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'GMAT scores are very useful for getting scholarships'

Last updated on: December 22, 2011 17:36 IST

'GMAT scores are very useful for getting scholarships'

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In an online chat with readers on December 19, Naveenan Ramachandran, expert from 4GMAT addressed reader queries related to cracking the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) exam and more.

For those who missed the live chat, here's the unedited transcript


Naveenan says, Hi ... This is Naveenan - representing 4GMAT at Mumbai. Please direct any questions regarding the math section of GMAT and I shall take my best shot at answer them. Thanks.

nottyn asked, hi naveen could u tell me how can an arts graduate prepare for GMAT quant? i am pretty weak in mathematics

Naveenan answers, at 2011-12-19 15:00:32
Hi Nottyn ... The quants at GMAT is not calculation intensive at all ... It tests whether you are really confident of your math uptil the 10th standard level. No matter whether you were a arts graduate or an engineer - just go back to the basics. They do not even check stuff from junior college / 11th / 12th classes. It is only the basics - number theory, inequalities, speed, geometry, probability etc. Please take away the notion that things are tougher for arts graduates. Thansk.
vishal asked, i wish to know abt the pattern for GMAT exam and how it is different from CAT ?

Naveenan answers,
The following items broadly differentiate GMAT from CAT: (1) Adaptive questions (difficulty level of each questions depends upon the previous question). (2) You have to answer all the questions. (3) You cannot go back to the previous question(s). (4) Two essays are currently involved.
vishal asked, thanks naveenan .. could you plz elaborate over the pattern for GMAT also ?

Naveenan answers,
30 minutes: Essay 1 (either argument essay or issue essay). 30 minutes: Essay 2 (either argument or issue) 10 minute optional break 75 minutes: 37 questions in maths (Two types: Problem solving and Data Sufficiency) - Topics covered - Algebra, arithmetic, speed, probability, permutation, ratios, inequalities, pipes, cisterns, coordinate geometry, geometry, profit n loss, percentages etc. 10 minute optional break 75 minutes: 41 questions in verbal (only 3 types: Sentence Correction, Critical Reasoning & Reading Comprehension)
DOORMAT asked, Sir how to prepare for GMAT?

Naveenan answers,
Official Guide 12 is a good starting point. But, the difficulty level of OG is way lesser than that of the actual GMAT. I would like to characterise OG as questions of 650 to 680 level difficulty. Also top up your prepration with 10+ mock GMAT examinations ... Lot of these are available off the shelf on the net. Thanks.
nottyn asked, thank you naveen, also could you tell me how many months should i start preparing in advance?

Naveenan answers,
Overall, it requires about 3 to 4 months of preparation. I would also look at it as about 200 hours of preparation - which amounts to about 2 to 3 hours per day on a consistent basis. Thanks.
nottyn asked, i plan to apply for september intake

Naveenan answers,
Pls make sure that the GMAT score is with you more than a month in advance so that you can prepare your application essays.
nottyn asked, yes, but how much should i score if i should get into a good b-school. are there sectional cutoffs? they send our scores only to 4 schools... plus it's expensive

Naveenan answers,
Each institute may treat the scores differently. There would be sectional cutoffs. The scaled scores (on 60) are mentioned in your scoresheet. Expensive - Yes - That part is true. It costs about $250 for an attempt at GMAT.
nottyn asked, yes, but how much should i score if i should get into a good b-school. are there sectional cutoffs? they send our scores only to 4 schools... plus it's expensive

Naveenan answers,
A 700+ score is considered as a good score by a lot of institute. Having said that a 700+ may not be sufficient to crack into the top 3 institutes of a country ... A 750+ score is a strong score for any college. All the best.
raj asked, is there any age limit to appear for GMAT ?

Naveenan answers,
No age limit for GMAT.
seetha asked, i am graduating in 2012 when can apply gmat

Naveenan answers,
You may take GMAT at any time now. The GMAT score is valid for 5 years.
Achilles asked, I have given GMAT recently and scored 760 with sectional scores 51 and 40. I intend to apply for PhD in finance and have a feeling that I could quite easily improve my VA score for better splits. Is this necessary or will this paint a negative picture?

