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A Special Note on the New Verbal Portion [#permalink]
16 May 2006, 12:34
The verbal portion of the GMAT exam under the new administration, Pearson VUE, is tough and our task of conquering this new type of verbal portion has become tougher in view of the fact that there is no quality material available to prepare for it. I took my exam on April 28, 2006 and scored 35 in verbal. I have been getting a lot of questions about the new GMAT verbal portion and therefore, I decided to summarize my conclusions.
A lot of us who are in the middle of the preparation for this exam must have heard of GMAT SETS. If not, you can find these SETS at any other GMAT website. Kindly do not PM me to find these sets. Just do the search at testmagic.com or gmatclub.com and you will find several posts guiding you towards these SETS. With no disrespect to GMAT SETS, I believe that the verbal portion of GMAT SETS is little different from the real exam with RC being an exception.
In GMAT SETS and in majority of other material available in market, most of the SC errors are what I call STRUCTURED ERROS or SOLID GRAMMATICAL ERRORS. It is easy to pick such errors (modifier problem, subject verb agreement problems, pronoun problems, parallelism problems, run-on sentences, subordination & coordination problems etc). However, in the real exam, you will find that most of the concepts tested these days are not grammar-dependent but they are meaning-dependent. One may be able to narrow the available choices to final two choices but those two choices would be very close to each other with subtle differences. Those choices will be written slightly different from each other in such a way that the slight difference between them would change the original meaning of the sentence. In addition, you may find some sentences in which all 5 choices would be written poorly with couple of mistakes. New verbal portion is indeed a challenge!
I believe that the current verbal portion is designed by purpose to help native English speakers but that is OK. It is just matter of time and very soon non-native English Speakers will get a hang of current verbal pattern. Though, I really feel sorry for all those including myself who happened to get caught in this transitioning phase of GMAT.
Having said that, I have very solid reasons to claim that the type of SCs that you will find in GMATprep once you are scoring above 38 are very close to the type of SCs that you may face in the real exam. Therefore, donâ€™t be discouraged! In addition, I also believe that all those questions in OG11 and OG10 which fall under logical predication + diction + rhetorical construction categories in conjunction with three CCs (clear, concision and clarity) present the most heavily tested concepts in the real GMAT as far as SCs are concerned. I would like to reiterate myself that the some of the SCs that I found at GMATPREP were very close to the real exam. So donâ€™t worry.
CR questions in the new verbal exam are also tough. It is easy to comprehend the main stem but when you go and face the available answer choices, you do not have that â€œahaâ€
Last edited by haddy74 on 19 May 2006, 14:54, edited 1 time in total.
I sincerely think that you are overreacting to a bad grade. I took the Pearson's GMAT two weeks ago and scored 99 percentile in verbal. I found verbal extremely easy. I ended up with thirty minutes to spare. I am not a native speaker and all the preparation I did was to go over the OG verbal questions once.
Now Quant... yes I found quant harder than I had expected,
If you want my sincere opinion the Pearson's test is about equal to ETS in verbal but harder in quant.
I worked on my SC and took my verbal scores from 34-36 to 42-46. I took the real exam today and got a 45 verbal (99%). I'm convinced sentence correction was the key. If you are looking for 'bang for the buck' on verbal, focus on SC.
I am a non-native speaker, although I have lived here for the last 14 years. I took the GMAT less than a week ago and I got 39. While this is not a stellar score, I am happy with it.
First off, I think GMATPrep is exactly like Pearson's GMAT. I was always averaging 39 - 41 on the GMATPrep and 39 is exactly the score I got.
The questions didn't seem any more difficult than the ones I found in the Official Guide. My friend teaches the GMAT for the Princeton Review and he gave me just two tips to use on the SC:
1) Look for grammatical errors (idioms, modifiers, etc)
2) pick the most concise one that does not change the meaning
I do agree that CR questions are pretty difficult, but they are also difficult in the GMATPrep and the Official Guide... Sometimes the "assumption" questions lift things straight from the reading portion (which, in my opinion, is no longer an "assumption" and a "reasoning" or a "fact")... basically CR has it's own language... but MGMAT is very helpful with this.
For me, I found the RC portion to be the section to really boost my Verbal score, then the SC portion, then CR.
Overall, I found the Official Guide and the GMATPrep to accurately reflect the types of questions you will get on the GMAT.
My June 29th 2006 experience: verbal WAY tougher than expected (I had never been challenged in this section before, even during my so-called Â«Kaplan Premium PrepÂ»), and the quantitative WAY easier than anticipated (with obvious upper sets of question), maybe because that's where I had mainly put all my focus & energy.
It seems that the difficulty level in Pearson View testing varies a lot from one person to another, whereas in previous exams (ETS) the average results were flatter maybe!?
Pearson verbal is exactly the same as GMATPrep. Nothing to get worked up about. It is true that new SC may test some more subtle errors occasionally but this is also true of GMATPrep. By the way I took ETS and Pearson tests
That's interesting. Does that mean that now SC includes some critical reasoning components because of the subtle differences in meaning, rather than just straight grammar correction?
Several people have commented that it is exactly like the GMATprep software, so if that is the case, then I guess that should be fine. I think most people are afraid that they will be hit with something completely new on test day.