Thursday, December 30, 2004

Term 5 is over. The final exams are on Monday and Tuesday. The placement starts on next Saturday (Jan 8th). Campus is suffering from placement blues.

I have to prepare both for technical (for companies such as MS, Yahoo, Amazon ) and also for HR (for IT services companies) interviews. Currently I am running out of time. I usually sleep by 12 but now I am sleeping at 2. Still, I have covered only a small portion of what is needed to be covered for the interviews.

In this interview preperation confusion, I am not submitting good EOIs. I am unsatisfied by my EOIs and my only console is that most of the companies don't read EOIs. Shortlists will be coming by next week. Hope I will be shortlisted for interviews for the companies I am aiming for.

The blogs may not be regular till Jan 8th. But I will try to post daily once the Placement starts.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Still, we have not yet settled on scheduling the companies ... This is taking a lot more time than expected ...

And my placement prep is moving at a very slow pace. I am also confused whether to target small companies with high-pay or take a pay-cut to enter into large brands. As I am looking only for IT, my options are limited. May be, I should apply to one or two marketing companies as a back-up.

And campus is getting ready for placements ....Everyone looks serious. There are a lot of discussion going on about what companies to apply and how to prepare for interviews. Everyone looks worried. ... Placement blues ...

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Yesterday I met an interesting person - Joseph Sigelman, CEO and co-founder of Office Tiger. I spent nearly an hour with him and his team. He was here for the pre-placement talk and I was in-charge for the talk. He is a Harvard graduate and had a lot of respect for the ISB. He didn't have any powerpoint slides but made the session very interactive and engaging. He offered very senior roles such as head of operations, Acquisition Manager etc. As far as I have seen, people from BPOs are very interesting ...

In Novartis (International)PPT, the HR manager said that they have recruited only from the ISB till now and from this year, they are thinking of going to IIM A,IIMB and XLRI. It seems Novartis is very impressed with the ISB and has decided to hire mostly Indians for worldwide positions.

Today YSR Reddy, CM of AP was here for inaugurating k-hub. K-hub is an initiative by centre of entrepreneurship, where they will fund entrepreneurs of AP. A lot of security measures were there and we were made to wait for half-an-hour for his ten minute speech. Let me not speak politics here :)

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Tomorrow will be the last day for the preplacement talks. We have seven PPTs scheduled tomorrow all after 7 PM. I think it is going to be a hectic task to handle these.

Today I organized PPT for Fidelity. Fidelity is here primarily for IT roles and the job and pay were attractive. Finance guys were little disappointed as they didn't have roles in Asset management. I then attended Computer Sciences Corporation PPT. I wanted to apply for this, but the company required minimum of three years of experience ( I have two and half) and is not lenient in this constraint. So I will not be able to apply for this.

Yesterday I was in-charge for Google. For me, Google role was not as attractive as Amazon or Microsoft. I am interested in Product Manager roles while Google is here for Business Service Manager type of role. But still I would be applying for Google. Come on, its Google !!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Today it was a pretty relaxing day ... Had only one class ... Operations Strategy. The class was good and Professor Bassok is rocking ...

Somehow we PLACOM guys have managed to rank and schedule the companies for interviews. We have come up with a first-cut draft and have circulated it to students ... I am hoping for a lot of feedback and the schedule might even change dramatically.

Our ELP ends on 27th but there's a lot of pending work to be done. I have to think on scheduling the ELP activities and Placement prep accordingly so that one is not affecting the other ....

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Yesterday I had a chance to chat with a Senior manager from XANSA, a BPO company, after the preplacement talk. Actually after the talk, my whole perspective about BPO changed. I was thinking of BPO as more of a call centre, false identity and American accent type of thing ... He mentioned that they don't take low-end work such as call centres and described the typical work. He was from IIML and said that BPO is challenging as it combines both Operations and People management ( He said that atleast 30 people will be reporting to me if I join as a Manager). Anyway now I have some respect for BPOs and see a good opportunity there.

Today I was with Raja Shanmugam, Director of Business Development from Mindtree. He is a down-to-earth person and said that humility is one of the characters they are looking for when they come for recruitment in Top Bschools. Mindtree is here for overseas positions mostly in US or Singapore. One good aspect of being a placement committee member is this opportunity to interact with key people from industry.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Today I was chatting with an alum from Microsoft. He was saying that the life there was pretty relaxing. I was assuming that Microsoft will be drilling its employees and was surprised to hear that it was otherwise.

I was going through some of the sample questions from MS interview. There are a lot of hardcore OS, datastruture and Algorithm questions. Sad part is that these questions will be thrown only to the guys who have Computer Engineering degree. Other guys will have a non-technical interview it seems.

I am far behind in terms of Interview Prep. I have to brush up project management / SDLC concepts, read books on Domain knowledge and HR questions, browse some websites on OS/Datastrucure basics .... Phew ... And I have only some 20 days left ... In these 20 days, I have to wrap up my ELP, my assignments and give two exams ...

Friday, December 10, 2004

Today we had ISB Leadership Summit. I attended the morning session and skipped the afternoon session.

This night the campus is buzzing with energy, fun and enthusiasm ... Our Alums are back for the Annual ISB Alumni Meet, Solstice ... Tonight we have a party and Tomorrow we have rock show.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Yesterday after the CTS ppt, I had a chance to chat with Aarti, ISB alumnus working in CTS. Apart from interview procedures, she talked about life at CTS. It seems that CTS is a good place to work and it has great respect for MBAs. After the chat, CTS has moved up in my placement priority list.

Today we had Vcustomer CEO in our Tech Entrepreneurship class. He is a very down-to-earth person. He narrated his story of how he started his venture. His preplecement talk was also different. He didn't use any Powerpoint or Video, but just talked about BPO industry and his strategy. If at all I apply to Vcustomer (still not decided), that will be only because of him.

Today I missed Sasken PPT. Fin guys said that ICICI prudential PPT was also good !!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Today's Operation Strategy class was good, atleast for me. I already knew most of the things , but he was emphasising on those concepts and was building further on it. While I was enjoying the class (due to his lively examples and casual approach), Suresh who was sitting next to me kept on complaining that the class was boring. Finally after the class I found out that all the things taught in the class were already known to Suresh, who has worked with Pepsi and other beverage companies for more than ten years. May be, he is jealous that I am learning in one year all that he learned in ten years :)

Fever is spreading in the campus. When I went to see the Doctor, there were more than 15 students lined up. So, I returned to room and just took some medicine. Now I am feeling better and think will be able to attend Satyam and CTS PPT scheduled for today.

Non-IT students may think that I am not giving any update on Finance/Consulting/Marketing companies. I really don't even track about Non-IT companies and think there's a substantial misfit between me and Non-IT jobs :)

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I am down with fever again. Same as last time - Body pain, Throat infection, Shivering ...

Somehow I managed to attend the Computer Associates PPT but missed the Amazon PPT. I think both the companies will be paying above average salary!

Today we had an interesting session on Browser wars in Technological Entrepreneurship class. Digital Business Models class on ERP and CRM was also interesting. I should thank my friend Siraj to make me enrol in these classes. Initially, I was so focused on getting Marketing Concenteration that I enrolled in all Marketing classes though they were not that interesting to me (Marketing guys say these courses are awesome, may be I don't have that feel for Marketing). Then I realized after talking with Siraj that Concenteration is not that important when compared to attending courses I like. So, Now I have changed my mind to specialize in Technology !!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

The KPMG training was a complete waste of time and money. We paid 5000 Rs for this traning and it was useless. The PPT was very unorganized and I didn't have any take-aways from the session. I have Operations Assignment Tomorrow and Portfolio management assignment on Tuesday. It was with this heavy work-load, I attended the six sigma training. Think about the frustration I will have.

We had ITC infotech PPT yesterday and the HR head who presented the pitch had great respect for ISB. He agreed that ISB students had to be paid a premium than what is paid for students from other schools such as XLRI. But still the pay may not be that attractive with the kind of loan we have. This is the case with most of the IT service companies. They may pay a premium but that may not look attractive. But this respect for ISB will turn into other inatngible benefits such as great work and job role!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Oops! I made a mistake ... It was only 53 students who applied for yahoo and I misspelt it as 153 in my previous blog ... I don't think any company can attract 153 applications from the ISB...

Today I had KPMG six sigma training ... It was not that useful but could be helpful as a bullet point in my resume .... I also had my ELP presentation and that went pretty well ...

Because of the six sigma training, I missed the Verizon PPT and an opportunity to interact with Ramki ...

Friday, December 03, 2004

This blogspot site is irritating! I am typing for the second time and I lost whatever I typed before!!

I had ITC Bplan contest today. we did well in the Presentation but screwed up in the QA due to the lack of research which inturn is due to the lack of time.

Yesterday I applied to yahoo for Product Manager position. Total of 53 students have applied. Yesterday we had presentations from Microsoft and HCL. I attended MSFT but missed HCL. Have to decide whether to apply for HCL. Today we had Mckinsey PPT. They distributed Mckinsey mugs, folders etc and arranged for a high-tea to give better impression than Marakon (Singapore). I didn't attend the PPT but managed to get the Mug :)

I have decided not to participate in any other competition as this requires hell a lot of time! This week I didn't do any interview prep and hope to resume my prep next week.

Monday, November 29, 2004

After Poseidon, we are back in the class ...

Today I had only one class ... Operations Strategy. The first class was impressive. Professor Bassok is lively and gives a lot of examples to drive the concepts. Negotiation Analysis is the Star course but unfortunately due to various reasons, I didn't opt for the course.

