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Help! Need to improve my score from 680 to 720+

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Help! Need to improve my score from 680 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2010, 07:44
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Hi,

[strike]I am planning to give my GMAT in the next 3 weeks. Date not yet taken because they are currently not available in my city.
A friend has advised me to wait until the next 1 week to see if any slots becomes available due to last minute cancellations.[/strike]

I have my GMAT on 29th Dec.

I have completed OG 12, twice.
I have completed KAPLAN Premier (only the verbal part).
I have completed KAPLAN 800 (only the verbal part)
(Kaplan 800 has good notes and examples on Sentence Correction; not upto the mark for CR and RC)

My GMAT mocks:
GPrep 25-Jul - 660 (49/32)
GPrep 28-Nov - 680 (49/34)
GPrep 01-Dec - 680 (49/34) :(
[strike]GPrep 02-Dec - 720 (48/40*) *Verbal had 20 repeats.[/strike]
GPrep 05-Dec - 690 (48/35)
[strike]GPrep 08-Dec - 730 (50/39*) *Verbal had 9 repeats.[/strike]
MGMAT 19-Dec - 670 (46/35)
MGMAT 21-Dec - 670 (46/35) (RC Hit-Rate: only 33%)
MGMAT 25-Dec - 700 (47/38)
As evident, I am not able to improve on my verbal score.
I think only an improvement on the verbal score will help me cross the 720 mark.
I think, now, i should practise quant only in mocks; should rather build on Verbal - CR and RCs.

From analysis of my tests I see that -
- I have to hurry up during the last 10 Qs in both the section and end up guessing 2-3 of them. Quant has got a bit rusty.
- Hit-rate is low with DS questions.
- Almost all the time CRs and Global questions on RCs go wrong.
- Hit-rate goes down with the timer. :(
- Need a bit more practice with P n C and probablity.
I need some suggestions from you guys on how can I improve on the above mentioned points and boost my verbal score (and the overall score to 720+) in the timeframe of 2-3 weeks.

Books/ material that I have with me. I havent studied them yet.
- Manhattan SC
- Kaplan 800
- All versions of GMAT Prep. (I plan to take 8-10 mocks with 2 versions of GMAT prep. Can it be used for 8-10 mocks without significant repetitions?)
- 1000s material.
- [strike]SPIDEYs notes[/strike]. ( [strike]can some one help me know how effective this would be?[/strike])
(I did not find SPIDEYs notes to be useful.)

My plan of action:
- Study Manhattan SC
- Take a mock every 2 days till my D-day. (GMAT Prep: 8-10; Manhattan Online (promotional): 1; Kaplan test:2-3 )
- Analyse the mistakes and my performance.
- [strike]Try to master the Kaplan 800 while I do the mocks.[/strike]
- Practise Qs from 1000 material. 40-50 for each section.
- should I include anything more? :|

Please suggest me a few more things that I should do to achieve my target score of 720+.
Thanks for reading.

Last edited by checkoutjay on 25 Dec 2010, 03:35, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: Help! Need to improve my score from a 680 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2010, 07:55
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That indeed is a good plan.
I think with Verbal, BB has given a great mantra that I thought will be very relevant in your case.
Rather than treating SCs, CRs and RCs on the same pedestal from a timing perspective, one should look to solve SCs in 45 seconds ( unrealistic I know ), CRs in 60 - 75 secs and reserve maximum time for RCs.
In my experience, no amount of practice can help us predict how RCs will go on the 'real' thing, having said that SCs and CRs are relatively easier to master ( I am going to adopt this approach ).
Otherwise your plan looks very good. All the best!

Regards,
Sameer
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Re: Help! Need to improve my score from a 680 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2010, 11:18
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In my opinion, you have already included far too much. I am not sure if it will work out given the time constraints. My suggestion would be to focus on a few things, but do them well.
DS, CR and RC are all strategy based question formats. You should know what you are looking for in each question type. When you go for the exam, you should know exactly what you are going to do for each question type. (e.g. while reading an RC passage, I will note down two main words from each paragraph to keep my focus) Also there are various traps that are laid in DS questions. Be aware of them.
(Some of them have been discussed on our blog www.veritasprep.com/blog)
Also, don't take too many practice tests. You will exhaust yourself.
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Re: Help! Need to improve my score from a 680 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2010, 14:48
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+1
it is better to take just few practice tests, and understand fully your mistakes (error log), and try to memorize them, than to just do everything you may have with no "self feedback".
For sc, the aristotle seems good also, even if I am still reading through it.
Good luck
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Re: Help! Need to improve my score from a 680 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2010, 14:49
one last thing:
the grammar review of GMAT club grammar book might be useful...
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Re: Help! Need to improve my score from a 680 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2010, 02:32
I plan to take 8-10 mocks with 2 versions of GMAT prep.
Can the 2 versions be used for 8-10 mocks without significant repetitions?
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Re: Help! Need to improve my score from a 680 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2010, 06:13
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checkoutjay wrote:
I plan to take 8-10 mocks with 2 versions of GMAT prep.
Can the 2 versions be used for 8-10 mocks without significant repetitions?


