How I got a 770 on the GMAT with minimal effort while working banking hours

Moderator note (Andy): this was originally posted on 5/17/12, Here is the link to his study guide

Background: I recently took the GMAT and scored a 770 on my first and only try. Long story short, I studied and took the exam under conditions that would not be considered ideal by most people. I work 80+ hours a week and pull all-nighters relatively frequently (which led to a lot of days off from studying). If you are interested in taking the exam, or simply in hearing about my experience, please read on.

Here is what you will need and the process of how to do it:

  • Manhattan GMAT book series (8 books total - 5 quant, 3 verbal)

Cocaine in Finance?

I have been traveling for the last 2 weeks and have regretfully been unable to do a lot of things, mainly work on my b-school essays. As I procrastinate getting back to work, I came across some information that got me thinking...

In the new Wall Street era, characterized by increasing regulatory scrutiny, I know that the $600 dinners for 3 a few times a week with fellow analysts, and expensing all night partying / strip clubs has probably been cut down on if not ceased altogether, but what about the drug that Wall Street once embraced with open arms and nostrils: Cocaine.

Applying to HBS, Stanford GSB, and...

It has been a while since I posted on here - the last 2 weeks have been really busy as I have been traveling and dealing with various situations that have been popping up.

I have not had a lot of time to work on my b-school apps, but I have made a couple of breakthroughs:

1. I got started on my first essay!

The one I chose to start on is HBS question #1- tell us about something you have done well. I basically just manned up, sat down one evening, and put my thoughts on paper. This exercise was very helpful and I plan on writing a first draft of each and every essay for round 1 as the next step in my process. This leads me to my next breakthrough:

2. I think I have decided which schools I want to apply to in the first round!

After multiple iterations, I am ~85% sure that in the first round I will apply to:


Trade Idea: Best Buy

For those of you that haven't been following the drama unfolding regarding Best Buy and founder/former Chairman Richard Shulze, the electronics retailer that we have come to know and hate could be on the block.

Quitting Your Job for B-School

I came across an article recently that I thought would be helpful for those applying to, or thinking about applying to B-School in the near future. The information here is actually important for everyone, but I am a focusing on how it pertains to leaving for B-School. The article highlights 9 "things you need to do", of which I am choosing to focus on 5 key areas:timing, your replacement, your resume, references, and your network.

2 Ways To Make Your B-School Applications Easier

I recently read an NPR article that talks about how colleges fight for top students by offering merit-scholarships to students that would otherwise attend other institutions. This "discount" is then made up for by the students that end up paying full price. This makes sense, and in the end, a school is really just a business that makes decisions that maximize its brand value. There is really no point in offering someone money for something that they would have done anyways. Similarly, knowing who to offer money and how much to offer to get them to choose your school over another is definitely a practice that takes place.

B-School Applications: Stanford GSB and Columbia

With the release of essays by Columbia and Stanford, we are officially in the midst of b-school application season 2012. If you somehow missed the major essay releases, here they are for your viewing pleasure:


What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (200 characters maximum)

Why are you pursuing an MBA at this point in your career, and how do you plan to achieve your immediate and long term post-MBA professional goals? (Maximum 500 words)

Phantombanker Book Review: WSO Business School Bible

So, I recently got the WSO Business School Bible, and after making it through the 520-page book this week, I am honestly surprised to say how good it was. I have never used any of the WSO guides (mainly because they did not exist when I was doing banking interviews), but I can say that this one is good and definitely got me in the right state of mind to start the next phase of the b-school application process (which, if you read my last post, kicked off late last week:

So without further ado, here is my review of the WSO Business School Bible:

B-School Application Season is Officially Upon Us!

With the release of the HBS application today, b-school application season has officially begun. There are some huge changes here, but I will let you see for yourself. Here is the application as presented by Dee Leopold, Director of Admissions:

Stage 1: Written Application

Demographic data, transcripts, GMAT/GRE scores, resume, signed acceptance of honor code, $250 application fee

Recommendations (3). Here are the questions for recommenders:

  • Please comment on the context of your interaction with the applicant. If applicable, briefly describe the applicant's role in your organization. (250 words)
  • How does the candidate's performance compare to other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? (250 words)


WallStreet Prep Master Financial Modeling