it wasn't the case. Her stare soon reminded me that she is a reality. ;)

So, coming back to the question "Who is miss S?", well she is a girl {obviously man, we know that miss is used for gals}. ok ok...Miss S is someone who lives with me {ok..she is my love...another stare and now she is actually dictating this post}...and is forcing me to write a post on her. She constantly complains that i write so many posts about miss G {miss GMAT} and none about her. How shall i tell her that she is so wonderful that i fail to find the right adjectives for her.

To say that she is lovely would be a misnomer. The only thing that comes to my mind when i think of miss S is {Okay..now since miss S is not here and i have the freedom to pour my heart out, here i go}

"A Red Rose...with refreshing dew on its petals...sunlight scaterring through that dew drop...and creating a halo of rainbow over the rose..."  {i wrote this myself..no dictation }

Miss S you complete me and you move me. I am grateful to you for bringing a stability in my otherwise turbulent life. Every morning when i wake up i want to see your face and smile. Every evening i want to get back to you and hug you. You're the book of my life though i might be just one chapter of yours'.

I have got just one life, its been great, and at times terrible, i know i won't live eternally but i would love you till my last breath. It was a wonderful feeling to fall in love with you and i would die a 1000 times to fall in love with you all over again.

p.s: I love you {remember how you cried in the theatre :) }, i do

Thursday, December 17

B-school Ranking -- Which source is the best??

First thing that comes to the mind of perspective MBA candidates while shortlisting the target b-schools is the b-school rankings. Now, we have a number of b-school rankings in the market. How to determine which source is best? Obviously no two rankings place the same school at the same slot {for eg Businessweek places Tuck at 12th while forbes has recently placed Tuck at 2nd}. Things become tough for applicants when they see FT or WSJ or US news rankings. The top 5 would comprise of same schools but pegged at different places.

The big question is which ranking is the best and which one is the most accurate. While rankings cannot be ignored, they should not be the sole criteria for shortlisting b-schools. Why? ok, they should be a factor because the school from which you will pass will be the brand that you will carry for the rest of your life. Why not?ok, even if you go to harvard and cant learn a single thing and cant make it to the career of your choice then whats the use of brand name Harvard. {I might be in trouble when i say this :) }. Ok i will try to cover my @ss.

Prada means prestige but consider a stileto by Prada having 12 inch heels {i guess gals wud better be able to link up with this example}. While you will wear it, you will feel tall but will you be comfortable?? And how about the side effects that follow??{high heels may contribute to knee and back problems, disabling injuries in falls, shortened calf muscles, and an awkward, unnatural gait.}. People will be impressed by Prada but when you will have to walk you will curse your choice.


I would rather wear an inexpensive unbranded footwear than wear a prada and feel like a fool.

So before one peeps into rankings one must answer the following questions honestly:

1. Why MBA {what are the reasons apart from money??}
2. What are the skills that you want to learn {Now MBA bridges the gap between your existing skill-set and the desirable skill-set that you would aspire to have post MBA. }
3. What kind of  class environment you are looking for?? is it ultra competitive or collaborative??
4. What is the mix of class room learning and peer learning? or mix of case learning and theoretical learning?
5. What are the long term career prospects?? Whats the long term ROI??
6. Whether i will b able to switch careers {say you want to switch from IT to consulting, and you get into Harvard, now you will have to compete with best of the best for a place in the coveted firm. }
7. Whats the Alum network like at my perspective school?

Once you answer these questions in great detail start lookingat the rankings. If ROI is the biggest factor in your decision making process, go no further than Forbes Business School rankings.

Forbes Ranking
Forbes ranks return on investment of MBA programs based on:
Average 5-year increase in compensation compared to pre-MBA salary for each school's graduates
Cost of each MBA program, including estimated foregone salary

Detailed MBA Rankings Methodology 

Forbes ranks MBA programs based on return on investment (ROI) achieved by graduates. Forbes surveys alumni at over 100 schools and compares their earnings in their first five years out of business school to their opportunity costs (two years of forgone compensation, tuition and required fees). Forbes then:
  1. Adjusts for cost of living expenses
  2. Discounts earnings gains using a rate tied to money market yields
  3. Discounts tuition to account for students who pay in-state rates and for the non-repayable financial aid from schools
  4. Accounts for required fees that students must pay on top of tuition
Now let us consider FT rankings.

The Salary incremental {Outgoing salary - Incoming salary } is one of the biggest factor in FT rankings. Now this is something i dont like. ISB is ranked ahead of Kellogg {Man its not Kellogg corn flakes, its Kellogg Business School}. To make the matters worse FT uses some PPP conversion index = value provided by world bank. Thus weighted average salary calculated by FT comes out to be:

WAS = average of salary (with some adjustments) x PPP ;

thus ISB's "WAS" becomes larger than Kellogg's or Ross's or Duke's WAS...crap.

*Personally i dont give a **** to FT rankings after this debacle.

BusinessWeek Rankings

BusinessWeek bases its MBA rankings on:
  1. 45% on student satisfaction surveys of recent MBA Program graduates
  2. 45% on surveys of corporate recruiters based on their experiences with a school's graduates
  3. 10% on "intellectual capital" calculated by BusinessWeek, which tallies points for appearance of the faculty's research in 18 specific publications
Fairly good indicator of a school's worth!! {atleast i think so}

The Wall Street Journal MBA Rankings

The Wall Street Journal bases its MBA program rankings 100% on surveys of recruiters' perceptions of the MBA programs from which they recruit.

Now i dont like this method..Why? Where's the students Perspective?? Where's the ROI?? Good that you are asking the External customer about his satisfaction level but what about the satisfaction level of Students?? I dont think one goes to a b-school to make the recruiter proud {that might be one reason} but money, career opportunities, learning, ROI etc play a big role.

U.S. News & World Report bases its MBA rankings:
  1. 25% on ratings by business school deans and MBA program directors
  2. 15% on ratings by recruiters of the schools at which they recruit
  3. 35% on placement statistics provided by each school
  4. 25% on school-reported "selectivity", the percentage of applicants the school accepts for admission
Now this is again a good method to rank the schools.

Once you are done with the introspection part, i would suggest that Businessweek, Forbes or US news be used as a reference to shortlist schools of top reputation.

Monday, December 14

Inexplicable!!!

The emotional tsunami is killing me!!! I am feeling like a hollow man .. There is so much to express and so much to share but the cyclone of restlessness has gripped me and is going to rip me apart.

There are certain emotions that shape our lives {dont believe me ...emotion = e + motion = energy in motion, emotions are 14 times stronger than logic and these emotions eventually shape our actions and hence our destiny} and we still fail to recognize some of the emotions and our failure to recognize them causes restlessness. After a long struggle i have identified the emotion that is bothering me for so long , i was aware of its existense but kept myself busy in order to keep my mind distracted so that it could never figure it out {am going nuts i think :) }. Now while i am fully aware of the emotion, i am afraid of the consequences that might follow when i will express this emotion {reality might not be that bad but we oftn sketch scary scenes}.

I really want to express my feelings but am failing to find the right words. I am trying to run away from everything but this thought, this emotion won't leave me..