Now the rate of Preplacement talks has increased. Tomorrow we have three PPTs and we have atleast one PPT on each day in the Month of December. Students are pretty happy with the list of companies visiting the campus though the list is dominated by Finance and IT jobs. Marakon impressed students on Saturday with hefty pay and with three varieties of Chicken after the PPT. The sad part is that they are going to hire only one or two ... There was good audience for Patni too ...

Friday, November 26, 2004

Today I am applying to Seven Seas, Dubai. I was thinking about whether to apply and whether the job role would suit me, and finally decided to give it a shot.

My focus is on IT Product companies such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Yahoo !! Apart from these, I may apply for service companies such as CTS and Verizon. I don't know whether to apply for Infy, Wipro or Satyam as backup. But I am not planning to apply for non-IT jobs, except for a very few companies.

I see names such as Mindtree and Sasken, which are new in this field but show good growth potential. But further research is required to decide whether to apply for these companies.
The campus is busy ... A lot of new faces ... Waves of enthusiasm everywhere ... Organizers busy in arranging for the events ... Ladies & Gentlemen, poseidon has arrived ...

Organizers have come up with unique idea of making visitors (students from other Bschools) stay with the students in the stident village. We are having earthquake rock show on Sunday evening but much awaited event is Barometer. Yes, as you guessed, tt is the Fashion Show to select the ISB Item Bomb ...

Thursday, November 25, 2004

I don't know what happenned to my previous post !! It appears blank !!

Ok, My exams are over and 6 weeks to go for the Placement D-Day. Yesterday Deputy Dean spoke to us about the importance of placement preperation. Today I can see the effect! I can see students polishing their resume and working on industry analysis in small groups. The list of companies visiting the campus will be out by Tomorrow.

I am also starting my preperations - I have bought some preperation books and have got some industry analysis books from the Library.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Friday, November 19, 2004

I don't remember whether I said about my participating in ITC competition. My team-mate Muthu got some project work and left the campus two days before the deadline for the competition. I managed to write a B-plan in 5 hours with help from another friend, Suresh and submitted it just because we gave the commitment to participate. I didn't include any financial or any roll-out plan. But again the L factor is in my side and our team is one of the six teams selected for campus round !!

Yesterday, I attended a lecture by Captain Raghu about leadership experiences from Siachen glacier. I should say that it was really an eye-opener. There were a lot of assignments and exams are on Monday but still, by God's grace, I attended it. The lecture was like a tour to siachen and as he said, I can't explain in words the smell of blood and the -40 degree cold, but it gave me a perspective of the hardships faced by our soldiers. It was interesting to hear that in that temperature, if you drop an iron rod, it will break into pieces like a glass and if you splash hot water from a kettle, it will turn into vapor before falling down.

My key take-aways from the lecture was that For a manager, Company comes first, his subordinates second and third will be his own welfare. He explained this with examples, may be this may not be that impactful without examples. Another take-away was thinking about crisis. What is crisis? If I lose one grade in one subject or If I am unable to get a good job in campus, is it really a crisis? When he talked about situations of life or death, I understood what is real crisis.

So, future aspirants ! If you make into the ISB, the key learning will be from speakers and not just from lectures. You will have assignments, exams and what not, but try to maximize your learning. I now regret not attending some lectures, which I heard was very good. Fo instance, the lecture by top management from Tata Motors, Cavin care and Pantaloon were supposedly very good but I didn't attend. They may visit again next year and don't miss these talks.

Today we have interviews from JDPowers. They have a unique way of interviews. Each one will be interviewed for a max of five minutes. Let me see how it goes.

And finally - I am receiving a lot of complaints for not being regular in blogs. I will try to be more regular. I know it is not fair to blame my assignments and exams for not posting. I will try atleast three posts per week. Lets see how this goes.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Happy Diwali !!!

Deutsche bank shortlist has been announced and the interviews will be on Nov 15th. Good luck for all the interviewees.

In the IT side, I could see IBM, Yahoo, Amazon, Verizon, Satyam and Wipro lined up for Preplacement talks. There is another job posting from Seven Seas for a position in Dubai. I don't know much about the company and would have to research on this.

Goldman sachs ppt is on Nov 18th and I am not even planing to attend the PPT. This year most of the abroad positions are for Finance from companies such as SCB, HSBC, GOLDMAN and Deutsche. There is another big Ibank lined up.

Apart from these, this month we have PPTs from Novartis, Marakon and Olam international.

My resume is almost ready. I have customised it for IT-Products and IT-Services. While applying for the jobs, I will customise it more according to the culture of the companies.

I see students who are disappointed for not being shortlisted for Deutsche. For IT guys like me, the game has not yet started. I know there will be a lot of disappointments, a lot of surprises and a lot of difficulties. Everyone has started worrying about their placements and academics has taken back seat.

In sum, the Placement season has begun and everyone is looking for the D-Day Jan 10th.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

I had to cancel my XLRI plans due to the sudden fever. The fever has spoiled my whole plans. It has impacted my assignments, my ITC Bplan work and ELP project work. Only now I realize how much I am working daily that taking rest for just one day costs so much. In Micrososft terminology, I am drinking from the fire hose.

ISB has launched Poseidon. Poseidon is the annual b-school festival at the ISB. More about this even from the colloborative blog:

Poseidon offers a common platform for students from the finest business schools all over the world to test their mettle in competitive events. The following events would take place:·

Twister – Online strategy game·
Tsunami – Biz Quiz·
Vortex – Fin Quiz· Bounty – Fin Paper Presentation·
Blizzard – Mktg Quiz·
The Coke Wave – Mktg Case Competition·
Turbulence – Energy Case Competition·
Horizon – Emerging Markets Debate·
Typhoon – Entrepreneurship Case Competition·
Torrent – Tech Quiz·
Cyclone – Tech/SCM Paper Presentation·
Bermuda Triangle – Tech Case Competition

There will also be many informal events like Rock Show and Blind Date. Special note should be taken of Twister – the online strategy game. It’s the toughest strategy game to be played in cyberspace. For details, please visit .Dates: November 27-28, 2004Venue: ISB Campus, Hyderabad, IndiaContact address: Email:

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Tomorrow I have my mid-term test in Indian Financial Systems. I am yet to start my BPLAN for the ITC competition for which the deadline is this weekend. I am yet to prepare slides for XLRI competition (which I may eventually end-up doing in the flight). My placement preparations are astray and in the middle of all these, I got fever.

No wonder, Bschools are called as Hells.

The placement website is being filled up with the preplacement talk schedules. In November we have Marakon, IBM and Sierra atlantic PPTs. HSBC has already posted for their International management positions. Dec is going to be busy with a lot of PPTs and placement committee is contemplating on how to bring students to the PPTs.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Deutsche bank got around 120 applications. This is a huge number and I could attribute two factors for this:

1. As the bank was keen on receiving as many applications as it can, the preplacement talk was trying to convince that anyone can apply irrespective of his/her background. This enticed many students to apply just believing the L factor.

2. The fact that the bank was given the privilege to come for campus before the regular campus schedule. Now the students have ample time to prepare customized resume and EOI.

JDpower has invited applications and the last date is Nov 5th. I think the applications for JDpower won't be very high.

I would be going to XLRI on Nov 6th and 7th to present a case analysis in the National IT seminar. I and Muthu did the case in one hour and didn't think it would be worthwhile enough to get shortlisted. Again, the L factor has helped us.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

As expected, the term is very hectic. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have classes from morning 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM and I return to room like a dead horse. As soon as I enter the room, I will get a call for ELP Meeting which will go till 10:00 PM and then I have to prepare for next day's class. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I have only one class but most of the time will be spent preparing for the next day's four classes. Apart from these, I have to attend placement focus group meetings and work on my resume. Ooph! When will I write my blogs !! I am not managing time efficiently like other bloggers.

Tomorrow is the deadline to appear for Deutsche bank. I attended the preplacement talk and the bank was keen in receiving as much applications as it can. The bank has invited applications for almost all roles (except M&A) and they are even open for non-finance guys.

Tuesday we have preplecment talk by JDPOWER. Today EDS is conducting mock interviews for students and on Monday we have TAS conducting mock interview sessions. The whole campus seems busy with placement preparations and assignments but still yesterday's Dandhiya was rocking. I didn't dance but it was good watching people dancing with great energy and enthusiasm.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Fifth term starts on Monday

I am back after a long break. I was so busy with the exams and with some project work that the term break is hectic than the regular days.

Fifth term starts on Monday. Some students are frustrated that they didn't get the electives they desired. Fortunately, I managed to get five electives. I am majoring in Finance and Marketing. This term we have wonderful professors for Marketing Implementation and Financial reporting. I am looking forward a great term.

But I am expecting this term to be more hectic than any other term. First reason is that I didn't opt for any faf course and all five are hardcore subjects. Second, the timings are ridiculous in my case. I have one class on Monday and Four classes on Tuesday (each class spans for two hours).


Deutsche Bank is on Campus on October 18th. The results would be out only on January 20, when the ISB placements start. This bank is given an exception to visit the campus early but is not allowed to declare results before Jan 10th.

Students are busy with their placement preperation. We have mock interviews this week conducted by the career services department. I am currently shaping my resume.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

"If IIMs are putting 100% efforts for placements, ISB students are putting as little as 30%"

These were the words by two McKinsey consultants (from IIMs) in a seminar at ISB. They emphasized the need of forming groups oriented towards the placements. I have spoken about this to a lot of students. In ISB, I feel the number of offers by a company could be substantially increased if students are more focused and put more efforts. I think, the bottleneck here is that the same students when were working, need not worry about the interviews and it is usually the recruiters who were keen to hire them. They approach the campus interviews with the same mindset. What they don't understand is that they are applying for the position of their boss and the interview procedure will not be the same.

