Some thoughts on Wharton essay

I faced much trouble during writing Wharton essay.

Well, not because I do not know what I want from MBA. Mostly because simple stating goals (which are rather obvious) is boring. Here is how I solved the problem – I spent several hours to develop my detailed schedule at Wharton: what major and electives I would take, what clubs will I be part of. And… task became much easier.

I’m not sure that it works for everyone, but if you feel lack of inspiration, you can try it.

Good luck!

My TOEFL results overview

1 August, 2015 I took was the second attempt to pass TOEFL (first one was in december 2012, so it is out-of-date now). Due high pressure at work (new one) I was not able to prepare as much as I wanted.

I got 107/120 (R28, L28, S27, W24). Well, actually I rather failed my Reading section due to two unfamiliar words. Also, my Listening and Speaking section could be a bit better. Unfortunately, I probably made to many mistakes to get more than 24 on writing.

Nevertheless, I’m OK with such results – it is difficult to pass such exams if you do not use English in your everyday activities:)

My GMAT preparation and exam overview

I passed GMAT at 14 May, 2015 and got (spoiler!) 690. Here is how i got there.

  • Preparation

I choose self-preparation for several reasons. Firstly, it is the cheapest option (yeah, it is so simple). Secondly, my work at bank and dissertation took a lot of free time. I needed extremely flexible schedule and, in my opinion, only self-preparation was flexible enough for me. Thirdly, I truly believed that my Engineering education would helped me a lot. I just needed to practice a bit.

I ordered the Basic GMAT Study Collection from Despite the fact that I ordered new books, I now believe that finding much cheaper used books would be a better alternative. But, back in January, I was lazy Treasury Officer and decided not to google for used books. One another thing that is worth mentioning here is delivery. I ordered book to Russia and received it only in a month (!) after my order. So, please, taking delivery time is crucial if you do not have so much time as I did.

I practiced on weekends for approximately 2 month. Though it sounds like an enormous time (at least for me), time devoted to GMAT was really limited. Nevertheless, I was able to solve all problems in Official Guide for GMAT 2015.

  • Exam

My practice test results were from 720 to 750 points. I was self-confident and decided to pass GMAT once taking as granted I would get more than 700 points. That was a big mistake. Practice test and real one are really different (psychologically, I mean). And it is a bad idea to put yourself in even more stress passing it only once. Well, I was too nervous and made to many mistakes in verbal part (I think it was stress and weariness, but who knows) and got 690.

  • Reflection

Though 690 is less than median GMAT points from top BS (both US and Europe) where I am applying, I am not that disappointed with my result. My quant part was ok and I do think I will be able to get into top school with this points. However, my scores won’t be an advantage.

  • Take aways

1) If you choose self-preparation, consider an opportunity to buy used books (for instance, here).

2) Schedule 2 or 3 tests if possible

3) Practice test results could differ a lot from actual test results.