God help me! ... really the feeling is inexplicable...its really a nice feeling but my failure to express it is causing a lot of trouble.

Friday, December 11

AWA - 5.5

Finally, got my AWA result...5.5 ...So i would re-iterate don't spend much time on AWA...

i had not even spell-checked or proof read my actual essays...

i guess blogging helps ;) ...

Thursday, December 10

Reflections - GMAT do's and dont's

I am through with my GMAT but as i reflect on my preparation and GMAT experience, i have certain suggestions that will really help perspective test takers.

AWA: AWA score does not matter much but its better to write AWA on last 2-3 mocks. {Simply to build stamina.} Write AWA for 1 hour before you start the quant section.

Mocks: I guess 6 Manhattan, GMAT prep {with as many retakes as possible} and one free GMAT club test {quant is really good} are sufficient. Last 2-3 mocks should be given in a cyber cafe {would replicate the exam centre experience} under timed conditions.
if you get 750 on a mock dont think that you will get 750 on real thing...see the score as a range..750 mock means 700-800{omg 800 ;)} on real thing...

Mock Analysis: Analysis of mocks should take you more time than actually writing them.
1. Never look at the answers straight away if you geta problem wrong. Try hard and solve it, will help you in learning a lot of concepts. Simply looking at answer wont solve the purpose.
2. Look at the explanation of each and very answer choice...why a particular choice is wrong...GMAT repeats a certain pre set patterns...RECOGNIZE THE PATTERNS

Exercise: If you regularly train with weights nothing like it...else start jogging ...daily for 20-25 mins...will help a lot in relieving stress ... and will keep you energetic...i jogged till the very last day...and believe me it helped.

Eat Healthy: GMAT prep is stressful and often you will neglect your diet. Keep taking multivitamins {Zinco-vit was the one that i took}, have lots of fruits...keep hydrated {atleast 2 lt of water everyday}...

SLEEP: Sleep really well for 10-15 days before the exam...you should be so charged up before the exam that GMAT should be afraid of you...Think of GMAT as your perspective date and be eager for the meeting...

Meditate: Meditate -- breath deep...pray...it gives strength

Exam day: Prefer morning time...because of exam anxiety a lot of people dont sleep well and get up too early on exam day...dont book afternoon or evening appointment...you will un-necessarily tire yourself...

Eat a healthy breakfast...consume carbohydrates..be very normal..read paper or watch tv if you normally do so at that time...

Take red-bull or any other energy drink -- caffeine will keep you awake during verbal section....also keep some nutribars and chocolates for breaks...

Utilize your breaks wisely...STRETCH..WASH YOUR FACE..RE-CHARGE...

during the exam SIMPLY FOCUS ON THE QUESTION AT HAND AND FORGET ABOUT THE REST...

Keep an eye on the watch...guess intelligently if you have to....REMEMBER 30% OF QUESTIONS ARE EXPERIMENTAL...


and yes before the xam be honest and consistent with your prep,..Work smart --

all da best :)

p.s: i love you..oops watched this movie yesterday night..want to go to ireland..can someone sponsor me>>

p.s: Will post some DS fundae soon....

Saturday, December 5

The Debrief

q-50 --93 percentile, v - 41 - 92 percentile --overall - 740 -- 97 percentile.. AWA --result awaited

Prep time -- Approx 6 weeks --daily 2 hours
Study Material --
SC {accuracy rate at the start - approx 40% ..at the end approx 90%}

Manhattan SC guide must have gone through it atleast 7 times. Don't just read it STUDY IT.

Once i grasped the basics well i picked up OG, did all the questions thoroughly. When i say thoroughly i mean to say that i figured out error in each and every answer choice. This helped me to understand the various patterns of error that appear on the GMAT. {Accuracy had improved to about 70%}

When i say ientify the error -- dont simply say that this choice is awkward or does not make sense etc etc --- pen down the error type...whether it is Sub-Verb or Pronoun or modifier ---

Adamjohn's Notes -- Has some of the finest questions and also superb explanations by an expert called 800Bob. Learnt a lot of tricks here and have posted some of them on my blog

1000 SC -- did approx 400 questions, some people say that 1000 sc is not a reliable source. Agreed! but the %age of poor questions is low. This source is good for practise once you are done with OG. Again identify the error type in each and every choice.

CR {Accuracy at the start -- approx 40-50% ..at the end 70-75%, though hit rate in OG was 90+% but OG level is way too low as compared to the real thing.}

Powerscore Bible -- won't recommend it -- consumes too much time....though practice the following from powerscore:

1. Flaw in reasoning,
2. Evaluate the argument --- Saw atleast 3 questions on real thing

BTG {Beat The GMAT} Forum Questions -- did a lot of them and tried to support my answers with reasoning....Please share your reasoning with every answer...simply saying IMO A,B or C wont help a lot....

Approach -- Read the argument carefully -- Clearly mark out the conclusion -- understand the reasoning ---Paraphrase ---- read the question ----attack the answer choices

Be extra careful about the boundary words such as "many", "Some", "All", "only" etc.
RC {Starting hit rate --approx 85% --towards the end 90+% }

Read The Economist, The New scientist everyday for approx 20-30 mins. After reading each para pause for 5 seconds PARAPHRASE -- Tell yourself what the author is trying to say. --- MOVE AHEAD --- DO the same for every para --- In the end take out 10 seconds --- Link up all the paragraphs --- total reading time for a typical GMAT RC passage would be close to 3 Minutes....but by following this approach you will take very less time to answer the questions.

I won't recommend to skim the passage --- RC means READING COMPREHENSION --it tests your comprehension not the skimming ability.

Quant --Was good in quant but was making careless mistakes

{If you lack the basics then pick up any elementary school level book and brush up the fundamentals}

1. Read the question carefully
2. Pen down what you have to calculate -- the variable name and units--
3. READ THE CONDITIONS GIVEN IN QUESTION CAREFULLY AND KEEP THEM IN MIND --for eg if x  > 0 no need to put x = -2 or x = 0
4. Always test the inequalities for 0,1, -1, 1/2 and -1/2

Daily solve 20 questions --- i regularly solved 20 questions on BTG {Beat The GMAT} --- at times i failed to post my answer but religiously solved problems in DS and PS thread.

AWA ----- Simply prepared a template a day before and never wrote it in any of the mocks --- WAS ONE BIG MISTAKE

For last 2 or 3 mocks attempt AWA...
I would suggest give your last 2 mocks in a cyber cafe and write AWA
Mock CATS {always gave each section 70 mins of time}
I consistently hit 760+ in last 5-6 mocks. Scored 790 in one of the GMAT prep where 3-4 questions were repeat.
GMAT PREP is a must and re-take it as many times as possible. Because of the adaptive nature of test and large repository of the questions you will get to solve a lot of different questions.

Manhattan GMAT -- Verbal is very close to the real thing -- MARK MY WORDS HERE -- Manhattan's quant is way off mark the real thing but their Verbal is damn good, i would say i improved from V-18 to V-41 because of MANHATTAN

But their pool of 700+ level questions is too small and by the time you have attempted 3 mocks the quality of questions gets diluted....Please add a lot more 700+ questions to your tests.....