The end-term exams are starting on Monday. We have the bidding process tomorrow to choose electives for the next term. I am planing to major in Finance and Marketing.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

I am giving below the piece I wrote for colloborative blog

My ISB essays

I dreaded about the essays than my GMAT. I was always sceptical about my essay writing capabilities and I didn’t know how to write essays that could project my positive points to the ISB admission committee. I called an alumni working in CTS and asked about the essays. She advised me to write genuinely and emphasized that even small aspects of my life (Such as my love for my dog, my NSS/NCC days) could be included in the essays. I understood that whatever I write, I should make sure that my essays look different from the others’.

I wrote my essays highlighting my love for literature and my extra-curricular activities in the college days. One of the early applicants, Tahseen, reviewed my essays and felt that the essays should be changed to highlight my good academic credentials rather than the extra-curricular activities. I changed my essays hesitantly. He also advised me to add some humour to the essays, the advice which I rejected.

I explained about my focus in the essays. I explained my love for computers and how the MBA could help me to shine in IT field. So, that’s all about my experience. My only advice is – Make sure your essays look different or project you differently.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

New Admission Policy

There are a lot of debates going on about new admission policy of accepting applications with CAT and GRE. I personally think this is a good policy. More number of aspirants will apply to ISB is they don't have the high application fee of 5000 and GMAT fee of 10000. The application fee has been reduced now and GMAT can be taken after getting the conditional admission. This will give more incentives to the aspirants.

Regarding the question on fees:

Books - We will be provided with the course material for all the courses. But in addition, we may have to purchase extra books also. We may have to buy 2 or 3 books per term. Some students also xerox the books though I don't prefer that.

Pay-per-meal - I don't have any idea what it could cost. My guess would be Rs 60 for breakfast and Rs 100 for Lunch and Dinner. Please don't take the figures as such. Just my guess.

Friday Movies

One of our professor, Johan Talbott, teaching Government, Society and Business arranges for movies every Friday. We had Sea-Biscuit, Master and the Commander and some office documentaries (comedy). This week we have Moulin Rouge.

Infrequent blogs

I understand that I am not blogging frequently. I will try to write more frequently. In addition, if you are tired of checking my blogs for updates, just mail me with the subject "Blog Update". I will send you mail whenever the blog is updated. This will save you from checking my blog for updates.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Next Year Admissions

This year ISB has come up with many surprises for the next year admissions. Main surprise is the decision to accept GRE and allowing applicants with CAT score. Applicants with CAT score will be given conditional offer that they have to take GMAT and get above 680. Fee structure has changed though the fee as such has not. Deadlines are earlier compared to the previous years. The number of admits will be 320 next year. Best of luck for the applicants and mail me for any clarifications / help (Don't try to get me in messenger - Please contact via mail).

My advice is to take GMAT as early as possible and apply ASAP. Mostly, the ISB admissions dept doesn't wait till the deadline to process the applications. They do it as and when they receive them.

Note : You can read my GMAT story from the link given below archives section.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Is it that difficult to Focus at this point of time?

It's a good question by Lee. Infact as a placement committee representative, I am persuading guys to make up their mind about their careers. I am focused on software and some of my friends who want to shift to finance also have already made their mind and are working hard on accumulating finance knowledge. There is no question on whether to focus. Focus is necessary to land on the dream job. I have eliminated finance career options (though I will take fin elective). I have also eliminated marketing but now the question is whether I have properly researched the marketing career options before deciding that it is not suitable for me. In sum, I am a software guy going back to IT. The previous blog was written in a state of confusion.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Experiential Learning Projects

At ISB, the ELPs are equivalent to the summer projectsof 2-year BSchools. The only difference is that the project will be done in the campus. Students bid for the ELPs they are interested in. I have got a proejct from Altair Engineering on marketing their Grid Computing Product.

My friends advise me that I am a guy suitable for marketing. They want me to focus on marketing rather than software companies. I was a guy focused on software industry from my school days. My friends' argument is that my creativity and reasoning skills would be more valuable in marketing and that marketing could give me more visibility than the software companies do. This has not persuaded me to shift my focus but atleast I have started thinking about it

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Spicing up the Resume ...

I think I shouldn't have used the word "spicing up". Anyway, what I meant was, to make the resume different so that the recruiter atleast sees it with a "What's This" factor. Have you heard the story of someone sending resume to Microsoft with a Giant Size cut-out ? And of course, he was short-listed.

Grades - Should they matter?

If there is an association against grades, I would be the first person to enroll in it. I am fed up of the arbit CPs and Exam fevers just for Grades. In US, ALL THE TOP BSCHOOLS have grade non-disclosure policy. Note that this is not a school policy (Even ISB has this policy in school level), but student policy. That is, Students will not disclose their grades to recruiters at any circumstances.

One argument against that is ISB is relatively new school and it lacks the bargaining power the US Bschools have. Are recruiters so immature to question a policy that has been put-forth by both school and students.

What is the advantage of not having grades? I am not going to elaborate on this. Think in this direction - If grades are not there, what will the mature students concentrating on?

Some links on grade policies ...



Harvard ( Please see the link to recruitment policies)

Berkeley HAAS

Chicago GSB
(Note that Chicago GSB has adopted nondisclosure policy this year ->

Kellogg – The only Exception

Even in Kellogg, you can find the grade nondisclosure initiative for this year ->

Saturday, September 11, 2004

As I have already said, this term has only one theory subject - Investment Analysis and all other subjects are relatively "soft". So there would be a lot of free time available in this term and students are planning to use this term to prepare for interviews.

CAS has initiated meetings with students to advise them to start work towards recruitment. It is possible to get any recruiter we want to the campus. But what is the use of getting a company if the students are not prepared enough to crack the company's interview and boost the reputation of the ISB. CAS is thinking in this direction.

Some students are working on getting good grades. Grades are an important component for Investment Banks or top consulting companies. But what about students like me who want to go back to IT? Mostly, IT firms don't look at grades. So we should be working towards building our soft skills, revising the management concepts, learning about the companies and working on puzzles (for companies like Microsoft). I am planning to start in this direction. I have found that my resume currently looks very dull and vague. I am searching for things to spice up my resume, but I am unable to find any.

The campus interview starts on January 10th and would probably end in a month.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

I have already mentioned that the owner of Alacrity Housing, Chennai, was at ISB during a case discussion about Alacrity in entrepreneurship class. Alacrity is not in a good position now. Our final presentation in the class was to give suggestions to him about how he could come out of the present difficult situation.

He said that he was impressed by the presentations and he is coming again to ISB to see if anyone is willing to join his company in the future. Prof has warned that it is going to be an uphill task to turn-over the company. Lets see if anyone would take the deal.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

MBA for IT Professionals

First let me clarify my stand about MBA for IT professionals. I recommend ISB for experienced professionals but this is not necessarily from the salary perspective. This is a golden period for IT professionals with salary reaching new heights. I don't think an MBA is necessary to get a good immediate pay-hike. MBA is a long-time strategy. In salary and position, difference could be seen after eight or ten years.

I believe that experience gives maturity (thought not in all cases :)). I have learnt a lot from my peers though this may not be true with all ISBians.

For freshers, IIM is the ideal choice. Fifteen lakh loan while starting the career is not a good idea. Secondly, IIMs could give a stronger theoritical foundation which is necessary for freshers.

Fourth Term Starts ...

The fourth term starts from Tomorrow. Except Investments, all the other courses doesn't seem to have extensive theory. I am planing to start my interview preperations from this term.

Colloborative Blog

A new collaborative blog ( has been started by some ISBians. Check it out !!

Clarification on Exams

Someone has asked whether exams are online or pen-based. Mostly pen-based and some are project-based. No online exams !!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Is MBA a good choice for IT guys?

I get a lot of mails asking whether I recommend ISB. Most of them are with IT background. Before answering this question, lets think why an MBA is necessary. In salary perspective, MBA might be attractive for freshers. Even there, the gap is reducing. Recently, I read an article in Economic times about the hike in salary for IT engineers, especially in entry level. Engineers are getting as high as 9 lakes per annum and even IIM MBA cannot give more than that.

For laterals, especially for people getting more than 8 lakes and with around 5 years of experience, MBA is not going to give a big salary hike. For those who go back to the company they worked for, there could be a good hike and promotion, but that is not just because of MBA but mainly because of their proven track record. Typically, your boss may not be able to give you hike and promotions as much as he wishes due to company policies. He would be able to decide on the salary part for lateral entrants, but he may not prefer to give them more salary as he doesn't know about them. When you go back, he is betting on a known horse, with added qualifications.

For laterals making a career shift salary could even be lower than they were getting. Then why MBA? MBA is a long-term strategy. Your growth will find an impasse after ten or twelve years. That time, salary will not be the only thing that matters. You might have ego problems in reporting to the new CEO/COO younger than you. MBA is just letting others know that you know to manage and that you are certified for your managerial skills. If you are keen about learning, then MBA gives t o time and tools to rethink about your management style.

For laterals, learning comes mostly from the peers. That is the reason ISB is becoming an ideal place for experienced professionals. I don't recommend ISB for freshers. IIM is ideal for them. First, they start their career with a huge burden of 15 lakh loan. This makes them risk-averse. Second, they don't have the maturity to learn from peers.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I am Back

Ooph! Somehow I managed to finish the exams !! The final exams were not tough but there may be a possibilty of one re-exam due to administrative errors. I am tired of this exams and am against the re-exams.

Two out of four subjects next term are going to be less theoritical ( or more of cp subjects CP- Class Participation). I hate doing cp and am expecting a tough time ahead. Management of Organizations Prof has asked us to prepare network matrices listing all the professional people I know and interlinking them. He is going to design the course pack based on that. I think this course should be somewhat interesting !!

