I'll cut to the chase directly. This forum has helped me a lot and just trying my bit here to give back.
First attempt: 620 Q47 V 28 IR 6 AWA 6
Bottomline, I was sick and had to take unscheduled breaks so the whole exam was kind of messed up. I was obviously gonna take it again but this attempt was sufficient to make me realize that verbal section in the exam is not anywhere close to OG13.
Second attempt yesterday
: 710 Q48 V39 IR 8 AWA ?
Well, if you haven't realized it already, I included my IR score above (critical reading!). That's right, starting yesterday (I think) you'll get your IR score straightaway in your unofficial score report.
A few pointers:
If you have time, you obviously go through Manhattan else Aristotle will also suffice if your basic grammar knowledge is okay. I did both. Aristotle has 100 questions at the end. Though there are a few errors, this is good practice. Overall for verbal, didn't even bother to touch OG13 as I had already done it.
I had a couple of SV agreement, 3 parallelism and don't exactly remember the rest. Please concentrate on meaning and not rules as I chose the awkward answer on atleast 3 questions (I'm fairly sure I got them right). I say awkward as that is how you will see it if you go by the rules. Be aware of concise answers as they definitely change meaning sometimes. A simple transition from a 'may' to a 'must' should raise a flag. It might sound obvious but you are bound to miss it if the entire sentence is underlined and you need to rewrite. I still remember a few questions so not all was bad!
Go through Ron's explanations on the Manhattan forum or his videos. That guy is a champ.
This was a personal weak point for me. If anyone is having trouble, I would suggest you to read PowerScore if you have time. If you have less time on your hands, pick out the chapters you need and be thorough with them. The book can have a good dialogue with you. You'll learn to pay attention to minor words. Like 'all','none' etc in the answer choices of inference questions (should raise a flag). Thoroughly enjoyed CR in the exam as I could scrutinize the arguments pretty well. Be mindful from the moment you start reading. I got two boldface and three complete the passage questions and I'm pretty sure I got them right. One boldface was the 40th question when I had a minute left.
Sole piece of advice is after you complete reading the argument please take 10 to 15 seconds to understand what you've read. I can understand your anxiety and hurry in wanting to reach for the answer choices and select the right one. That is what the exam wants you to do, don't fall for it. Take your time and structure your thinking. Best part is you can cultivate this very easily with practice and trust me you're gonna ace CR.
One and only one thing after my first attempt. Aristotle RC 99. My retake was a month after my first attempt. Did 3 to 4 essays each day from this problem set. It has a wide range of topics and varied ways of questioning. It'll be of mighty help to you. At the end of it you'll actually have a smile on your face when the verbal section throws an RC at you. I got really long essays ( I still remember two
) but once you have completed your careful read, the answer choices will be straight forward. Point to note, I saw very few answer choices with just a single word or two, most of them were long sentences. Nonetheless, they were easy to eliminate.
General things you might want to follow:
- Do your study in short focused periods. Don't insult good materials by not paying necessary attention to them. Loss will be yours.
- Everything Pearson does, the ID, taking a palm scan, photo, audio video recording and all hoopla are designed to throw you off your game. They don't matter. So stop wondering when you are in there and be focused on what you have to do. You wouldn't want to blame yourself later saying all the effort was useless just because you were not concentrating enough. For whatever reasons you are writing the exam, you are in it now so give it your best shot. If you take a hit, be humble and move on. No one gets all questions right.
- I was lucky enough that before my retake, Exam Pack 1 was released. Bought it and used them along with GMAT Prep tests. Prep exams were 740 and 720 while Exam Pack 1 were 710 and 710. I highly recommend the exam pack as the exam was of equal standard. Don't waste them. Don't skip IR and essay in your practice tests. Mental fatigue is very much real and you will be tired by the end of verbal. My brain was mush when I came out but it was worth it.
- For quant, download Bunuel collection from here and that will be prepare you for anything that the exam will throw at you. I had 50 on my practice tests but ran out of time on the original exam.
- One important thing to realize and act upon is that you need to move past the official guides fairly quickly. You might be super smart and just do with them but I highly recommend moving on to other sources like Aristotle.
- For people wondering about retake, Kaplan 800
will mightily help you (only the verbal part, mind) to narrow down your focus area. This book was great practice.
- Breaks: It's personal choice, I didn't want to disrupt my flow so just used the loo, washed my face and got back in. I recommend you take them as you need to be fresh for verbal.
- There's the occasional idiot at the exam center who starts talking about his work experience and the schools he's gonna apply. Ignore. There's also that unfortunate guy whose signature won't match with the one on the passport. The instructor gave him a pen and a paper to practice and he was sitting beside me cursing that he already hates his name and was now forced to fill up an entire sheet practicing
There ends my 4 month journey and will now be moving onto the B school section of this site. I'll be here for a few days so please feel free to ask me any questions you have.
Remember it's just an exam. Don't run yourself to the ground. All the best!