TEST Experience:
{i didn;t take any leave for prep ... i would say be consistent for 6 weeks or so and put 2 hours or so daily....on weekends i would simply give mocks and analyze them thoroughly}

Day before test


1. Watched Cricket --- Was in office -- went to Gym, ran for 25 mins -- took sauna and relaxed...
2. Tried to get my mind off the test, at one time i almost forgot that i have my test tomo
3. But as i tried to sleep ---> i got butterflies in my stomach....Slept for hardly 4 hours---this was a perenial Sin--- SLEEP WELL BEFORE THE EXAM

Test Day

5:30 am -- Woke Up
Deep Breathing
Lots of water
approx 8: Am -- news paper
Took shower, Had breakfast -- Bananas + Boiled Eggs

Watched Sehwag throw away his wicket after a blistering performance

Headed to a temple -- to gain some SPIRITUAL STRENGTH --- PRAY -- if you are an atheist then you can simply remember your parents or any person whom you idolize--- IT helps

Was in centre 30 mins before the test --- centre was empty --no test takers...I was allowed to sit 20 mins before the sched time

Fired off both the AWA in 30 mins --- 15 mins each -- never reviewed what i wrote...had a template and vomited it....above 4 everything would be a bonus :)

Had a nutribar -- Stretched -- total break time -- 4 minutes [By the Way You get only 8 mins of break in between sections now --- UTILIZE YOUR BREAKS PROPERLY}

Quant -- first ques -- co-ord geometry -- forgot the formula and felt frustrated after 5 mins guessed and moved on ---NEVER ALLOWED MYSELF TO FEEL DOWN BECAUSE OF THIS ACT--- My performance would be judged by how i fare on 37 questions not by my response to 1st question ----at times it is good to make intelligent guess and move on....

Lots of inequalities, modulus, number prop, co-ordinate geometry --> last 2 questions were esp tricky
Advise -- Pace yourself well -- i completed the section in 69 mins or so --- could have better utilized my time

Verbal -- MANHATTAN GMAT ---SHALL I SAY MORE ?? -- ATTEMPT THE MOCKS AND READ THE EXPLANATION CAREFULLY THATS IT....
SC and RC were predictable...CR -- Got 1 strengthen and wekaen ques each...most were evaluate and vulnerable to crticism type
NEVER TRY TO ANALYZE YOUR PERFORMANCE BY THE QUESTIONS YOU SEE

Took a deep breath ----- honestly was expecting 750 --opened my eyes --Saw 740 --- was kind of mixed reaction --- But i would take it ....

Friday, December 4

Kissed the GMAT

I dont know whether i should be happy or sad, but i know that i won't have to date Miss G again {atleast i think so}.

My exam was at 10:45 am today, was in office till 21:00 yesterday night. Hardly slept because of anxiety and woke up at 5:30 Am today.

Heard "eye of the tiger" and "gonna fly now" from Rocky to pump myself before leaving for the centre. Went to a divine place to seek blessings of god {am a god loving man -- read it as god fearing ;) }Packed some nutri-bars, chocolates and a can of Red Bull to re-fuel myself during breaks.

will share lots of insights very soon...i am dead tired right now...

q50 - v-41 ..overall 97 percentile..740 {barely missed 750 -- so a bit sad also, was stupid to finish verbal in 70 mins}

gonna fly now....

Wednesday, November 25

G day is approaching

As i wrote the subject of this post my heart started pounding, i could actually feel it. Finally i will be going on a date with miss G...i have done all that i could have to know more about her...have fancied about luring her and have gone on few mock dates {courtsey, GMATprep and MGMAT}.

Have to start getting up early becaus right now i sleep late and get up very very late {need to pay heed to early to bed early to rise makes braveheart healthy wealthy and wise}. I want to be fresh and energetic when i would encounter miss G...i hope i wont have to date her again {god pls give me a gud score... }..quite funny...a guy not wanting to date .... but thats how i am....i would want this date to be a one time affair and would really want to come out in flying colors...

will share my result with all you ppl... would close this post with Survivor's "eye of the tiger"

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the cream of the fight
Risin' up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night
And he's watchin' us all in the eye of the tiger

Monday, November 9

Hitting the Gym !!!

Started going to gym after a long break. Stamina is gone and so is the strength. {GMAT prep is similar to working out, only difference being the type of muscles being trained. In gym you sculpt your body and in GMAT prep you work out the grey matter between your ears.}

Stretching followed by some cardio, steam and shower..No weight training else my back might go stiff again. Neck has still not improved but have to stretch it daily 2-3 times.

overall, it felt good to be back in the gym and i will try to consistently hit the gym from now on....

Sunday, November 1

Manhattan GMAT :'(

After a long time gave one MGMAT. Didn't write the essays {my bad} and screwed up quant. I always used to think that quant is my strong point but this CAT opened my eyes. I was short of time in the end and made hell lot of mistakes. I had to make blind guesses on 6 questions and what i would call intelligent guesses on as many as 5 questions. So, you see 1/3 of quant section was done by guessing :).

I made 14 mistakes in quant {almost all of my guesses were wrong} and 13 mistakes in verbal. The incorrigible optimist in me tries to assuage my pain by saying that "my performance is balanced", i made almost equal number of mistakes in both sections.

Takeaways:

Need to start writing the AWA,

Improvement in SC and CR but performance has declined in RC {haven't practised RC for past many weeks so i was expecting a dip here},
Made atleast 3 careless mistakes {didn't even read the question properly}
Poor time management

Quant--

Good thing is -- DS has improved,
Bad thing is -- PS has taken a hit {am an engineer and any engineer would laugh at me if i share my quant score with him/her }
* Poor time management
* Was not able to apply the fundamentals
* Calculation mistakes
* to add to all this i made atleast 3 careless mistakes{didn't even read the question properly}



The target is to bring the no. of mistakes down to a maximum of 4 or 5 in each section. I need to get my fundae right in "inequalities", "number properties" and "set theory". Also, will have to start practising RC.

Thursday, October 22

My Shit pot wants to be a Geyser!

Why in the hell a shit pot wants to become a Geyser? And, why in the hell i am writing a post on such a topic? Let me explain, today i heard my geyser talking to my shit pot.{believe me, i was also bedazzled.} But geysers do speak and so do shit pots. They also have sexual preferences and my geyser and shit pot both are gays :'( .

I was taking the hot shower when i heard the following conversation between my geyser and shit pot:

Geyser: You know shitty, this guy turns me on every morning and as he undresses the juices within my body start boiling. The signal on my body turns from green to red, marking the erotic state of my mind.

Shit pot: Don't start this all over again. He is a bastard and gives me a good view of his ASSets every day but as soon as i am turned on he shits one me :'(

Geyser: Thank goodness! I am so lucky, since the time his back has got injured he takes prolonged showers while giving a wonderful view of his ASSets and  i get to jerk off my hot juices {read water :)} on his body.

Shit Pot: I too get to feel his body when he sits but then it gets too kinky, wish i were a geyser {subjunctive mood here :) }

I hope you believe me now! Shit pots do talk and they too want to be someone else.

Tuesday, October 20

Preparing for the GMAT – Confused???