I can't believe three terms have passed and I never realized it. One more term and we will be half-way through the course !!

I think the application forms for next year admissions will start in October. Still the debate of raising the intake is going on!! Lets see what happens !!

I will write tomorrow whether I recommed ISB or not for future applicants !!

Next term subjects:

Government, Society & Business

Investment Analysis

Management of Organisations

Strategic Analysis of Information Technology

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Yesterday night I was not able to sleep. I was spending my time in preparing the VC presentation for entrepreneurship class. Today I slept full day compensating for that.

The previous entrepreneurship class was interesting. We had a case discussion about Alacrity Housing, Chennai. The founder was here and was explaining how difficult it is to live as a honest person amidst the corrupt society. It was a good learning.

I am going to start my exam preparation. My next blog will only be on Wednesday. Till then, Goodbye. :)
Yesterday I was preparing a presentation for entrepreneurship class and was not able to sleep. Today I spent full time sleeping to compensate for that. The previous entrepreneurship class was interesting. We had a case discussion about Alacrity Housing, Chennai. The founder Amol was there and was explaining his principles and values and how he is facing difficulties in living as a honest person amidst a corrupt environment.

I am going to start my Exam preparation and my next blog will be only on Wednesday after the exams. :)

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Assignments, Exams and A Poor Soul ...

I have not yet recovered from the shock of mid-term exams and still can't believe that the final-exams are on next Monday. Exams are becoming routine tasks and assignments are becoming increasing burdens ... We have business plan evaluation assignment for entrepreneurship. Each team will have one crore each (You know, it can't be real money) and will be investing according to the presentations we make.

We have a bidding game in managerial accounting and a problem set in Operations. Apart from that, I have opted for an independent study in operations and have to prepare a proposal for that. PLACOM work is also very hectic with a lot of issues to be tackled. Still I have commitments to go out on alternate days and what not.

Tell me, can I call myself a poor soul ...

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Today I decided to bunk the operations class. Yesterday was very hectic with two assignments to submit. So today I decided to bunk class and take some rest.

Nowadays I am playing badminton daily. I am having neck pain and wrist pain due to that but am planing to continue playing.

Yesterday I started a new account with Kotak for trading. I have invested in reliance, tata mostors and Union Bank. Lets see how it goes.

Admission process will start in next two months and am still wondering about the impact of increased intake.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Hectic Weekend ...

The weekend was very hectic. Saturday we had India-China conference. We had speakers from all over the world to talk on India-China issues. Sunday, there was a talk by Deepak Jain, dean of Kellogg. He talked about new marketing concepts. He emphasized the need to change from product marketing to cutomer experience marketing.

Then, we had children from a nearby school visting the ISB as part of net impact activities. I volunteered for this event. I was conducting games for these children and it was good fun. That afternnoon, I visited IIIT as part of BTC club activities. It was impressing.

Ooph! Today morning I didn't feel like going to class.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Tomorrow is the exam. Still a lot to read ... How happy I was while working ... No tension ... No exams ... :(

Soon this term will come to an end and then I have to start working towards my placement. Still I am confused whether I should switch to consulting or finance or should I return to IT. Sometimes I would be firm in going back to IT and suddenly my mindset would change ... I have decided to do my profiling to see what would suit me ...

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Exams, Exams and Exams

Well...Biswajit asked a good question...We have exams every 22.5 days ideally :) Each term spans over 1 1/2 months and if you take mid-term and end-term exams, it will seem like the course is full of exams.

This time I am very relaxed and am not even planning to go through the books , while others are having night-mares in completing it. I am just going to browse the class notes and try my luck in the exams.

Students are planning to bring out "Harbinger", the student magazine. I have written an article for it and am involved in design also. Though I am very interested in contributing to the layouts and other stuffs, I am unable to do anything due to the lack of time at this moment.

Today we had a session about profiling and career counseling. An external vendor will do that for a fee of Rs 2500. I think I will also do my profiling.

I have enrolled for an elective called "planning an entrepreneurial Venture". I don't know why I enrolled for it as I don't have any big entrepreneurial plan as of now. Lets see how it goes.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Nowadays I am spending too much timed in the recreation center. I am not a person interested in sports but somehow I have started playing badminton and snooker and am spending nearly 5 hours daily in the recreation center. Alums have said that students start relaxing from the third term. I think that is happening now.

Next week, we have mid-term exams. Time is flying very fast. I have not yet started preparing for the mid-term. Lets see how it goes.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Urgent need for permanent faculty ?

Yesterday I was having dinner with one of our profs. He was an excellent guy who was responsible for starting the IT division of wipro in India. He was praising the ISB students that they are very bright and they prepare well for classes regularly. While talking with him about the institute, I raised this question about permanent faculty.

He said that the school cannot depend entirely on the visiting faculty. He mentioned that a Mexican school, operating on 100% visiting faculty model, was able to survive only for seven years and was shot down in the eighth year. On the other hand, we have schools like Insead which has been very successful in visiting faculty model.

The ISB is doing a right thing in recruiting permanent faculty at a good pace. Though these faculties cannot give the same learning experience as given by some world class visiting faculty, a trade-off has to be there.

Monday, August 02, 2004

It's Raining ...

It's ranining outside ... I do love rain but nowadays it is raining frequently disrupting my normal schedules. Sometimes I have to go late for dinner or start early for class .... Though I can take umbrella or wear my jacket, I hate going out while raining. Apart from all these, I don't get the mood to study while it is raining.

The ISB is getting better term by term. There was a period in term 1 when I was thinking whether I made a mistake by opting for ISB. Term 2 was good except for some classes. Term 3 is really rocking ... All the courses seem to handle very essential and relevant topics. Another reason I can think of is that this term has no ISB faculty. All the profs are visting profs mostly from Kellogg. I don't want to talk more on this issue... :)

These days the time I spend studying has reduced drastically. But I have started to be very attentive in the class, taking notes in detail and reviewing the notes regularly. Reviewing the notes doean't take more than 10 minutes and most of the time I spend watching movies in DVD or watching Tv.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

The classes in this term are too good. I am not a guy interested in operations but the Managerial accounting and Operations classes are very interesting. The professors are from Kellogg and they are very good in developing intuitions.

One thing I can be sure is that what they are teaching is the latest in the industry. I have read some issues about the problems in cost accounting in manufacturing firms and these classes hit that problems in the very beginning. So these classes are not going to be mundane, teaching the assets and liabilities but focus on bottomline improvement.

Coming to Biswajit's question -  Sun Micro offers solutions manager and customer engagement manager positions. Verizon offers project manager and program manager roles. Verizon has also called for fresh graduates last year but I am not sure of the positions offered to them. Students with around three years of experience get BD or program management roles.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Yesterday there was a mail from an alumni to the student batch. Our batch is supposedly concentrating too much on the grades and the mail advised us to concentrate on networking and other aspects in addition to grades. I do believe that grades tell nothing about us to the recruiter unless we are top 15% or so.

Tonight I have convened a meeting to discuss about the placement policies. The companies coming to the ISB mostly look for experienced peoples and they do iterate about their expectations while calling for applications. This would automatically reduce the number of applications but companies such as MCKinsey, BCG etc do attract very large number of applications, which may indicate the absence of focus among students. CAS is desperately trying to reduce the number of offer wastages. Students are afraid that they may become guinea pigs. Lets see how this goes.

For me, anyway the options are limited. I want to go back to IT and all the IT companies coming for campus don't necessarily accept students with less than three years of experience. For example, I think verizon asked for students with more than 4 years of experience and Sun asked for more than five. 

Monday, July 26, 2004

Am back After a long time ...
I went to my hometown, Pollachi and had a nice term break.

Today I had entrepreneurship class. I don't have any other classes today but have a lot to read for tomorrow.

In this term, I have corporate finance, Managerial accounting and Operations along with entrepreneurship. I have a positive feeling towards this term. The markets are bullish and I am positive about the placements too.

As a PLACOM representative, I am planning to meet all my placom babies before this Wednesday. Knowing each of them personally would be very helpful during the placement process. The new PLACOM policies, especially the cap of ten companies that one could apply, has a created  a storm of reactions in the campus. PLACOM has to solve these issues before starting to work on training and tiering.

Ok. That's it for today.


Thursday, July 15, 2004

It is Exam Time ...

Exam fever is at the peak. Everyone is seen roaming with a book. I don't think I will be able to blog before next wednesday.

Finally we have drafted placement policies. We have restricted the number of offers to two. We have also put a constraint that one can apply to a maximum of 10 companies per tier.

Let me start my exam preperation.

Monday, July 12, 2004

It is raining here ... I am just sitting near the window and watching the rain. Yesterday I watched two more movies. Now I think its time to start studying for the end-term.

In Placom, we are discussing about the placement policies. Policies have been given by CAS and we are brainstorming on them. I will disclose the policies once it is published for all students.

I am going home during this term-break. I think life will turn hectic next term onwards.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Just one more week to go...

The end-term exams are on next Monday and Tuesday. This term went very fast and was very relaxing. I really enjoyed this term both in terms of learning and relaxing.

Today I watched "12 Angry men" and "Life is beautiful". Both are good movies.

The finance club here arranged sessions about budget. The pre-budget session was good. I was unable to attend the session on the budget day. Tomorrow there will be post-budget discussions by a panel of veterans from different industries. The budget is bad for me with my stocks going down (25% loss). I started my first trade at a bad point - the day before election. So you can know now why I have such a huge loss.

