Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New year

Lets GMAT all its followers a very very happy new year. May all of you get 750+ in the GMAT:-)

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Check your GMAT skills

Your GMAT prep – how should it be? What skills should you build

Conceptual clarity

Basic mathematics- strong fundamentals in algebra, arithmetic, geometry- theorems, rules, equations, formula, counting methods, speed of calculation.

Basic skills: verbal – reading skills- familiarity with a wide range of topics- science, history, philosophy, economics- literature. Ability to read varied texts with speed. Ability to speak and write correct English, a good vocabulary- ability to glean the meaning of words in context.
Basic skill – writing- ability to organize ideas in a logical order. Ability to write grammatically correct sentences. Ability to use forceful words to express ideas. General knowledge- awareness of varied current issues and topics of interest.

Analytical skills
Ability to analyse quantitative problems , arguments- identify logic underlying arguments, flaws in reasoning- ability to analyse abstract passages, complex sentences for errors.
Ability to analyse question requirement – critical reasoning, reading comprehension and certain quantitative questions accompanying problems. Ability to analyse purpose of arguments, passages.

Strategy application skills:
Ability to transfer learning to similar problem contexts, ability to identify commonness of problems and questions. Ability to improvise a solution plan. To evaluate arguments and assertions. To gauge the subtle differences between options.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Management options for students with 0 years work experience

If you have just finished college and you want to opt for a management program, chances are that the top Business schools in the world will not admit you to their MBA programs. Instead you can opt for the masters program in management from the same colleges..
These programs require 0 years work experience and the universities offer 100% scholarship for their programs. Student with 15 years of education can apply to these programs. Here are some of the universities.
Masters Program
Admission criteria
Work experience
London School of Economics
GMAT (Average  score 700)
SDA Bocconi Italy
International management,
Marketing management,
Economics and Social science,
Economics and Management of Innovation and Technology
GMAT (Average  score 650)
HEC France
financial economics,
Sustainable development,
International Business
GMAT(Average  score 620)
HSG( St gallen Switzerland)
Information, media and technology management,
Accounting and Finance,
GMAT(Average  score 650)
Nanyang university Singapore
GMAT (Average  650)
Esade Spain
GMAT (Average  680)
Rotterdam School of management, Netherlands
Human resource management,
Organizational change,
GMAT(Average  score 650)
International Business
GMAT (Average  score 600)

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Friday, December 4, 2009

What to write for your MBA essays

Is cooking up info in your essays good?

How do you project your uniqueness?

What is your long term goal? Entrepreneurship?

Many of you often ask me: what should I write for MBA essays.

Lets read what the ISB’s admissions director had to say about this.

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a new course from ISB for senior executives

Here is a program tailor made for Executives in the fourties.
If life begins at 40, a new career horizon can also begin at 40.Atleast that is what ISB hyderabad believes with the introduction of the 15 month part time PGPMAX.

Who doesn't want to go back to the classroom. Those who have not yet conquered the highest levels of the leadership pipeline(let us says levels: functional management, group management & enterprise management),this could well be the passport to those positions.

The program involves overseas trip, classes at Wharton,and meeting head honchos of the industry. Program will commence from June 2010.

Visit for more details

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

MBA aspirants preferring Indian Bschools over foreign Bschools

As per figures available with GMAC, 42% of the full time MBA programs in the US reported a decline in the number of foreign applicants, of these as many as 70% reported the largest decrease in number of applications from India, says a recent report.
Many MBA graduates claim that a one-year program from an Indian Bschool will get a better job profile in India (if he wants to settle and work in India) than a foreign MBA. Cost is also another major factor which makes MBA aspirants apply to Indian Bschools (which use GMAT scores for admission). MBA aspirants perceive that Indian schools offer quality education at a comparatively lower cost.
There are 24 Indian bschools (including select programs from the IIM’s) which accept GMAT scores.
A partial list:
ISB Hyderabad, GLIM Chennai, NMIMS Mumbai, IIMA PGPX, MDI PGPX, Exec MBA programs from top B-schools…..

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hypothesis testins as a tool for GMAT math problem solving

Certain problems require you to formulate a hypothesis and verify. The relationships between relevant variables which are yet unknown but promise to offer solution in full or in part forms the basis of this method. Such formulations are tested for validity and accepted or rejected. More than one hypothesis can be formulated in a problem context. These hypothesis have to be examined and reformulated.

Errors which occur during hypothesis testing
(1) Overlooking certain data
(2) Overemphasizing data which give positive conclusions while failing to give sufficient importance on data which falsifies information.

The following sum is a tough mathematical problem where skill of hypothesizing information and testing it comes forth.

Fifteen years back Mrs. John had only three daughters Rachael, Annie, Mary and their combined age was half of hers. During the next 5 years, Thomas was born. At that time Mrs. John’s age equaled the total of all her children’s ages. After some years George was born and then Rachael was as old as Mary and Thomas together. And now, the combined age of all the children is double Mrs. John’s age, which is only equal to that of Rachael and Annie together. Rachael’s age is also equal to the combined age of the two sons’.
What is Mrs. John’s age?
1. 39        2. 34          3. 29         4.24

This sum takes a long time if you solve by writing equations.

