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'Which is the best book to prepare for GMAT?'

Last updated on: February 10, 2012 16:22 IST

'Which is the best book to prepare for GMAT?'

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In an online chat with readers on February 8, Naveenan Ramachandran, expert from 4GMAT, Mumbai addressed queries related to preparing for the GMAT exam.

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


Naveenan says, Hi All ... Welcome to the chat on GMAT / overseas admissions / Indian admissions driven by GMAT ... Pls feel free to ask any question in this regard and I shall strive to answer to the best of my knowledge. Thanks.

gmat asked, hi there... can you pls tell me how to improve my quant score? i plan to give GMAT in march

Naveenan answers, at 2012-02-08 14:55:41
Hi ... Start with the fundamentals of number theory and inequalities. Within this, work on problem solving and data sufficiency types of questions ... These constitute and huge portion and once you get these - the other pieces of the puzzle will automatically fall in place ... All the best !
gmat asked, do you think i can prepare in one month?

Naveenan answers,
Depends on the time you can give it per day ... If you are able to set aside 2 to 3 hours a day, it should be possible. By the way, this does not count the 8+ mock GMATs that you have to give so that your brain gets used to the marathon on the day of the GMAT.
Brij asked, What is the best book for GMAT preperation & how can i get the old GMAT papers .

Naveenan answers,
Hi Brij ... Without doubt, the Official Guide (12th edition) issued by GMAC is the best book ... The previous editions should give you past GMAT questions. Thanks.
j asked, I took GMAT twice both the time I got 660 (without much preparation). Shall I take it again? What should be my strategy to prepare?

Naveenan answers,
Without doubt, you should spend some time & energy on it to improve it by 60 or 70 marks ... If you had got 660 without much preparation, you should be able to do it if you work on your weak areas. Strategy: Identify your weakest area 1, work on it and keep improving it until weak area 2 becomes your weakest area. Now, start working on the new weakness. continue this until you get a string of 730s or 740s on your mock test. All the best !
vishakh asked, i want to score 730 in GMAT. how can i prepare? i plan to take it after six months

Naveenan answers,
Hi Vishakh, Write a mock GMAT exam in this week to figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. Practice the basics if there are some fundamental problems. A 730 in GMAT is definitely get-able if one is willing to put in 200+ hours of consistent efforts over the time period. 6 months is actually a little too long - You should ideally prepare for 4 to 5 months only. All the best !
Ayush asked, Hi Naveenan, Can u pls tell me some indian mba colleges which take GMAT score for admission?

Naveenan answers,
Hi Ayush, there are 64 colleges in India which accept the GMAT score. Check out this link: http://www.mba.com/schools-and-programs/programs-that-accept-the-gmat.aspx
sandeep asked, Plz suggest preparation process for GMAT for commerce graduate had business mathematics and statistic as Course.And appropriate time need to prepare GMAT. The target is around 740 to 760.

Naveenan answers,
Hi Sandeep ... The math topics in GMAT are largely only uptil 10th standard level. So, it hardly matters what one studied in junior college. Perhaps, you might have to work harder in geometry, coordinate geometry and permutations. Otherwise it is quite crack-able with about 250 hours of consistent efforts ... Make sure you spend time preparing on a daily basis without cramming things on weekends.
ram asked, Hi,does executive mba in HBS,GSB etc. need sponsorship from company? Is it possible to pursue executive mba without company sponsorship in those schools? Please let me know.

Naveenan answers,
Definitely not - It is absolutely OK to self sponsor through these courses. The only issue is that the executive MBA in these colleges (I suppose you are asking about the ones for which you visit the campus once in a while even as you keep your full time job) end up being so expensive that individuals do not find it viable to sponsor themselves. Moreover, executive education programme participants normally do not have access to the placement process of the institute. Thanks.
Brij asked, What is the score required to get admission in ISB.

Naveenan answers,
There is no magic number which is the usual cutoff. There are so many inputs like profile, number of years of experience, quality of experience, graduate scores, spikes in life that you highlight in your essays etc. However, if one insists - you are looking at a healthy 720+ to stand a bright chance at ISB. All the best !
ram asked, Hi, Typically when is the ideal time to apply for mba Summer or spring or fall? And which round should i apply?

