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How the ‘Typical IT Engineer’ bagged a Queen’s MBA admit!

Posted on December 05, 2014
GMAT 710

In conversation with Athul who bagged an admit to the Queen’s School of Business with 710 on the GMAT.

In this blog, Athul narrates how he overcame the limitations of his ‘Typical IT engineer profile’ on his road to success.

Could you please share your GMAT journey with us?

I had attempted the GMAT twice. In my first attempt, I scored only a 620. I was quite confident about the quant section since I am from an engineering background. But I completely overlooked the verbal level on the GMAT. I was under the impression that the normal ‘reading’ habit would help me crack the GMAT. Unfortunately, the GMAT was quite brutal to me in terms of verbal difficulty and I scored only a 28 in this section.
I realized I needed help on verbal to improve my score and so I decided to consult the Verbal experts for help. I got to know about CrackVerbal from online forums like GMAT Club and Quora. I registered for a demo class by Arun and before the session ended I had made my choice of joining CrackVerbal.
I thoroughly enjoyed my classes with CrackVerbal :). They were very interactive and focused on concept building. In my second attempt, I scored a 710 on the GMAT and my verbal score improved drastically from a 28 to a 41! Thank You CrackVerbal!

Congratulations Athul! We are glad you enjoyed our sessions 🙂


Did you face any challenge while giving the GMAT for the second time?

When I appeared for the GMAT the first time, I found it difficult to sit continuously in front of the computer for 3 long hours. The brain gets tired and it becomes difficult to focus. So, before my second attempt I scheduled nearly 11-12 mock tests to get comfortable with the timing and stress of the exam.

Any advice that you would like to share on GMAT prep?

In my second attempt, I focused only on verbal improvement. I was quite confident about my strengths in quant. So, when I gave my GMAT for the second time, my verbal score had increased drastically to a 41. But my quant score remained at the same level.
So, my advice to all would be to give equal attention to both sections of the GMAT irrespective of your strengths. Don’t be over confident! 

How did you select your B-schools?

I wanted to study abroad for my MBA as I want global exposure. My preferred options were Queen’s School of Business and Ivey Business School in Canada. I also looked at Melbourne Business School, NUS and ISB as other options but Queens was my dream school 🙂

How did CrackVerbal help you?

One thing that is really different at CrackVerbal is that they conduct numerous GMAT workshops for students. I attended the Advance Verbal Workshop before my exam and that made all the difference. It not only boosted my confidence but also sharpened my strategies to approach the test.

Great! Our Workshops are aimed at giving our students that extra edge on the GMAT 🙂


How did you convert your admit to the Queen’s Business school?

The application procedure at Queens was completely different. I had to submit a video essay under 3-4 minutes as my MBA application. I was quite nervous as it was not a personal interview and I would have to talk to a blank laptop for almost 4 minutes. The challenge with this kind of essay is that you cannot gauge your performance and the chances to panic halfway are high!
Luckily, I got selected and bagged an MBA admit to my dream school! 🙂
I would also like to thank the admission consultants at CrackVerbal as they were always approachable. They gave me great tips on how to create my video essay and cover letter.

Congatulations Athul 🙂 and Thank You for your kind words!


Would you like to share some Tips on Video essays?

You need to be prepared for a situation where you will be talking to a laptop. Sometimes you may have a tendency to talk very fast. You must make sure that your voice is audible, clear and most the key element is to voice your thoughts in a calm and composed manner. Try to maintain a positive tone throughout the essay.

Did you avail any Scholarship?

I bagged a scholarship worth 15k Canadian dollars from Queens. Also, another special feature of this college is that they have a tie up with the Royal Bank of Canada which provides financial support to students with a Queen’s admit at lower interest rates. I got an additional funding of 35k dollars from this scheme as well.

How did you make your Typical IT engineer profile stand out in the application process?

I took my typical IT engineer profile as a strength and concentrated on highlighting my core areas at work. I did not add anything extra or fancy like ‘NGO’ experience. I took some time and thought of my daily work schedule and found that my work involved interacting with people from China, Pakistan, USA and Morocco. My team consisted of people with diverse cultures. I used this cross-cultural and multi-dimensional focus to my advantage and highlighted them in my essays. That made all the difference!
So my advice to my readers out there who tag themselves as the “Typical IT professional” is do not hide your work profile. Use your core and domain knowledge to your advantage and communicate it in the right way!

Great! Thank you for the valuable insights Athul! Our Team at CrackVerbal wishes you the best for the journey ahead! 🙂

Inspired by Athul’s story? Want to know if you can get into Queens too? Let us help you!
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