It can be solved faster by hypothesizing a data and testing the hypothesis wrt to other conditions.

First let us interpret the problem carefully and diagram it.


Information which is direct
• 15 years back Mrs. John had only three children Rachael, Mary and Annie. Mrs. John’s age was double the sum of the ages of her children.
• Sometime between 15 and ten years back, Thomas was born. At that time Mrs. John’s age was equal to the sum of the 3 children
• Between 10 years back and present time, George was born. At that time Rachael was as old as Mary and Thomas together.
• At present the combined age of all the children is double Mrs. John’s age. Mrs. John’s age is equal to the sum of Rachael and Annie. Rachael’s age is equal to the sum of George and Thomas

Implicit information
• All the ages are whole positive number, there are no fractions.
• Thomas’s age must be less than 15 and near 15. As 15 years back Mrs. John had only 3 children
• The last statement states that Rachael’s age + Annie’s age = Mary’s age + Thomas’s age + George’s age.
Rachael’s age = George’s age + Thomas’s age and Mrs. John = Rachael’s age + Annie’s age


Mrs. John -  Time line- Rachael-Annie-Mary-Thomas-      George
T+G+A    -   Present  - T+G    -A      -A      -T         -G

Where T is Thomas age, A is Annies age and G is Georges age
We can conclude that Annie and Mary were twins

We will assume data from the questions
Let us hypothesize that Thomas’s age is 12. (9 is far away from 15).
{If we don’t get the answer using T =12 we can conclude that T = 9. Other options are wrong.}

Lets verify our hypothesis.

Rachael must be the eldest daughter . Let us assume that Rachael age must be 21 other options are close to 15 and as she is the eldest we will assume the biggest number
So George’s age must be 9 ( question 4 seems to be satisfied)

Mrs. John -  Time line- Rachael-Annie-Mary-Thomas-George

                    15 yrs back-6     -
                     12 yrs back-9    -                         -0(Thomas born)
                      10 yrs back-11 -                        - 2
                      9 yrs back - 12 -                        -3     -0(Georges born)
                      5 yrs back  - 16-                        7       - 4
T+G+A              Present  -21 -     A-   A-       12      -   9

Using the info: Between 10 years back and present time, George was born. At that time Rachael was as old as Mary and Thomas together.
It can be concluded that Mary was 9 as 12 = Mary’s age + 3
Hence Annie’s age was also 39

Mrs. John -  Time line- Rachael-Annie-Mary-Thomas-George

                    9 yrs back- 12     -  9      -9     -  3        - 0(Georges born)

Filling our table
All the children’s age 9 yrs back can be calculated.
Their present ages can also be calculated including Mrs. John age

Mrs. John -  Time line- Rachael-Annie-Mary-Thomas-George

39            -  Present   - 21        -18    - 18   -   12      -  9

Mrs. John -  Time line- Rachael-Annie-Mary-Thomas-George

24          -  15 yrs back -  6     -      3  -   3
               -12 yrs back  -  9      -    6   -   6 -  0(Thomas born)
               - 10 yrs back - 11                        -  2
                - 9 yrs back  - 12     -   9    -   9  -  3       -0(Georges born)
               -  5 yrs back   -16                         - 7        -  4
      39       -Present     - 21       -  18    -  18  -12     -   9

Now the table can be completed and the all the answers can be calculated

What is Mrs. John’s age? - 39
What is the age of the eldest daughter? - 21
What is the age of the eldest son, Thomas ? -12
What is the age of the youngest child? - 9

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How do I start my GMAT prep

For GMAT first timers

To all of you who are starting you GMAT math prep try these set of sums and check your math readiness. Email me your score and the approximate month you will be taking your GMAT. Ill mail you your study plan along with the relevant study resources.


You can email me your scores at

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Financing your MBA

Recession or no recession, a MBA degree from USA or UK remains the number one priority for many undergraduate/ graduates in countries across the world. The only constraint for many students is the huge fee.

Public sector banks in India for instance offer loans up-to INR 20 lakhs, interest rates vary from 10-13%.Banks abroad provide similar funding. In fact there is a concession ranging from 50 – 100 basis points for female students.

Banks insist on students depositing 15% of the total loan if the overseas loan size exceeds Rs.4lakhs. No collateral is required for loans up-to Rs.4lakh. For loans beyond INR 4lakhs it is required to furnish suitable tangible collateral security like fixed deposits, NSS etc.

Repayment of loans begins immediately after student secures employment or six months, post completion of the course. Repayment tenure is 5 years to 7 years.
It is also possible to get loans from banks based in the US. Several B-schools have tie up with banks, it is advisable to apply to those colleges which offers loan cum admission.

To get scholarships in the UK visit and check whether your educational provider is registered with UK border agency.

Cost of MBA program in the US : $25000-$70000 per annum*
Cost of MBA program in the UK : 10000- 40000Pounds per annum*
*inclusive of tuition fee and living expense.

