Saturday, October 30, 2010

Veritas GMAT Essentials - Oct 30, 31

I'll be attending the Veritas GMAT Essentials course, which is scheduled to kick off in another 3 hours. I'm going to have to pack in an all-nighter, but boy am i up for it.

For those who are blissfully unaware, Veritas has just launched its GMAT Essentials course, and the first online course is scheduled for this weekend. 8 hours over 2 days; 16 hours of GMATainment ... that came out pretty lame ; ) ...Anyhoo, as the name suggests, the course will cover all the stuff that you absolutely must know if you want to ace the GMAT - in one weekend! How awesome is that!!?? Is there any catch? Well, I'll let you know once I'm done.

Boy, am i in for a gruelling 48 hours. First, there's the Essentials course, then try and fit in the BTG Practice questions sometime in between. I also have to write up a business plan, and review someone else's :(

There's still a small window open for those of you who want to register for the course running this weekend. Hurry!

For more on the GMAT Essentials course, you can go through the following links:

Veritas Essentials Home Page

BTG's 10% Veritas discount + Free Practice Questions Account

PS: the course offers a whole lot more than what I've mentioned, but more on that early next week. This will probably my final post for the weekend.

Over & Out!

CABM - Is it worth the $500??

Certified Associate Business Manager (CABM) is a certification offered by APBM. For must products/ services to succeed, they must have a polarizing effect. e.g. Sarah Palin, Apple, etc. In that respect, CABM appears to be on the right track. I for one have always been of the opinion that CABM is a total waste of time and money, which was substantiated by my conversation with an adcom member of a renowned bschool. However, I would like to hear what people who have obtained the certification have to say. Was it worth the $500? Was it of any use? Would you recommend it to others?

For those planning to apply in R2 or R3, don't even think about taking up the certification now. You've got bigger fish to fry. If you are done with your apps, and have time and cash to burn, then there's no harm in giving it a shot, eh? :-)

Here are some references to CABM on the web:

Anticipating some interesting responses,

Friday, October 29, 2010

Here's A Little Secret

As some of you have come to learn, and some guessed, Tray Sha is just my pseudonym.

Why on earth am i using a pseudonym? Well, that's because there are eyes everywhere, and I can't be totally honest when using my real name. No, i'm not paranoid; that's just how things are. Take the example of the post on the ISB info session i wrote way back. I wouldn't have put all that down had i not been using my pseudonym. There are loads of bloggers who blog incognito e.g. Mukaam, A, etc.

Granted, i've been a little too secretive to all those who have approached me to date. Now i've realised that maybe I was in fact a tad paranoid. Anways, water under the bridge. So, who is the real me? Drop in a mail at tray.sha00 <at> gmail <dot> com, and if you ask nicely, I'll fill you in.

Signing off, Tray ;-)

Google Power

Over the last month, the traffic on this blog has been crazy. Result? My blog has jumped up the google rankings

Exhibit 'A' - Search for "gmat on demand" ranks yours truly at #4:

If only I had SEOd my URL to read something like ...well, you can't have it all i guess. Thanks y'all. Stay tuned!

Coming Up - Beat The GMAT Practice Questions & Kaplan GMAT Advanced

Two GMAT products (or should I call them services) that I am very excited about are the Beat The GMAT (BTG) Practice Questions and the Kaplan GMAT Adavanced course.

First up is the BTG Practice Questions, which is due to officially launch on November 02, i.e. next week Tuesday. This weekend i'll go over the 200 or so questions that have been loaded into my reviewer account, and hopefully I'll be able to give y'all my feedback by the launch day. Plus there are some freebies that I will be giving out courtesy Beat The GMAT, so watch out for that.

Next up, and something that has me smacking my lips in anticipation is the Kaplan GMAT Advanced course. There are so many of the 'one-size-meets-all' course offerings out there, but what is in short supply is the course that caters to those who have already done significant prep and are looking for the extra something to shift their prep to top gear. I think this course could be THE ONE.

And before you ask, I haven't forgotten - i will also be posting my review of Grockit & Knewton sometime down the line.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

PowerScore GMAT on Demand - Review

Manhattan GMAT, Veritas, Knewton and Kaplan - These are the four 'pillars' of GMAT Prep. A couple of years ago, it was just the big three, and little did they realise that Jose Ferreira was plotting to take over the kingdom. Knewton has made such huge strides since its genesis, that it has since displaced Kaplan

However, there is one old warhorse that has regained its lust for the top spot. A name that is revered on the GMAT world not for its course offerings, but for its bible - The PowerScore CR Bible. Yes, PowerScore had long been consigned to the backyards of GMAT Prep, so much so, that even Princeton Review was better placed :)

Anyhoo.. back to the point of this post. I was lucky enough to get access to the PowerScore GMAT on Demand  course, and I had promised to submit a review of the course, so here it is:

The course consists of 10 3-hour sessions, so that's 30 hours of archived sessions. The topics covered are pretty much the standard fare; click here to view the course structure. The course comes with a big book that's shipped off to you - mine arrived within 5 days. The book is a compendium of the necessary Quant & Verbal topics. The CR material is straight off the bible, albeit a condensed version. The book covers all the basics pretty well, and has loads of practice questions - 10 after every sub topic, which works great. I hate reading piles and piles of material before being able to apply it, so this was a treat. After every two pages, there's a drill consisting of 10 questions. This format meant that i breezed through the book and finished it in no time. Surprisingly, the book covered RC as well - again nothing too detailed, just the essentials, and in just the right dose.

