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4 week part time, 3 week full time prep and miserable 640...

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4 week part time, 3 week full time prep and miserable 640... [#permalink] New post 04 May 2007, 11:27
Here we go...
I took GMAT on the 1 May and scored 640 (Q 48, V29). How cruel?! It is not even 650! I wasn't expecting a lot more, since I have prepared for it for only 7 weeks. Furthermore, I was well aware that my verbal was not over the roof (I am an international student). But, I was hoping to at least break 30 on my verbal, which would translate into 650+. It wasn't to be.
But the life goes on and I am thinking to prepare for it again, especially when I know that I have a lot of room for improvement in the verbal section (although not sure HOW!).

I took Kaplan's 4 week(-ends) prep course followed by 3 week independent study. Kaplan's course was a disaster, to say the least. Instructor was very poor and did not seem to have any feeling towards participants' success on the test. So the course was waste of money and most importantly, waste of time.
Apart from attending the course, Kaplan gives you access to the online syllabus. It is a relatively extensive syllabus, BUT the practice tests were mostly repeat from their Math and Verbal workbooks, and Kaplan Premier.

When choosing between which course to choose from (I decided to take course, in the first place, to help me prepare faster), I decided between Kaplan's on-site course and Manhattan GMAT's online course. The only reason I chose Kaplan is because I thought physically attending the course would keep me more disciplined. If I knew that I would fall over this crap, I would much rather choose Manhattan GMAT...

Anyway...
My main preparation was during the last 3 weeks. I used Manhattan GMAT's SC book to improve my SC and went through OG (verbal part only, though). I also learned a lot from GMATPrep tests, as I found them harder than Kaplan (mostly quantitative and Sentence Corrections parts). And then, of course I used GMATClub. It is really useful to participate in the forum. I found it very useful to see how differently people approach a particular question.

Now, I need some advice from Gmat Clubbers on how I should take things further from here. I know that I have a lot of room to improve my verbal score, but don't know how.
I would appreciate the advice of gmatters who had to improve their verbal from similar levels to 35+ (or may be 40+?)
Generally, I don't think I am particularly terrible in verbal. For example, when I did 70 Brutal SC test, I got 50% of them correct (although I spent 2min per question). I thought, bearing in mind that they are the hardest questions around, it wasn't a bad result. Correct me if I am wrong.
Also, when I took GMATPrep, I got 70% of the verbal questions right and still scored 35 on it. How many mistakes can you afford to make to score 40+, for example? Would appreciate some comments in here.

Timewise, I have used up my entire holiday limit from work and earliest holiday I can take is January 2008. And I see little reason to take the test without a couple of weeks of full time preparation.


Thanks for reading this post! I apologise to make you read this poorly written note :)

Last edited by seofah on 29 Jun 2007, 08:26, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 06 May 2007, 22:40
Miserable 640 .... with only 7 weeks of prep!.....hummm :?
Have you been reading too much stuff like this?
http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=43654
You did very well to get 640 with 7 weeks prep :-D It's a fantastic result!
Almost everybody, including me, will recommend a 3 to 6 month study period before taking the GMAT. Hope you had a good reason for taking the GMAT so early. If you got 50% of the Brutal SC's right (no matter how much time... 2 mintues is fast by me) then your weak area in Verbal is CR or RC or both but not SC. I suggest you take the Kaplan Diagnostic test. Once you take the test, you can view which sections you scored the lowest on so it'll show you if your CR & RC are weak. It's the only Kaplan test I took but it showed me RC was my weakest area and it was right at that point of time. For me, on the CR I mainly followed Fig's approach (PM him for details).
For RC's, I followed the approached in PR 2007.
With practice these methods worked wonders for me.

I got V41 in a PowerPrep I took and I had 11 wrong there.

Keep going botirvoy. 640 is good for 7 weeks of prep. You've done very well so far.
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 [#permalink] New post 11 May 2007, 15:26
Yeah, I agree the result you got and time you put in to it is amazing. I see that your verbal is weak. Study for another month or two and I'm sure you can get 700+

Last edited by Sergey_is_cool on 16 May 2007, 13:56, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 16 May 2007, 12:03
vikramjit, sergey, thanks for a supportive comments and advices!

I am a bit disappointed from myself because I know that by getting my prep method and attitude correct, I could easily score 650+.

As I can only in January take some time off from work before taking the test , my challenge is to keep my form during this period and address my weaknesses :) any killer strategy for keeping the form for a long period of time?


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 [#permalink] New post 16 May 2007, 15:00
botirvoy wrote:
As I can only in January take some time off from work before taking the test , my challenge is to keep my form during this period and address my weaknesses :) any killer strategy for keeping the form for a long period of time?
Borya


No! don't wait till January! You won't be able to apply in Rd 2 and Rd 3 is brutal!

You don't need extensive time off from work other than the 4-6 hours during test day. If you take the exam early, you could be back at work in the afternoon. Of course this depends on where you live, what kind of work you do (if you work at an oil rig, then it's much harder to take half a day off!), how close the test center is, etc. but it can be done.

During prep and test, I only took 2 days off from work. It was quite tough, but I think it's better to study a reasonable amount of time every day for a longer period than study all day long for a shorter period.

I took test day off, of course. I score 710 (46Q 42V), first try.

Cheers. L.
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 [#permalink] New post 16 May 2007, 15:40
Some testing locations also offer weekend tests. At least one of the ones near me does.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 May 2007, 01:14
lepium, your point is quite valid and I will think about it. In general, my job is quite demanding and I find it difficult to concentrate on GMAT during weekdays. Therefore, I was thinking 2 weeks of time off would be useful to increase my concentration.

riverripper, I dont think in london we have test days during weekends, but I will check.

thanks guys for advices!
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 [#permalink] New post 21 May 2007, 12:47
botirvoy,
take the test only when you are ready. don't count on luck, practice only hard questions.
good luck
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 [#permalink] New post 27 May 2007, 15:22
yes sure, zemlyak :)


I started right from my biggest weakness - verbal section.

For SC, I started by reviewing grammar, and will continue into style, and then usage
For CR, I bought LSAT Logical Reasoning Bible AND lots of retired official LSAT tests
For RC, I will practice on LSAT RC

Other than this, obviously, I will be doing 1000 SC/CR/RCs.

Any more sources of questions, esp hard ones?
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 [#permalink] New post 28 May 2007, 04:27
hello,

Zemlyak? are you in tash? I have some books and files. pm me if interested.
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 [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2007, 18:41
hey bot

don't give up, 7 weeks and a 640 is pretty good. i did 3 months and only got a 650.... >.<

it shouldn't be a problem for you to crack the verbal... i found beatthegmat's flashcards pretty useful for reference and for some of the basics.

all the best
  [#permalink] 10 Jul 2007, 18:41
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