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40 days of study a waste. down and depressed..

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Joined: 08 Jun 2012
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40 days of study a waste. down and depressed.. [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2012, 23:40
i started GMAT prep on june 1st. after 40 days i'm about to give the GMAT. it's sad to say that i haven't improved much at all. i'm stuck at a pathetic 600 score still. i really need advice and i plan to give the exam again and beat the GMAT next time!

My background
i'm a final year engg student. 21. Male.
i'm giving the GMAT cause i have applied to a program similar to the HBS 2+2 which requires the GMAT score now.

Material i used
- complete Manhattan set for verbal
- OG 12
- Aristotle SC Grail
- RC99 (solved most of the 'medium' lvl RCs)
- verbal review 2nd edition (did half the CR problems only)

All the material that i have access to (besides mentioned above)
- Manhattan set for quant
- 1000 SC/RC/CR
- power score CR bible
- GMAT grammar book by gmatclub
- various other documents available for practise on the gmatclub

GMAT prep test results
- GMATprep1 (the old version without IR) - 540 (Q48, V21)
- GMATprep2 ( " ") - 610 (Q49 V 24-25)
- GMATprep (next gen with IR) - 590 (Q47 V25)
- Kaplan tests (verbal sections only) - 15-18 mistakes in verbal per test!


My story
As i mentioned earlier, i started on june 1st. i've been at home since i have my summer break so no college, no work. just time to study. as it's pretty clear, i'm pathetic in the verbal section. i AM a regular english speaker! but the problem is, i DO NOT READ. i never had the habit. the occasional newspaper article here and there is all.
everywhere i go, all the forums i read say the same thing - READ READ READ! i try. i have been trying. but i seem to get really bored whenever i read a long article which isn't related to something i find interesting (i prefer science articles - discoveries, animals, astronomy etc.). i TRY to read the editorial of the newspaper everyday but they usually contain articles related to politics which i just hate.

now back to my GMAT preparation. i knew i was pretty strong in quant so i devoted most of my time to verbal. i started with Manhattan guides for SC, CR, RC. i finished them chapter by chapter and solved the corresponding questions in the OG 12. at first, i found all three sections VERY TOUGH. but once i finished all the chapters of SC, it became a bit easier as i knew all the rules by then. i became better at CR and came to a conclusion that just understanding the statement given is the best approach for me to get the right answer. RC i had a huge problem with as i dont read much. i tried several different techniques - Manhattan approach in making notes as i read, and a couple other methods mentioned in the forum. in the end i mostly read and try and understand the passage and try to make notes wherever i feel i have a problem comprehending.

The problem
the past week or two, i gained confidence as i was able to solve many questions in the OG that i got wrong earlier. i really thought that i had improved. whenever i solve questions in a non -test condition, i seem to do well. i see the answers after each question i solve. i think i keep gaining confidence as i get an answer correct and proceed.
the GMATprep i gave (next gen with IR), i actually thought that i had done well in verbal. expected ATLEAST a 33-35 score. but i ended up with a 25!! :(

i don't know what is wrong. i've solved so many questions but still can't manage a 30+ in verbal.

i keep an error log for SC as well. i've marked down the questions i made mistakes in earlier and have attempted them again. mostly got them right as well. yet a poor score..

i really need some solid advice! where should i go from here? how can i improve? how can i beat the GMAT?

i'm making 4-5 mistakes in each of the 3 verbal sections. i made 15 mistakes in my last GMATprep. i was surprised with my low score even though i got the last 10 questions in a row right!

and it's not like i'm taking too much pressure while giving the exam. as i mentioned earlier, i was calm and actually confident while giving my last GMATprep

PLEASE HELP
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Expert Post
Manhattan GMAT Instructor
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Re: 40 days of study a waste. down and depressed.. [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2012, 17:20
Expert's post
Hi Phoenix,

A few pieces of advice:

1) Don't be too hard on yourself for being stuck around 600. Although I'm sure you'd like to score higher, going from 540 to 600 in 40 days is actually pretty good. Improving on this test, especially in verbal, is time-consuming and difficult! Many of my students who take their 2nd CAT exam around week 6 of our course are dismayed to find that their score is the same as before, or even lower! This is a normal part of the learning process. It takes time to master new ways of thinking, and to apply all that you've learned under strict timing.

2) You are missing a perfectly normal number of problems in verbal. You might score a 700 and still find that you're missing about 40% of the questions. That's just the nature of a CAT exam. Your score depends primarily on the difficulty of the problems you're doing. You get more credit for getting harder problems right, and you get more of a penalty for getting easier problems wrong. This is why it's extremely important to master the art of timing, and to get very comfortable letting problems go (either guessing randomly or choosing from a narrow range) if you aren't doing well on them. How is your timing?

3) RC is probably the toughest skill to improve short-term. You need to get in the habit of reading every day. Read books, newspapers, magazines, blogs--anything!--but read for understanding. Stop after each paragraph and make a brief note of what the author is getting at and how it connects to the rest of the material.

4) Review! This is one of the most important things you can do to improve, but it's something most people spend very little time doing. After you do a timed set of problems, go back through them untimed before checking your answers. Ask yourself questions like this:
--What skills were tested, and how can I tell?
--Are there alternate paths to reach the answer?
--Did I use the optimal approach here? Why/why not?
--Did I misread something important?
--Is there anything I could have done more neatly or efficiently?
For verbal in particular:
--Why is each answer choice right or wrong?
--Did I understand the overall meaning of the passage/argument/sentence?

Once you've done this thorough review, go back and check the answers. If there are any surprises, review again. If you were stuck between 2 answers, go back now that you know what the answer is and see if you can justify the decision. Then, once you've exhausted all your resources, check the official explanations and compare to what you've got. This process is not quick or easy, but you should see some solid improvement!

I hope this helps.
_________________


Dmitry Farber | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | New York


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Re: 40 days of study a waste. down and depressed..   [#permalink] 13 Jul 2012, 17:20
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