But, overall, I am happy with the budget. I am confident about PC and Manmohan and I am happy that the country is ruled by educated economists.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Yesterday I was not able to sleep properly. I watched the movie "Pulp Fiction" and went to bed late. I dreamt of roaming in the beach, alone in the night, with turbulent waves. I was disturbed by the dream and searched in the internet for dream analysis. It said that turbulent waves symbolize mixed and confusing emotions in my mind. It also explained that the dream could reflect exploring my "own unconscious" in a spiritual way. Somehow the dream disturbed me.

Today morning, my Mother called me in the phone and scolded for not calling her. From the day I have come to the ISB, the link between me and the external world has been cut. Thank god, I don't have any girl friend. I have noticed my friends finding hard to allot time to call their girl friends inspite of the busy schedule.

Note: In my previous post, I wrote that Prof. Vohra was from Wharton. Actually, he is from Kellogg. Sorry for the mistake.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Today we had the launch of Aikya. Today I got up late due to yesterday's party threw by my team mates ( We won in Markstrat and hence the party). Then rushed to the Aikya launch. Aikya is a program where each study group will be allotted a family in Hyderabad. This will make sure that we develop relationship with the family and understand the culture of Hyderabad.

The family allotted to our group was not able to come today and so we may meet on some other day this week. We were joking that we have become orphans ( Arpan shah became Orphan shah and Animesh kumar became Anaadh kumar).

Tomorrow Jagmohan's class will discuss about the key learnings from Markstrat. We have two new profs coming this week to handle the remaining classes of DMO and Competitive Strategy.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Monday is the last class for prof. Jagmohan Raju. He was a wonederful professor. His timely wits and deep knowledge in the subject blended together to give a great experience. Prof. Vohra, Prof. Raju, Prof. Anjani Jain ... all profs from Wharton are good. I envy Wharton guys.

I spend time watching movies. Yesterday I watched "My cousin Vinny" and "Airplane". "My cousin Vinny" is really a classic comedy. It also emphasizes that grades are now way related to performance in the job. :) A way to console myself for my poor grades.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Just now finished the Global Eco mid-term. Yesterday I got the Grade for Micro Eco. Micro is the only exam in which I performed above average. This term I have to pick-up.

Our group is doing well in Markstrat. Usually our group assignments won't work but this time it is rocking. May be experience effect !!

Sometimes we don't notice the repercussions our actions could create. We had a case about a projector company that wrongly signalled Sony that it is going to compete in Sony's market. This signal was untentional and completely wrong. The company had no idea of competing in Sony's competence. Prof. Jagmohan dealt the case very well and it was like reading a suspense story. Now, coming to the point, the same kind of signalling has happenned in case of Regular reader. I never intended to be nasty in yahoo groups but some of my messages has made him think so. I ought to be careful in my blog and forums !!

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The Feel Good factor

I am feeling pretty good this term and even my friends feel so. Excellent Profs, Interesting ubjects, lot of free time, Interesting Markstrat game and No strangling assignments ... It is the profs who decide the fate of the term. Usually profs who teach excellently don't trouble students with intimidating assignments. We have one assignment this term but that can be done in pairs and the assignment is also designed to be interesting. Overall ... A great Term !! We are relaxed - still learning is pretty good.

Placom Representative

I was elected as the Placom rep in the re-election. I should try to do my best to build the image of the ISB in terms of placements.

I am giving some of my election campaign mails below:

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Election results were out and I am in tie with other candidate. Reelections are over and the results may be out by Monday.

Grades are out for Marketing and Accounting and I am just average ! I have got good marks in individual assignments but group assignments lowered my grade in Marketing! At the same time, I am bad in Accounting and group assignments saved me ! Thats the trade off!

This term was very relaxing but now grades would send energy waves to students to start studying ! The mid-term is on Thursday !

Yesterday, there was a talk by Deepak Jain! All I could say is "very impressive"! He was supposed to be the dean of ISB but Kellogg lured him by making him the dean of kellogg. ISB has lost a very good dean !

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Though this term is supposed to be as hectic as the last term, I have started relaxing. Yesterday, I was just sitting and watching TV. I am also noticing that most of the students have started relaxing. They might have understood that running like this till the end of the year is not a good strategy. This week might be free and next week comes the mid-term. We have mid-term for only one subject, Macro Economics.

When I say free or relaxing, don't assume that students are having a good 8 hours sleep. Markstrat takes care that students spend most of the time in it. The advantage in Markstrat is that though you put a lot of time in it, it won't be as tiring or boring as going through the book.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Sorry Gentleman ! I was so busy yesterday with Markstrat that I was not able to blog. Even the simplest decisions require hell a lot of time as everyone in the group has to be convinced. In my group, we have a good understanding and so even if we fight like wrestlers during the discussions, it does not affect relationships. I don't know how it goes in other groups.

I sent a mail yesterdar for election campaign. I came up with three different mails and asked my friends to choose one. They opted for the simplest one and I sent it. The mail just had two lines. The subject of the mail was "I was Pregnant!" Inside the mail, there was a photo of a pregnant man (yes man!) with caption "Have conceived many ideas! Give me a chance to deliver !!". Lets see whether this campaign works !! The screenprint of the mail can be found in "".

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Yesterday I slept at 4:00 AM. As expected, the Markstrat discussion went on and on and finally we made some decisions at 3:30 AM ( We started at 7:00 PM). Our group lacks experienced candidates in operations and so we almost have to reinvent each and every concept.

I have decided to stand for election as Placement Committee representative. We will have 12 representatives and there are 27 contestants. I wanted to be in Placement or Admissions committee as these are the two aspects that decide the ISB brand image. I think I can contribute to ISB more if I am in these committees.

Class participation is becoming a head-ache for me. For example, Competitive Strategy has 25% marks for CP (Class participation) and so each and everyone wants to speak something in the class. Mostly it ends up with the same point repeated 4 or 5 times and students giving very vague and very evident comments. This is reducing the energy level in the class.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Yesterday there was a session on how to use the MARKSTRAT software. It is a simulation game where the students compete against each other and this constitutes significant portion of the grade. Seniors have warned that this game is addictive and could consume a lot of time. My groupies are so enthusiastic about the game and I can see sleepless nights awaiting me. Yet I see this as an interesting platform to test our competitive skills without causing much damage (Grade damage is there but we can afford it). Lets see how it goes.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

What to get out of MBA?

Somehow I have landed in the MBA land, without having much idea of what to get out of this MBA. I was never a die-hard MBA aspirant, but just landed here by accident. Students who were dreaming of their MBA from their school days might enjoy the learning here. I am still contemplating about what to get out of this MBA.

Atleast after one term, I should have got an idea of what MBA tries to convey to me. This MBA has taught me the art of being with books. Even when I watch TV, I have a book in my lap. MBA has taught me the art of regretting. I chat and watch TV for one hour and regret about it for two hours. MBA has taught me the art of raising hands. I should say it is trying to teach me the art of raising hands. Even when the prof coughs, students raise their hands and try to explain the reason why he coughed. Still, I am very naive at this art. I don't raise my hand even when I know what the answer is. I should change this behaviour in this term atleast. MBA has taught me the art of using Buzzwords. Good example -> Some yesterday told me - "You have illusion of control. Don't stick to your prior hypothesis belief. Try to change your locus of control".

What has MBA taught me in this one term? It has changed my thought process. It has made me realize that it is not the outcome that is important, but the way how we reach that outcome is important. I believe this is the valuable lesson I get out of MBA. I have learned to question the basic assumptions. This forms the basis for any out-of-box thinking. I have started analyzing whatever I read in magazine or watch in TV and try to find the reason behind it. MBA has taught me to give importance to thought process and this lesson is what I learned in the first term.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Second Term Starts ...

The first class was by Jagmohan Raju from Wharton. The first class was impressive. But that doesn't mean no one slept in the class. While asking questions in the class, he displayed the photo of the student in the screen to whom the question is targetted. His chronological way of connecting warfare with Porter impressed me. His class has raised expectations for this term.

Whats the deal with "700+"

I think I confused you with my previous post while talking about GMAT score. What I meant was there are candidates with good GMAT scores (say 700+) but with less impressive Extra curriculars or leadership aspects. ISB mostly rejects these candidates however high the score is (Say 750+). Now with increased intake, ISB cannot do the same as it needs high GMAT score to sustain the average at 690. I never meant that 750+ are not preferred.Of course, they are preferred but they too have to show some extra-curricular aspects.

Monday, June 14, 2004

And Now Padmaja Leaves...
After the shocking news of Vinoo leaving, we received the next shock that Padmaja is also leaving. For those who don't know - Vinoo and Padmaja did the entire screening and interview for admissions till last year. There was a farewell party for them yesterday night.

The hottest debate going on in the campus is whether the increased intake is the reason for adcom people leaving. I met an alumni yesterday who said that they tried to convince the management not to increase the intake, but all in vain.

Yesterday I read an article in Business World about Great Lakes Institute of Management coming up in Chennai. The article was criticizing ISB for investing too much in infrastructure and passing the financial burden to the students. I have personally visited the institute in Chennai, spoke with the dean and deputy dean there. Though I am a well wisher of that Institute ( Two reasons - I like Bala and I love Chennai), at this point of time, the institute is barely an attraction for quality MBA aspirants. The article noted that the best faculty who visited the campus on the first and second year are not coming this year. It hardly matters to us. For me, the faculty list is impressive this year and the new professors (visiting ISB for the first time) who came for the first term, especially the Stats profs did a tremendous job.

The second term starts today. I have afternoon classes. The first class is by Jagmohan Raju. He has been voted the best prof for the core courses last year. I am eagerly awaiting his class.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Intake 420?

The management wants to increase the intake to more than 400, likely to be 420. The number is not fixed - It would vary depending on the number of applications. The fee is not likely to be raised.

I would have said that the number will be 420 and fee will not be raised but this one and half month course has taught me to use the words such as "likely" and "probably".