Naveenan answers,
Hi Ram ... Round 1 is always better. It gives a signal to the institute that you really value them and are keen on applying to them. courses starting in Aug / Sep are the best ones because there is not much choice for spring admissions. Thanks.
Pawan asked, I took GMAT 10 days ago and got 620(Q47,V28). Can you suggest something to improve my verbal score. I could manage RC and CR but surrendered to SC. Can you suggest something.

Naveenan answers,
Hi Pawan ... Congrats on the huge math score ... SC - I think it must have been the Brit / American difference which must have hurt you - since you have done well in RC and CR. Take a look at the archive in 700 - 800 range of questions - take a good 100 of them and look for the discussions on the GMAT forums. Look for the differences between your explanations and the explanations given by the rest of them. Some guidelines on whether active voice / passive voice - which is better, whether a sentence can start with 'because', conventions of modifiers should definitely do wonders to your score. By the way, are you completely sure that it was only SC which was your nemesis?
Illustration: Dominic Xavier




Tags: GMAT , ISB , Hi Ayush , Hi Brij , GMAC

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Ayush asked, Naveenan, I just want to know list of indian institutes taking Gmat score for admission for indian residents only not NRI

Naveenan answers,
Hi Ayush ... I am not sure about what you are asking. Even the IIMs accept the GMAT score for their PGPX programs from Indian residents (in fact, they accept only GMAT for executive education programmes). Most of the institutes given in the link are neutral between CAT / GMAT / XAT etc.
Ank asked, hi can i expect to get some good colleges preferably in india or abroad for 2012-13 if i give GMAT by March? i gave GMAT mock test and i am getting something like 640-650 before prep.. do you think iit is feasible to target march to get a good score?. I have 5 years of experience and i do not want to wait for too long before getting into MBA as ifeel it will be too late beyond 12-13 years fro starting MBA

Naveenan answers,
Hi Ank ... 640 without much prep is pretty good ... You could target to give your exam over the next 50 days - but, make sure you are able to set aside at least 2 hours a day to realize your dream of a lifetime ... Is there enough time for 10+ mock GMATs? You would not want to sacrifice a good GMAT score just because you are in a hurry - You have a good potential - Make sure the GMAT accurately reflects your potential. Thanks.
santosh asked, I M HEALTH GRADUATE WAT ESCOPE FOR ME AFTER MBA

Naveenan answers,
Hi Santosh ... There are numerous opportunities in the healthcare management arena - hospitals management, strategy in pharmaceutical firms, strategy in research firms, finance positions to evaluate PE deals / equity deals based on pharma firms are just a few examples. All the best.
Ank asked, i feeli would be able to devote approx 1.5 to 2 hours daily and 4-5 hours on weekend on conservative side.. i feel i need to improve my QA.. which books shold i go for and what strategy do you suggest?

Naveenan answers,
Hi Ank ... The basics have been given well in the 8th, 9th and 10th math books of CBSE ... Try to get a handle on them. Focus on number theory and inequalities to begin with - that will give you the much needed confidence ... Data sufficiency is an interesting area by itself ... If you realize that the statement "x < 0" is sufficient to answer the question as to whether x is equal to 3, then you are there as far as DS is concerned. All the best !
Gaurav asked, Any idea of how much it will cost to appear for GMAT and for further application and process

Naveenan answers,
GMAT: $250. Each of the applications tend to cost +/- $100 to $200. The process largely depends on the college that you want to apply to.
Abhijit asked, Hi, what are the mandatory preparation books one should complete before attempting the mock tests for GMAT. Can you please name them.

Naveenan answers,
The Official Guide for GMAT (12th Edition), Grammar basics (American based) to help with SC, CBSE 8th, 9th, 10th (if Quants is your weak area), loads and loads of RC and CR practice ...
dfdsf asked, how to get good score in essay writing

Naveenan answers,
Understand the mandate given in the AWA questions ... The argument and issue essays are quite different from each other. However, content, organization, language and writing mechanisms are the four different things that they are looking for in the essays. All the best.
ashok asked, Hi Naveen, I have done my hotel management with 12 yrs experience. Planning to do Executive MBA from LBS, pls suggest way forward

Naveenan answers,
Hi Ashok ... You bring a lot of diversity to the school. The school is definitely looking for a good GMAT score in order to make sure that you can withstand the academic rigor of the program. Start with the math - I am assuming that you will need the most help there. It is actually quite straight forward - they have restricted to the topics until your 10th class. So, all the topics are ones that you would have already seen in some form or the other ... You just need to be able to answer tricky questions based on some good old topics. All the best !
ps1 asked, Hi, i have total work experience of 5 years. It always appeared invalid to be trying for GMAT/ CAT before.. i have been closely following both all these years, but havent given GMAT yet. and with CAT, the shot with no preparation was not bad. is the approach sound? now is it a loss if i a lose 2 years hereon with real efforts?

