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# 3 REASONS WHY YOU MAY NOT SCORE AS HIGH ON GMAT VERBAL

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3 REASONS WHY YOU MAY NOT SCORE AS HIGH ON GMAT VERBAL [#permalink]

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10 Jun 2013, 13:24
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3 REASONS WHY YOU MAY NOT SCORE AS HIGH ON GMAT VERBAL

Most of us put in a great deal of effort to prepare for GMAT, spend money on the best of resources, and burn the midnight oil. Yet, there are some who improve tremendously (10+ points out of 60, or 100+ out of 800) and come through with flying colors, while there are others who don’t perform as well (< 3 points improvement).

At e-GMAT, we study learning and success on test prep very closely. In this article, we will analyze three behaviors that are leading indicators signaling that you will likely not score as well as you expect to. In the following articles(s), we will attribute causality to lack of score improvement.

YOUR ACCURACY IS HIGH BUT YOU ARE NOT SURE WHY THE CORRECT ANSWER IS CORRECT

I have seen many students say that their accuracy is high (80%) while solving OG but they are not sure as to why the correct answer is correct, or for that matter, why the incorrect answer is incorrect. They often say that the correct answer just seems “better” than the incorrect one. Hence, more often than not, these students are not very confident of their answers. These students take the high accuracy as a proxy for good performance on the exam. While a high accuracy is necessary, it is by no means a sufficient condition to perform well on the real test. There are two key differences between solving a question from OG and solving the same on the real GMAT:

1. On the real GMAT one is faced with questions from different topics such as SC, CR, RC simultaneously.
2. One has to solve questions under time constraints.

In fact, these students, more often than not, falter on the real exam. This is because as they move from one question to the other, in the back of their minds, they are concerned whether they solved the previous question correctly or not, and hence are not able to devote their full attention to the question in front of them. Hence, they not only take longer to solve the current question, bus also are not as confident about their answer. This results in a vicious circle due to which the accuracy precipitates and so do the scores.

On the other hand a student who is confident of his answers and arrives at the correct answer for the right reasons is less likely to fall under this trap. Hence, this student after solving a question is not likely to think about the same and puts his entire focus on the question that he is attempting. As a result, he/she is much more likely to maintain his/her accuracy when solving problems of different kinds one after another. Even when faced with time pressure, his/her accuracy does not precipitate because the student can reason out why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect answer is incorrect.

OG problems with Application files: The 30+ application files in e-GMAT course teach you how to approach problems, how test makers formulate answer choices, and how to select the correct answers and reject the incorrect answers for the right reasons. Solving the recommended OG questions after the application files is useful because it builds on the capabilities developed while going through e-GMAT course.

AFTER DOING A QUESTION INCORRECTLY, YOU MAKE THE STATEMENT - I AM ABLE TO NARROW DOWN TO 2 ANSWER CHOICES BUT THEN I GET CONFUSED

First of all, to be very clear, the above happens. Even the best of us find ourselves in situations when we are down to two answer choices and cannot decide on the correct answer. However, regardless of whether we solve the question correctly or incorrectly, we always make sure that we avoid being in that situation again. Why – because we know that for official questions, there is only one correct answer and that the dilemma is result of a gap in our understanding. We acknowledge our shortcomings and take concrete steps towards fixing the gap and 9/10 times this prevents us from making the same mistake again.

Those who stop their analysis at “I am able to narrow down to 2 answer choices but then I get confused” don’t believe that there is a gap in their understanding or approach and hence do not take the required corrective action(s).. They congratulate themselves for having been able to narrow down the choices from five to two and do not spend the time to understand why the correct answer is correct and how can they avoid making the same mistakes again. Because these people don’t work on bridging the gaps in their understanding, they continue to make the same mistakes, and hence they do not improve.

In the live sessions, we closely evaluate incorrect answer choices in which most students face doubts. Many of these choices test the fundamental understanding of the concepts by building nuances around such concepts in the questions. We bring these nuances to the fore so that students develop the core understanding and are able to move from two choices to the one correct choice.

Similarly, our application files and post session exercise solutions emphasize this point.

AFTER A MOCK, YOU ARE AT A LOSS AS TO HOW TO MOVE FORWARD.

The primary OBJECTIVE to take a mock is to understand how far you are from your target score and to understand the areas that you need to improve in. After properly analyzing a mock, you should be able to list three areas that you need to improve. If you are unable to do the same then it could mean one of the two things: either you are satisfied with your current score and have little desire to improve or you don’t believe that spending time on analysis will lead to something worthwhile. In other words, you are lazy or scared to analyze your mistakes. Trust me; most of you are smart enough to analyze the mocks.

If you don’t do a thorough analysis and are unable to come up with three areas where you can improve, then most of your post mock work will be brute force effort, resulting in little improvement as you go from one mock to another. The higher your score, the more profound this problem becomes. This is one reason why many people remain stuck between 32 and 35.

