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Raj Kiran Boppana-Mechanical Engineer with a 720 on the GMAT

Posted on November 16, 2016

In conversation with the mechanical engineer, Raj Kiran Boppana, an MBA aspirant with a 720 on the GMAT.


Could you tell us about yourself?

I have been working for Schneider Electrics for the last three years. I am currently the Senior Business Analyst for the company. I completed my undergrads in Mechanical Engineering from SJCE in Mysore. However, since I am working as a business analyst and I enjoy what I do, I decided to pursue an MBA.

Why did you attempt the GMAT twice?

I started my preparation in around October. I completed my classes in November. After the classes, I asked my faculty if I could attempt the GMAT. They advised me not to rush into taking the GMAT so that I could first get a good grip over the format of the test and aim for more than 700.
But then I didn’t listen to them and went ahead and took the test, trusting my skills. But I realized that I wasn’t there yet. I didn’t do well, probably because I didn’t practice. CrackVerbal gave me the right plan but I didn’t follow that. I was still following my PU or Engineering method of study. It didn’t work out for me. And it was a bad score—630.
This led to my second attempt at GMAT.

How did CrackVerbal add value to your preparation?

CrackVerbal came with a lot of study material and just their advanced documents can easily get you more than 680 on the GMAT. When I approached CrackVerbal I had absolutely no clue about the GMAT.
So, the staff of CrackVerbal guided me on everything I needed to know about the test and the material I needed to refer. In between, I also visited a lot of GMAT forums. The quant questions posted on the forums were helpful.
Apart from the faculty, I would also like to make a special mention for the support staff. Whenever I would drop a mail regarding a doubt or some material, they would be prompt in responding. For example, when I asked them for the advanced documents, they didn’t even take one day. I sent them an email in the morning, and I had the material by evening. That saved a lot of time for me.

What posed a major challenge while preparing for the test?

When it came to sentence correction, I didn’t have any clue. I still remember my first class with CrackVerbal was SC. Some of my classmates had attended the class earlier and they used to keep answering questions. I would end up wondering how they knew the answers, because to me all the options seemed correct.

How did you overcome the situation?

With time, I learned the techniques that CrackVerbal suggested, and they were extremely helpful, especially for SC and CR. My teachers, Arun and Sai Kiran were in particular very helpful.
I needed more of practice in RC though. My scores in the section would always fluctuate. I ended up getting 39 in Verbal, something I never expected. So, in the end, the techniques work.

Did you write mock tests before the actual test?

Yes, I did. In fact, I wrote more mock tests for my first attempt than this one. Everybody advises you to take as many mock tests as possible. However, I would suggest you first prepare your materials. I mean, there’s no point giving mock tests unless you’re prepared. This is something I realized after my first attempt at the GMAT. I used to give random mock tests four times a week. What ended up happening is that I used to spend four hours every time, thus leaving no actual time to study.
So it’s always better to prepare first, gain confidence and then write a mock test.

How would you suggest MBA aspirants prepare for the GMAT?

• Plan well. Start with your GMAT official guide and then work out questions from GMAT Verbal and Quant reviews. While practicing, avoid missing out even a single question.
• Review each and every question by visiting forums and participating in the discussion.
• Once the guide is mastered, CrackVerbal’s advanced docs can be extremely useful. Go through that using the technique they set. Set time limits and review each question. Note down where you need to improve.
• Forums can also provide more questions, especially on Data Sufficiency, jot them down and practice them.
• In Verbal, practice at least 20 questions from CR and 20 from SC every day.
• It isn’t important whether the answers are wrong or correct the first time. What is important is that you learn from those mistakes.
Did you find Raj Kiran’s tips for GMAT prep useful? Leave your comments below!
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