Foolproof GMAT Study Plan


What worked and what didn’t on my way to 750

This started out as an email I was sending to friends unsure of where to begin their studies. They started forwarding it on to many of their friends so I decided to put it up for everyone’s benefit.

Materials:

GMAT Prep free tests and extra 2 tests — Absolutely the best study material. They are exactly like the actual test. You can reset them and take them a second time without getting too many repeat questions. I found the scores to be very accurate. I only took the full test with the IR and essay twice before the real test to save time.

Manhattan tests — I took them untimed. The quant is a lot more computationally intensive than the real problems and some of the verbal questions are a bit off. Focus on learning as much as you can and not on your score. I only cracked 700 a few times on these.

Magoosh videos — Very helpful for some of my friends. I found some nice math tricks, but probably needed the lessons less than other people. Video explanations are nice.

Slingfox sentence correction guide — absolute gold.

6.0 Essay guide — simple template to get a 6 on the essay.

GMAT simulation booklet w/ marker — On test day you are given a laminated booklet and marker for your work. I think there is value in practicing like you play so it’s worth spending the extra $20 for this. I sold it back to Amazon for $10 after.

Method:

I mostly took tests and thoroughly reviewed any questions I got wrong or wasn’t sure of. Spend more time reviewing than taking the tests.

Keep an error log of the math questions you get wrong so you can review them again in the future.

I rarely missed reading or critical reasoning so all my studying was focused on sentence correction and quant.

If you google a segment of a GMAT question there will almost always be an awesome explanation from someone on gmatclub.com or a similar site.

Try to get a hour of studying in a day. I tried to do 15 quant questions and 10 sentence correction questions a day. Answering questions becomes pattern recognition after a while.

For more reading, I largely modeled my studying after this girl’s.

Hope that helps! Feel free to ask any questions that may come up.

11 Tips for Healing a Broken Bone Faster

& Making life bearable with a foot/ankle injury

My Jones Fracture

I broke my foot (jones fracture) playing basketball earlier this year and now that I am fully recovered, I thought I would share a few things I learned to help others in a similar situation.

All of these tips are in addition to the obvious healthy lifestyle that you should be living already.

Eat well.

Sleep 8 hours a night.

No smoking.

Don’t drink in excess.

I hope they help you out.


  1. Buy a knee scooter. If you are supposed to be non-weight bearing for any significant period of time a knee scooter is a must. It costs about the same to buy one as to rent one for a month so just buy the most popular one now on Amazon and you’ll have it in two days.

Getting around with a knee scooter makes you actually capable of living life. You can carry things (in your hand or in a basket) and you can travel reasonable distances at reasonable speeds. People will say you can live with crutches, but you will both be miserable and likely slowdown your recovery. With crutches, people inevitably put some weight on their bad foot and slow down their healing.

The best mobility device around.

I started out with this popular knee scooter and then upgraded to this beefier one. I absolutely loved my SUV scooter. With the large tires, you can cruise down a sidewalk without concern for cracks or bumps. I actually took it in the bike lane sometimes.

2. Avoid Ibuprofen. While many non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs work to decrease inflammation, they also delay healing. Go with Aleve if you must take a pain killer, but the pain of a broken bone goes away after a few days. I prefer to be 100% aware of what my body is complaining about so I opted not to take anything.

An absolute must have

3. Get a shower chair. Showering was definitely the most dangerous thing I did all day until I got one of these. Save yourself and order one today. It makes all the difference. Seriously. It isn’t worth the risk of falling.

4. Have a backup pair of crutches. I had two knee scooters fall apart completely. Literally, the front wheel assembly just fell off. Luckily it happened at home both times so I wasn’t in trouble. This meant two days without a knee scooter while I waited for Amazon to deliver a replacement. Many people have crutches lying around that you can borrow. I got mine from a lending closet for free.

5. Pick up everything from the ground. Rugs and anything else on the ground are an accident waiting to happen. The only two times I accidentally put my bad foot down were when I got caught on a blanket and when my handlebars were grabbed by a jacket that was hanging in a narrow hallway. Remove anything hanging in narrow hallways too.

