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My GMAT Experience......650 (Q49, V29). Need your Advise!!!

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My GMAT Experience......650 (Q49, V29). Need your Advise!!! [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2004, 06:31
I took the GMAT on 8/23/04 in Austin, Texas from 9:00 - 1:00. I've took the test before so i was familiar with the process - show up with your id, get your picture taken, count your sheets, yada yada yada.

My BackGround:

My Bachelor's was in Engg. After taking the test the 1st time i realized that the GMAT Math wasnt that hard so i didnt study for the Math portion that much. For those people who are looking for Math advise, i might not be the best person to ask. The week before the test i looked at some Math - did some probability questions, looked at all Statistics (standard deviation, etc, etc. ) related questions posted on the GMAT Club. I've been seriously studying for the GMAT Verbal for the past 1.5 months - i'd do atleast 2.5-3 hours a day [morning and night] and about 8-10 hours during the weekend. I used the material i downloaded [885C and GMAT+ material, Kaplan, Arco as a part of my prep].

The GMAT Experience:

AWA: I used my standard template for the "rebuttals". I've noticed that its always easier to disagree with the author's position because you can come up more ideas to "poke a hole in the author's" conclusion.

MATH:The first two questions were easy. I was initially stumped bythe 3rd question but found out what i was doing wrong. It was a simple algebra question and i made an unwarranted assumption. After finishing my 5th question, i did my "time check" [of where i need to be at a particular point in time - e.g. after 5th question i should have 65 minutes left, after 10 question i should have 55 minutes left, etc. etc] and realized that i was behind schedule because of the 3rd question.Going forward, I was solving questions at a faster pace then i would have liked, in order to "catch up" between the 12th - 20th question. I fell behind again somewhere between the 25th - 30th question and had to kick into high gear again. I've noticed with the GMAT MATH the questions are setup in such a way that there is always the "elegant solution" and the solution that takes a lot of time. For those of you looking to score in the higher percentile, i'd say know your "standard algebra, time problems, geometry, ratios, etc, etc" cold. You can save time here and use the saved time for the more elegant math questions. I finished in time and wasnt "too satisified" with how my Math Portion went......

Verbal:The first two questions were SC questions after which i saw a CR question followed by another SC question. I had a RC (3 questions) followed by a couple of SC questions and then another RC (4 questions). Except for a couple of questions [intelligent guesses] i felt like i did a good job with the first 15 questions. From a time perspective i felt like i was doing okay [2 min per question]. My 1st 2 RCs were 45 lines in length. The 3rd RC was 80 lines in length, which i got between the 20th and 25th question. Between the 20th and 30th question i saw 1 RC, 4CR and 3 SCs......I had 11 questions left with 13 minutes and i knew an RC would show up. Between the 30th-41th question, the CR was extremely hard. There was a suble variation in the answer choices and i didnt have the time to dechiper why one answer choice was better than the other. I couldnt POE any of the 3 remaning AC. My last RC, i finished at a faster pace than i'd like [read in 1 minute] and was sure i made some mistakes. I had 6 minutes left with 4 questions - an equal mix of CR and SC. I found my concentration waning towards the end of the test.

After finishing both sections and skipping all the stupid questions, i "Proceeded" to accept my scores. When i saw the composite i was peeved. I saw my verbal composite score and my JAW DROPPED. I was pissed that i scored a scaled score of 29 in my verbal section. I was looking to score 700+......

My Practice Test Scores:

Kaplan2003 Test: 650 [Math 39 - 30/37, Verbal 40 - 33/41].
Kaplan Online Test 2: 560 [Math 39 - 24/37, Verbal 28 - 19/41]
Kaplan Online Test 1: 640 [Math 39 - 23/37, Verbal 37 - 24/41].
GMAT Paper Test: I dont know my final score.......Didnt know how the # of correct responses get translated to a RAW Scores. [Math - 29/37, Verbal - 21/41] ---> I totally bombed this test. This was my final test going into the REAL GMAT.

Maintained a "Log Sheet" of the problems i was getting Wrong for my Verbal Section. Here are my stats:

SC - 72% Correct [80 out of 110 - 885SC+]. 1.5 min per question
CR - 67% Correct [63 out of 93 - GMAT+ material]. On an average i'd do about 10 questions in 17-18 minutes. For some of the questions i did get wrong, i posted the questions to gauge what others thought of the questions.

RC - 70% Correct [40 out of 57 - GMAT+ material]. Per passage i'd save about 1.5 - 2 minutes. For example if i gave myself 2 min per question for an RC, i'd save about 2 minutes for a passage with 5-6 questions.

My verbal prep wasnt limited to just the aforementioned. I just posted these stats so that other can get an idea about my accuracy, etc. etc.
I went through the questions i was making mistakes on and i was cognizant of what i was doing wrong. I recognized my strengths and weakeness for the most part of my verbal prep.

ADVISE NEEDED:

I'd really like to improve my verbal score to atleast a 35 for my next attempt. I've searched through other posts and followed their tips/suggestions/etc, etc after my previous GMAT attempt (Verbal Scaled Score of 25......My main folly was spending way too much time on the first 20 questions; As a result i had no time for the last 10-15 questions.
).


I avoided all those mistakes this time around and i just dont know where i went wrong. During my prep this time around, i made a consious effort not to get into the "analysis/paralysis" mode. I'm still stuck with a scaled score of 29. Except for the 7 questions towards the very end, i thought i was doing good. I dont know where/how i could have missed so many questions, in order to get a scaled score of 29.