Various questions pop up in the mind of an MBA applicant while preparing for the GMAT: How much time should be devoted to preparation?, whether to book the date first or prepare first, Is it good to pre-pone/Post-pone the date?, Which material to use?, When to start giving Mock CATs, How many Mock CATs etc etc.

When i first thought about giving GMAT, i knew nothing about it. All the information that i could get on the net only increased my problems. So much material and so many Mock CATs to choose from, different plans employed by various candidates to crack the GMAT. My friends who have given the GMAT cleared up a lot of doubts but each one of them suggested a different approach and different set of books to prepare for the exam.

I believe most of the GMAT applicants are confronted with following questions:

1. How much time shall I keep aside for GMAT preparation??

There will be people who will simply book a date a week ahead and crack 770 and there will always be people who will slug it out for months and get a jaw dropping score such as 550. Its good to aim high but its better to know your capabilities and manage your expectations. Its easier to go from 500 to 650 or from 500 to 690 but for every 10 point gain in your score post the 690 mark hard work alone won't help, Smart work along with rock solid determination, laser sharp focus and an insurmountable desire to succeed is required.

To be honest the time will depend upon your capabilities and your target score. The preparation time is inversely proportional to your capabilities and target score. But anything from 45 days to 180 days is more than enough. A longer preparation period can lead to burnout and you might peak before your G-day.
So, how to find out the ideal prep duration? I would say go ahead and book a date 3 months ahead. This takes us to our next two questions:
Whether to book the date first or prepare first,
Is it good to pre-pone/Post-pone the date?

Not everyone has the determination to put in few hours of preparation everyday. Booking a date might give you the much needed kick and invoke a sense of urgency. You might ask what if I am unable to cover the course in 3 months? Now I will say you can always go ahead and post pone the exam. I know I am going to draw flak for saying this but I would like to give my rationale. Normally a prep plan looks something like this:

1. CR -- Go through the fundamentals using Manhattan or Powerscore -- 7 days
2. Start practising CR questions -- OG-11 - 5 Days, OG-12 - 5days, 1000 CR - till 30 Feb -- as many as possible
3. Manhattan SC guide-- 7 days
4. SC practise -- OG-11,12 , 1000SC -- 25 days
5. Quant prep -- bla bla
6. Mock CATs -- bla bla
But one soon realizes that it is not so easy to execute the plan. Some might have to put in long hours in the office, some might have to travel, some might get injured or ill {like me :'(}, some have to devote time to their family.

Above all at the time of preparing a plan one is not sure as to how much time it would take to complete a given topic. A lot of candidates have not touched quant or verbal books for years after the college and for this reason many candidates feel rusty when they start solving the questions. The plan which was prepared earlier is gone for a toss.

CR - Powerscore bible -- 7 days {oh hell, i can’t even go through those 500+ pages in 15 days and my G-day is coming}, the anxiety of not completing a given topic within the timeline takes the toll of the preparation. The quantitative approach takes over the qualitative approach for test preparation. Candidate simply wants to do as many questions as possible without properly analyzing the questions and Mock CATs. If you want to know how to analyze the questions and Mock CATs then BTG{Beat the GMAT} has tonnes of info.

If you feel that you are taking some time over and above what you had initially allotted to a section/topic then don't let the quality suffer. Do each and every question with utmost dedication, check out each and every answer choice and make sure that you know why you are crossing out a particular choice and why you are selecting a particular choice as the final answer. {So how am i going to meet my deadlines?? My G-Day is coming} that’s why i said: you can always postpone the exam. Don’t make it a habit though, don’t take undue advantage of the fact that this exam can be postponed but use this flexibility to benefit yourself.

Take the stock of the situation, by preparing for 15-20 days you will get a fair enough idea of your abilities and the time that you need to attain the peak. Accordingly either pre-pone the exam or post pone it. Why pre-pone the exam?? Ok, you have prepared well for 45 days and now you are getting 750+ in the Mock CATs and you still have 45 days to go. If you are sure that you won't get burnt out by the end then don’t pre-pone otherwise you know what my suggestion would be.
Fair enough, i have taken a date 3 months ahead, i have given one Mock CAT now what? Which material shall i use? Again, this is a very subjective question. The choice of material totally depends upon your curent level. If you lack the basics then attempting the Manhattan Mock CAT quant will only shatter your confidence. And if you are finding it hard to understand what is parallelism and what is subject verb agreement then there is no point in attempting the questions from OG. Choose the prep material wisely.

One question that is bugging me right now is whether to start giving Mock CATs or wait for few more weeks. I think a lot of candidates face this problem while preparing for GMAT. I don’t want to give a lot of CATs because doing so might lead to a burn-out and giving too few CATs might leave me a bit unpolished before my date with the beast.

As of now i am not well prepared to tackle the quant section. I am making all sorts of careless and calculation mistakes. I am not well acquainted with fundamentals of Set theory {esp 3 sets}, Progressions, Combinatorics and Stats. I am through with the fundamentals of CR and SC but still haven't achieved a good hit rate {esp in SC :'(, lack of concentration is dragging my accuracy.}. I am not sure whether it would be good to waste time on Mock CATs while i am still brushing up Quant fundamentals or go ahead and track my progress in verbal section.

Some people are of the opinion that one should first be well versed with all the sections of the GMAT before attempting the Mock CATs. While others support the strategy of giving as many Mock CATs as you can before the real GMAT.

Give one Mock CAT in the begining to know where do you stand and then wait till you are well versed with basics of all the sections. Once you have covered all the sections start giving Mock CATs and analyze them in detail {as explained in the article written by stacy}. You must know your strengths and weaknesses, after giving Mock CATs you must develop a gut feeling as to when it is best to guess and move ahead.

Don't try and give each and every Mock CAT,

I would like to invite thoughts of fellow bloggers.

Friday, October 16

Happy Diwali !!!

Happy Diwali to all the fellow bloggers !!!

As the candlelight flame,
Ur life may always be happiness' claim;
As the mountain high,
U move without sigh;
like the white linen flair,
Purity is always an affair;
As sunshine creates morning glory,
fragrance fills years as flory;
with the immaculate eternal smile,
attached to u mile after mile;
All darkness is far away,
As light is on its way;
Wish all of u a very happy diwali.

Sunday, October 4

Critical Reasoning

Today i spent sometime on understanding the basics of CR. I would like to summarize few key points which must be kept in mind while attacking the CR questions:

1. Read actively: No matter what the complexity of stimulus is you should read the argument actively. One must keep a note of BOUNDAY WORDS {such as some, many, most, Only if, all, none etc} for they define the scopre of the argument. For example:

Only few soccer players become soccer legends. Some soccer players  frequently change their partners and many soccer legends sleep with some girls. Zidane is a soccer legend.