6. On demand is your best friend. Luckily I live in the on-demand food battleground of Chicago where you can get a free meal from about 10 different services (UberEats, Sprig, DoorDash, PostMates, etc.) The coupon codes are always changing. You can generally find one for free shipping + $5-$15 dollars off your first order. PeaPod and Google Express have similar free 2–3 months of deliveries.

7. Buy a used bone stimulator. It is unlikely your insurance will cover this in the first 90 days of your healing, but it has been shown to speed up healing and it can’t hurt. Insurances only care if you heal eventually, not about you healing as quickly as possible. Going through my insurance an Exogen Bone Stimulator costs $5,000, but I was able to pickup one on Craigslist for $100 from a woman who broke her foot earlier this year. You can often find these on Craigslist or eBay for under $200 (Link to available ones on eBay). Make sure you get one that is relatively new (the month and year are the first 4 digits of the serial number) and hasn’t been used much. Mine only had 51 uses on it. Try it before you buy it if you can.

8. Go down stairs on your butt. Hopping is way faster and always tempting but scooting is 1,000 times safer. It’s not worth the added risk.

9. Pull ups are your salvation. Getting the blood flowing is beneficial for healing and your sanity. I did a ton of pull ups and hanging leg raises using an over the door frame pull up bar. Hanging leg raises are a somewhat advanced ab exercise that you can build up to by starting with knee raises.


10. Take a Calcium/Vitamin D and a Fish Oil supplement. I am largely dairy free so I started taking them to ensure I am getting enough Calcium. Your body needs Vitamin D to metabolize Calcium and since you likely aren’t laying out at the beach with your broken foot, taking a Vitamin D supplement is a good idea for everyone. Omega 3s help the healing process and basically no one eats enough fish.

11. Don’t test your broken bone. It is tempting to test to see how your healing is going by taking a step on your bad foot. DON’T DO IT. Taking a step seems harmless, but testing your foot too early can set your healing back significantly. The amount of time you spend non-weight bearing is the best predictor of how quickly you heal.

I hope you found these tips helpful and best of luck in your healing process!

Sleep is also crucial for recovering as quick as possible. Check out my 10 tips for mastering sleep here 😴

The Advanced Generation

Black Mirror

What will you accomplish with AI assistance?

Bryan Johnson just announced his $100M commitment to Kernel, a startup seeking to enhance human intelligence by connecting artificial intelligence to our brains. His argument, one that I am completely bought into, is that human intelligence is our scarcest and most valuable resource. Our major problems would be easier to solve, if we were all 10x or 100x smarter.

Before we get there, I think it is helpful to think about how we have leveraged tools to augment our intelligence in the past.

When our ancestors needed help, they‘d consult neighbors nearby.

When my parents need help, they call people. My dad will still give me driving directions on the phone.

When my generation needs help, we Google. As soon as I am done talking with my dad, I just put the address into Google Maps and I am on my way.

Most people’s jobs today are heavily assisted by Google. Doctors Google. Programmers Google. Designers Google. Writers Google.

When we need help, we seek out the info we need and Google delivers.

The next generation, the Advanced Generation with AI assistance, won’t have to Google.

The information will be served up as they need it. A basic preview of this can be seen in a new form of chess called Advanced Chess, where software proposes possible optimal moves and the human player picks the best one.

Imagine how much more productive you would be, if everything you could ever need was automatically served up to you via your ear piece or AR glasses/retinal implant. No searching. No browsing. We are on the verge of it right now.

The following Enhanced Generation, Kernal’s AI-augmented one, is where human intelligence and artificial intelligence meld together. It is difficult, if not impossible, to fathom what will be accomplished when everyone is orders of magnitude smarter than they are today.

Today’s problems like climate change, poverty, disease, and war will all quickly become things of the past. What kind of art, music, literature, and entertainment will be produced?

The logical last generation is AI only. It seems inevitable that the slow human component will eventually be cut out. Why continue partnering with a slow biological intelligence when they can no longer understand what is going on?

