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I have finally decided to appear for the GMAT again next year… in January 2014 to be precise… It has been more than 3 years now since I graduated from the LSE and started my investment banking job and it is time that I start planning for the next chapter in my life… a Phd.

Now a Phd is a BIG commitment and one, which is pretty tough to fulfil… That Dr. in front your name doesn’t come for free. If you need any proof then these two articles here and here should be more than enough. However, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do… and the trick it seems is to do it efficiently… Many scholars get lost in the infinite possibilities of their research. They read everything there is to read about their topic. They become the de facto expert in their area but never quite get about writing everything down somehow. So for me, not to repeat this would be the golden plan.

However, the first hurdle is WHAT to do this Phd in? Everything is still half baked, but it would be something for sure in financial trading algorithms, Information Systems and Human Behaviour. I am yet to fully process all the information from all those journal papers I have been “reading” over the last 3 months, but I will definitely be heading into a B-School somewhere.

That brings us to our second hurdle, WHERE? The answer is still up there in the ether… it will depend on a whole lot of factors… foremost among them would be the research interests of the faculty as well as the reputation of the University. However, at the moment the focus is on GMAT and other test scores. Without these, everything else is just a sloppy wet pipe dream.

The last time I appeared in 2008, I cleared the GMAT with a pretty descent overall score of 97 percentile but when I took it last weekend again, I could hardly manage a mere 67 percentile overall. That is some big decline even though I was tired and I appeared with almost zero preparation. Considering that and considering the fact that Business School Phd places are much more competitive than MBA places, it is now time for that slog that is needed for people like me who are not the brightest around… the struggle to learn all those formulae and cram all those grammatical rules and nuances of the english language.

So, there you go. My plans for the immediate near future – lock, stock and barrel. I’ll be posting regular updates on my GMAT preparations, study tips and practice test scores. Let’s see by how much I can improve my score by.

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