If above mentioned information is true then which of the following MUST be true?

a.) Zidane slept with many girls -- which might be true  but we are looking for something which MUST be true{but the stimulus says MANY soccer legends not all sleep with SOME girls and not MANY}
b.) Zidane headbutted  Materazzi -- {This type of answer choices are out of scope answer choices ... whether Zidane head butted Materazzi or Butt headed him is not within the scope of this stimulus.}
c.) Zidane frequently changed his partners {again -- stimulus says some soccer players do that not all -- so this info might again be true but is not necesarily true.}
d.) Zidane was a soccer player -- correct --{how else he can be a soccer legend ?? }

2. Identify the Conclusion: Don't read the question before you read the stimulus and have a crystal clear idea about the conclusion of the argument. I am saying this because most of the questions either have to attack the conclusion or support it. Even if it is a method of reasoning or a Bold face question it helps to know the conclusion. Say in a bold face question one of the bold part is the conclusion of the argument and 3 of the answer choices mention that very part as an asumption or premises then you can quickly cross out those 3 choices.

Now, the conclusion can appear anywhere in the stimulus. In the begining, in the middle or in the end. few things which should be kept in mind are:

Using premise and conclusion indicators to confuse the reader:

Therefore, since higher debt has forced consumers to lower their savings, banks now have less money to loan.”**

“Higher debt has forced consumers to lower their savings” is the premise;“banks now have less money to loan” is the conclusion. So, in this instance“therefore” still introduces a conclusion, but the appearance of the conclusion
is interrupted by a clause that contains a premise.

See how the premise and conclusion indicators can be clubbed to catch the pasive readers off the guard.

Sub-conclusion and Conclusion: Not every CR stimulus will have a simple structure wherein the premises will lead to the conclusion. One trick that GMAT plays is to place the main conclusion at the begining of the stimulus without any conclusion indicator and then place a sub-conclusion with a conclusion indicator at the end of the stimulus.

a simple argument appears as follows:


Premise  ----> Conclusion

a complex argument takes an initial conclusion and then uses it as a premise for another conclusion:

Premise  ---> Conclusion/Premise {sub-conclusion} -----> Conclusion

Psychologist**: The obligation to express gratitude cannot be fulfilled anonymously. However much society may have changed over the centuries, human psychology is still driven primarily by personal interaction. Thus, the important social function of positively reinforcing those behaviors that have beneficial consequences for others can be served only if the benefactor knows the source of the gratitude.

Take sometime to identify the conclusion and sub-conclusion of the above mentioned stimulus. Due to stress during the exam it is quite possible that you mistake sub-conclusion for the main conclusion {idiom --> mistake x for y ;) }

3. Read the question properly: Read the question properly, whether it is a strengthen the argument question or Strengthen Except question {i.e all of the following strengthen the argument excep??}

 Also, there might be multiple levels in the question itself. For e.g:

Let us consider that some environmentalists are in favour of exploiting the natural resources to the fullest while others are not. The stimulus can load you with tonnes of other information. And the question might be as follows:

All of the following strengthen the attack against the defensibility of exploiting natural resources Except??

simplify the ques as --> which choice does not strengthen the attack on environmentalists who support the exploitation of natural resources..

Again have a crystal clear idea of what you are supposed to do...

Will share more ideas as and when i learn something new.
 
** Source: Powerscore CR Bible

Raj Thackeray -- The Parasite!

I am not sure how to start this post. I am full of angst and i need to vent it out. The reason for this utmost frustration is one of the budding parasite {Raj Thackeray} of my country {he is a budding politician}. I am not sure why India is blessed with so many a$$hole politicians. Frequently we have to read about misdeeds of Mayawati, Mulayam Singh, Lalu Prasad, Mamta Banerjee to name a few and now for past few months this Raj Thackeray has disrupted the public life in MUMBAI {See i am writing Mumbai and Not Bombay, else Raj and his goons, oops i should  say else The Goon and his sub-ordinates will again take law in their hands and disrupt the public life} 

When Nov-26 happened where was this parasite? He was hiding in the underpants of his father at the time terrorists took Mumbai as a hostage. He was nowhere to be seen, he was nowhere to condole the families of policemen who actually died for mumbai. In fact had he come out in public at that time, the public would have beaten him like a street dog {i know my street dog is gonna bark at me today for comparing his species to Raj}.

Recently "Raj the bastard Thackeray" again created chaos when a film mentioned Mumbai as Bombay {Mumbai was previously known as Bombay}. Raj - the goon and his gang again damaged public property. Why cant this parasite have some agenda for the development of Mumbai instead of damaging public property every now and then.

I wish that Terrorists had shot this very man on Nov-26 but why will they ever shoot their companion!!!

Its high time that these kind of politicians are shown the way. Mumbai is going for polls and i believe that people who really care for the development of Mumbai will not vote for this man {people who care for development of mumbai wont be able to cast their votes because once elected all the politicians are going to serve their own interests}. But still its the matter of choosing a smaller bastard over a bigger bastard. And for these politicians i would like to mention a few lines from a book that i just read:

Davis and Blomstrom’s Iron Law of Responsibility: “In the long run, those who do not use power in a manner which society considers responsible will tend to lose it.”
Though

the “long run” may require decades or even centuries in some instances, society ultimately acts to reduce power when society thinks it is not being used responsibly

Lastly, one should not write when he/she is utterly frustrated, it is my bad that i wrote this post for the sake of criticizing Raj rather than addressing the real issue and proposing a well thought solution...

Tuesday, September 29

Berkeley Haas Admit Gets Candid !!

I had the opportunity to interact with a Berkeley Admit {Bhavin Parikh} and i would like to share the finer points of our conversation with all my fellow bloggers. Bhavin scored in the 99th percentile in GMAT and applied to Wharton, Haas and Stanford. This information will be extremely useful for all the applicants who are planning to apply to Haas. Also, Bhavin is a co-founder of  "GMAT preparation site Magoosh" {"Magoosh - a play on the Old Persian word "magush" meaning "one who is highly learned, wise, and generous."}. As of now, Magoosh offers Quant preparation at a killer price {INR 499/- or approx $12}. Below is the transcript, read on:

Braveheart: Bhavin, to which all schools you applied? and why you chose Haas ?

bkparikh: I applied to Wharton, Stanford, and Haas.
I had been living in Philadelphia at the time, which was the primary reason I applied to Wharton. However, the school was not a good fit for me. I prefer a smaller class size, And I was heavily interested in technology.

Braveheart: so Haas is good for people who intend to pursue career in technology? How about the scope of strategy or Finance at Haas?

bkparikh: being close to Silicon Valley, Haas is definitely good for technology. But many students come here pursuing finance, strategy, consulting and marketing opportunites as well.
While Haas may not be as focused in Finance or Marketing as some other schools, the school does provide resources to help students succeed. Especially if they want to stay in the California area after graduation

Braveheart: but do Management Consulting/ Finance firms recruit in same proportion at Haas as they do at Chicago or Kellogg?

bkparikh: To be honest, I don't know the levels of recruitment of those schools. However, I know that last year 7% of our class came from Deloitte Consulting, most from a management consulting role So Haas does bring in mgmt consultants and also sends out mgmt consultants

Braveheart: coming back to app process :) .. What are the factors that an applicant should keep in mind while applying to a b-school?

bkparikh: Ah, good question!

