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Advices asked [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2006, 01:19
Hi all,

I have finished for the first time the first GMAT exam of GMATPrep.

I obtained:
> Q 49
> V 20

I'm not a native english speaker. Perhaps french guys have a specific DNA genes against english language blocking any improvments :p.

More seriously, I got a hard time on verbal section. Starting the exam at 9 pm to conclude it at 11pm, it was horrible to resist till the end. It appeared to me as every read word was enable to stay longly in my memory. I need to read 2 or 3 times the same words to feel like "Ok: i get them in my mind".

I noticed that at half of the section, I got almost all answers wrong: 20 mistakes for 41 questions.

When I practice a package of 10 questions of RC or CR, i'm able to get a 70% to 80% of correct anwsers. SCs are cricitical for me : 60 % is my best score.

My current preparation is :
> practicing questions on 1000s set of questions
> Kaplan 2005 books and CD

I just recieved the OG 11 edition. I'm going to recieve the Mahnattan SC book.

I already schedule my first GMAT attempt for the 28th september.

I'm still working and I will have 3 weeks of holidays for a last straight line run to the exam.

I began a error logs on verbal section. I read a lot, I watch english channels during my break time.

I planned to focus on SCs with the apparently very helpfull Manhattan book.
Then, I want to practice every evening:
> 12 SCs
> 12 RCS
> 2 passages
on which, I'm going to keep specific error log files.

For the Math section, I would continue to keep praticing from OG 5 questions a day.

On weekends, I would like to set me on correct range of questions in both Math and Verbal section.

I need your advises guys. What do u think about my way of studying? Any helps or suggestions is greatly welcomed :)

I feel that I should be able to achieve better than v20. It seems to be a lonnnnng journey.... that I would like to achieve well :)
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Re: Advices asked [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2006, 06:01
Fig wrote:
Hi all,
More seriously, I got a hard time on verbal section. Starting the exam at 9 pm to conclude it at 11pm, it was horrible to resist till the end. It appeared to me as every read word was enable to stay longly in my memory. I need to read 2 or 3 times the same words to feel like "Ok: i get them in my mind".


For this I would suggest you study in a stretch. I mean atleast 1 hour at a time. Not like you attempt 5-10 questions and then take a break.

Fig wrote:
When I practice a package of 10 questions of RC or CR, i'm able to get a 70% to 80% of correct anwsers. SCs are cricitical for me : 60 % is my best score.

For this thing make small test packages yourself. Take 15 SC, 15 CR and 15 RC in one go. For example, copy 15 CR, 15 RC and 15 SC from 1000 question collection and paste them in a new word document. If you want to do only one type of questions at a time, eventhough its not advisable, then attempt 40 questions at a time. Do all questions timed. Also when you do CATs then also attempt the AWA section. This will enable you to stay focussed longer and if you can't stay focussed until the end, then atleast by practice you will learn.

Fig wrote:
I read a lot, I watch english channels during my break time.

Thats good. I hope you are not watching movies only :wink: :wink: . If you have time then I would say read scholarly journals such as WallStreet journal, BusinessWeek etc.
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 [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2006, 07:17
Thanks for your reply :)

Yes, my main issue here is to remain concentrate. Ok, I will keep a rythm of 15-15-15 by a study time. It's more than what I thought, but actually it's the way to improve my lack of long run concentration. I hope to be able to do it every day ! :)

For the transition between Math and Verbal, I have read on another topic somebody who explains to drink RedBull for cafeine and to eat some energy bar :)... I believe that is ncesserary for me too :)

I believe as well that i didnt rest enough: awake till 1am30 to restart on 7am30, it's not fitted for me. Apperently for good reasons : to work or to study for GMAT .

My hope is to achieve at least 660 that means a V30 :). Hard but i will do my best ! :)

Other comments / advices ? (greatly appreciated :) )
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2006, 00:29
I would like to make a little feedback.

I applied Yesterday evening the 15-15-15 without breaktime + analysis of my mistakes. I used almost 3 h for all.

It was hard ! But i feel that this way is good, at least for me :). Thus, I will pursue like this during 1 week.