Once I was done with the book, I switched over to the on-demand sessions that are available online. To my surprise, the online content was exactly the same as that in the book - word for word. After the initial shock, I came to the realization that this was not so bad after all. The online sessions are presented by a Jon Denning, who is a 99%iler and has also co-authored the PowerScore GMAT about creme de la creme. In these sessions Jon basically went through each page in the book. He covered the underlying concepts and explained how to work through each problem, quant and verbal. Even though i had answered most of the questions correctly, watching how Jon attacked each problem was a real eye opener.

After each session, there's a set of additional problems to be done aka homework. The folks @ PowerScore compiled a list of problems to work on from OG 11 & 12 after each session. This was not a bad way to wind down, and I'm sure anyone who has gone through the MGMAT Course/ Guides will be familiar with this approach.

The icing on the cake is access to 5 Complete 800Score CATs. For all those who are not familiar with 800Score, word on the street is that the 800Score CATs are second only to the MGMAT CATs.

In conclusion, the course was not bad, not bad at all. It felt a bit of drag at times, but only because I had already prepared so much for the GMAT. The course is perfect for beginners and/or those looking to for a crash course. For $495, its well worth your time and money.

Ratings (Out of 5)
  • For Beginners:    5
  • For Veterans:     2
  • User Iinterface:  3
  • Content:             4
  • Value ($$):         3.5
  • Overall:              4

Tray Recommends this Course? Yes

Click here to access the first session of the GMAT on Demand course for FREE!

Feel free to reach out to me if you would like any additional information,

Monday, October 25, 2010

GMAT Course Reviews - Coming Soon

I have been fortunate to receive free access to the PowerScore and Grockit courses, along with the BTG Practice Questions. 

Many of my friends have been hassling me for my opinion on the various GMAT prep companies out there. I've grown tired of dishing out the same dialogue each time, so I have decided to pen them down in this blog.

I will be posting reviews of the following GMAT courses:
  • PowerScore GMAT on Demand
  • Knewton GMAT
  • Grockit Complete GMAT Course
  • BeatTheGMAT Practice Questions
For those of you who are unaware, BTG's $100k competition is still alive; it's still not too late to get a bite of the action, so hurry on over to

Review of PowerScore's GMAT on Demand course will be posted tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

GMATCH MBA Virtual Fair – Part 1

Doubtless, many of you will be wondering how this event will operate & how to make the most of it. Having attended the previous edition, here’s some info that you might find useful:

How will the MBA Virtual Fair work?
Sort of like a multi-chat room with a plain, but solid, user interface. Each school will have a separate chat room, and you can go to any chat room (booth), post your question, and wait for the school rep to respond. Once you are done with one, or if you are getting bored, you can shift to another schools’ chat room and start interacting with them…..
There will also be special events, but more on that later.

Can I chat with all the schools?
You sure can. But remember to use your time judiciously and spend the majority of your time interacting with schools that you are genuinely interested in.

Do I need to have my resume ready?
If you are looking to make an impression, you should update your profile a few days before the event is set to begin. Fill in your basic details, GMAT score (if you have one), some info about yourself (career background & aspirations),upload a photo of yourself and most important: upload your resume. Your profile can be viewed by schools, so make the impression count. By the way, the resume should be only 1 page long (if you are serious about applying)

Will the school’s adcom be at the event?
Yes. Make sure you INTERACT with them so that you can call upon your conversations with them at a later stage.

Will the schools be online 24*2?
Well, none of the schools will be online throughout the event. Most schools will be online only during their working hours e.g. don’t expect the folks from IE to be online @ 0500 GMT; however, you can expect the HKUST chat room to be abuzz at that time.

More to follow in Part 2…

GMAT - Dusting off Knewton & PowerScore

My oh my. It's been well over a month since I touched anything related to the GMAT. I have been exploring other opportunities to beef up my profile, but have neglected the GMAT in the process. If I am to apply in R2, i need to take the GMAT by end of November. Times running out. I think i'll look up my PowerScore on demand course, which I have barely touched, and then follow it up by going through the entire Knewton 'syllabus'. After that, i'll stick to the official material i.e. OGs, GMATPrep et al.

In the meanwhile, fingers crossed that I win something significant in the ongoing BTG giveaway

Reviews of Knewton & PowerScore to follow in the coming weeks.

Go, go go!