Naveenan answers,
Hi Achilles ... Congratulations with the terrific score you have earned. This score must be more than sufficient for most programs. I think you should not spend time in taking it up by a further 20 or 30 marks. All the best with your apping.
Aditya asked, hi i have heard that GMAT is going to have a diffrent format post june 2012, does that mean we should wait to give the exam

Naveenan answers,
Yes - there is a new section called Integrated Reasoning (IR) to be introduced on 5th june 2012. This is going to be a math intensive section and is going to replace the "issue" essay. Considering that we have about 5 months between now and then, you might want to plan to give the GMAT before IR steps in. All the best !
RJ asked, sir, i m planning for 2013 intake. When should i submit my application?

Naveenan answers,
The round 1 for 2013 intake starts at around August or Sep of 2012.
vegi asked, how score is helpful in getting scholarships

Naveenan answers,
Hi Vegi ... Scores are very very useful for getting scholarships. The only thing common about the 100 selected students in a college are that ALL of them will have a valid GMAT score. I have heard situations where the scholarship interviews are arranged in the descending order of the GMAT scores. All the best !
Abhishek asked, I have registered my GMAT test on 12th Mar 2012, but will apply for intakes after Jan'2013 . Please tell me whether I'll get any option of sending my scores for free for that period?

Naveenan answers,
Hi Abhishek, You will have to mention the schools on the day of giving your GMAT. Your scores will be sent to them on the same day as the AWA score gets calculated. So, you basically do not have to worry about re-sending the scores whenever you apply. Thanks.
Abhilash asked, Hi...my name is Abhilash..i am an MBA and I have 8 years of work ex and i wish to appear for GMAT...the thibg is that i scored only 50% in my graduation..will that hinder my intake in colleges...

Naveenan answers,
Hi Abhilash, In my experience - each student has a chink in their armour. Somebody does not have work exp, somebody does not have a great work record, somebody does not have a great acads record, somebody does not have any social work to talk about ... the college are not interested about any single part of your application - they are interested in you as a person and in seeing how you can contribute to their class ... Go ahead and give GMAT your all. This is the last chance to illustrate that you can withstand the academic rigour in your school. Thanks.
gauravjain asked, i have taken the classes of Gmat now my classes are finish in some topic i am blanked what to do how to revise?

Naveenan answers,
try asking for a repeat in their class. try listening to some online tutorials ... try seeking an hour's time of the tutor concerned ... try checking if a relavant video is available on the khan academy ... I am sure one of these will help you out ... Thanks.
vegi asked, for 7 years experience what would be ideal score to get into top schools for a one year course

Naveenan answers,
Hi Vegi ... there is no strict correspondence between the number of years of experience and GMAT score. Yes - the school will be willing to reduce the expectation to a reasonable 30 to 40 mark discount to the average GMAT of their application pool. Thanks. All the best.



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Avoid taking the GMAT beyond 3 attempts

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naveen asked,
Hi Naveenan. How is GMAT's algorithm set? How is the difficulty level of next question being set and on what criterias?

Naveenan answers,
Hi, A very tough question to answer ... They would have an entire team trying to classify questions on the basis of their difficulty level ... monitoring the answers on a real time before recaliberating the scores etc. Net - net - It is beyond our control and one should just focus on acing each of the sections to the best of one's ability. Thanks !
pranjal asked, gud day sir, i would like to know exactly that if we one is not having a work experience then he or she should give GMAT...?

Naveenan answers,
Hi Pranjal, GMAT score is valid for 5 years. So, you can give your score anytime and apply at a later point in time also. Whether you have experience or not, you can still apply to colleges outside India with your GMAT score. It is only in India that a lot of institutions take GMAT for their executive education courses which requires several years of work experience. Thanks.
Abhishek asked, I have completed "Cracking the GMAT - The Princeton Review" , What should I go for next??? 1) Official Guide 2012 or 2) KAPLAN 800+ or 3) Manhattan Review for verbal My Verbal section is weak.