Next week, I would like to study with Manathan SC. I will try to keep a high rythm.

After that, I will come back with a 15-15-15 package of questions.

I would like to build me a "standard" week, I have already the following idea on it :

Monday
---------
> 15-15-15 set +analysis

Tuersday
----------
> 15-15-15 set +analysis
> 5DS + 5PS

Wednesday
-------------
> Studying problems from my ErrorLog

Thursday
----------
> 15-15-15 set +analysis

Friday
-------
> 15-15-15 set +analysis
> 5DS + 5PS

Sathurday
------------
> Studying problems from my ErrorLog

Sunday
---------
> 1 exam

I'm just scared about a burn out :)

Any ideas or advices ?
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2006, 12:58
I would not suggest taking practice tests late at night if you're tired...it's going to be hard to keep your mental stamina going. You'd be better off spending two hours on a weeknight doing practice questions, just one type at a time, and then doing a full timed test each weekend. When you do only one question type at a time, it's much easier to figure out where you're going wrong.

I would use Princeton Review for verbal. Also, PR and GMAT Prep tests are the most reliable ones.

Oh, and don't drink RedBull!! It can make you really hyper and jumpy. It is loaded with caffeine. Not at ALL good for you. Eat well -- balance of protein and carbs and avoid the "gimmicks" that people say help. A protein bar is fine because it packs solid nutrition, but also an apple or banana, granola bar for some good carbs, and water are best. Maybe Gatorade, but not a ton of it.
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2006, 13:13
I believe I may have been the one that gave the Redbull and protein bar advice that you read about. As far as the redbull/protein bar advice I say, "to each his own". Obviously, cashmere thinks its a bad idea. I know some of the test prep companies out there also think its a bad idea. I mentioned all this in my post and I believe that I gave a specific disclaimer that it is not a good idea for some people. If you don't drink coffee in the morning, or redbull at work/school etc then this might not be a great idea. You certainly don't want to deviate from what your use to. For me, Redbull absolutely does not make me hyper of jumpy in anyway but thats because I drink caffeeine fairly regularly. During my test Redbull helped out a lot. I used to lose focus during verbal when I took the real GMAT. The last time I took the GMAT I drank a red bull and had a protein bar and I scored a 740. So obviously it did not hurt me to drink that red bull. But again this is a very individual thing. Please don't drink redbull after the quant if your not accustomed to it. In fact, I started taking full practice CATS (with AWA's) and drinking a redbull after quant just to make sure that it had a positive and not a negative affect. After scoring 720-750 on my GMATPreps like this I decided it would be fine for me to drink a redbull during my test.
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2006, 00:14
Thanks guys for your suggestions :)

Cashmere,
I think it was late to make a GMAT exam. I spend more time on analysis of my wrong/not sure answers. I feel as it maintains a good direction of progress even if I have no concrete result of it ;)

PR is a good idea :). Is it good for RC and CR? As i have already Manathan SC Book.
Perhpas, I should consider it after 3 weeks from now. I will have enough of informations kept in my ErrorLog to conclude.

IHateTheGMAT,
yes ;).... I refered to your post :) that is inspiring and helpfull by the way.

It's not my habit to drink cofee :) And to be honnest, if I drink one, it's pretty hard for me to sleep at Night.
I never try RedBull. I want to test it during one of my prep exam as u did indeed. I would have a better idea of the result.
If I jump at any corner of the room or If I have electrecity going out of my fingers, it should be too strong and unfitted to me ;)



Another solution could be a green tea prepared in water bottle that i could drink during breaktimes. Plus a energy bar between Quant & Verbal section.
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2006, 07:31
Hi Fig,

Im french too but will keep writing in english for the community.

I have a similar experience to yours, whereas I ve taken the real test 2 weeks ago, 590 Q46 V26.
I related my experience in the thread "590 - a failure story". That's why I am interested to see how you will developp your Verbal skills. I've received 2 days ago my books, manhattan SC + RC, CR. I plan to retake the exam in late Sept, beginning of October.
Meanwhile, I got my Toefl results, 108/120, which is a pretty nice score. Thus don't really understand how I could score only these 26...
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2006, 08:01
One thing I would like to suggest people trying to improve their verbal skills is that try and read analytical articles from various magazines and newspapers. Examples would be The Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Washington Post, The Economist, Financial Times etc.

