Study Partner Helps GMAT Test Taker To 720!

Wall Street analyst Akshay Chugh didn't do as well as he hoped on his first GMAT attempt. Second time round he found a study partner at his firm, and it changed the way he attacked the test!

This is a guest post by co-founder Akshay Chugh. After a great experience with a GMAT study partner, he set up the site to help other people find study partners too!
I've taken the GMAT twice so I know what you are going through - a month to test day, 70 hour weeks at work, struggling to keep up with your Manhattan GMAT OG tracker. Each time I took the test, I approached my preparation differently. I will narrate both my experiences to give you insight on what helped and what I learned along the way. For what its worth I scored 720 on my second attempt. 
My first brush with GMAT prep was while I was an Analyst at Jefferies Investment Banking. Though a bit hazy, I recall copious amounts of coffee played a crucial role in helping me balance work and test prep.  I had been forewarned about the tricky nature of the GMAT, but having graduated from Penn I was confident I would achieve my target score with a month’s prep. 
I enrolled myself in Manhattan GMAT’s online course but more often than not, had to make the most of the class recordings. My plan was to skim through the verbal & quant books, practice from the OG and show up for the exam. After achieving low quant scores on practice tests I decided to postpone the GMAT by another month. Time, I thought would help as I would review the test material and brush up on those distance & probability questions and give it a real go in a months time.
I did not do as well as I had hoped. On introspection I realized I did not have a game plan. Next time around I approached the GMAT more strategically. I was now working at Ernst & Young so the work conditions were similar but my approach was very different. 
I had two months to prepare. I decided to study with a partner from work. Turns out he was the quant genius I needed to clear up my doubts. Studying post a long day's work, especially with everyone else I know out on the town, was difficult, but knowing that I had someone else in the same boat as me kept me going.
Studying with a partner made me more disciplined and motivated me to stick to the schedule as we met up three times a week to keep tabs on each other's progress. I found these attributes to be crucial in preparing for the GMAT. I practiced many more tests and reviewed mistakes with my study partner, wherby I too was able to help him out in his sentence correction errors.
This experience made me realise the importance of studying with a partner, someone who has a similar background to mine or whose work and study schedule are in sync with mine. Thats why I started, where you can find a StudyPal or a StudyGuru in your city studying for the same test as you.

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