I sometimes think applicants, including myself, place too much emphasis on the GMAT

Braveheart: you are bang on...

bkparikh: the GMAT is important, however it is not the only factor. Many applicants who score 750+ still do not get into top schools while other who are below 700 do get in

The most important component of the application is your "story" meaning...why at this point in your life do you want to go to business school, and why is the particular school you are applying to the best fit for you. All your essays, short answer questions, work history, and interview are part of your story it needs to make sense

Braveheart: absolutely...

bkparikh: to add a little moreI also believe if you can show that you have a unique experience that others can learn from, that will help you. b-school is much different that undergraduate in that you often learn more from your classmates experiences than you learn at your classes

Braveheart: makes sense.. so, how one should approach the essays? should the essays be tackled while keeping the adcom in mind i.e what is it that adcom wants to hear or would you suggest applicants to be themselves...?

bkparikh: The applicants should be themselves.

When I applied to Haas, I was myself. And the school made sense for me.

If an applicant knows why he/she wants to go to bschool, he/she should just write the story. It will be more genuine and the adcom can see that

Braveheart: Can you please share the interview experience at Haas?and how was it different from that at other b-schools?

bkparikh: I only interviewed at Haas and Wharton. I traveled from Philadelphia to Berkeley for the Haas interview, even though I had the option of interviewing off-campus. For me, it was important to come to the school since I had never been there before.

I was interviewed by a 1st year student.


This also signalled something to me...that the student opinion really matters and that the community is very student-driven

Braveheart: right..

bkparikh: Anyway, he had no knowledge of my essays. He just asked about why I wanted to come to Haas and asked about my prior experiences in difficult situations, being a leader and some personal questions I was quite nervous, but the interviewer actually put me at ease made it more like a conversation than an interview

Braveheart: and do they ask the same typical questions like why MBA? why Haas? or were there any surprises for you?

bkparikh: There were no big surprises, they asked the typical questions. But because I was myself in my essays, I felt comfortable being myself in the interview knowing that my story would be consistent which I believe is very important

Braveheart: and there is only one round of interview or multiple rounds?

bkparikh: I only had 1 round

For Haas, it depends on when you interview


For instance if you apply in round 1 or 2, I believe you have multiple interviews on the same day


I was round 3, for which the process is a bit different

Braveheart: ok..thats interesting... Any special advise to future applicants for tackling the Haas interview? {apart from presenting your trueself ...}

bkparikh: (1) Like I said before, have a good story about why b-school at this time and why this particular school, you'll need to be your trueself because the adcom can see that

(2) Learn as much as you can about the school. All the extra activities, etc... Think about what activities you would take part in if you were a student and bring those out

(3) Don't be afraid to bring in your personal life if it helps with your story. My fiance was living in Hawaii and I was in Philadelphia. So Berkeley made sense because we could both move closer to each other

Braveheart: Any word of caution for Indian applicants {I think it is one of the most competitive group}?

bkparikh: Bring out your personality. Why are you different from another Indian applicant? What unique experiences do you have? Don't force it or lie just reflect and find out what makes you unique

Braveheart: How would you describe your experience at Haas? What is the learning model at Haas? How is the faculty? What %age of work/assignments are done in teams?

bkparikh: My experience has been amazing! I have met a great group of friends. The culture is very student-driven, so the students have a lot of responsibility but can also make a lot of things happen

The small class size 240 students enables everyone to know each other at some level fostering a great sense of community.

Tying into the learning experience...the collaborative aspect of the student body helps everyone learn. Everyone is always willing to help each other even though classes on graded on a curve. Students care more about helping each other than about their grades

For example, I had a classmates who waived out of the core Accounting class because she was an accountant. But she still helped me when I had questions on my homework

And I helped her in classes like Statistics and Economics

Braveheart: that sounds like a great student body..

bkparikh: It is! I honestly cannot say enough good things about it

They even welcome partners of students (like my fiance) making her feel like part of the community

Braveheart: Thats a great news for applicants with partners...

bkparikh: The classes are a combination of case and lecture. You can learn from specific case examples but also learn general theory from lectures

The first semester is very busy, with classwork, networking, recruiting for summer internships etc...It is really a lesson in prioritization and time management

You can't do everything so you must figure out what is most important to you

Much of the work early on is done in teams. Your team is assigned by the school. Usually to be quite diverse. Teams of 5 (typically 1-2 females and 1-2 international students per team)

Braveheart: and you work in a single team for entire semester or you get to be a part of different teams for different subjects?

bkparikh: for the first semester you work in a single team but afterwards you get to work in different teams for different subjects

Braveheart: How do you find the alum community at Haas?

bkparikh: I would need to check to be 100% sure but I believe most Haas alums remain in the California area at first. That being said, they are extremely helpful
You can reach out to them and they typically respond quickly and are willing to talk with you
Braveheart: and do they also offer support when it comes to recruitment?

bkparikh: I believe part of this is because the class size is small so you build closer bonds to the school than you may otherwise yes they do,

many come back to campus and talk with students or advocate for Haas students to be hired

in fact last year during the recession, our Dean sent a message to the alums asking for help in job openings and many responded within a day providing openings at their companies

One concrete example is that a former alum from Google sent an opening to Haas directly and to no other schools

Braveheart: Any idea as to how easy it is for a student to switch careers post an MBA from haas? Say can a person from manufacturing or IT enter consulting/finance?

bkparikh: It is possible but not easy. To switch careers requires a lot of work on the students' sides to prove to the company that they are truly knowledgeable and interestd in that space however, the career services office does provide a lot of support and as a student, you can get involved in your new interest in many ways but you must definitely work at it

Braveheart: one thing that you would like to change at Haas?"

bkparikh: wow, good question

Braveheart: :)thanks

bkparikh: I would like for Haas' brand to be more widely recognized. Haas consistently ranks very high in the MBA rankings but does not have the national brand of some other top schools

Braveheart: you are spot on...

bkparikh: Haas has a great brand on the West Coast, but for someone like me who has family on the east it would help

Braveheart: thanks a lot for sharing your experience at Haas.... You have started a GMAT prep company, tell us more about that..

bkparikh: I am working with 2 Haas classmates, and one other individual on the site. We feel that there's a gap in the market right now. Classes (whether in person or online) are very expensive, running hundreds or thousands of dollars


Books, while cheaper, do not provide any level of personalized instruction

We are trying to provide some level of personalized instruction and metrics at roughly the cost of a book

The site is still in its infancy, with only GMAT Quant right now. We have plans to expand to GMAT Verbal and GRE in the near future

Braveheart: You have already shared the USP of Magoosh ... can you please tell us by when do you plan to launch verbal prep section?