You can take each test twice without any significant repetition. Thereafter, they are not very useful.
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Re: Help! Need to improve my score from a 680 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2010, 09:55
checkoutjay wrote:
I plan to take 8-10 mocks with 2 versions of GMAT prep.
Can the 2 versions be used for 8-10 mocks without significant repetitions?


That would be pretty futile since you'll see a lot of repeats and your score won't be representative of your performance and hence, for all practical purposes, redundant. As Karishma recommended, I'd suggest taking each test twice and perhaps downloading the earlier version of GMAT Prep to get two more tests. 8-10 is pushing it too far.
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Re: Help! Need to improve my score from a 680 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2010, 04:08
Agree... you can find other tests if you need (Kaplan, MGMAT, etc...). That would give you more "diversified" questions.
good luck
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Re: Help! Need to improve my score from a 680 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2010, 06:02
whiplash2411 wrote:
checkoutjay wrote:
I plan to take 8-10 mocks with 2 versions of GMAT prep.
Can the 2 versions be used for 8-10 mocks without significant repetitions?


That would be pretty futile since you'll see a lot of repeats and your score won't be representative of your performance and hence, for all practical purposes, redundant. As Karishma recommended, I'd suggest taking each test twice and perhaps downloading the earlier version of GMAT Prep to get two more tests. 8-10 is pushing it too far.


Point taken whiplash and Karishma.
Though I have KAPLAN CATs, I have bought MGMAT online CATs. Don't know why. Somewhat disappointed with Kaplan because of its kap800 book.
If not all, I plan to take atleast 3 MGMAT CATs before 28th Dec.

Last edited by checkoutjay on 17 Dec 2010, 06:21, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Help! Need to improve my score from a 680 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2010, 06:06
Good idea: good luck with that, and keep us posted with yourscores.
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Re: Help! Need to improve my score from 680 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2010, 10:30
Hi all,

After some systematic approach, my hit-rate for SC and CR has improved, but with RC, it still remains low - 33% (based on 2 MGMAT CATs)
Can u guys please suggest any tried and tested approach/ tips-n-tricks for RC? 29th Dec is the day!

Also,
How well do the MGMAT CATs mimic the actual GMAT? in terms of level of difficulty, scoring algo, %ile, etc. (*I am aware of the score calculator.)
Some recent GMAT debriefs talk about the actual GMAT being considerably difficult than the GPreps.
Should one infer that GPrep scores one higher (by ~20-30 points)?

Thx. in advance!
Pls. pour in.

* The 1st post is updated.
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Re: Help! Need to improve my score from 680 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2010, 16:46
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MGMAT is generally thought to be slightly higher in difficulty than the actual GMAT but is also one of the best indicators of your score range. I'd say MGMAT +/- 20-30 would be your score depending on how you do on test day.

As for SC and CR, the best way is to approach it systematically. For SC always look at the question stem and find an error. If you can find one, eliminate the group of answers that contain the same error. Then check answer choices to correct said error and choose one that doesn't introduce any other error.

Personally, I do a quick check of all 7 categories wherever applicable. I look for subject-verb, then pronouns, modifiers, tense, parallelisms, comparisons and then idioms. Usually each sentence contains more than one error. Spotting even one of them is usually good.

For CR find the main conclusion. That's most important. Then look at the question stem and accordingly, rule out answer choices that are

1. Too extreme for the context
2. Out of scope or irrelevant.

In the inference questions there'll be answer choices that could be true but are not necessarily always true. And in S/W there'll be opposite choices and so on. Keep a keen eye for these.

There's no magic formula really. If you have access to MGMAT use their OG tracker and try to analyze your weaknesses. Personally, I've noticed that my weaknesses assessed through the MGMAT assessment reports and the OG tracker tool are remarkably consistent. Find the method that works for you. Make a small cheat sheet where you note down key things:

1. Use of as/such/like
2. Use of Using/based on
3. Compare to/compare with

The only way to tame this beast is to make it your own.

Good luck!

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Re: Help! Need to improve my score from 680 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 25 Dec 2010, 03:56
Any suggestions on the prescribed word count for the AWA section? (Target score: 5-6)
I m not looking for the GMAC prescribed word counts, if there is any.

Has someone tried to find out how many lines (approx.) are needed to be filled on the actual GMAT interface to fulfill this word count?
Re: Help! Need to improve my score from 680 to 720+   [#permalink] 25 Dec 2010, 03:56
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