I absolutely love Bryan’s ambition and can’t wait to see the progress Kernel makes in the coming years.

The Easiest Podcast Kit For Amazing Sound


When I started Tech In Chicago, I wanted to make sure I sounded professional right off the bat so I spent a crazy amount of time researching the right equipment. The high-end audio world is a deep rabbit hole to go down. My sunk hours of research are your gain. Below is everything you need to make amazing sounding in-person interviews.

This is exactly what I use and I fully endorse it.


Zoom H4N PRO Digital Multitrack Recorder

I record all my interviews in person and this is dead simple. I try to always record with the recorder plugged in, but I do bring spare batteries just in case. I would hate to have the recorder die in the middle of an interview and miss something. There is an upgraded Zoom H6 if you want the option to have on 3 or 4 people.


Shure SM58 Microphone

This is a legendary vocal mic, both for audio quality and durability. Rock stars use it on stage and it works just as well for podcasting. I bought them used off craigslist for $50 each.

I make my guests hold the mics instead of using a stand/boom because the audio levels are more consistent and it’s less to travel with.

On Stage Foam Ball-Type Mic Windscreen, Black

The SM58 comes with a built in windscreen, but this extra one helps minimize the clicks and pops a mic can pick up.

Apple Logic Pro X

There is a bit of learning curve with this, but if you are serious, the extra time spent learning initially makes editing way faster. Garageband will do just fine if you want to go the free route.

Squarespace

Easiest way to build a beautiful website. The price includes barebones podcast audio hosting which will be sufficient for most podcasters. It integrates nicely with mailchimp (newsletters), google analytics, and is already setup for SEO.

GIMME10 is the promo code for 10% off.

Libsyn

I just landed my first sponsor so I decided to upgrade my podcast hosting to Libsyn. It has better stats and more versatility. From what I can tell all the big podcasters use Libsyn, but if you are just getting started I would just use Squarespace as your host.

HIKPRO: Ultra Lightweight Hiking Daypack

This is my all time favorite backpack. It is incredibly light and fits a surprising amount of stuff. I carry all my equipment in 3 shoe bags and toss them in this backpack to bike over to the recording location of the day.

I hope that helps. Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. Happy podcasting!!

When Should Founders Tackle Diversity?


Colin Keeley: As a founder, you always have so many different balls in the air and an endless list of things to do. At what point do you have that discussion about diversity? Do you do it at 2 people? 10 people? 50 people?

Star Cunningham: I think founders have to really be responsible. You see what happened to Twitter and other organizations as they grew and this was an inherent part of their growth. It ended up being more difficult to diversify as they have gotten to be so large. I think that as founders found companies they have to be responsible. One of the two of you would have to say something and if you hire two more people and no one in the four says something then you kind of have to say “we’re doing something wrong”.

As a founder myself, obviously it is a priority. It is a priority and I also know that the statistics don’t lie. Having a diverse culture and a diverse team is better than not having one. I plan to benefit from the statistics in a way and make certain that I’m hiring a diversity of thought, a diversity of people, a diversity of different things so that my company can be wildly successful.

This is an excerpt from a Tech In Chicago podcast episode. To listen to the whole episode and catch up with all Tech In Chicago episodes, click here.

This transcript has been lightly condensed and edited.

About Tech In Chicago:

Tech In Chicago takes you inside the Chicago tech world. Each week Colin Keeley is joined by Chicago’s top founders and investors to talk about the amazing companies being built right here. If you want to learn more about Tech In Chicago, head to TechInChicago.co

I would love to hear your thoughts on the show and any guests I should have on. Please reach out @TechInChicago. You can also find me @ColinKeeley.

Founders, You Have To Jump!


Colin Keeley: Do you have any parting advice for founders or potential founders that may be listening?

Star Cunningham: Absolutely, so one of the things I said earlier is that you have to jump. If you are thinking about it, you have a window of opportunity, take advantage of it and jump. You’re going to pass by people with parachutes; you’re going to pass by people without parachutes. You’re going to feel like you’re plummeting straight to the ground, but eventually as long as you persevere you’re going to see that success. On that note of perseverance, once you jump, you just have to keep fighting and keep fighting.

