Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hello Summer, Hello MGMAT

To commemorate the official first (bloody HOT) day of summer (June 21), the weather forecasts predict a sweltering 105 degrees in pretty much all parts of Nor Cal...and to celebrate this glorious occasion, I spend 3.5 hours of my day sitting in the Flood Building in SF enduring my first GMAT course. I do a cost-benefit analysis (I know, big DORK) of whether or not to drive into SF, and then decide to BART my way instead since there's just nothing like public transportation in the bay: hoards of everyone and their mother (and child) swarming to grab a seat on the trains and bums entertaining passersby in each station with their music and random acts of whatever---like I said, nothing like it. Since it's my first day (well, I registered a week late), I'm not sure what to bring to class, so I decide to bring EVERYTHING (I figure let's error on the side of over-preparedness) and damn, it's a heavy load!

I arrive 30 minutes early and meet my instructor...he seems cool, now let's hope the man can teach! Prayers answered as soon as class starts since this guy actually knows the shit and he can TEACH the shit as well. Yay for competency! I had read reviews of other instructors at Kaplan and Princeton who pretty much..how shall we say it..sucked! I'm happy this guy does not since MGMAT requires that ALL of their instructors score in the 99th percentile and have prior teaching experience. Since I missed the first class (which MGMAT will let me make up next week), I didn't get a chance to go over the homework, but the course is taught like an intimate college discussion section where they ASSUME that since you paid big bucks to be here, you are committed and will do your homework prior to class. Today, we are going to learn to master subject-verb agreement and critical thinking. He presents the question and then we're given 1.5 minutes to select our answer. Afterwards, by a show of fingers we each silently indicate our answer choices. He then does a cold call and selects one person to go over his/her thought process involved in selecting the answer. Pretty cool and the best part is that he doesn't care if you got the answer right or wrong but makes a point of allowing you to see (if your answer was wrong), what went wrong and if it was right, if you used the proper techniques for reaching your conclusion. Throughout the class, he keeps reiterating the fact that we shouldn't be discouraged if we're not getting the right answers b/c it's all about what we learn in class and how we can do better as the course progresses. So far, so good! And FYI: I do pretty damn well on the verbal!

But that feeling of accomplishment is fleeting as soon as we enter the Quant Section....ugh! We are introduced to integers, divisibility and prime numbers and as soon as he began putting up the questions, I seriously felt like a I was staring at a fat pink elephant speaking in tongues. You know it's an elephant but you don't know where it came from or what to do with it...I was just like, "HUH? WTF? This is not cool!" Like any standardized test, the math portion will always perplex me b/c no matter how much you know the material, the manner in which the question is posed will always stump you b/c they disguise it in something that looks much more complicated, or in my case, weird! I hope that by the end of this course, I'll learn to recognize these pink elephants...let us hope, right? So my first day in class, I conclude:

A. Verbal--I'm good, but I need to be great!
B. Math--I suck, so I need to suck less--a LOT less!
C. Instructor--Cool guy with great teaching methods, so let's hope this continues
D. MGMAT--So far, worth my $$ and again, let's pray this also continues
E. Studying for the GMAT--Like my life depended on it!

4 comments:

Journey 2BSchool said...

When are you planning to take the GMAT? The course is 9 weeks so I'm assuming end of August/beginning of September. I'm also interested to hear about your school choices.

Good luck!

chandara said...

Late August for my 1st one and I think I'll want to retake it, so probably late Sept or early Oct, too! I will continue to update you on my progress...I think it's helpful for me to do these things:) FYI: Data Sufficiency blows big time!

Amanda said...

Ok, I saw your blog on facebook.

Congratulations on making this step. I *know* you will do great. Once you put your mind to something you do it right.

Can't wait to keep up with your progress :)

Sarah said...

Hey, this is Sarah from Manhattan GMAT. I saw your blog on Google Alerts and I was wondering if you'd be interested in us sponsoring you--i.e. you link to us, we link to you. Anyway, if you're interested, go ahead and shoot me an email at sjacobsson@manhattangmat.com :)