So I just took my first GMAT and my score was a tad lower than my PT. I self studied using Manhattan GMAT books
and on the PT my Verbal score was 35-40 however on the actual test my score was 25. I did some research online and it looks like Manhattan's PT inflates the Verbal scores. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to improve my verbal score? Has anyone found any particular books, websites or videos helpful??
Thanks in advance.
I have heard the same thing about the Manhattan tests, but it is mostly anecdotal evidence from students. But let's get to the meat and potatoes and talk about improving your verbal score.
First, to improve your verbal, you need to be read every day. I recommend that you read articles in The New York Times or in The Economists. You need to be in the habit of reading in English all the time, especially material that will mirror the reading on the test. You will always be exposed to important idiomatic structures and a formal writing style that will help you to identify right answers in the SC section. When you read an article, always work to identify the main idea, the connection between ideas in each paragraph, and the author's opinion. You need to do this on the test, so you might as well do it for everything you read.
Second, before worrying about timing, you need to focus on accuracy. Spend your practice sessions doing problems without a timer. Spend as much time as you need to understand the question and solve it. Spend a lot of time reviewing your mistakes and make note of your mistakes so that you can review them later. As your accuracy increases, then you can start thinking about pacing and timing, not before.
Third, make sure that you can identify each type of RC, CR, and SC question. You should know the strategies for approaching each of these questions and also know the common wrong answers associated with each type of question. You should not have to think too much about this on test day.
Fourth, the more practice problems you do, the better your score will be. I recommend finding new material to practice with since the Princeton Review is of fairly low quality, as you point out. You need to practice with high quality questions if you really want to see improvement. I recommend downloading the GMATPrep software to take practice tests and purchasing the Official Guide to the GMAT 13 Ed. You could even buy the 12th edition and probably save some money.
I hope that you find this helpful.
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