The reason I bring that up is, reading those articles provide one way of focussing on the language aspects of spoken and written english. That will give you a much better idea of what is implied by "ungrammatical construction", "sounds awkward" etc.
Until one understands what the baseline is for English language usage, detecting errors in sentences is a harder as you try to figure out what is wrong based only on the rules learnt. As we all know, sometimes without applying any grammer rule to a sentence, we just know that its wrong.

Hope this helps.
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2006, 08:27
Hi, Fig. Yes, PR is good for RC and CR. I didn't need much help with SC because I have a degree in journalism, but PR in general is pretty solid for verbal overall.
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2006, 09:17
haas_mba07 wrote:
One thing I would like to suggest people trying to improve their verbal skills is that try and read analytical articles from various magazines and newspapers. Examples would be The Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Washington Post, The Economist, Financial Times etc.

The reason I bring that up is, reading those articles provide one way of focussing on the language aspects of spoken and written english. That will give you a much better idea of what is implied by "ungrammatical construction", "sounds awkward" etc.
Until one understands what the baseline is for English language usage, detecting errors in sentences is a harder as you try to figure out what is wrong based only on the rules learnt. As we all know, sometimes without applying any grammer rule to a sentence, we just know that its wrong.

Hope this helps.


agree here haas! I have time to read only The Economist and after studying verbal stuff so much I can clearly see the stupid idioms in the articles... I really had troubles with those but as I read now it reinforces my thinking and idioms stick in my memory :!: If you have time, reading this source is a MUST
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2006, 14:02
Nice replies, thanks all :)

karlfurt,
I understand u. I read your posted story. From it and from your reply here, I would like to say that u had completed the half of exam jobs. What a amazing score at Toefl ! :) Congrats :)... To be truth, it's a score that I wish to have as we do with an untouchable dream ;).

Therefore and to stay realistic, INSTEAD is impossible in my case but u have your chance ! Don't give up :D

haas_mba07,
It seems to be truth about reading the economist. Since I started to read it by the suggestion of posts from gmatclub on Avril 06, I feel some improvment on what I would call the "background music" of sentences. It seems keen my hear on english.
I hope to be able to make it more concrete by seeing the real grammar rules used :)

Cashmere,
A degree on Journalism should be here very usefull :D. Would i turn a little jaleous ? ;)... Thanks to confirm me about PR materials. :)

u2lover,
I hope to achieve your level of comprehension on sentences :). When u say "Studying the verbal so much", could I ask to complete it by hours a day, for how long... information ? :)

This evening, all my score went down :)... I keep practice 15 15 15... Seems good. I easily (too easily?) linked it to my low energy and concentration, I will see ;)
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2006, 14:22
Fig wrote:
u2lover,
I hope to achieve your level of comprehension on sentences :). When u say "Studying the verbal so much", could I ask to complete it by hours a day, for how long... information ? :)


recently I have been doing something related to verbal every day.... sometimes I feel like I am sleeping with MGMAT SC...

First, I did the verbal GMAX online course, which showed me basics...

Second, I looked at MGMAT SC, which IMO is a condensed version of GMAX...

Third, I have been reading A LOT online... articles from The Economist, news, etc. (I hope I don't ruin my vision spending hrs on the computer with CATs and gmatclub :computer )

Fourth, I have been participating A LOT on the verbal forum (anybody sick of my expns btw? :twisted: ) I felt like explaining my own answers is the only way I could hammer the concepts down, otherwise I would read the rule and forget it sooner or later. Rephrasing the rules in my own words is a challenge and takes time, but it pays off!!! and you keep practicing the random questions here, coming back again and again to your notes of basics

Last, but not least the number of hours :shock: is ... well... I don't know... A LOT is all I can say... if I am not doing SC/CR here, I am taking CATS or practicing questions... not to brag, but it is paying off... I had 2? (low 20s) in verbal, recently I was :shock: to see 37 on the CAT in verbal... yet it came as an expense in math, which isn't going higher than 35 :evil: because I am not studying it as intensely... I haven't really pressed RC button 100%, which I hope will take me even higher on verbal...

so the challenge is a balance, but to tell you the truth I am finally relieved that something is going up... must mention that verbal score went a bit down before it surged... this whole thing with 100% effort to GMAT started at the end of May and I am hoping to finish it off by the end of August...