Naveenan answers,
Hi PS1, It would count as an "approach" only if you actually sit down and study for the exams. If you are saying that you had been "closely following and shot at CAT with no preparation" - I am not sure how to interpret your approach. The good news is that GMAT does not take away 2 years of your time. Put "real effort" for 3 months and reap your rewards. All the best !
Devashish asked, Hi Could u help me with how to start up with the prep n what will the structural plan to go for GMAT.& apart from OG whether its required to join an prep institute

Naveenan answers,
Hi Devashish ... 6 weeks for math and 6 weeks for verbal. Divide verbal time equally between Sentence Correction, Reading comprehension and Critical reasoning. Divide the 6 weeks of math time between (1) number theory, (2) geometry, (3) inequalities, (4) ratio based topics, (5) data sufficiency and (6) permutation and probability. Towards the end, take more time practicing all of these together in one go ... Take about 10+ mock GMATs and you are good to go. If you are able to manage all these in a methodical manner, you need not join a prep institute. All the best !
suraj asked, Hi,is mba 2 year course in US? I heard that someone completed it in 1.5 years? some people are saying it is based upon no.of credits? could you please explain it? Thanks in advance.

Naveenan answers,
Hi Suraj - that is true indeed. In the US, there is a certain "credit requirement" for awarding a degree subject to a cap on the number of credits that you can do in a particular term. It is theoretically possible to complete some courses in 18 months ... People try to finish the course depending upon the economy and availability of a job offer / internship offer on their hand. All the best !
gmaaaat asked, how much u need to score in gmat for admission in ivy league or other top foreign institute.what is the cost and is any financial help available ??

Naveenan answers,
Ivy league / foreign institute - you are looking at a 730 or a 740+ to get a shot at the best of colleges ... they look at other factors like essays, your plan post MBA, your strengths, weaknesses, team abilities etc. Cost is also a wide range depending upon the country and duration. Financial help is available in most colleges - you need to apply for it and could get given both on merit basis and need basis. Do not forget to absolutely maximise your GMAT score !
ps1 asked, thanks for the response Naveenan. so with a good "inputs like profile, number of years of experience, quality of experience, graduate scores, spikes in life that you highlight in your essays etc", 8 Yrs is always greater than 5 Yrs?

Naveenan answers,
Hi PS1, tough question to answer ! Let me put it this way ... 5 years experience in UNO might just be deemed better than 8 years experience at some other firm.


Tags: GMAT , Naveenan , CAT , MBA , Hi Ayush

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Shakti asked,
HI, How has the pattern changed compared to previous years?

Naveenan answers,
Hi Shakti, Pattern has not changed much ... The change to bring in IR in 2011 is being done after a long term of no-change at all. If anything it might only be minor. If one is confident about her / his basic math / english, there is really no change that will affect them adversely.
Devashish asked, Hi m having a work ex of 4.5 years in Energy Sector.But having an inclination for MBA marketing can u also suggest me some good college as being a begineer in GMAT i am really struggling to find out the best colleges list & the MBA courses they are offering.kindly help

Naveenan answers,
Hi Devashish ... tough to suggest college names on the basis of the inputs given here on this forum ... Depends on the country where you want to work in; depends on the country you want to do your masters in; depends on the kind of job profile you are looking at and finally depends on the GMAT score also. Why not just focus on GMAT right now and aim at getting a 730+ in that. Once that is achieved, it will open doors at whichever colleges you want to apply to.
sen asked, Hi Sir, I am planning to give GMAT with an aim to join indian colleges only.. Do we have fair number of colleges accepting GMAT.. I have 5.5 years of experience.. Is giving GMAT the right option for me.. I am looking for an exective MBA which is 1-2 years of duration..

Naveenan answers,
Hi Sen ... There are about 64 colleges in India that accept GMAT: http://www.mba.com/schools-and-programs/programs-that-accept-the-gmat.aspx Yes - GMAT is indeed the right option for you. CAT only opens doors to 2 year programs and it may not be worth the time if you are intending to study in India. Look at the executive education programs given by the IIMs. All the best !
rahul asked, Hi, how much does it cost for studying mba typically in Top 10 schools in US? Please sugges some value for money B-schools?