Source- The Economic Times

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Science of high performance in the GMAT -1 : Is GMAT Official guide sufficient?

Official guide- published by the GMAC has a list of 800+ questions (11th edition). There are around 230 problem solving (math) questions.. However I feel that this list represents the easier problems in the GMAT.

To break into the 720+ it is imperative that you have to solve tougher higher difficulty problems. (This is true for the verbal section also)

What is a higher order problem?
A higher order problem is problem which has
• A situation which can otherwise be solved by identifying the concept/formula and applying the same directly
• A complexity present in the problem which acts as a stumbling block, thereby preventing you from getting an answer directly.

When approaching a higher problem first
  1. Identify the concept involved
  2. Identify the complexity in the problem
  3. Remove the complexity and if possible arrive at a result
  4. Modify the complexity in such a manner the complexity gets integrated into the problem and this results in  a   newer problem
  5. Solve the new problem by directly applying the concept.
Let me highlight a higher order problem. Watch how I analyzed the problem and how I solved.

A car moving at 45 kmph and is chasing a two wheeler that is moving at 30 kmph. The distance between the car and the two wheeler at 10:00 am is 48 kms. The car stops at 11:30 am for 15 mins to fill fuel and moves at 45 kmph. When will the car meet the two-wheeler?

1.12.42 pm      2.1:42 pm           3.1:57 pm          4. 1:47 pm  5. 1:30pm

Try this problem independently first, then read further.
Let me take you through the problem in the science of thinking* approach toward higher order problem solving.

The concept – Time, speed and distance, Relative velocity involving two bodies moving towards each other.
The complexity – The stoppage time of the car. At 11:30 am the car stops for 15 mins.

Eliminate the complexity first
If the car didn’t stop at 11:30 then the time taken by both the bodies to meet is determined using the relationship
Time taken to meet = Initial distance between the bodies/ relative velocity
= 48/(45 -30) { Relative velocity when two bodies move in the same direction = difference of their speeds, hence 45-30 =15)
= 48/15= 3.2hrs

Modification of the complexity
As you would have observed if the complexity is eliminated the problem can be solved directly. As per the problem. The car travels till 11:30 and then stops for 15mins. So you might calculate the distance travelled by each body from 10:00 till 11:30 and then calculate the distance travelled by the two wheeler for that extra 15mins and then proceed. This complicates the problem.
Instead you can restructure the problem in such a way that the complexity gets integrated into the problem and doesn’t get noticed.

Here you can shift the 15min time interval from 11:30 to 10:00 such that the car starts only at 10:15 instead of 10:00. Hence the initial distance increases from 48 to 48 + (distance travelled by two wheeler for 15mins) = 48 + 7.5 =55.5kms

Hence now there is no stoppage time at 11:30.
Time taken to meet = Initial distance between the bodies/ relative velocity
= 55.5/(45 -30) = 55.5/15= 3.7hrs = 3hrs 42minutes
Meeting time =10:15 + 3 : 42 = 13: 57
You would get higher order problems only if the adaptive algorithm decides that you deserve questions of this difficulty.
So for those of you who aim to crack the 720+ barrier. Practice on higher order problems.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pattern recognition as a skill to solve GMAT math problems

Many math problems are based on patterns. These problems may involve a set of numbers or a set of alphabets or maybe even a set of figures.

The skill is in
  • Identifying patterns
  • Taking a sample and deriving meaning full relationships between the various elements in the pattern
  • Expostulating the pattern to encompass the entire series
  • Use this new knowledge to arrive at an answer
Lets take a problem

The sum of the even numbers between 1 and n is 79*80, where n is an odd number, then what is the value of n?

This sum involves a set of even numbers from 1 to n.(n is an odd number)
Lets derive the pattern
First let n =5
Then the even numbers involved are 2,4
Hence, Sum = 2+4 = 6
6 can be written as 2 *3( Same pattern as 79*80)

Now let n =7
The even numbers are 2,4,6
Sum = 2+4+6 = 12 i.e 3*4

So you get a pattern 2*3, 3*4…………………….79*80, when n = 5,7……n
Do you observe that 2+3 =5 and 4+3 =7, 4+5 =9

This leads to the answer.

In a nutshell: when you encounter problems which ask you to compute the value for n terms
Take a small sample and analyze.(Relate the analysis to the answer)
Take another sample and analyze
Write the result together and derive a relationship among the numbers
This leads to the answer.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

How to cross the magical 700 score barrier in the GMAT -1

So you are at your fag end of your preparation. You have just completed a GMAT CAT, you got a score of 640. You also notice that your score has been hovering around 600 to 650. Well you are not alone.

A recent survey states that the average GMAT score is 560, down 10 points when compared to last years average. How is that few people cross 700 whereas the rest of the test aspirants(approximately 2,00,000 out of 2,65,000 GMAT takers) languish in mere 600’s?
Here is my 2 cent

The GMAT score is an indicative of the current aptitude level of an individual. Your aptitude quotient doesn’t improve over night. It takes at-least 3 months of preparation to improve your score. So what is POA right now.