E-GMAT customers should view the recording of Strategy Session II to understand how to analyze their mocks. Click here to view the recording of the free session (June 8, 2013) to learn more about how to analyze the mocks.

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Last edited by egmat on 31 Jul 2013, 13:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 3 REASONS WHY YOU MAY NOT SCORE AS HIGH ON GMAT VERBAL [#permalink]

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10 Jun 2013, 15:58
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Agree completely
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Re: 3 REASONS WHY YOU MAY NOT SCORE AS HIGH ON GMAT VERBAL [#permalink]

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11 Jun 2013, 01:11
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Amazing Free video explanation for all Quant questions from OG 13 and much more http://www.gmatquantum.com/og13th/

GMAT Prep software What if scenarios http://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-prep-software-analysis-and-what-if-scenarios-146146.html

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Re: 3 REASONS WHY YOU MAY NOT SCORE AS HIGH ON GMAT VERBAL [#permalink]

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11 Jun 2013, 04:13
Quote:
In other words, you are lazy or scared to analyze your mistakes.

100% Correct in my case...I didn't even started GMAT prep. I made the study plan, the one which is already here. Found the best resources here on gmat club yet that one line you mentioned above is stopping me.

Still don't know how to overcome this... laziness and this fear of analyzing my mistakes...
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Re: 3 REASONS WHY YOU MAY NOT SCORE AS HIGH ON GMAT VERBAL [#permalink]

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13 Jun 2013, 15:33
egmat wrote:
First of all, to be very clear, the above happens. Even the best of us find ourselves in situations when we are down to two answer choices and cannot decide on the correct answer. However, regardless of whether we solve the question correctly or incorrectly, we always make sure that we avoid being in that situation again. Why – because we know that for official questions, there is only one correct answer and that the dilemma is result of a gap in our understanding. We acknowledge our shortcomings and take concrete steps towards fixing the gap and 9/10 times this prevents us from making the same mistake again.

This.

Cannot stress enough how common this is. And it creates a further problem in that it leads to acceptable accuracy in the eyes of a test-taker that in turn stunts improvement. Most people think that higher accuracy means better understanding of a concept. However, I don't think it is such a smooth continuum. If one narrows down to two answers, one has a 50% chance of getting the question right. That does not mean that the test-taker is proficient, especially since the GMAT tends to follow a 2 obviously wrong/2-3 potentially right pattern. Very often, test-takers in the 50-65% range are actually deficient in core knowledge, even though one would say that those test-takers are doing well.

Test-takers (well, everyone actually) need to strike a balance between being confident in their answers (for the reasons e-GMAT stated above) and acknowledging their ignorance in certain areas. When one can explain all of the intricacies, one should then, and only then, be confident. The moment one has any uncertainty about the underlying concept, one needs to delve in and learn more about the concept. It is often not until this occurs that improvement results.
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Re: 3 REASONS WHY YOU MAY NOT SCORE AS HIGH ON GMAT VERBAL [#permalink]

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14 Oct 2013, 08:14
Spot on ! I have appeared for GMAT 2 times and only now I see the problem clearly. Every word mentioned here by you is true. I am planning to reappear for GMAT but I am facing a strange issue. The dearth of information and preparation materials are quite baffling. Besides, I realize it's better to learn from scratch than polishing previouly held wrong concepts . Any tips ?
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Re: 3 REASONS WHY YOU MAY NOT SCORE AS HIGH ON GMAT VERBAL [#permalink]

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19 Oct 2013, 07:32
Another "elephant in the room" reason is your reading speed. If you are reading at 175-200 WPM, it will be very hard to score in the 90th percentile or higher in verbal(if anyone disagrees please let know your comments). Higher speed means you can re-read some problems which may help you to identify subtle changes that can be missed in the first read.
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Re: 3 REASONS WHY YOU MAY NOT SCORE AS HIGH ON GMAT VERBAL [#permalink]

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19 Feb 2014, 04:18
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Hey folks!

We are conducting a free webinar that deals with how to revise your strategy in the last 30 days to maximize your scores. You're all invited to attend this free webinar.

You can also win a chance to attend our Verbal Workshop for free

We are conducting a Free Webinar - “How to improve your GMAT Score by 70 Points in the Last 30 days” – on 22nd February 2014, 7:00 AM PST (8:30 PM IST). Participate in this Webinar and win a chance to attend the Verbal Workshop for free!

This session deals with:

a. How to Define your strategy for the last 30 days.

b. How to Evaluate your mock scores

c. How to Maximize your performance in the mocks and in the actual GMAT.

Also, we will select one attendee and give him/her a chance to attend the Verbal Workshop (worth \$49) for free! (Here is the story of a student who crossed the V40 barrier. Similarly, here is a student who improved by 120 points.)

So, hurry up. Register here for the Free Webinar before the seats get filled up.

Cheers!!
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Re: 3 REASONS WHY YOU MAY NOT SCORE AS HIGH ON GMAT VERBAL   [#permalink] 19 Feb 2014, 04:18
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