Any tentative deadline as to when the verbal section would be up and running?

bkparikh: Ideally the verbal content would be up by the end of October

Braveheart: And would the cost of verbal prep be same as that of quant prep? {499 INR/-}

bkparikh: At first, we may provide verbal for a free trial

we haven't finalized the cost yet after that

Braveheart: Would you like to throw some light on video explanation feature of Magoosh?

bkparikh: Yes. We and our expert tutors believe videos provide a better way for students to learn than just reading text. We do recognize that some videos go into a lot of detail that many students may not need. But the goal is to help all students. The more advanced ones can skip over the videos while the less advanced students get the benefit of a very detailed explanation

The videos are also created to help students learn general concepts from one question that they can apply to another question

Braveheart: Any comments on Quant faculty at Magoosh? Like Manhattan and Kaplan always boast of 99percentile tutors

bkparikh: All of our quant content is currently provided by one tutor who is 99th percentile scorer

Braveheart: I personally belive GMAT score is not reflective of one's teaching capability but still in order to market your brand you have to boast ...

bkparikh: he also used to be a featured expert on beatthegmat.

we also believe that your score is not reflective of your teaching ability. so we sought out a tutor that has a high score and a lot of teaching experience he has taught for over 7 years and has worked at a large test prep company

in addition, we plan to continually focus on 99th percentile tutors. However, because we may get only verbal content from a given tutor and math from another...its more important that the tutor is strong in that respective subject than being strong overall

Braveheart: How you and your team mates come into picture? Do you also plan to take some sessions or you are involved only in technology and financing part of this project?

bkparikh: We do not create the content. However the four of us, having scored very well, are willing to share our GMAT prep experiences. We do review the content.

Our main focus however is the technology, financing and marketing

Monday, September 28

The Power of Advertising -- Deodorant becomes Aphrodisiac !!!

The ads that i see in the newspaper or on the TV are superbly exploiting the human psychology. I am not an expert in the field of marketing but after analyzing few of the advertisements across industries i feel the advertisements these days can be divided into 2 broad categories based upon the sexes.

The difference in the structure of Male and Female brains primarily drives the advertising. Just check out the basic structures of Male and Female brains in the pic below:



I won't touch upon the circuitry of the female brain but i am eligible to comment on the Male circuitry. I believe Tv is wrongly shown as the centre of male brain. The more appropriate structure of male brain should be as follows:


Now, this is called "THE FOCUS". The pic above exemplifies the thoughts {thoughts? i can only see a single thought} that are going on in the male brain. Advertisement agencies are aware of the huge imbalance between male and female brains and thats why there are two categories of advertisements: ads for men and ads for women.

In this article i will only write about the first category of the ads i.e ads for men. The advertisment for deodorant looks more like an ad for aphrodisiac. You don't believe me, check-out the following links:

1. Deodorant or Aphrodisiac?? Check out the links:


Who cares whether Axe removes the odor or not but it will drive women crazy. And many of my friends {i dont use a deodorant} bought bottles after bottles of Axe and many other deos but they are still single. Check out ads of other deos:
Wild stone -- does it removes odor or drives women horny ... am still to figure it out

You can also check out the ads of Park Avenue, Denver or for that matter any other deo and i am sure you might be confused at first whether the ad is of deo or a condom or an aphrodisiac.

2. Mango Drink or {K}Amasutra ?? check out this link:


This mango drink can drive women crazy!!! {Girls pls dont drink mango drinks at the parties}

3. Cement or Italian Call girl??

Check out this ad from a local newspaper asking for applications from distributors for a cement company. I could not find the qualities of cement anywhere but all i could see was a girl:




4. See how TATA is selling its MUV: {click on the link below}


For most part of the ad only the girl is shown as if you get a car free with this gal. No need to mention features, fuel economy etc of the car. Simply show that you will drive chics mad if you buy this car


Finally, i came across one ad in the newspaper about GMAT preparation company. The ad had a  headline that read: " OUR ENGLISH TEACHER" followed by a sensual lady's pic. Nice ad for drawing guys to your prep centre. Nowhere did the ad talked about credentials of the teachers or the course content.

One can check the following ads too:{click on the links below}








The list is endless.. you can watch ads for jeans, chocolate, burger, LCD panels and  you will find all of them based on a single theme... hats off to ad makers .... for only they can project an underwear as an aphrodisiac...

Saturday, September 26

Watch when you Talk! {what an idiot sir ji}

The new ad campaign of Idea cellular service has the punchline which says "Walk when you talk". This idea is really cool and for the same reason the compounder in the ad-campaign compliments the doctor played by Aishwarya Rai's Husband {forgot his name, he is Amitabh Bachan's son} by saying "What an Idea sir ji!" {"or read it as "What an Idea sir"}. But after today's Physiotherapy session i would start following the Mantra that says "WATCH WHEN YOU TALK" else someone will compliment me by saying "What an idiot Sir ji!"

What happened in the last physiotherapy session that i am talking in such a philosophical mood? Ok, let me share the story with all you fellow bloggers:

I  go for a physiotherapy session on a daily basis to get relief from the back pain and the physiotherapist works on my back by giving an ultra-sonic massage followed by some vibratory massage and Short wave diathermia {scientific name for some special kind of heating}.

While the physiotherapist was working on my back another of his patient suffering from Tennis Elbow came to his clinic. The physio's assistance started working on his arm and the patient started talking on anything and everything. In between the Physio said "Madam is going to come" {actually the physio was asking mr Tenis Elbow "Is the Madam going to come today?"}, mr tenis elbow thought that some lady is going to come for the treatment. Unable to control his urge for talking the patient fired back "You physios have all the fun with Madams ha ha ha!" and made some funny faces.

The physio replied "Sir i am asking whether your madam i.e. your wife will be coming in for a physiotherapy session today?"  Before Physio could utter anything else his assistance and I started laughing out loudly, {how can mr Tenis Elbow say something like that about his wife and the physio} and Mr tenis elbow must have felt like an idiot.

I know Physio should prepare for GMAT to avoid the awkward sentences but then mr Tenis Elbow should start following the mantra: "Watch when you Talk"

Tuesday, September 22

Sentence Correction - 2

Manhattan SC guide is regarded as {regarded must be followed by as} the bible of SC and i have no doubt about that {can't use it here}. Summarising few of the imp concepts that i picked up while going through Adamjon's notes {these points are not mentioned in Manhattan guide}:

1. One of the {plural noun} is ---
One of the {Plural noun} THAT ARE

2. Each of the three cats is {each preceds the subject}
Three cats each are {each follows the subject}
Three cats, each of which is

3. Be on a lookout for word placement, certain words moving from one position to other can alter the intent of author:

ALL children are covered with mud
Children are ALL covered with mud

4. Known vs Unknown:

If original sentence is certain about an outcome then cross out the answer choices that indicate uncertainity:

Drop in fuel prices will boost auto sales
Drop in fuel prices might boost auto sales

5. Relative pronouns {who, that, which} generally agrees with the immediately preceding noun.
{However in certain cases it might refer to a noun earlier than the immediately preceding noun.}

--> It, They, Them agree with the subject of preceding clause or sentence

6. Don't use conditional verb {could, may, might etc}with Possible/Possibly

7. Adverbs of frequency should be placed between auxiliary verb and past participle:

--> As anyone has ever come -- correct
--> As anyone ever has come -- incorrect

8. Between can be used for more than two items if the relationship is one to one, however much it may be repeated with different partners.
--> Dr. Sayre’s lecture recounted several little-known episodes in the relations between nations that illustrate what is wrong with alliances and treaties that do not have popular support.

9. It doesn't matter whether the subject is singular or plural after will you must use have and not has,

Will have ----

10. Not only generally calls for a later but also but But also does not necessarily calls for an earlier not only. e.g:
--> Rio de Janeiro has some of the world's most famous beaches, but it also has some of the world's most notorious slums

11. Majority should be used with countable nouns

A majority of -- plural
One half of voters -- Plural
A lot of voters -- plural

12. Regard and consider are similar in meaning. But Regard must be followed by As while consider should not be followed by as or to be.