I really would like to score 48 in math... any suggestions on how increase it by >10 pts... I am not weak in math, but very very slow :cry: and DS and number properties are killers for me :x

Last edited by u2lover on 19 Jul 2006, 14:40, edited 3 times in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2006, 14:25
u2lover wrote:

I really would like to score 48 in math... any suggestions on how get increase by >10 pts... I am not weak in math, but very very slow :cry: and DS is a killer for me :x


One thing I have noticed during my study is that if I don't touch quant for a few days and come back to it, its much tougher to solve the hard ones.

Second (and I am sure you know this), is to solve a lot of real-hard problems to the level of solving ability up. I haven't followed the second one as yet, as I am working on revisiting my basics.
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2006, 15:17
I also have a real hard time concentrating and keeping focused. Its so strange. As a developer, I can stare at lines of code for hours.

But solving a few PS problems gets me so bored.

I'm trying to increase my mental stamina. I've even resorted to taking ginko biloba supplements. I dont think its really helped though.
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2006, 00:56
u2lover
Energising post with funny parts, thanks :)

So the magical formula appears as a combination of quantity and quality: quantity of read/write practices and quality of time spent on RC, SC, CR questions with a complete self or shared debriefing.

I would like to add something more to the post of haas_mba07: I noticed the same phenomena about loosing some skills on though questions.
I noticed as well a kind of "vertuous spiral". I practice several questions, then I studies basics, after that I come back on practicing questions, then I studies basics. It's a constant go and back movement between studies and practice. :)...... with a positive and real feeling of progress :). It takes me 3 months to feel it on Math section :)
Actually, I would like to succefully apply it on verbal section, but it seems just not working :)

wlee76
Yessss.... That's the point. I put a lot energy and hope to go through it :).
I believe it's possible ! :D
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2006, 11:39
I come back to comment this week:

I achieved 15 15 15 questions on verbal every evening, hard and feeling good. Furthermore, I practiced sets of 30 DS and/or PS math questions.

I did as well 2 tests (without AWA for the moment):
> MGMAT online test 1 at 8.30 PM > 11.30 PM : 570 (Q:42 V:26)
I was glad to see that my verbal was better and I was surprised on Q till i saw the remakrs here :)

> MGMAT online test 2 at 3.30 PM > 6.30 PM : 650 (Q:48 V:32)
I'm very happy on this one :) It's the first time that i end a test with 650. After a full hard working week, concluding at 650 and 32 verbal :D. It's the score that I wish to achieve on G Day :)... Upper should be fanstastic but like impossible :)

I feel that the things are going well :) Thanks to this forum and of course to all guys here :)
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2006, 12:04
Fig is that your car in your profile?
Nice ride:)
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2006, 12:28
Yes :D

I recommand Audi ;)... Its an A4 type B7 :) I confirm that every ride with it is as the first one : amazing ;)
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2006, 09:04
Fig,
I did this and scored high - especially in SC. First I learnt what a subject is, what an object is and what verbs are etc. Then for every single sentence in every single prep book, I tried first to identify what is a subject, what is a verb. Then I rewrote complex sentences like this -
" In retrospect, the team and their manager did this and that to make this friggin sentence complex".
I wrote as " In retrospect, A (team is singular) and their B did X to do Y".

Thus broken down, I could see through the mistake easily. It was painstaking but it paid off. I got 42 in verbal and I am happy about it.

RC -
===
I hate RCs. But then took notes (like princeton advices). Even during the main exam. So that helped too.

CR
----
Well, standard test book strategies work. But someone suggested using "equatuons" here. Like "Because of X, Y happened" etc. Maybe that will help.

BTW, since you are from FRANCE, how is INSEAD?
  [#permalink] 26 Jul 2006, 09:04
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