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I took the GMAT this monday and scored a dismal 710. Quant:50 & VA:36 I a planning on reattempting the GMAT in about 40 days. Could you please give me some pointers on how to improve my speed & accuracy in VA. Especially as SC is really killing me. My aim is for >=760.
allen: I have found that for CR and RC, experience from doing many, many questions is the most valuable tool you can bring into the test center. Once you have seen hundreds of examples of these question types you should be able to anticipate the answers to questions sometimes even before you read the answer choices. When I prepped for the LSAT I had exposure to countless difficult CR and RC questions, so I was lucky to have a good base there.
It's different for SC. SC is an easier section to prepare for because there is a finite number of things that they can spring on you and they are all basically covered in the MGMAT SC Guide (and other books too I'm sure). You need to be comfortable recognizing the major patterns (verb tense, pronoun/modifier, concision) and you should avoid as much as possible "going with your gut." For that reason, I recommend reviewing both the questions you get right and the ones you get wrong in SC, reading the explanations carefully. You want to get to a point where you can answer a SC and specifically point to the reasons why the other 4 answer choices are incorrect. Doing SC questions by "feel" (reading all of the choices and picking the one that sounds best), works sometimes, but it won't be consistent enough to guarantee you the score you want.
Make a list of idioms that you've learned while doing problems. Do SC questions in batches of 10 and immediately review the answers. Keep a good error log and redo questions you got incorrect (or did too slowly) periodically.
1. Get the MGMAT guides and the OG 2. Sign up for a Kaplan Real Test Day Experience 3. Study smart, don't just take CATs 4. Review the questions you do slowly, not just the ones you get wrong 5. Take a day or two off before the exam 6. Ask for an extra pen at the exam center if they don't give you one 7. Take all of the breaks even if you don't think you need them 8. Think positive thoughts going in and promise yourself a reward at the end 9. Do not slack off at the end of Verbal 10. Try to enjoy the experience, but always respect the test and don't cut corners
I'm indebted to this forum for all of its help, so I'd be more than happy to answer any questions. I'll definitely be around for the next couple years as I get ready to apply for business school (class of '15 probably).
Thanks and Cheers!
hi, Thanks for your experience for preparing the gmat test especially your "10 Pieces of General Advice". It helps me alot in changing the strategy. _________________
Consider giving me kudos if you find my explanations helpful so i can learn how to express ideas to people more understandable.
The biggest piece of advice I can give people on this section is focus on your timing because unlike in Verbal, you can't quickly eliminate bad choices when you need to solve an actual problem. Read this post and try to be ahead of schedule coming into the last 3 questions. The added time pressure of the section ending can throw you off your game. I didn't develop a "1-minute sense," but I did try my best to check the clock every couple questions and make sure I had 2 * (number of questions left) minutes remaining.
I took another break before Verbal and began work on the section. I had generally finished Verbal 20+ minutes ahead of time in practice (compared to having to rush the end of Quant a couple times), so I consciously worked slower to avoid stupid mistakes. Midway through the section I felt like I was rocking it, but I was working a bit too slowly so I sped up. If you are early in the section you can try to wait for SC questions to make up time, but if you are in the last 15 questions or so, DO NOT WAIT to fix a timing problem. Near the end I was feeling good about my performance, but I thought to myself, "wow, imagine what your score would be if you got the last 10 questions of Verbal wrong." That helped me to regain focus.
10 Pieces of General Advice
9. Do not slack off at the end of Verbal
Excellent timing tips - thank you Koopa! _________________
The night is at its darkest just before the dawn... never, ever give up!
I have started my prep from the last week of june and wish to write the CAT somewhere 1st week of Sep. I know I started quite late. I need to work a lot on my verbal and quant. I gave a mock and realized that I lack in speed. I left like 10 questions in verbal and 5 in quant. score was mere 45 in quant and 30+ (don't remember exactly) in verbal. I need to improve a lot a lot in terms of my speed of answering. though it was the first preliminary test i took but I really really want it to improve..I want nothing less than 50 in quant and atleast 46-47 in verbal.
Can you suggest something on the practice tests? I am currently doing Kaplan premier and OG. I plan to buy Manhattan guides. But is there anything more I should do to improve speed. I get very slow while attempting RCs.
I am experimenting with a couple of methods. I am usually in a habit of starting reading the whole passage till the end and if the passage is complicated, I end up spending like 10 mins only on reading it. I have realized that I get lost in between, while reading the passages. Recently, I started using Kaplan strategy but cant say I've improved much in RC section. Can you tell me if reading question stem first would help? I'm not sure it'll work in RC as it does in CR questions.
prishkam: In terms of CATs I would stick to the MGMAT tests and the GMAT Prep tests, with a Kaplan Real Test Day Experience mixed in if possible. MGMAT and GMAT Prep are the most accurate predictors of your actual GMAT score. In terms of timing, I had some trouble timing for Quant as well at the beginning. You have to learn to realize when you've spent too much time on a question and how to speed up when you're behind on time. In terms of Verbal RC, read the strategies in the MGMAT book, but also search these forums for tips from other users. I'm probably not the best person to ask because I didn't follow any specific method for RC (I tended to read the passage once, then refer back as I did the problems). Some people find note taking or selective reading a better strategy. You just need to find a way of tackling the problems that works for you. What kinds of issues are you running into exactly? Do you read the passage and not absorb the information? Or do you understand the passage, but have trouble answering the questions?
ruturaj: See my comments for prishkam. _________________
congrats on the wonderful score and a very helpful debrief. I have a couple of questions. I have some problems with timing. When I took my gmatprep I got 49 in quant section and ended up the section with 23 mins to spare. later when I revised, I saw that almost all questions that I got wrong were from data sufficiency. My main problem is that I feel I will lag behind in time so I end up doing questions very quickly. Problem solving is less prone to error as after you do calculations you most probably see your answer as one of the five answer choices but DS, well they r tricky and not straight forward. i believe that some DS problems I got wrong in gmatprep i could have got right if I had given a little more time to them, so can you tell me how can I go about DS problem, how much time you think one can give on a DS problem before moving on to next problem before guessing or making careless errors ? I am really sorry if my question looks foolish.
Also about kaplan test day experience, can we sign up for that without joining any kaplan course ?
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