It is better to work on a question 10 times than working on 10 different questions. Aptitude exams don’t test your knowledge of formula. It tests you on your application of concepts.
Study each problem 10 times, observe the parts a problem
Variables: elements in the problem which maybe independent, dependent or hidden vis-à-vis other variables.
Conditions: relationships that relate variables
Constraints: Conditions that limit the scope of the problem
These parts of the problem indicate the steps and the time taken to solve the problem. This factor results in effective time management.

2. Reason with math
To improve your math preparation, reason with mathematical problems.
For example
What is the product of 5^25 x 2^32?
To solve this sum reason with the problem:
Observe a sample and derive a pattern:
5^1 and 2^1 gives 10
5^2 and 2^2 gives 100 or 10^2
5^3 and 2^3 gives 100 or 10^3
The pattern is one 5 and one 2 gives 10, two 5’s and two 10’s gives 100…. The number of 5’s and the number of 2’s gives the number of 0’s.

Conclusion one 5 and one 2 gives one 10 or a number with one 0.
Hence 5^25 x 2^32 = 5^25 x 2^25 x 2^7
Which is 128 …….(25 times)

3. Do not revise just the formula, learn how to derive it.
Most mathematical problems in the GMAT are related to the method of deriving certain standard formula than the formula itself. For example
While deriving the area of the equilateral triangle = sqrt(3) side^2/4
You will notice that the altitude bisects the triangle into two halves of equal area
The altitude splits the base into two halves of equal length.

4. Compare critical reasoning questions and derive generalization.
Study the CR questions in groups. For example study all “the weaken the argument” questions together. You will observe standard steps every time.
For example you will observe you have
• to first find the conclusion
• then identify the logic( whether its an analogy, a statistical data, a cause effect relationship or an example)
• then choose the option that negates the logic

Simple aint’ it.

5. If you are not strong with sentence correction and reading comprehension till now and if you have only two weeks to go, then there is nothing that can be done. It requires at-least 3 weeks of structured learning.

Use any course ware you have or use the course ware which I have recommended. Its on your right pane. Or if you don’t have the right material mail me ill help….:-)

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Number of GMAT test takers

GMAT was taken 265613 times in the testing year 2009*. “Total GMAT volume is up, but by breaking down the figures by country, by world region, by gender, by intended degree, and by age, we see a very complex picture emerge,” says a senior official from GMAC.

Some highlights from the GMAC report
  • The number of GMAT test takers have been rising for the past five years
  • The number of tests takers under 24 continues to rise rapidly
  • The percentage growth of number of tests takers has increased the greatest in central/south asia followed by Australia/Pasific islands, Europe and finally Canada.
  • The overall mean GMAT score is down one point, to 539

* source GMAC
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

GMAT sentence correction

The GMAT verbal section is the toughest section in the test. For this the section that appears after two long sections of writing and math. It induces undue strain on the test taker. Besides this section is concept intensive unlike any other aptitude test.

Besides, each question type is long sentence or paragraph based requiring extensive reading of verbal information.

The sentence correction questions (14/15) of them tests correctness and effectiveness of expression. You have to choose the option that conforms to standard written English; you have to pay attention to grammar, syntactical constructions, diction, clarity and semantic conformity.
Listed below are those concepts that you should learn for excellence in the sentence correction question.


1. Subject Verb disagreement
2. Parallel structure
3. Idiomatic constructions
4. Misplaced Modifier
5. Tense consistency
6. Countable, non-countable nouns
7. Pronoun-noun agreement
These are just 7 of the 25 errors tested in GMAT.

Read more about the errors at

Misplaced Modifier: example

“Annoyed by the corporation’s apathetic attitude, it was decided by the residents to install an incinerator for garbage disposal.”

Here “Annoyed by the corporation’s apathetic attitude”, should modify the residents, hence the correct construction is
“Annoyed by the corporation’s apathetic attitude, the residents decided to install an incinerator for garbage disposal.”

Ambiguous use of which/it: example

“The intake of analgesics causes irritation in the stomach which can be avoided if it is taken in capsule form”

Here which and it are unclear are ambiguous. Which can wrongly refer to stomach, analgesics or irritation.
The unambiguous construction is
“The irritation caused in the stomach by the intake of analgesics can be avoided if the analgesic is taken in capsule form.”

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Math Problem solved using ScoT

I got a query from a in this problem. I solved using Science of Thinking(ScoT) approach.Observe the problem solving process.

The sum of the even numbers between 1 and n is 79*80, where n is an odd number, then n ?

These type of sums can be solved using my thinking skills – “pattern recognition” and “hypothesis testing”

Take sum of even numbers when n =5( N has to be an odd number)
Sum = 2+4 = 6 i.e 2 *3( Same pattern as 79*80 i.e n*(n-1))
Now take sum of even numbers when n = 7
Sum = 2+4+6 = 12 i.e 3*4

So you get a pattern 2*3, 3*4…………………….79*80
When n = 5,7……n
Do you observe that 2+3 =5 and 4+3 =7.