Naveenan answers,
Pls focus on the verbal section if you have identified your trouble areas. try to drill deeper - is it CR or SC or RC. The 1000 series of documents could be useful for sectionwise practice. All the best. Work on your weak areas until they cease to be so. Thanks.
Hari asked, I intend to pursue MS (pre experience) in FE Have decent scores in GRE (169+165+4.0), and expecting to get good recos too from my insti. I dont have matching work ex. What aspect should I highlight more to improve my chances of selection? Need I take GMAT to improve my chance? What score can I expect in GMAT?

Naveenan answers,
What score to expect - It is almost impossible to map your GRE score to the GMAT score, Hari ... I do not thin that taking or not taking the GMAT improves or reduces your chance of getting into your dream school. All the best !
ashish asked, What are the other factors, namely - Recos, acads,experience,age - that matter for getting admission in the top-10 B-school & top-5 India B-School

Naveenan answers,
Application essays - SOPs, clear reason as to why you want to do your MBA, plan as to where you want to be 3 years and 5 years from now, recommendation letters from immediate bosses (in the reporting line) are some of the many factors that affect your chances at getting into the best schools.
vegii asked, best time to give gmat so that we can be eligible for 1st rounds

Naveenan answers,
Hi, Try to have your GMAT score by May so that you avoid both the IR section and you are ready well ahead of time. Thanks.
Rahul asked, Hi. What other parameters are looked at besides the GMAT score for getting admission to the MBA program at top schools like Harvard?

Naveenan answers,
Application essays - SOPs, clear reason as to why you want to do your MBA, plan as to where you want to be 3 years and 5 years from now, recommendation letters from immediate bosses (in the reporting line) are some of the many factors that affect your chances at getting into the best schools.
Ravi asked, Hi..I am ravi. How many times I can give GMAT? is it ok to give GMAT 7 or 8 times

Naveenan answers,
Does not make sense. Beyond 3 attempts, there is not much value add. All the best.
bhaskar asked, Hi I am having 9+ years of experiance in the field of IT project management and delivery. I want to do an executive MBA program . what's the typical score that will be good for me.

Naveenan answers,
Hi Bhaskar ... Assuming that you are looking at a school in India - a good 720+ score will ensure that you will get an admission purely on the basis of your academic excellence - without having to consider your application on the strength of your profile. Thanks.
indreaminllove@gmail.com asked, Hi, Is GMAT require to get admission in executive MBA in IIM's?

Naveenan answers,
Hi, Yes - GMAT _is_ indeed required for admission to the executive MBA programs in IIMs.
sarvesh asked, Hi sir i'm b.tech in instrument having experience of more than 5 years IN JAMNAGAR Gujrat i want to go for GMAT what steps should i take as in jamnagar no proper institute is available for GMAT Preparation.

Naveenan answers,
Hi Sarvesh ... Start with books like Official Guide 12. GMAT is one exam for which there are lots and lots of material available online. Having said that, do not get lost in the breadth of books - make sre that you do depth in the books of your choice. If necessary, you may take online courses available with a lot of test prep institutes.
hawk asked, Hi, I have given MGMAT, Princeton Review, Knewton free diagnostic tests score around 700. GMAT Prep 1 & 2 (700 & 730) . 800score around 700. How do you rate my chances in actual GMAT ? And are MGMAT tests harder than actual GMAT ?

Naveenan answers,
Hi Hawk, The numbers look good ... The MGMAT are about as tough as the actual GMAT. I would rate the second best after the GMAT Prep 1 & 2 tests. All the best !
helllloo asked, sir ,,,I am an MBA and have 4yrs work experience in one of the TOP banks of India. I scored 720 in GMAT. Can I do Second MBA..??? Is it allowed??? What gud universities in India and abroad I can apply??

