Satya Muddala – 730 on GMAT – Kelley School of Business
In conversation with Satya Mudalla who scored a 730 on the GMAT…
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I did my Computer Science Engineering from BITS Pilani and got placed in Virtusa consulting Pvt. Ltd in Hyderabad. I worked there for around two years and dealt with developing software solutions.
In this period, I worked with multiple clients and also led a team at Virtusa for JP Morgan Portal after my first year. I was vice president of a 1000-member student club where I led and initiated new activities. I also volunteered in an NGO to teach underprivileged children in government schools as I love teaching.
I moved to Adobe after working with Virtusa for 2 years as I wanted to pursue my passion for product development in the technology industry. I was always fascinated by the way applications like Adobe Reader and Adobe Photoshop were developed. I joined Adobe as a Technical Associate Consultant.
In this role, I dealt with multiple clients, building solutions with them and also interacting with other product teams in Adobe.
I moved to Adobe after working with Virtusa for 2 years as I wanted to pursue my passion for product development in the technology industry.
Dealing with clients from North America, Sydney, China etc. gave me a global experience. I recently got promoted to the position of a Technical Consultant.
What was your motivation behind an MBA?
Because I’m interested in products in the technology industry, I wanted to understand the holistic lifecycle of any product. I decided to pursue my MBA so that I could manage and build products around my own ideas. I’m looking to apply to an MBA with the specific goal of pursuing a career in Product Management in the technology industry.
I decided to pursue my MBA so that I could manage and build products around my own ideas.
How did you prepare for the GMAT?
During my first attempt, I hadn’t really prepared well. I was just exploring my options- CAT, GMAT. I felt the format of CAT was too rigorous and something I wouldn’t be able to take. Also, I was looking for technology opportunities in US, and that’s when I came across GMAT. I felt Quant was my strong area. I got a 640 in my first attempt.
It’s not that I was weak in English, but GMAT English is different!
Since I had less time, I was looking for a coaching centre where the full training focus was on Verbal. It’s not that I was weak in English, but GMAT English is different! When I attended Arun’s first class, he taught us how to read an RC passage. I began to develop a mindset to tackle GMAT Verbal from that moment on.
When I gave my second attempt on the GMAT, I got a 730! My verbal score was 38. There was a huge improvement in my Verbal score. I scored a 51 on quant.
What was the hardest in the Verbal section?
RC was the hardest. The issue was not about answering the question, but about reading the passage. It’s all about skimming and picking up the relevant points. The mind mapping approach at CrackVerbal really helped.
Another issue I faced in RC was eliminating options because we read so much data. Skimming and mapping saved a lot of time.SC and CR were like Quant for me – they were more logical.
What material did you use for your preparation?
I used the CrackVerbal material. I’ve gone through the Verbal books five times and solved questions again and again. I also used the GMATPreps, Official Guide- which I solved 2 times and Manhattan mocks. So I took 6 Manhattan mocks and 4 GMATPrep tests. However, it’s not about the number of times or number of questions that you practice, it’s about the quality.
How was your experience on the day of the exam?
I carried water and KitKat with me. I knew that my Quant concepts were quite strong, so I wasn’t worried about that section. I was able to finish that section 3- 4 mins early, was quite confident that I did not make any silly mistakes and did not mess up any questions. That boosted my confidence a lot. I was like “I conquered my strong area. All I have to do is be calm and get ready for Verbal”
I was able to finish that section 3- 4 mins early, was quite confident that I did not make any silly mistakes and did not mess up any questions.
What are the schools you plan to apply to?
I plan to apply to Tuck Business School, Ross School of Business and Kelley School of Business.
How did CrackVerbal help you?
The classes by Arun were fantastic. I learned about the quality vs. quantity concept from CrackVerbal. Every section that was taught was followed by only 5- 6 questions of high quality.
The kind of attention given to students is top notch. They were always eager to know how my mock tests were, which areas were difficult etc. All of CrackVerbal’s staff were really helpful and supportive towards my GMAT prep.
What wisdom would you impart to other GMAT and MBA Aspirants out there?
I suggest taking a mock to see where your weaknesses lie. If its Verbal, go to CrackVerbal. CrackVerbal was the best thing that happened to my GMAT preparation.
Only trust official sources when you prepare. Go through only Official Guide so that you get a clear idea about what exactly the GMAT is. People tend to use Google to search for sample practice questions, but I wouldn’t recommend that. The number of questions doesn’t matter unless it is of good quality. Review the questions after your mock.
People tend to use Google to search for sample practice questions, but I wouldn’t recommend that. The number of questions doesn’t matter unless it is of good quality.
Reviewing really helps you get 40-50 points extra on the test. The jump from a 640 to a 730 was only because I was able to review the questions. Manhattan reviews were really good in this case when compared to GMATPrep reviews.
What do you plan to do after you complete your MBA?
Starting with my short term goal, I would like to explore the biggest tech companies like Google, Facebook, Apple. One of the dream companies I had in mind and the one I work for now is Adobe and I hope to come back as Product Manager of Adobe one day. As a long term plan, I would like to start a venture based on the ideas and thought processes I learn from my MBA. I would like to build products that are useful and that make peoples’ lives easier.
One of the dream companies I had in mind and the one I work for now is Adobe and I hope to come back as Product Manager of Adobe one day.