So our hypothesis is that n should be sum of the product of the numbers(in the form n*(n-1) which yields the sum of the even numbers.
Now lets check our hypothesis
When n =9
Sum = 2+4+6+8 = 20 = 4*5
4+5 is equal to n
Hence n can be concluded as 79+80=159

For more details visit
My math Ebook has all the thinking skills tested in GMAT.You can access the demo at Title GMAT higher order problem solving.


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Great schools for MBA in Europe, Australia, Asia

Here is a list of Business schools in Europe, Australia and Asia. I have also mentioned the country also.

Feel free to add schools apart from this list

FRANCE:  INSEAD, HEC School of management


: Esade, IESE

United Kingdom
  • London Business School
  • Manchester Business School
  • Said Business School
  • Judge Institute of Management
  • Cranfield School of Management
  • Edinburgh University of Management
  • University of Bath: School of management

  • University of otago, School of Business
  • University of Auckland
  • Australian Graduate School of management
  • Melbourne Business School
  • Monash university
  • Macquaire Graduate School of management
  • Queensland University of Tech:BGSB
  • Curtin University of Tech: Graduate
  • University of Technology Sydney.graduate School of business

  • National University of Singapore
  • Nanyang Technological University

  • The business university of Hong Kong
  • Cheung Kong graduate School of business
  • China Europe International Business School

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Monday, November 2, 2009

GMAT reading comprehension

How to answer central ideas and organization/structure of the passage questions?
These passages are organized on certain templates. We need to know these.

Because there are questions that seek you to identify the structure or organization of the passage
What are those structures?

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Analyzing GMAT math problems using the Science of Thinking(ScoT) approach

The first step in the problem solving process is problem analysis. Problem analysis comprises
  • Problem Definition
  • Solution length
  • Problem length
  • Constraints and conditions

Let me explain the process of classification of problem based on their definition now.

Problems can be classified as a poorly defined or a well defined problem.

A well defined problem everything relevant and required is clearly specified, without any ambiguity or uncertainty, such that a solution, even if it involves complex calculations can be arrived at with accuracy. You can predict the path to take or steps required to solve the problem.

A poorly defined problem much of the data & relationships are hidden or not clear.

Lets take a poorly defined problem.

A says to B: I will be three times as old as you were when I was five years older than you are. I am 5/4th as old as you will be and then you will realize that you will be double the age you were. If the sum of the future ages of A and B is 50, what are their present ages?

The data present in the above question is cryptic. The interpretation of this problem lies in your ability to attach meaning to the verb tense.

To analyze the above problem you have to represent the problem diagrammatically to understand the relationship between the variables.

Try creating a table with the past ages, present ages and future ages as the columns. Given below is a simplified version of the table.

More ScoT approaches follow this link..

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

5 crucial points to keep in mind while attempting a Data sufficiency problem

of the equation don’t match. Hence x only has to be 0.

4. Do not make any assumptions of the figure drawn. If a four sided figure is drawn with straight line, do not assume it’s a square or if a point is marked in the middle of a circular region, don’t assume it’s the centre of the circle.

5. Although Data sufficiency tests your decision making skills (choosing which statement is sufficient) it is advisable to spend some time arriving at an answer and checking whether the answer derived is always true or always false.

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5 crucial points to keep in mind while attempting a Data sufficiency problem

of the equation don’t match. Hence x only has to be 0.

4. Do not make any assumptions of the figure drawn. If a four sided figure is drawn with straight line, do not assume it’s a square or if a point is marked in the middle of a circular region, don’t assume it’s the centre of the circle.

5. Although Data sufficiency tests your decision making skills (choosing which statement is sufficient) it is advisable to spend some time arriving at an answer and checking whether the answer derived is always true or always false.

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5 crucial points to keep in mind while attempting a Data sufficiency problem

of the equation don’t match. Hence x only has to be 0.

4. Do not make any assumptions of the figure drawn. If a four sided figure is drawn with straight line, do not assume it’s a square or if a point is marked in the middle of a circular region, don’t assume it’s the centre of the circle.

5. Although Data sufficiency tests your decision making skills (choosing which statement is sufficient) it is advisable to spend some time arriving at an answer and checking whether the answer derived is always true or always false.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

5 crucial points to be kept in mind while solving a probability based problem in GMAT

1.    Calculate the numerator {Number of favourable terms} and the denominator {Total number of terms}     separately using the concepts of arrangement, permutation and combination.

2.    Be part of the problem : Imagine you are arranging / selecting the items. The action of taking     the object and placing it in the relevant position is the key.

If you have to arrange 10 rings in 4 fingers, you have to imagine yourself picking a ring and placing it on a finger instead of computing the number of rings each finger has.

3.    When two or more items are picked it is easier to compute the probability of picking one     element at a time than computing the probability of picking many items at a time.

4.    When A and B are selected relate the respective probabilities with multiplication. When either     A or B is selected relate the respective probabilities with addition.