Naveenan answers,
Hi, Of course - a 2nd MBA is done by a lot of people in some of the best institutes - It is definitely allowed. You should look at the rankings of economist.com or ft.com and apply to the top 3 institutes that you deem fit. The 2nd MBA institute has to be far far better than the first in order for the decision to make sense. All the best !
dimpy asked, does it make sense to apply to IIMs with a GMAT score if you are a NRI

Naveenan answers,
Hi Dimpy - of course, it does. In my batch only, there were several students (of Indian origin) who applied using their GMAT score as an NRI. The prospects are definitely good. If the IIMs are providing this opportunity, why not utilise the same? Thanks.
gaurav7777777 asked, wt is the best time to start preparation for mba if right now i am in 2nd yr under-graduation??

Naveenan answers,
Hi, it takes about 3 to 4 months of prepration. I am looking at a consistent 2 to 3 hours per day of devoted study. Thanks.
Illustration: Dominic Xavier


Tags: GMAT , MBA , MGMAT , NRI , GRE

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'Make sure that your essays do justice to the richness of your profile'

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Abhishek asked,
How many questions are required to be correct in a straight go from beginning of the test to cross 700+ score ?

Naveenan answers,
Hi Abhishek - Tough question to bend your mind around because it depends on the toughness levels of questions. Going wrong in x "very tough questions" may be same as going wrong in x/2 "easy questions". Thanks.
bhaskar asked, which all colleges are good for executive programs in India? Do they have seperate recruitment process for senior executives

Naveenan answers,
Hi Bhaskar - IIMs - A, B, C, L, I, ISB, GLIM are some of the institutes which offer executive education. the recruitment process for senior executives at the IIMs, for one, are very different from those of the flagship programs. Thanks.
Ashwani asked, helo sir, im a qualified company secretary working as a trainee in avantha holdings limited, i want to persue mba from abroad, can it wud the good combination with CS

Naveenan answers,
Yes - A CS with an MBA from a good institute is a potent combination. Thanks.
alk asked, Can you suggest some Gmat Training institutes in Bangalore

Naveenan answers,
Hi Alk, I am afraid my views will not be objective as I represent 4GMAT. All the best !
Mahesh asked, I have given GMAT...and i am teh average guy. I have worked very hard for 2 and half months with all study materials..but got only 370...Want to ask you.can i go for GMAT one more time?

Naveenan answers,
Hi Mahesh - please start working on your fundamentals - that is the only way to go. I have seen some success stories improving their score from 300 to 670 by continuously working on their fundamentals over about 6 months time. All the best - You can do it ! Thanks.
Neetu asked, I have attempted GMAT twice but i could not get score above 755. Please explain me where i m lacking?How many questions to be correct to score more than 780?

Naveenan answers,
Hi Neetu ... With the amount of information given, I may not be able to say where one is lacking. You can go wrong in only two or three questions to get a score above 780. All the best !
amol asked, What would be the ideal total years of experience one should have before doing MBA??

Naveenan answers,
Hi Amol - depends on the institute. For a regular MBA course, having 2 to 3 years of experience helps you understand the concepts better. For an executive MBA course, having 5+ years of experience helps you relate to the concepts better. Thanks.
jatul asked, hi i had given gmat earlier with 10 days prep and scord just 580. I am rtaking it on 22nd .coming thursday.. Any last minute suggestions ?? I m targeting a score above 650..

Naveenan answers,
Hi ... Make sure that you are not doing any data sufficiency technique errors ... Those tend to be the low hanging fruits in many a case ... All the best !
naveen asked, Hi again. Kindly suggest me few books for GMAT prep.Thanks & Regards

Naveenan answers,
Hi Naveen, OG 12, the prep books of Manhattan, Powerscore, Neevia, Kaplan are good sources of information. As a representative of 4GMAT, I would naturally vouch by ours. All the best !
alk asked, I am a consultant with 10yrs exp in software..pls suggest some reading materials for preparations.