Personally, I don't feel ISB is ready to increase the intake at this dramatic rate. Infrastructure wise, yes, ISB can handle far more than 400. Faculty - they can hire more visiting faculty. But the issue is quality placements. Just because the intake is 420, Mckinsey or Goldman is not going to hire in bunch of 20 or 30. Most of the extra intake would be going to companies such as Infosys or TCS, who do bulk recruiting. I am not saying that these companies are inferior, but the ISB should first prove itself by increasing the average salary, international placements etc before increasing the intake.

The management had to increase either fee or intake and it has decided to increase the latter. But management has made sure that if the number of applications is not as high as expected, the intake would be reduced. The happy part is that probably there would be no fee hike.

My worry is that the ISB should not become a haven for all those with 700+ GMAT. ISB has rejected many applications with 750+ GMAT and that privilege should not be sacrificed for increased intake.

The good news for us is that there will be more effort towards placements as they have to prove that the school can guarantee 400+ placements. I hope this year there would be more international placements as they have assigned a separate manager for International Placements. I am not interested in international placements but it is necessary to build the brand name.

MBA aspirants who read my blog can give their thoughts whether the increase in intake would have any negative effect on ISB brand.

The link not working..

The blog whose link is not working was supposedly found to contain some harmful information about the ISB girls and the anonymous author has deleted the blog owing to threats from the ISB patriots.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Vinoo Urs Leaves the ISB

Vinoo Urs, the Director of Admissions, is leaving the ISB. He would be looking after his family business. I can understand that his family members would be missing him as he has to keep travelling all the time starting from October till April. I admire his commitment and dedication. He makes sure that each and every student entering the ISB is diverse, capable and mature. Lets wish him good luck for his new ventures.

With Vinoo leaving and with the responsibility of hiring 420 students next year, Admissions department would have a tough time.

What is the strength of ISB?

Many of my friends ask me this question. There are good answers such as Visiting Faculty from premier Bschools, Diverse students but the best answer would be "System". In ISB, there is a system in place for everything.

CAS, Library, Admission, House keeping, IT - every department has a well-built system. You go to a library staff and ask about a book at 2:00 AM in the night, he will search for the book, explain the key features of the book and recommend other books in that area. CAS team initiates discussions with you, help you in identifying the career path suitable for you and helps you in achieving that. There is a system for inviting visiting faculty.

This system ensures that the ISB is not dependent on any individual. Even if Vinoo leaves, this system gives hope that his leaving would not affect next year’s admissions.

There is a professional touch in everything and every staff behaves professionally. But the students here don't match the professionalism that staffs have. Students coming late, murmuring in the class, forgetting to switch off cell phones etc do happen in the ISB. Many have realized that these activities could spoil the student image and have sent mails asking the students to maintain the professionalism. Lets see how the next term goes.

Other Blogs from ISB

There is no particular profile that HSBC was interested in while short listing for scholarships. The short listed candidates are from diverse backgrounds ranging from IT to Finance.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

A Fine Morning ...

I went for a walk and didn't return that day. I went to a friend's room and was seeing some movies. Suddenly, there was a heavy downpour and I couldn't return to my room. There was a party amidst the rain. Guys and Gals were drenching in the rain, shouting and enjoying. A lot of booze was keeping the energy up.

Yesterday, HSBC shortlisted 16 students for their scholarship interview. Two of 16 students will be offerred full scholarship. They have to sign a three year bond with them. The job will be on commercial banking side.

I am watching a lot of movies. Yesterday I watched "A few Dollars More" and "Vertigo". Today I have got "Lion King". Our Library has a good collection of DVDs.

I got up early today. Sitting near the window just staring at the birds with nothing to do was a dream for me. It has come true today.

There are some five or six blogs from ISB students. One of the blogs had some harmful content about the ISB girls and it was creating a turmoil last weekend.

Thats it for now. Let me enjoy this morning.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

< Good Bye Term 1>

Finally, the first term comes to an end. The next term starts from Monday. Most of the students are leaving for their home town but I have preferred to stay.

One line about today's exams - Today's stat exam was very easy. Marketing was a bouncer.

I have to mention about the stats professor, Rakesh Vohra, from Kellogg. I admire his teaching style very much. When I am in his class, I feel what it means to be at the ISB. I never studied for the exam and it was not required. Thanks Rakesh !

I will go for a walk around the campus, relax and will continue the blog after coming back.

Monday, June 07, 2004

A disaster and a Relaxed day

Today evening was pretty relaxed. I and my friends were roaming around the campus and were chatting amidst the rocks. Now time is 10:15 PM and I am yet to start studying for Tomorrow's exams.

What about today's exams ? I did economics pretty well than expected. Accounting was a bouncer. Two of four questions were so tough. It was an open book exam and I spent most of the time reading the chapters which I haven't read before. I felt bad to write answers which I was sure to be wrong. But I didn't have anyother way to kill time and fill sheets. These questions were supposed to be in the MIT end-term exam and were removed at the last minute as the prof thought it was too difficult. Poor ISBians had to solve them in the test.

I personally prefer tough exams than easier ones, though I suffer a lot in the exam hall.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

I wanted to blog once before I start my exam preparation. There are four subjects to study and three days left. On my engineering days, i used to hate the exam days. Here, it doesn't make much difference. In fact, I am more relaxed now than on other days.

I had a meeting yesterday with the admissions committee as an IT focus group member. I cannot disclose the subjects discussed but one news is that the ISB intake next year would be 420. Its a good news for next year aspirants as the number of seats have increased. I think there will not be any fee hike for next year. Again all these are unofficial.

In the meeting and also in many other situations, the question of comparison with IIM arises. I have my own reasons for favouring the ISB but elaborating about that could add bias to my blog. But I want to clarify about the high fee charged here. For those earning a fairly good salary, opportunity cost at IIM would be more than in ISB. In addition, the ISB gives one year additional experience when compared with two year MBAs.

Is one year sufficient for MBA ? We had a debate over these in Leadership Development class. I will write about that discussion, more about LDP class, and about "Seven Samurai", a movie screened in the LDP class etc after my exams.

I gotta run ...

Note: I know that I make hell a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes in my blog. From the next time, I will make sure to read once before posting.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Term 1 is over by Tomorrow

I am planing to bunk the class today. I have an assignment to be completed before today afternoon. I could have done it yesterday but I was in a relaxed mood then and so were my friends. We spent the entire day roaming around the campus, speaking about the childhood days, girls we came across etc etc. The exams are on Monday and Tuesday and still I don't know how I am going to make through it !!

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Friday and Saturday I had my Leadership development class - Fullday from Morning 9:00 to Evening 5:00. I was damn tired yesterday after the classes that I decided to watch some movies. "Shawshank redemption" was one, which I simply loved for its beautiful narration. Then I watched "Scary Movie" ...

The Leadership development classes did a good role in pointing out my handicaps in soft skills and in improving my presentation skills.

I have to do a book review for final grading in the leadership development class. I am planning to review "Fish". I have to finish it by Tuesday. Next week, final exams start and I have miles to go ...

Thursday, May 27, 2004

World of Dunking

Ok Joe... I will talk about dunking ...

Yesterday night, When I was in the midst of my stats assignment at 12:30, I heard a huge roaring sound... I learned that Birthday dunking is going on and decided to have a look at it ...In ISB, it is a culture to dunk the birthday boy/girl (Or should I say man/woman ... No .. No offence meant for the birthday girl) in the swimming pool at midnight.

I went to the pool with one of my friends... I was under the impression that only the birthyday baby will be dunked but I was wrong ... The moment students saw me, they started chasing me , with the intention of dunking me ... I was not a good runner and was caught ... Then... as expected I was thrown into the pool...

It was a good fun ... I am planning to attend the further dunking ceremonies ...

BTW, My midterms marks have come and I am not scoring as bad as expected ...Accounting paper was corrected lineantly so that guys like me who met accounting for the first time will not lose confidence ...

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Nearing the end of first Term

The end-term exams are approaching fast. As I am finding it hard to finish the daily homeworks, I don't get any time to start preparing for the exams. The exams are on 7th and 8th June. When the seniors mentioned that the course will be hectic, I didn't expect it to be this much hectic.

Today in the leadership devlopment class, they screened a video about the myths. It was interesting ... Everyone has a real hero inside him/her. When the hero sets out for his journey, he meets the dragons (fear, lust etc) ... Now its his choice ... He can return to his home and lead a happy life or fight the dragons and find the purpose of his life ...

Monday, May 24, 2004

Yesterday I slept at 3:30 AM. Sundays are always more hectic than weekdays. Today I bunked two classes. Now I am relaxing in my room ... In ISB, at the most we can bunk two classes per subject. I am opening my account from Today.

Tomorrow I have another assignment to complete and wednesday,a quiz. I may get my mid-term marks today...

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Blogging after a long time ...

Hectic...Hectic...Hectic...How else could I describe this ISB life ? Yesterday evening was a real refresher. I went to the city for the first time after coming to the ISB. I loved roaming the city in auto. I and two of my friends went for shopping. Traffic is worse here. There were not many subways to cross the road as in Chennai. The city seems to be congested. But somehow I liked the city.

Yesterday a pub called Bottles & Chimney arranged a party at Ramoji film city. For ISBians entry was free and a bus was sent to the ISB to pick up the intersted students. A good number of students went for it yesterday night. As I am not a party-freak, I avoided it and chose to go to the city.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

A relaxed day ...

Today was a bit relaxed day. Tomorrow we have Stats mid-term and have to prepare for a case study for marketing. This work load is very little when compared to the normal workload and I feel relaxed.