5.    When there are multiple outcomes possible the probability of at-least one of them happening is     computed by calculating the reverse probability
 = 1 – probability of event not happening.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

5 crucial points to keep in mind while solving a permutation combination problem

1.ARRANGMENT N terms can be arranged in N! ways, if each position can be occupied by one term. N terms can be arranged in NM ways if each position can be occupied by 1 term or 2 terms or …… N terms.  M stands for the number of positions to be filled.

2.COMBINATION M terms can be selected from P terms in [ (P)combination(m) ] ways.

3.In certain situations it is required to first choose the terms and then arrange the terms. i.e.     PERMUTATION.     Permutation = combination x arrangement.

4.When N objects are distributed among P positions such that each position can get any number     of objects (zero, one, two ……N) then the number of ways of arranging the items is [ (N+P-1) combination (P-1) ]

5.When N objects are distributed among P positions such that each position can get atleast one     objet (one, two ……N) then the number of ways of arranging the items is [ (N-1) combination (P+1) ]

Friday, October 9, 2009

5 most overlooked points while solving GMAT triangle based problems (under Geometry)

  1. Similar triangles are triangles whose sides are proportional. If ABC and PQR are two similar triangles then AB/PQ = BC/QR =AC/PR. The angles opposite to the sides(which are in a ratio) are also proportional  
  2.   Area of a triangle(sides are a,b,c) is based on the hero’s formula 

          s= (a+b+c)/2 , R = circum radius and r= inradius

  3.   The sum of two sides of a triangle is greater than or equal to the third side and the difference of any    
      two sides is lesser than or equal to the third side. This property is used extensively in GMAT higher
           difficult problems

    4.    For the equilateral and the isosceles triangle the altitude bisects the base and hence the triangle into
           two equal parts

    5.    The largest triangle (with the maximum area) which can be inscribed in a circle is the equilateral

Bschools in India taking GMAT scores

For our INDIAN friends............

MBA aspirants in India with reasonably good scores in the GMAT can use the score for admissions to select B. Schools within the country.
Here’s a list of those B.Schools
1.    Indian School of Business, Hyderabad
2.    IIM Ahmedabad’s PGPX
3.    IIM Lucknow’s IPMX
4.    MICA Ahmedabad
5.    Great  Lakes Inst of Management, Chennai
6.    NMIMS Mumbai
7.    IIMs for PGPX programs
8.    MDI Gurgaon for fellow programs
9.    Select IIMs for fellow programs

Increase in Female graduates in MBA programs

As per director of MBA admission Wharton school, the number of women in their MBA class has increased from 36% to 40%.
Similar trend has been noticed in other Business schools.  Harvard Business School’s
class of 2011 is 37% female, while the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business is 35%
and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management is 33%.

Stanford’s new admission policy

Most sources say that while applying for a Bschool,it does not matter when you send your application(1 year earlier or 1 day before the deadline), because they will read your application until the application deadline passes.

But Stanford it seems have articulated a policy that they will review the admission application and inviting applications for interviews before its first round deadline passes. This has been designed in order to balance the work load of the admission committee.

Although it is advisable to rush your application procedure, it is better to apply when you think you are ready.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Executive MBA

Transform the manger in you to a business leader

Gone are the days when a 30 plus executive, resigns his job, packs his bags and set out for a 2 year full time MBA, with a 700 plus GMAT score neatly tucked away in his laptop bag.
During recession, if you are not given a pink slip you are plain lucky. You hold  tightly on  to your present job. For you got to pay your EMIs, credit card bills and the like. Can you afford the luxury of a 2 yr study abroad? The answer is No.

The X factor
Called the executive program ( for work ex guys), the PGPX is the new hope. ‘Learn while you earn’ literally works.  There are wide variety of executive programs to choose from- Indian and international.
The program duration ranges from a few weeks to one year.
ISB Hyderabad to MDI Gurgaon to INSEAD France offers such courses. Some are full time campus programs, others partly distance, partly on campus. Courses designed, delivered and certified by prestigious B.Schools. Platforms are offered by HughesNet and NIIT for videoconference lessons. The advantage aspirants can attend live lessons delivered from real campuses and interact with faculty. They can network with fellow learners form across cities.
Both public sector and private sector executives take up executive programs.

What they teach
A sense of direction,  business strategies and personal effectiveness; ability to manage conflict; clarity in decision making and the skill to manage people of all dispositions and temperaments.
Course variations: I year fulltime executive program/ 1 yr certificate program(satellite), 6 month campus programs/ 5 week campus program/ online MBA
Sought after specializations
  • HRM
  • Finance
  • Operations
  • IT
  • General management
  • International business
  • Public management and policy
A partial list of prestigious programs
ISB’s executive MBA , IIMA’s PGPX, IIM L’s IMPX, IIM Indore’s PGCBM, XLRI’s Executive MBA, MDP(a few weeks to 6 month) of many top B Schools
NIIT Imperia, HughesNet programs, U21, e-MBA , 5 week Advanced Management program INSEAD France…

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Guided composition for GMAT issue topic

Presented below is an issue topic. I have given preliminary notes around which you can write your issue essay. Try it out...