Naveenan answers,
Hi, OG 12, the prep books of Manhattan, Powerscore, Neevia, Kaplan are good sources of information. As a representative of 4GMAT, I would naturally vouch by ours. All the best !
kingsuk asked, Hi Naveean. Can you suggest good the GMAT test which can be taken online
Naveenan answers, Hi, MGMAT comes closest to the actual GMAT. The GMAT Prep ones are the best that there is. I would rate the 800score tests lower than MGMAT's. Kaplan seems to be a lot harder than the GMAT itself. I have no experience with Veritas's and Knewton's. Thanks.
rajeshrock asked, I am planning to take up GMAT but my concern is I need to work to pay my Home Loan of 20,000 per month . Will it be a feasible idea to take up MBA as well as work at the same time

Naveenan answers,
Hi RajesRock ... I personally believe that your investment plans should not intervene with your self - improvement goals. You could perhaps visit a CFP who could help you plan things so that you get the best of both the worlds. All the best ! Do not let the home loan deprive you of your MBA !
lakshmanankb asked, Hi Naveenan, Greetings I am working for IT company with 5 yrs of Exp,have done my MBA in India. I am planing for specialized MBA in Supply chain,My queries 1) Should i go for regular MBA or Executive ? 2) Scholorship for Exec MBA? 3) will my previous MBA hamper my chance? Thanks for your time

Naveenan answers,
Hi Lakshmanankb, (3) No - the previous one does not affect your chances. You will however have to defend as to why you want to do it again. (2) Almost all executive MBA courses provide a needs cum merit scholarship after the selection process - do apply for them. (1) A specialised program like supply chain is more often a 1 year program than a 2 year program. Of course, if you are talking about US, you can do only a 2 year program. All the best ! The pleasure is mine ! Thanks.
Sanjay asked, Hi I am an engineering graduate having 12 years of work exp in IT industry. I am planning to go for PGPEX from IIM's in year 2013. I am quite familiar with CAT curricullum and am decent in aptitude. I don't want to go for any classroom classes and would like to prepare only through physical books and online materials. Please suggest the ways and materials to prepare for GMAT? Thanks.

Naveenan answers,
Hi Sanjay ... OG 12, the prep books of Manhattan, Powerscore, Neevia, Kaplan are good sources of information. As a representative of 4GMAT, I would naturally vouch by ours. Lot of the prep material is nowadays freely available on the net. All the best !
jatul asked, hi i had given gmat earlier with 10 days prep and scord just 580. I am rtaking it on 22nd .coming thursday.. Any last minute suggestions ?? I m targeting a score above 650..

Naveenan answers,
Hi ... Make sure that you are not doing any data sufficiency technique errors ... Those tend to be the low hanging fruits in many a case ... All the best !
rajeshrock asked, Is executive MBA can done parttime in IIMs

Naveenan answers,
Hi Rajesh - am afraid not. IIMs offer only full time programs. Having said that, there are some programs like PGPMAX at ISB which may not require you to quit your job. Check out those options. Thanks.
LK asked, Hello Naveenan, iam having 4yrs of Process Consulting experience with B.Tech and MBA from 2 tier b-school, i do lot of research apart from my regular work, had ventured into entrepreneurship in rural education sector. Also part of Social sustainability projects and part of Jagriti Yatra. My acads are above 65% in Grad and above 75% in Post grad. But i had had lot of awards in various knowledge sessions. Iam very much fond of doing MBA in ISB/London school. Planning to prep for GMAT with target of 750. Need your suggestion ?

Naveenan answers,
Hi LK ... You have a strong profile in your favour. You should make sure that your essays do justice to the richness of your profile. Having said that, the GMAT is a very important aspect. Please make sure you get a strong 700+ so that the school can gladly give you an admission without having to scrape through on the basis of your profile. All the best !
pclegal asked, having a work experience of 10 years .....what do I need to score in GMAT to be elligible for a scholarship for pursuing a MBA program in any of the good Strate Universities in USA

Naveenan answers,
Hi pclegal, I would assume that a 680+ score will help you make a good case for the scholarship at the state universities. Of course, more the score - the better it is !
amar asked, sir i am engineering graduate with 6 yrs exp in capital market as individual technical analyst is gmat useful to me??

Naveenan answers,
Hi Amar ... If you intend to pursue a full time MBA program, a GMAT will definitely make sense. All the best!
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh


Tags: MBA , GMAT , ISB , Kaplan , Hi Neetu

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