I think about that little car that you had when you were a kid, every time it bumped into the wall, it would spin around and it would go a different direction. That’s what entrepreneurship is all about. There will be barriers. there will be hard times. Bump into them, pivot, go in another direction, and make it happen.

This is an excerpt from a Tech In Chicago podcast episode. To listen to the whole episode and catch up with all Tech In Chicago episodes, click here.

This transcript has been lightly condensed and edited.

About Tech In Chicago:

Tech In Chicago takes you inside the Chicago tech world. Each week Colin Keeley is joined by Chicago’s top founders and investors to talk about the amazing companies being built right here. If you want to learn more about Tech In Chicago, head to TechInChicago.co

I would love to hear your thoughts on the show and any guests I should have on. Please reach out @TechInChicago. You can also find me @ColinKeeley.

How We Get More Diversity In Tech

From 1 of the 12 black women ever to raise $1M+ in VC

Star Cunningham, Founder of 4DHealthware

Colin Keeley: I saw the stat that you are about to become the 12th black woman ever to raise a million dollars in venture capital, which is insane.

Star Cunningham: Yeah it is insane. It’s a list that I will be on, but it’s a list that I have mixed emotions about being a part of.

Colin Keeley: How do we change that?

Star Cunningham: Well we have to address it in a number of ways.

First and foremost the individuals who are in positions of power in venture capital and tech tend to be those who are caucasian males and until they see it as an issue that they can help with and until they align themselves with individuals who want the help, it’s not going to change. The majority of us who are founders of minority-led and female-led startups, we’re out there begging, we definitely would love to have you come and help us and support us.

The statistics are there because individuals invest in people that they’re comfortable with. How likely is it that individuals have had an interaction with someone who looks like me when all of your peers and associates in your entire work atmosphere are individuals that look like you. So until caucasian men stand up and address the issue and say “I’m here and I want to help” and believe you me they are there. I would not be sitting here, but for, you just saw one stick his head in, the caucasian males who are standing up on my behalf. They are there. We need more. That’s how we address the issue.

The second way we address it is individuals like me. It’s not new. When I was on my college campus, I was one of the only. When I grew up, I was one of the only and now as I’m going through my career at IBM, traveling the world, I was one of the only so this isn’t new for me. As I go out tomorrow, I have an opportunity to speak to Black Girls Code. I go out and I encourage young girls to take up STEM type careers so that the more numbers that we have that will help us turn the tide to make certain that the list of 12 becomes similar to that list of individuals that can no longer be counted because there are so many.

Colin Keeley: Is that how you think we solve the diversity in tech problem today then? We go way early on and start getting girls interested in STEM at a young age?

Star Cunningham: Absolutely, if you think about my experience for example. It was Malcolm Gladwell that came out with the 10,000 hours. Because of my early exposure to science and because I had parents where it was okay not to want to play with Barbie dolls and it was okay to want to do things that were science related and it was okay to like computers. That was instilled in me so early on that now as I’m in this field that is not very diverse, I am still very comfortable. Very comfortable with who I am and what I know and what my experiences have been. Comfortable, but not to the point of being overly confident and overbearing.

I believe that the relationship I had with my dad early on was very significant. I was not some type of little princess that he wanted to protect all the time. He let me feel those hard knocks and I think that that really makes a difference in the person I am today and why I chose STEM and why I chose entrepreneurship.

This is an excerpt from a Tech In Chicago podcast episode. To listen to the whole episode and catch up with all Tech In Chicago episodes, click here.

This transcript has been lightly condensed and edited.

About Tech In Chicago:

Tech In Chicago takes you inside the Chicago tech world. Each week Colin Keeley is joined by Chicago’s top founders and investors to talk about the amazing companies being built right here. If you want to learn more about Tech In Chicago, head to TechInChicago.co

I would love to hear your thoughts on the show and any guests I should have on. Please reach out @TechInChicago. You can also find me @ColinKeeley.