Finally, the very first step of this long journey is finally over.
I want to share how I finished my journey and let others know that this is a man-made test, which means that it can be conquered using man-made brains.
I am not a US native, although I did study in US. Nonetheless, like other international students, overcoming the verbal section was the most challenging part of the test.
Here is my story & some of the methods that I found to be usefulMaterials usedOG 12
For the first test, I used strictly OG12
/13 and used study materials I got from my friends and coworkers (these include random cheatsheets, formula sheets and guidelines from unknown brands)
I frequently score higher than 600 on my diagnostic test:
1st MGMAT: 640
2nd MGMAT: 670
3rd MGMAT: 680
4th MGMAT: 690
after 3 months of studying, I gave it a real shot, to a disappointing result: 600
after more practicing, I started to realize there were some problems with my studying habits as well as the studying materials I used.
So I decided to try different approach and make some investment.
2 months and few days later, when I took the test again, my score improved significantly 700 (50q,38v).
I made several changes in my study approach -- e.g. from studying 30 mins the morning to purchasing new products and etc.
Here are the changes that I want to give credit to:1) GMATclub
Be active on this club. Go to verbal & quant section discussion forums and read people's comments. Those comments can be helpful (or unhelpful) but once you keep reading them and join their discussion, you develop strong senses in knowing what is considered "good" answer and "bad" answer just by being "active in the debate."2) GMATPill
Try to make some investment. There is a reason why people buy these for money. I was very reluctant to buy these products (from my SAT experience I was very skeptical of these products)
But it proved me wrong. Watching the videos and learning the step by step thinking process of Zeke (the creator) really helped me solidify my framework in approaching each sections.
My strongest weakness was in SC & my second was in CR.
Watching Zeke solve problems through the videos allowed me to visualize and, most importantly, taught me how to be confident.
Also, Keep watching the videos over and over again. Don't stop.
One recommendation from Zeke that really helped me understand SC section is:
Cutting the Fluff. Fluff is the stuff (e.g. not-underlined portion of prepositional phrases or descriptive phrases) that you don't really need to understand. I saved so much time just learning to "cut the fluff". This sounds simple, but it took some practice and patience for me.3) Review wrong answers
Keep track why you missed certain question and review EVERY answer choices, and why they are wrong/right4) Keep trying
There will be days when you miss 15 questions in a row. Or score possibly the lowest ever.
But this is a man-made test, and this test is not meant to throw you mysterious problems with no logic behind them.
GMAT will be throwing the same baseball, except in different style: straight, curve balls, change-ups etc etc.
There is a framework to EVERY PROBLEM. Don't try to outfox the system.. just try to honestly develop the frameworks and learn how to use them as tools.
And please don't give up.
Good to you all, and please don't give up