Present your perspective on the issue below using relevant reasons and/or examples to support your views

“Only through mistakes can there be discovery or progress”

Preliminary notes:
  • Do I agree completely with the statement?
  • Can’t there be progress without mistake? - Yes, there can be
  • Does mistake lead to progress – Yes – but is it only through mistakes that we make progress- no – does this mean serendipity?
  • What about man’s intellectual curiosity that motivates him to discover new knowledge? – it is true
  • Let me qualify the statement examples
  • Scientist purposefully searches fro new knowledge with out having made mistakes – a nation can learn from its past mistakes.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

US Visa - Non imigrant visa simplified

The application and interview process for non immigrant visa to US is a simple procedure.
Follow this
1.Log on to www.(ur city name) – click visas to the US.
2.Find the nearest HDFC bank and get a DD for the visa fee and the courier fee
Log on to the website with the receipt
3.Click link to ‘how to apply’. Then ‘get the forms’. Fill the DS 156 and DS 157
4.Click link to ‘schedule an appointment’.
5.Click the link to VFS (this will direct you to VFS website)before going to this
site you should have all necessary info and the fee receipt with barcode stickers.
6.Schedule your appointment after 48 hrs
7.At the VFS site click ‘apply for nonimmigrant visa’; go through every page
carefully filling in all information.
8.Your appointment letter is sent to your email address.
9.Printout your application and appointment letter. Carry these to the interview.
10.A successful visa interview would mean in three to four days you get your visa
in courier. You can check the status of your visa in the website.
Source: The Hindu

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

5 most overlooked points while solving GMAT number based problems (Arithmetic based problems)

The 5 series!!!!

5 most overlooked points while solving GMAT number based problems (Arithmetic based problems)

1.Study the factors of a number. Factors of a numbers are numbers which can divide that number. The factors for 28 are1, 2, 4, 7, 14, 28. Factors are always smaller than a number. The number of factors for a square is always odd.

2.Study the multiples of a number. Multiples of a number are numbers which are obtained by multiplying a given number by a constant. When you want to combine two numbers use LCM. For example : What is the smallest 4 digit number which can be divided by 2,5,6,8 and 9. To solve this sum first: you would have to combine these numbers to arrive at a common number i.e.the LCM of 2,5,6,8 and 9 and then proceed to obtain the smallest 4 digit number.

3.Any number raised to the power of 4 will lead to a number (say k)whose last digit remains the same irrespective of the number of time the number is multiplied with itself.(k x k x k…..n times where n can be any integer)

4.Let a × b = c. The remainder obtained when you divide c by d is equal to the product of the remainders obtained when you divide a by d and b by d. Instead of finding the remainder of 625 when divided by 7 it would make sense find the remainder of 25 when divided by 7 and multiplying the remainder twice to get the overall remainder( 625 =25 x 25)

5.While solving number based data sufficiency problems substitution of all possible numbers (positive integers, negative integers, positive fractions, negative fractions, zero) is necessary before arriving at an answer.

For example: Is (a/b) > (c/d)
1. a > c
2. b >d

Each statement individually will not yield an answer. When the statements are taken together substitute positive numbers, negative numbers to check the consistency of the answer. Also substitute numbers which are near each other as per the number line (a=2,c=1) and numbers which are far away (a =1000, c=1)

Monday, September 28, 2009

How to take charge of you GMAT math section?

To get a high score in the GMAT, you must be familiar with the relevant concept/formula as well as the hidden relationships accompanying the concept/formula.  Many of us attempt to crack the math section of the GMAT by solving problems from sources such as the official guide.
This strategy works for people who have a strong mathematical background. For the rest of us, we have to first understand the concepts, then we have to derive relationships from the existing concepts.

Concept learning is an art. We look at a math text book and we get overwhelmed by the size. 20 odd chapters!! How am I going to master all of them? Each topic looks menacing.

But if you observe closely not all the concepts are abstract, a time speed distance problems is related to a problem based on similar triangles(geometry), a problem on roots of an equations is based on factor theorem in number system. The concepts required to crack GMAT math are inter- related.

 The quantitative section is primarily focussed on number system, ratios proportion and percentages.  Majority of the other concepts are based on these concepts. Focus on these areas first, then apply these concepts to study other concepts like Time and work, Geometry, Profit, loss and discount,.

So from 20 odd chapters the area of focus boils down to 3 or 4 chapters.

Also:  Make derivations

While working out practice problems at the conceptual level, derive notes on where you can apply the concepts. Some of these derivations are highlighted below.

Presented below are some of the hidden relationship accompanying the concept/formula. These relationships are termed ScOT bytes which are the present through out our course material.

1. Let A and B be two numbers, then Product of A and B = HCF (A, B) × LCM (A, B)

2. (Even number)4x  will always end in the digit: ‘6’,(Odd number)4x  will always end in the digit:  ‘1’

3. Let a × b = c.  The remainder obtained when you divide c by d is equal to the product of the remainders obtained when you divide a by d and b by d.