My first half of the stat class is over by today. Stats prof was one of the best prof I have seen. He taught very little but covered it in a good depth. He started from the basics of probablility and explained us the importance of each and every distribution. For grading, he uses multiple choice quiz and no other exams. He will be flying back tomorrow and we will have new prof for the next class.

Many ask me whether I still feel alone ...Now I am not... But I am hearing students complaining that they feel alone ...

Monday, May 17, 2004

Save me ...
Now I understand why bschools are compared to hell. This weekend would have been the worst weekend from my birth. We were preparing for mid-term on friday and after mid-term, we were supposed to do a group assignment. Our group worked on it till Saturday night, without break, spare a six hours of sleep. We were damn tired and then started on next group assignment on Sunday Morning. Agin without a break it went till 3:00 AM. Then we had an individual assigment !! Wooph !! My group saw my fatigue and spared me to sleep from 1:00 AM to 3:00 AM. Lot of students didn't sleep last night ! I am damn tired and desperately need sleep. But we have to prepare for tomorrow's class and on wednesday we have next mid-term. Actually, one assignmnet was cancelled this weekend and still we had this much load. To worsen the situation, some groups had presentation skills workshop during the weekend (From Morning to Evening)

Friday, May 14, 2004

And thus went my first exam ...

Today I had my first mid-term exam - Accounting. Most of the guys here say that accounting is easy but somehow I find it tough. I can understand the concepts when the prof teaches, but if I am asked to create the statements, I am struck. So you can imagine how my exam would have gone.

I was asked to create Income statement, Balance sheet and Cash flow in just one hour. I was thinking it is an impossible task but was proven wrong by people finishing it well ahead of time. Okay what happenned to me ? When I was in the middle of my T-accounts, I accidentally saw my watch and alas! forty minutes had passed away. Obviously, I didn't get some good number for the income and so I went back to correct the T-accounts. After some time, I realized that I changed some correct T-accounts and then started undoing my changes. The invigilator reminded that only ten minutes are remaining. I started building my balance sheet with wrong T-accounts due to lack of time. As expected, it didn't balance and time was up.

And thus went my first exam ...

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

"What am I doing here ?"
I often ask myself this question - Why am I here? There may be many answers but the ultimate motto is to make more money. But I was getting more than enough salary in my previous job. I liked my job. I had a good name and reputation. Why did I leave everything to come here? I have taken risks - I may not like my new job, I may not shine in my new job, etc etc. I don't want to term 15 lakhs as risk. It is worthy.

Am I greedy? When I was getting enough salary, why do I want to make more money? Will I be satisfied with the salary I get after ISB or would I wish to get more?

With these type of questions boggling me, I am going through the course. I don't get any free time. I have unplugged the TV wire to resist my temptation. I avoid chatting. I avoid wasting time. But still I am occupied till 10:00 PM and in some days even 12:00 AM. I don't agree with students sleeping at 1:00 or 2:00 AM. They might be wasting time in the evenings. I get 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily.( In the first few weeks I was sleeping for 10 hours :) )

Ok. I am studying daily. But does it reflect in the grades ? Not exactly. Studying just gives a mental satisfaction that I am doing whatever I can and am not wasting 15 lakhs.

So I am pushing myself hard just to have a mental satisfaction. I don't know whether this learning would make me a better person ...Just I hope ... And what about grades ? Lets wait for two more weeks ...

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

I am struggling to be an economist cum statistician cum accountant Today I had economics and Statistics class. Prof. shared a joke about economist. An economist and an accountant were walking while they found a hundred rupee note on the floor. Accountant said " There is an hundred rupee note on the floor !". Economist answered "It is not possible. If it had been there, someone would have picked it". This joke made me realize it is difficult to understand economics but still I struggle to do it. It is certainly not the professor's fault but it is my brain that is acting against me. May be its too tired ...

Statistics is slowly turning into a nightmare but I think only I am worrying about it. Others don't sleep and so they need not care about the nightmares ...

It is increasingly becoming difficult to find time for writing blogs... Tomorrow I am supposed to study 10 chapters ... (yes 10)... a lot of thoughts are going in my mind about what I am doing here ... I will discuss it leisurely tomorrow...

Now I gotta run ...

Monday, May 10, 2004

Yesterday I was at my study table from Morning 9:00 AM to 12:00 AM in the night except for the meal time. There were two assignments and a hell lot to study. This is the maximum effort I have put in my life to do some home work.

Today the classes were relaxing (or may be I am used to the classes). Unlike my UG classes, here I do listen to the professors. There are more active particpants in the class gunning for CP (Class participation marks) and it makes class active. But atleast in my section, there is no one interrupting the class just to show his knowledge. But all these doesn't mean that everyone is active. There is an active sleeping club and I too join the club occasionally.

Slowly the college atmosphere is catching up ... Students have started relaxing little bit (I emphasise the word "little")...

We may have a group meeting today to discuss the next assignment ... My group is very active and supportive and we do have a lot of fun in the group ... I will post the group experiences after getting permission from them ...

Saturday, May 08, 2004

" Who will dare to relax after paying 15 lakhs ?"
I was wrong... I said that people seemed to relax yesterday but today I found that most have been slogging yesterday ... I felt it first when I went to the attrium in the evening where I found a lot of students studying in groups ... I found that some are already done with the Monday's work ...I did ask why they are not taking rest for a day... The first line of today's blog was the response I got for that.

I watched the "Satya" movie yesterday. It was a good movie and typical ramgopal type. It did some analysis and have sent to my group for compiling ...

I am already late ... Let me go and prepare for Monday's work ...

Friday, May 07, 2004

It was a sunny day ... Yesterday evening I enjoyed my time walking around the campus, swimming in the night,watching tv, chatting with the friends ... It feels so good to relax after a hectic week ... Today again, I am free watching TV and hearing songs ... There are assignments to be completed but no one seems to be bothered about it. Today, the movie "Satya" will be screened at the auditorium for doing analysis of the movie characters. I haven't yet watched this movie and will watch it today. I can watch in my laptop but I don't like watching movies in a small screen.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Good climate ... Cool lectures ... Afternoon sleep... Today was a cool day ... Mainly because I am free till Monday except for a half-an-hour class tomorrow.

We had a small quiz today and three assignments are due on Monday.

Today let me tell more about me. I finished my BE in computer Engg. and joined iNautix technologies in Chennai. I didn't had any big aims and just wanted to lead the rest of my life as an IT professional. iNautix was a great place to work and I loved IT. When my friends were trying hard to crack CAT, I was trying to prove myself in the work. I believed that an MBA is not required to climb the corporate ladder, but the learning from work experience would suffice. I was getting good ratings and hefty bonus. I didn't want to waste my two years in MBA.

As I had said earlier, we never know when our mind would change ... Mine changed when I read an article about MBA and its importance for people with work experience ... It was on the beginning of November, when I decided MBA is not a bad choice. Still I was not prepared to spend two full years for it. At that time, I accidentally visited the ISB web-page and thought the course would suit me. I was in US then and my colleagues there convinced me a post-graduate degree would matter in the long-run though not in the short run. I decided to go for it and started my GMAT prep. Time went so fast and now I am in the ISB still wondering how to use this one-year most efficiently.

With just one week of classes, I have started feeling that an MBA is worth pursuing. The lessons taught in MBA are the ones which every person in a responsible position should know. I will discuss about how I got into the ISB, later.

And regarding unwanted comments in my comments section … If it continues, I may be forced to remove the comment section …

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Yesterday evening was too hectic... four chapters and two cases to be read and one assignment to be completed ... I was one of the lucky few who managed to sleep by 12:00 PM. There were guys who slept only for one or two hours... Today is comparitively free and I went for a swim. I am not yet swimming properly but could manage to swim and escape if situation arises.

I am gradually getting comfortable with this school. Yet the buildings and this life have not become dear to me but the name "ISB" has. Still I cannot believe that I am doing my MBA. Before four months, I was strongly opposing going for MBA. Life changes rapidly and mind changes more rapidly ... I am just watching the changes happening to me as a spectator.

I submitted my first assignment today exactly at 8:00 AM, which was the deadline. I have not done it correctly but more or less have got the concepts correct. Today I got an interesting assignment to evaluate the characters of the movie "Satya".

I have started getting used to my room and this school. I know one day I may feel bad to leave this room and place but that's life ...

Monday, May 03, 2004


I was in before 5 minutes. Sharply at 8:30, the class began. The name tag before me - "Sujayath" - gave me a proud feeling that I was part of the ISB. I am not going to comment on the class or the professor. But I had a feeling that I am learning from the best faculty. There was a grim silence throughout the class and there were some fifty hands rising up for each question asked. Class participation carries marks. We were supposed to be prepared with the concepts the professor would be teaching on that day. ( I can anticipate the question - "Strange ! Then what does they teach ?". The class is just a brush-up of concepts and more of an application of concepts in case studies). I was looking for oppurtunities when I could raise my hand but didn't get any ... The class was over and he handed over an assignment due on wednesday.

The next class was relaxing. There was a rumour yesterday that we were supposed to do some home-work for this class. Prof. had sent a mail to everyone that we need not worry about home-works. He also easied us by saying that there are no marks for class participation. It was a bit relaxed class.

Afternoon, I went late to the class and noticed that asst. dean was there on the class. I don't know whether I was marked present or absent for the class. It was about leadership development. If I am absent for two classes, my grade would be decreased by one letter grade.

And I am back to the room. I am waiting for the barber to come. Let me have a hair-cut.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

All the pre-term courses are over. The real ride starts from Monday. There are a lot to prepare for the first class and I am in lack of time. My groupmates are calling me for carting. It will take away 5 hours from my schedule but I may go for it. Once the term starts, I may not be able to do that.