I regard him as a friend.
I consider him a friend.

13. Do NOT USE Subjuntive in a clause begining with Until.

14. Different Than -- can be used to compare a noun and a clause. But should never be used to compare two nouns. Delhi is different than "it was 10 years ago" is correct.

15. Concerned for -- worried/anxious
Concerned with -- related to

Native to -- characterstic or species -- tigers are native to india
Native of -- birthplace -- i am a native of Jupiter

16. Due to is different from Because of.
Due to should only be used to mean caused by.
The game was postponed due to rain -- incorrect
The game's postponement was due to rain -- correct

17. Credit with -- accredited with -- edison is credited with inventing the bulb
Credit to -- give money -- The bank credited $1 million to my account {why in the hell you are writing this blog then ??}
Credit for -- Money received for -- The customer received a $20 credit for the interruption in service.

Friday, September 18

Sentence Correction

The use of colloquial language coupled with our innate ability to decipher the intended meaning are the biggest roadblocks for someone who is trying to achieve a high hit rate in SC. I find it really tough to spot the subjunctive, have problem with questions involving modifiers and being a non native speaker my ears find it hard to spot the idioms.

So, whats the way out for people like me? Practice, practice and practice. Thats the response i get from people who have either cracked the GMAT or who are GMAT instructors. Great, with all the resources handy i started practising and soon found my accuracy rate jump from 50% to approx 70-75%. Now i have hit the ceiling and hard work alone won't help me. I need to practice smarter and need to train at an altitude {no i'm not going to Himalayas, i will be practising harder problems}. But i soon figured out that solving harder problems alone won't help my cause. I need to figure out why a specific answer choice is right and why others are wrong.

Now i make a point to identify the error type in each of the answer choice. Also, i make sure to put down the reason for selecting a particular option. This habit has slowed me down a bit but i have become aware of so many fundamentals which i had been ignoring earlier. When to use -ing form of modifier, how "it, they, them" are different from subject pronouns etc. I have shortlisted Adamjon's notes /Sahil's notes and OG to get a good grasp of fundamentals. I am trying hard not to choose an option only by relying on my ears {what sounds right is not always gramatically correct}, i make sure that the option falls in one of the error category.

This habit helped me to figure out my problem areas in SC -- subjunctive/modifiers/idioms. Also, one should read the sentence in totality and try to get an understanding of author's intention. For eg:

The Lake Manyara Park in Tanzania affords the visitor with unequalled opportunities to photograph lions playing in trees without the aid of telephoto lenses.

Author intends to say that lions can be photographed without the aid of telephoto lenses but the sentence above gives an impression that lions are playing in trees withou the aid of TP lenses. {Here our mind plays the trick, it deciphers the intended meaning}

I found a useful tool in 2-3 split approach, which says that you often find answer choices where based upon the structure of sentence you can club the problems into 2 groups. Now, if you find a particular error in a group abandon all the choices falling in that group {No point in wasting time on wrong choices}. With practice it is easy to spot these 2-3 patterns and you will often find yourself struggling between 2 choices which are very close. Once you achieve this level hard work alone won't help, its time to work smarter. for e.g:

The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal that his inventions typically sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly from previous works.


(A) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly
(B) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved
(C) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly
(D) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but had slowly evolved
(E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but they were slowly evolved

A and B have sprang and C,D and E have did not spring...evolved slowly is in a and c and b and e have were slowly evolved.
 
Will share more of my thoughts on SC and other topics as and when i learn new fundae.

Tuesday, September 15

Happening day!!

What a happening day it was!Booked a date with the beast in December, Finished my BD deck, Watched Del Potro beat Fedex, Rejoiced India's win over Lanka {i hope this sentence is parallel}.

So, i finally booked the date with the beast. Already feeling the kick{I screamed at my maid today for repeatedly disturbing my studies while she was trying to clean my room in the morning.} Plan to spend next seven days on SC {Basics and then hardcore practice}, once i am through with SC i will put concentrated effort on CR for 10-12 days. Plan to take a CAT post that and track the progress in SC and CR questions. Next 10 days will be devoted on honing the quant skills and every weekend i will take one CAT and track my progress. In sum, i am going to work on the basics for next 30 days or so and then devote my time entirely on CATs and working on my weak areas. I also plan to do 2 RC passages every day for next 30 days or so and post that will start doing 4 paragraphs i na single sitting. Have charted out a plan for myself and am determined to execute the same.

Later in the night i watched Del potro snatch the US open crown from Roger. As i mentioned in my earlier post on US open that Roger might bite the dust against a tough competitor. Despite of winning the first set Roger let Del potro beat him i na 5 setter. This match was quite similar to the one these two played at French open earlier this year but this time Del Potro showed why he is tipped as the next big thing. Del potro is only 20 and the quality of  game that he displayed in 2009 gives a hint of another churn in the top 3 men players.

I also finished my BD deck and am relieved now for some days. Now just need to connect with the clients to sell them the ideas.

Finally, Tendulkar and Harbhajan made my day. Tendulkar played one of the finest innings of his life and Bhajji bowled well at the crucial time helping India to break the final's jinx and defeat Sri Lanka. I feel so good when India beat Lanka because the way Lankan's bowl i feel they should start playing Baseball. Their bowlers all look like{they might be not, but then it would be awful to face bowlers with such an ugly action} chuckers to me {but i am not ICC chairman so my viewpoint hardly matters}. I hope India maintains the momentum and performs well in Champions Trophy.

Got to work now. Enough of ranting.

Wednesday, September 9

Kellogg Reception

Attended the Kellogg reception yesterday, one adcom officer and 3 alums were there to guide the applicants.

1. The presentation given by adcom officer was very simple and yet impactful,
2. K is not only a marketing school but also a great place if you are interested in Strategy,
3. largest population of the class {46%) falls in the GMAT range of 700-740, {only 16% is 750 and above}
4. Kellogg focuses a lot on one's career progression, experiences and learnings
5. K students are humble and team workers
6. There's a bidding system which allows students to choose various courses in which they are interested {this was something interesting}
7. GIM -- A great program for those who want to develop a global perspective
8. All the applicants are automatically considered for scholarships and approx 75% of the class receives some kind of financial aid {varying from 15k $ to full tuition waiver}
9. Good news for international students -- No US cosigner is needed for loans, a lot of options are available to finance one's MBA
10. DEMONSTRATED LEADERSHIP -- K adcom looks for leadership potential and one has to back his/her application with examples where he/she demonstrated leadership traits
11. 100% of the class of 2010 got internship offers {not bad in such challenging times ;}
12. ITS RIGOROUS -- Adcom officer was very blunt in stating that once you land up in K you will soon get those dark circles under your eyes, if one gets 3-4 hours sleep/day then its a luxury

Lastly, the snacks were good {i had gone to the reception for this feast only :) }, some of the applicants were too smart and had done a lot of research while some were too dumb {including me}. One question post which there was a silence in the room was "why FT has ranked ISB above Kellogg".