5. If a is increased/decreased by b%, then the new value calculated after the increase is new value = a ± b% of a  ±  (b/100) x a

7. If a same positive number is added to both the terms of ratio (of lesser inequality), then the ratio is increased.

8. If a same positive number is added to both the terms of ratio (of greater inequality), then the ratio is diminished.
9. The number of factors for a square number is always odd. For 4 there are 3 odd factors(1,2,4), for 9 there are 3 odd factors(1,3,9)...
10. Discount percentage is always calculated on  list price/marked price and not on selling price.
11.If a:b = 3:4 then a and b are not equal to 3 and 4 respectively. a = 3x and b = 4xwhere x is any constant.
12. The Simple and compound interest is the same after 1 year. The amount as well as the compound interest increases by r% every year.

Where r1,r2,r3 are interests and n1,n2 
and n3 are the years.
14. To convert km/hr into m/sec multiply the number by 5/18
15.Average speed can be calculated by 2ab/(a+b) where a and b are the two speeds. This formula is only applicable when the distance travelled is constant.
For more math tips and details browse
Download the math concept book for SAT,GMAT,GRE at

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Planning to study abroad

The general trend is that students aspiring to study abroad tend to apply for programs which they think will positively impact on their future earning potential.
If you are interested in studying for a course apply early because competition for entry to popular programs at good institutions is severe; an early application helps to secure both admit and financial support.’

Tour the tours
The US, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Singapore and Canada, are ever on the list of those foreign bound. Attending education tours organsied by established agencies will help you gain information on suitable courses, application procedures, admissions criteria, visa requirements and scholarship opportunities.
The world MBA tour is offering an unprecedented US $ 1.1 million in exclusive scholarships for MBA. They are offered to candidates only if they visit the fair in their city of choice. So go for it.
Some factors

A. Work experience: how much?
The average work experience that MBA schools generally look for in prospective students is
Three to four years, although each school has its own standards. Business schools are not faculty- focused; peer to peer interactive learning, case work, projects, presentations all demand strength of experience of the MBA students. People with some real experience can contribute to quality group participative learning. Experience can be in diverse fields and industries, not necessarily managerial.

B. Given the volatility of the dollar, the cost?
For international students this is a concern. But cost, if viewed as ‘return on investment’ will scare you less. There are various ways to fund your business education- loans and scholarships. Schools will take extra care to ensure that the right applicants are absorbed into their courses.

C. The best destination for MBA?
The best study abroad experience can differ form country to country and institution to institution. And your interests, skills, specializations. The best for one student need not be the best for another. Let your personal aims and ambitions guide you in this. Research schools on an individual basis.

D. Education loans: from home country or those on campus?
Both are sought after. Interest rate, pay back time, speed of sanction- are to be considered. The tuition fee is obviously one of the biggest costs. Market rate tuition fees, the current practice, favor students. Other expenses to be taken into account are travel, accommodation, living and compensating for time away from employment. These are not uniform and vary for students form different nationalities.
MBAs will not go out of fashion even during recession times. Most banks know that MBAs are going to be among the highest earners within a short space of time and they can work in most industries. One should not wait until an admissions decision is received to identify outside sources of funding. Keep researching for fellowships and scholarships.

E. Other forms of aid?

Savings from your employment so far, family contributions, institutional scholarships and bursaries from your department of study, assistantships and part-time employment: (teaching / research assistantships are available in many institutions for postgraduate students, who can work up to 20 hours during term time)
*Australia and Canada, allow international students to work up to 20 hours per week during their studies.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Know your biz gurus

Peter Drucker: 1909- 2005

Education: Doctorate in International Law and public law from the University of Frankfurt in 1931.

 Peter Drucker has been called the world’s most influential business guru, whose thinking transformed corporate management in the latter half of the 20th century. Drucker started his career as a business strategist when he was invited to do what became a seminal two-year social-scientific analysis of General Electric. In 1950 he became professor of management in the graduate business school at New York University. Drucker taught management advice with interdisciplinary lessons from history, sociology, psychology and religion. He developed one of the country’s first executive MBA programs for working professionals at Claremont Graduate University, now known as Peter F Drucker and Masatoshi lto Graduate School of Management. Few know that the management visionary actually foretold the current financial crisis and the potential involvement of the US government with the financial companies.

Books authored: His ideas on management and leadership have been published in more than thirty books. Notable among them are:

            * The Practice of Management

            * The Concept of the Corporation

            * Managing in a Time of Great Change

            * Management Challenges for the 21st Century

Key Concepts: He advocated that business should be managed by balancing a variety of needs and goals, rather than subordinating an institution to a single value. This concept of management by objectives forms the keynote of - The Practice of Management.

In 1959, Drucker coined the term ‘knowledge worker’ and pioneered the idea of privatization. Later in his life he considered knowledge work productivity to be the next frontier of management. He believed in the empowerment of workers and the futility of big government, which he called ‘obese, muscle-bound and senile’.

CEOs who used his tactics: During his long consulting career, Drucker worked with many major corporations, including General Electric, Coca- Cola, Citicorp, IBM, and Intel. Drucker also served as a consultant for various government agencies including Salvation Army and the American Red Cross.