Yesterday there was a sudden party in the student village. I was tired and didn't go to party. Here party includes booze and dancing. I don't drink but like watching people drinking and dancing. There is a lot of energy flowing in these parties and would help to revive ourselves in the middle of the hectic schedule we are going through.


Everyone who comes to the ISB for the first time will become spellbound. The campus is awesome. The hostels are known as student villages. The rooms have TV, bed, sofa, AC, etc etc and there will be servants to clean your room and make your bed. The hostel authorities treat you like a star hotel customer. You will feel like you are living in a luxury resort and not in a hostel.

Yet, I feel alone here. I feel like I am house arrested. Whenever I return from dinner, the solitude strikes me. I will walk very slowly from the dining hall to my room. Once I enter the room, I am alone. So, I will try to walk as slow as I can. I do not find many people sitting outside their rooms in the hostel premises. Either they study in their room or go to the library or academic center to study. Most of the rooms have four students sharing the apartment. There will be a common hall and seperate bedrooms. Unluckily I was allotted an apartment that has seperate rooms (no common hall) and shared only by two. This worsens my solitude.

I asked one of my group mates who usually studies in his room about the reason he is not going to the academic center for studying. He replied " I usually get distracted by beautiful girls. In ISB there are many, mostly studying at LRC (library) or at the academic center. I don't want to get distracted."


Friday, April 30, 2004

People often ask me about my GMAT preperation and experiences. I have already shared my experiences in the testmagic forum, which I am giving here again for people who are yet to give their GMAT.

About my preperation ....

It was before three months, when I decided to go for MBA. I had no idea about GMAT, even no idea what it stands for. I bought Barron's guide and was browsing through it. Now I feel that the book gave me a completely different perspective of GMAT than what it really is. My comments about the book : It can supplement along with OG and Kaplan but would not suffice as a single resource to rely on. Maths section is good but verbal sucks. For SC, basic concepts can be obtained from that book but don't even go through the CR and RC part - a complete waste of time.

Well with Barrons in hand, hoping that GMAT is very simple (since Barrons was very simple), one day I came across this site. I was taken back by the discussions, particularly SC. I understood GMAT is something different. I was even afraid to register to this site. For one month, I was silently going through the discussions. Erin's explanations drew me into a new world. At this time, I didn't had any idea of what score I would get, but I was interested in this exam.

I found out there is something called OG which is a must for GMAT. Then I found out it is a book called Official Guide. I ordered it. the day when I got the book, I was very proud and with such a pride, I regsitered in this site.

Then I understood buying OG is just a first step. How to read it in an effecient way ? I know just reading the book will bore me and will spoil the interest I had for GMAT. I split the book into a series of tests - test taking was always an interesting task for me - I feel test taking like reading a mystery novel with an unexpected ending more twisting than any other Agatha cristy's climax. At this time, I already had a good knowledge about SC (I had read more than 50% of SCs in this forum). Before starting OG, I took powerprep I. I got 710. That gave me a confidence and started OG happily.

Now my life went hand in hand with OG. All these days, I was going through the discussions in this forum and I am not exaggerating when I say this site helped me more than OG. For SC, I started writing rules in a notebook whenever I come across one, whether from OG or from this site (the final count was 170 - yes...170 rules). CR was not a problem for me from the beginning.

Now I found I am lagging in DS. I was good but not very good in PS. I got Agarwal book and revived my basics. I got some probability and combinations material from net. I went through more than 70% of maths discussions in this forum. This gave me a very good understanding of probability. I also got a good understanding of Number properties from this forum. I took a princeton test (borrowed from my friend) every week. The score started from 710 and when I finished all the four, I was in 720. DS also improved well after sufficient practice. Basically I am an Engineer and hence Maths was not a problem at all. More than a month went very fast. OG was over.

I still had three weeks for exam. I borrowed kaplan and kaplan 800 from my friend. They didn't take more than a week. I took off from work while reading kaplan 800 and it took only two days to complete. Tip : Kaplan and Kaplan 800 are good books which require less time to complete. OG is tightly packed with a lot of questions and it requires a lot of time.

While doing OG, I noted down the question numbers that went wrong. After finishing kaplan, I solved the questions that went wrong. I solved SC section fully again.

In the final week, I borrowed ARCO's essay book from my friend ( am lucky to have such a friend who lended me all the books she had). I didn't go through it fully. I prepared templates for my essays. For AWA, I took some argument points from this book.

So, thats all about my practice ... I also did SC from GMAT+ and though I didn't do any other section from these.

In a nutshell :

AWA - Argument:

Prepare a template. Go through all the essay topis and make sure you are able to identify atleast one flaw. I did this the day before exam, when I was not able to find flaw, I depended on ARCO.

AWA - Issue:

Prepare a template. Go through all the essay topis and make sure you understand the topics.

In the exam, you can devote 5 to 10 minutes for thinking and outlining your essay. Typing essay takes less than 10 minutes once you have an outline. The last 10 minutes can be used for spell check and style. It took only two minutes for me to check and I went to next section in 22 minutes.


Read as much as material you can. IMS material and Agarwal (both are Indian books) have a good range of formulae. Read to as much depth you can. For example, the formulae for radius of incircle/circumcircle inside an equilateral triangle, area of triangle formed by a sector in a circle etc seemed too deep for me but heard that they are also tested in GMAT.


Practise. Practise. Practise.

You should practise to a level where you know some things by heart like X^2 need not be greater than X, if X^2 is 1, X can be -1 etc. Read my post about the test ... 90% of my questions were from algebra and DS were more than PS. If I had concenterated on all other topics and have left DS algebra, I would have had a very bad time.


Form rules. Rely on OG. Og has more then 125 rules. Find them. DownDownDown and GMAT+ are also good.


Practise. I don't know what else to say. You have to get a feel of the questions.


Don't follow princeton's idea of skimming text. Don't follow blindly kaplan strategy also. I will give my strategy - This worked for me.

Non-Science passage:

Read the text and make sure you understand the text before going to questions. It is not necessary to note down the author's tone, purpose etc while reading the text as kaplan says. Just read the text and understand what is written. Once you do that, the author's tone and purpose would be revealed to you. Noting down tone and purpose will waste time. Remember you have only maximum 4 minutes to read the text. If you are running out of time, and are deciding to guess, guess RC questions especially if it has two questions only. You can find the number of questions for a given RC by seeing the top - It appears like "questions 31-32 are from this passage". Need not take notes also. It is better to spell out the content you read, in your own language.

Science passage:

Don't try to understand fully. Take notes in the form of a flow diagram. Most of the questions can be answered by seeing the notes. Some questions will require going back to passage. So, don't spend too much time in memorizing the content.

For RC, note key words like always, surely, etc which if appears in the answer most likely makes it incorrect.

Thats all from me ...

About the test


I already went through most of the AWA topics and prepared outline for them. For issue, I got one from what I had prepared. Argument was a new one but easy. Overall, a breeze.


I had prepared very well for QUANT especially probability, mean/mode, SD, geometry, speed problems, profit/loss, permutation and combination, interest problems, number series, ratio proportions and work problems. I didn't get any questions from these areas except an easy one from Geometry and one very easy combination problem (Infact the question clearly indicated it is a combination problem and not permutation). 90% of my question were from Algebra and the remaining were from number properties and percentages. One question was from set theory.

The questions were very easy that I thought I have screwed up in the first ten questions. In fact, easier than any sample test I had taken. I don't know whether I felt it so easy as I was well prepared for Algebra. Even then, I took a lot of time for first ten questions that I had to blindly guess for two or three questions. I also did educated guessing for two questions. If I had managed time properly, I could have scored well in Quant. Even the questions I guessed were simple word problems only but lengthy. I know how to solve them but didn't had time. I think I had more DS questions than problem solving.


I was so upset after the QUANT. I thought I had done very poorly because I got only very easy questions and because I had guessed for five questions although they were easy. In this tense mood, I made a mistake. I wanted to finish the test as soon as possible because of frustration, and I skipped the break.

The earlier SC questions were little tricky. The first RC passage was vague but not hard. After that, I received very simple questions. SCs checked simple concepts like dangling modifiers and parallelism. I got very few CR - five or six only I think. They were simple too and one boldface - it was also easy. I again thought I had screwed up verbal as the questions were easy. I had a reason - My RCs had a maximum of 55 lines only. There were only three RCs. All were so simple in style and narration and questions were very direct. I was expecting four RCs with 75- 125 lines each if I had to cross 700. Most of the verbal questions were SCs. I managed time well in verbal. I finished with 5 minutes left.

I was so upset before seeing the score as I received only easy questions. When I saw the score, I was very happy. I could have done better in QUANT but its okay. I am content with my score and am not going to retry. I am very good at Maths but not so in Verbal. But in real test, verbal has boosted my score. I attribute this success to testmagic - especially to erin for his SC explanations.

Even after all this, I still doubt how I got 730 inspite of easy questions and random guessing in QUANT. Can I beleive unofficial score or should I keep my fingers crossed till I see my official score ?

Time Management:

Before starting the test, I made two tables in my scratch paper. One for QUANT and another for verbal. For QUANT, I wrote from 1 to 37 on one coumn. Against it wrote from 73 to 0 decreasing in interval of 2 (73, 71, 69 ...). The idea is whenever I want to know the time I am lagging, I have to see the time from the table across the question number and compare it with the time remaining. Though I was prepared like this, I took too much of time for first ten questions. In the midst of test, I was lagging by 15 minutes and could not help but guess for five questions.

For verbal, my table was as below.

0 - 75
7 - 63
14 - 50
21 - 38
28 - 25
35 - 13
41 - 0

I cultivated the habit of checking time for every 7 questions and it really helped me in the test.