Naveenan answers,
Hi Rahul ... Top 10 schools typically end up draining you by about Rs 50L + over the two years. Neither do you get financial aid in these schools. Get a very good GMAT score and look at the schools in the +/- 20 ranks. You might just be able to get tuition fee waivers at these institutions if you play your cards right ! All the best !
ashok asked, Hello Naveen, What preparations I need to do for GMAT

Naveenan answers,
Hi Ashok ... 6 weeks for math and 6 weeks for verbal. Divide verbal time equally between Sentence Correction, Reading comprehension and Critical reasoning. Divide the 6 weeks of math time between (1) number theory, (2) geometry, (3) inequalities, (4) ratio based topics, (5) data sufficiency and (6) permutation and probability. Towards the end, take more time practicing all of these together in one go ... Take about 10+ mock GMATs and you are good to go. All the best !
Ank asked, hi. one very improtant question that iam not sure about is which subject to go for.. strange as it might sound.. i am an engineer with 5 yr of exp in Quality management systems,project management, market reaserch.and analysis. i am quite good at RC & writing essays, stories etc. have huge interest in reading, cinema and other arts. nt sure which field would be better in terms of opportunity as well as alignment with my interests and experience.

Naveenan answers,
Hi Ank ... In your "why MBA" / "where do you see yourself 5 years from now", it is not required to sound as if you are aligned with a "Marketing" or an "HR" or an "Operations" stream. At this stage, it is quite OK to not know what you really prefer. The first 6 months of the program helps you figure out (for the most part). You should not allow this to affect your morale in any manner. If it helps you, let me tell you - at this stage of the process, rarely is anybody clear about what they want to do ! All the best !
Riya asked, HI,Iam riya from Bilaspur,I'am in sen.secondry & want to khow how shud i start the prep. for M.B.A??

Naveenan answers,
Hi ... Please concentrate on your current academic interest for the time being. MBA is something that you should not be planning for until the pre - final year of your graduation. Take it as it goes - Aim to excel and get good marks in your current year of study / program. All the best !
ramesh asked, Hi, should I appear for gmat before June? will IR be tougher?

Naveenan answers,
Hi Ramesh ... IR would not be too tough for somebody who is comfortable with quant. I would not advice you to advance your GMAT just because you want to take it before IR sets in. Make sure that you have enough time to work on the basics and write 10+ mock GMATs before rushing in to book your date.
sen asked, Thanks for ur reply sir.. I would want a full time executive mba programs in India.. Does the ones provided by IIMs fulltime & are we eligible for placements..

Naveenan answers,
Hi Sen - Absolutely - the PGPX programs at IIMs are fulltime programs. You have an exclusive placement cell which works along with the PGP placement cell. It is a common misconception that the PGPX are not fulltime ones.
skk asked, hi sir...I have alreadydone my MBA in India...will i be able to get an admit in ISB if i do really well in GMAT ??I feel the need to enhance my skills ,hence another MBA....

Naveenan answers,
Hi SKK ... A lot of people applying to ISB do so for their second MBA - It is absolutely alright to do so as long as you have a good reasoning behind the effort ... Prepare a good essay to indicate as to why you think you want to do a second MBA. It does not affect your chances at all.
pankajmodi@rediffmail.com asked, Hi Naveen, I have more than 10 yrs of experience in middle management and now really wanted to foot step in higher management. The best way to perform well in top management you have to have fundamental management skill which i obtain from top b-school. So i have to planned to get good score in GmAT and join good b-school hence you requested to guide me way to start.

Naveenan answers,
Hi Pankaj ... 6 weeks for math and 6 weeks for verbal. Divide verbal time equally between Sentence Correction, Reading comprehension and Critical reasoning. Divide the 6 weeks of math time between (1) number theory, (2) geometry, (3) inequalities, (4) ratio based topics, (5) data sufficiency and (6) permutation and probability. Towards the end, take more time practicing all of these together in one go ... Take about 10+ mock GMATs and you are good to go. All the best !
Naveenan says, I thank all the participants for spending their valuable time and Rediff for providing the platform. We shall continue the discussion in the next week. Thanks - Have a great week ahead !





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