Nanyang admit and scholarship with just 680 GMAT | Saksham’s success story!




Experts’ Global: Hi Saksham, thank you for your time today! Could you share your journey with our readers?

Saksham: With an undergrad engineering background, I worked at Ernst and Young as a technology consultant for five years before deciding to take the MBA leap in 2020. Using the official material from the GMAT website, I prepared for the exam, targeting ISB, NTU, and NUS for my MBA.

On my first attempt at the GMAT, I was looking to score around 720. Beginning my prep in April, I decided to take the test in July and so leave myself with time to work on the applications for the round one deadlines of my chosen schools, all of which were in September or October. I realized that my Verbal aptitude was not as good as my Quant skills, and so I used Manhattan Prep guides for reading comprehension and sentence correction and took a free GMAT practice test to help me further understand my weak and strong conceptual areas.

My readiness for the exam truly picked up steam in June, and with two months of intensive study under my belt, I scheduled my first GMAT exam for September. My invigilator did not turn up for the same, and I was able to have my exam rescheduled for the next month. However, even the subsequent GMAT that I took posed difficulties. While attempting the Verbal section, I lost twelve minutes of time to a glitch, and my eventual score was 680.

I had missed the round one deadlines for my targeted schools in any case and so I decided to take the GMAT again to possibly bag a better score. Having had two bad experiences with the online exam format, I decided to give my next GMAT attempt, in November, at an exam center. However, I got only a 500 on my third go, and so I went ahead and started working on my application materials for the round two deadlines.

For my applications, I decided to hire polished MBA admissions consultants Experts’ Global to get trusted counsel. During this time, I tried studying for another GMAT attempt but handling my work, applications, and GMAT prep all at the same time became too overwhelming. I decided to focus on getting the best admits I could with the GMAT score I had.

I also applied to the IIM Ahmedabad PGPX on a whim, and even though I did not have the requisite eight or so years of experience required for the program, I managed to secure an interview call that really boosted my confidence. While I did not get an interview call from ISB, my NTU MBA interview was held in the middle of March, and I did well on the same to secure my admit!


Experts’ Global: In your opinion, what actions of yours made the difference in your success?

Saksham: While preparing for the GMAT, I made sure to treat the official material as my Bible. Further, even though I did not use a GMAT online course or any such offering for my studies, I made sure to keep an error log and learn from my mistakes. Even though I did not have the best score, I decided to make hay while the sun shone and worked intensely on my application materials to optimize my admission chances.


Experts’ Global: With the benefit of hindsight, what mistakes did you make in the process?

Saksham: Overpracticing was a definite error on my part. I do not think I left even a single Verbal question on GMAT Club unattempted, and made sure to exhaust all of the official questions. Rather than focusing on the number of questions you solve, concentrate on extracting the maximum value from the questions you attempt. Further, having a study partner would have helped me, as it would have been good to have someone to hold me accountable when I did not take enough GMAT mocks or to provide a different perspective on the pressures of GMAT prep.


Experts’ Global: What were your lessons from managing the application timelines?

Saksham: In my experience, the application process takes a lot longer than one anticipates initially. You have to fill out the application form thoroughly, get your transcripts in order, obtain recommendations from your recommenders, refine your resume, and craft authentic essays. The journey can be overwhelming at times, and having professional help at your side can be a huge boost.


Experts’ Global: Would you like to share your interview experience with the business school?

Saksham: In my NTU interview, I was asked fairly straightforward questions about my goals, experiences, and why I wanted to pursue management studies at the school. The interviewers seemed most interested in getting a sense of my personality, and in understanding whether I was a right fit for the school’s culture. My MBA interview prep was quite handy at this time. Moreover, looking back at my MBA experience, I am glad that I was able to enter a global program as it exposed me to peers from all over the world and broadened my perspective considerably.


Experts’ Global: How has the job search during the MBA been and do you have any advice for applicants about the same?

Saksham: I recently began my internship with a start-up, and the placement support office at NTU was a huge help with the same. Most business schools’ career offices have recruiter connections that you can leverage to begin building your own professional network.


Experts’ Global: According to you, what common mistakes should all GMAT aspirants and MBA applicants avoid?

Saksham: Above all else, an MBA aspirant needs to be very clear on why they wish to do an MBA. Questions about your motivations for the program will be raised during the MBA interview as well as the post-MBA job search, and having a driving impulse that you believe in makes things a whole lot easier. Introspection will empower you to come up with a truly authentic reason.

For the GMAT, while accuracy is a huge concern, timing is also something applicants need to focus on. Building your speed to be able to attempt all of the questions on the exam is quite important.


Experts’ Global: What is your final advice to the applicants out there?

Saksham: I would say that the MBA is a truly transformative journey and worth the struggle it takes to get to it. Looking back, I can say with certainty that I learned something on each new day I spent in the MBA. Further, the introspection required during the pre-application process will benefit you for years to come.


Experts’ Global: Thank you for sharing your inspiring growth story with us today, Saksham!

Saksham: Hopefully my insights can help someone else!


Experts Global

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