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Last 10 days, scores not improving, any tips for verbal?

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Last 10 days, scores not improving, any tips for verbal? [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2011, 06:04
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Hi All,

I'm in the last 10 days of my prep, have taken 6 - 7 tests so far and somehow my scores seem stagnant..my latest GMAT Prep score is 610 (47/27), the highest score so far has been 620.

My quant scores are in the range 45 - 48, I'm certain that I can definitely improve at least 2 points in 10 days. I need to see improvement in verbal, test scores are in the range 27 - 32. I have been concentrating on CR over the last week and my accuracy has improved, however I'm getting a lot of wrong answers in RC.

I got 6 RC questions wrong today (latest test), 3 incorrect SC & CR questions - a total of 12 incorrect but a score of 27...how is this possible? I expected a lot more in verbal, does this mean that RC has the most weightage in verbal? Any tips on how to improve RC?

Also can someone please explain how to make an educated guess for verbal section when you know that you're not able to arrive at the answer in 2 minutes, as a series of wrong answers can also affect yor score, this will really help me as I tend to get consecutive questions wrong...Appreciate any help/ tips, thanks a lot guys!!

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Re: Last 10 days, scores not improving, any tips for verbal? [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2011, 04:42
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Missing back to back problems will tank your score. Also, missing lower difficulty problems hurts you more than missing higher difficulty problems.

Strike rate alone is meaningless. You must combine strike rate with the difficulty of each problem.
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Re: Last 10 days, scores not improving, any tips for verbal? [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2011, 11:25
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RC is pretty hard to get better at. You need to practice a ton. Read 2 articles daily from The Economist each day on you computer. Read the articles as if they were an official GMAT passage, meaning read them very carefully and pause after each paragraph and think how the paragraph fits in to the article overall. Also you could consider doing the difficult passages from Aristotle Prep's RC 99. Those passages are very difficult to get through, so if anything it will get your brain accustomed to reading really dense, verbose material. Unfortunately there's no quick and easy way to get better. You will have to be willing to put in a lot of hours practicing.
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Re: Last 10 days, scores not improving, any tips for verbal? [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2011, 20:45
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So does this mean that the first 10 questions are very important in determining one's score? As you can see, I have done well after the 1st 10 questions, with wrong answers spread out...that's why I thought my score will also be higher...I'll try practicing more in RC, have no other way...even if it means spending extra time until I'm sure that's the right answer...

Also can someone please explain how to make an educated guess when I'm not able to arrive at the answer? Any tips/ suggestions or does it also come with practice?

8 days left until my exam...i'll keep practicing and will take another test soon...thanks for your response!!!
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Re: Last 10 days, scores not improving, any tips for verbal? [#permalink] New post 11 Oct 2011, 12:00
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That myth has been shut down so many times... But I'll try to give my two cent... The GMATPrep algorithm isn't exactly the same as the actual GMAT algorithm in order to prevent reverse engineering. So TECHNICALLY, based on several GMATPrep experiments it could be argued that the first ten questions matter more. OR, you can resolve the paradox this way. The first 10 questions matter not because they're the first 10 questions but because they're SUPPOSED to be easier. So getting EASY questions WRONG will hurt you more than getting hard questions wrong. So getting the first two questions wrong means that If the gmat started your percentile estimate at 500, it would drop its estimate to 400 or something. Then you got one right then 2 wrong. So your percentile went down even more. You got several easy questions wrong.

Now... In order to even be given hard questions, one must do well on the easy questions. So It could have been the case that you got too many easy questions wrong and then proceeded to get some easy and medium questions right but never made it to the hard questions.

My first GMATPrep I got a 40V with 8 questions wrong. I got the first question wrong then another one in the first 10. Then went on a long stretch before I got another wrong. Got a lot of hard questions which made up for my initial stumble. On another test, I got a 44V with 6 questions wrong. I got the first question wrong again, then the rest was evenly spread out.

So just to reiterate my point, yes the first ten questions matter TO SOME EXTENT. It's better to get hard questions wrong than easy questions. Since the test starts out with easier questions then yes it hurts more to get those easier questions wrong.
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Re: Last 10 days, scores not improving, any tips for verbal? [#permalink] New post 11 Oct 2011, 12:07
I'm fairly convinced that if you get first 10 wrong then 27 correct or you get first 27 right then last 10 incorrect, you will have a similar score. I think the 2nd option will give you a SLIGHTLY higher score but not by much. Also quick elaboration... Some people swear by spending more time on the first 10 questions. But if anything, easy questions should require less time to complete than more difficult questions. So if you use 30 minutes for 10 easy questions, then you will have 45 minutes to do 27 HARDER questions. So your chances of getting those questions wrong are MUCH higher than if you had gone thru the first 10 questions normally. I hope what I'm saying makes sense. The GMAC isn't out to cheat anyone. It wants to make a fair exam in order to convince more business schools to accept it, and thus have more applicants take its test at $250 a pop. There's too much $$$ on the line for a silly "let's penalize more for the first 10 questions" as it would no longer test mental aptitude and concept adaptiveness but rather knowing the (trivial) intricacies of the exam's scoring algorithm.
Re: Last 10 days, scores not improving, any tips for verbal?   [#permalink] 11 Oct 2011, 12:07
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