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Rajesh Manivanan- ISB admit with a 700 on the GMAT

Posted on May 25, 2016

In conversation with Rajesh Manivanan who got into ISB with a 700 on the GMAT…

Can you tell us something about your profile?

I did my Bachelors in Computer Science from PSG Tech Coimbatore and I have 11.5 years of work experience with TCS.
What was the motivation behind an MBA after a degree in Computer Science?

MBA was always on my mind. I mainly wanted to pick up on my career and get on the upper management level of my specialization.
How was your GMAT Prep experience?

For me, RC & CR were the hardest sections . For RC, I just kept watching Arun’s video over and over again and tried following that. I went through additional material and took few practice tests. That was the only prep I had for RC. I spent a lot more time on it and eventually became better in time management.
What attempt was this on the GMAT? How were they different from each other?

I took 3 attempts on the GMAT. To be honest, the first time I wasn’t prepared at all and thought it was just another aptitude test anyone could clear. I didn’t even take any mock test for that matter.

The second time, I joined CrackVerbal and took up the test and this time I was sure I would definitely score more. I felt I did better. Again, the number of mock tests I took weren’t enough, so the practice wasn’t great and the second time I scored a 650. The third time I had thorough practice and managed to score a 700.
Wow! That’s a big difference! Congrats on that!
Did you have any Dream B-schools in mind for your MBA?

I was only targeting Indian B-schools. So, I was looking at IIMs and ISB.
So how exactly did you start your application process?

 I took CrackVerbal’s help from the very beginning, coz I thought the earlier, the better. I started applying for IIMs and then ISB and got through ISB.
That’s great! What do you think made your essay stand out?

I don’t know whether it stood out compared to other applicants, but rest assure whatever was in my profile, was brought about in a very nice manner. Whatever points I wanted to emphasize on was pretty clear and the presentation was really good.
How was your interview experience with ISB?

The interview went really smooth. They made me quite comfortable and luckily all the questions I got were relevant to my profile and my work experience and nothing was out of the box.
How was your experience with CrackVerbal?

Initially I didn’t have a strategy in place for the GMAT. I got all the help I could from Sai because Verbal was the hardest for me. The tactics and strategies planned out were very helpful. The way he explained how to write an essay- that one hour class- anyone could easily follow that and perfect their essays.

For GMAT preparation, CrackVerbal is the place to go to. Especially since I had a problem with verbal, I would definitely give full credit to CrackVerbal because I think they understand that portion of the exam really well.

And coming to applications, it was really good. I took 2 premium services. Vasudha did a great job in bringing out what I wanted to in my application. She worked with me on both my essays and understood my application really well. Her feedback was truly valuable. I definitely wouldn’t have thought of it the same way if I did it on my own. If we follow the strategies they provide, I’m sure we can reach till the point of an interview.
And how was your experience on the day of the exam?

Well since my first attempt didn’t go that great, sleepless nights would describe the days before my second attempt! I started off nervous on my final attempt, but I was quite confident once I started and felt I would do much better. I expected close to 720, but I’m quite happy with my 700 🙂
I think 700 is a great score! Any words of wisdom for MBA aspirants?

I would say 3 months of dedicated preparation is what one needs for the GMAT. Don’t lose the momentum while preparing. The more gaps you have, the less serious you become. When it comes to applications, start applying as early as possible. Plan and apply to colleges at least a month or 15 days before the deadline. There’s always an extra bit of anxiety if you apply in the last moment. You can avoid it if you plan things much better and apply on time.

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