Can the GMAT Verbal Guru's help me........Can someone help me figure out what i'm doing wrong [Based on this thread i'm pretty sure i havent posted any info that would point to what mistake i'm making]. I'd be happy to share with you any information you need. .



Misc Advise: For those of you looking to do well on your SCs i'd say dont stop with OG stuff....i felt like OG was of very little use to me during my prep. The actual test questions didnt really have the "fruity top 6 that all the Verbal books talk about"......i'd say you should be able to parse a sentence down and recognize what the dependent/indepedent clause are, what the appositive is, what the modifer is, etc, etc. I felt like i didnt get any simple SC questions.Dont go with the "this sounds good technique". I urge you to "breakdown" an SC and figure out why its wrong. CR was okay.....Except for the 4 questions which thought was a bitc&^^, it was okay. RC was okay on the whole.


I'd like to thank Paul, Prae, DJ, SigEp, Ashkg, Anandnk and everyone else who have contributed to my learning. I cant say enough thanks to you guys and everyone else who has helped me.
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verbal [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2004, 08:25
congrats on your quant score with a little effort u r almost there ie700+

for SC i recommend OG bcoz they cover all the concepts and their explanation is very good just practicing those pulled my scores from 28 to 37.however the real GMAT has longer SCs compared to OG.but they test the same concepts.

for RCs try LSAT and concentrate on what is being implied this can be hard if u dont like the topic (i feel that way)i dont like RCs on arts and humanitiesetc.but try to develop a passion for all topics.

if u improve on SCs u can save time for RCs and CRs.

for CRs use POE and stick to the answer which is more relevant to what is being asked.pay attention to the word EXCEPT in the question

remember to use time wisely specially RCs
ash
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2004, 08:50
Gmataquaguy, I'm sorry hear about your disappointment. Your Q is very strong but there is definitely room for some improvement in V. As a matter of fact, I had some problems answering SC/CR in Peterson's book(although not a very good source) 1 year back and I can see a marked difference when I went over it again in the last couple of days. I'm getting 90% CR and +90% SC correct. I kept an error log which I will go back to in maybe 1 month from today.

According to your SC and CR results, I'm sure there is room for improvement. I can see that you did a lot of problems from 885SC and GMAT+ but did you go over the explanations and understand your mistakes so as not to repeat the same mistakes again? I actually found 885SC very useful to test you on SC concepts. CR are very useful to improve your analytical reading which at the same time can help your RC skills. As your math skills are already strong, I would suggest you to relentlessly train your verbal skills.

Paul
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2004, 14:05
I am sorry that you didn't hit the perfect score this time. But, hey, you got a perfect quant score. Just hold on to that and work towards your (read: GMAT) verbal skills. I presume that RC and CR were the killer. Thus, I will give advise on these 2 only.
For RC, I recommend, PR GMAT review. This book has good strategy on how to tackle and maintain the reading skills. I believe, every book provides the same strategy, but in different ways. You need to give one the foremost inportance and work with it.
Remember, when you are solving a question, just make your mind that you need to get it right. Forget about what was before it and what's gonna come after. YOU NEED TO GET THIS ONE RIGHT :) -- this is an advice from one of my friend (sure, he killed the beast).

For CR, I guess, GMAT Club is the best to practice and develop a strategy. Read the question first; keep it in mind while reading; read it again; think what could be the possible solution (without looking at the answer choices) -- just for 3-4 secs; hit the choices.

It's no Olympic, but, yeah, preparation before that. And that is rigorous :)
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2004, 16:56
I think what you have to do is just give another shot. May be it was not your day. Did you burn out by the way? Prep will help but do not over do it. Go with confidence and nail it.

You said that you were unable to figure out which one of the three choices. I think if you keep cool and take care of the anxiety factor and say make 5-7 questions more correct, it will have a significant impact on the score.

Luck

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gmat [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2004, 20:24
gmataquaguy,
Sorry on your score, but remember that GMAT is not like Olympics- you always get another chance and you don't have to wait for another 4 long years. Just remember that you should NOT repeat the mistakes that you know you did this time around!

In my opinion, one is one's own teacher-no one else has to tell him/her what he/she needs to do!!! Just sit back, relax and ponder over your prior preparation and see how you can improve on it to get a better upshot.

Good Luck, hopefully you will crack it this time!!!

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 [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2004, 17:19
Paul wrote:
According to your SC and CR results, I'm sure there is room for improvement. I can see that you did a lot of problems from 885SC and GMAT+ but did you go over the explanations and understand your mistakes so as not to repeat the same mistakes again? I actually found 885SC very useful to test you on SC concepts. CR are very useful to improve your analytical reading which at the same time can help your RC skills. As your math skills are already strong, I would suggest you to relentlessly train your verbal skills.

Paul


Can someone elaborate on what method they use to prevent repeating mistakes on your CR? I just dont know how to avoid making repetitive mistakes...For example what do you guys do when you miss a question. I figure out why i made the mistake (e.g: unwarranted assumption, missed the author's train of thought as applied to the argument, misunderstood the stimilus, etc, etc) and then try avoiding the mistake. However i dont see to be making any progress. i mean i'm stuck at 65-70 % accuracy. Honestly i could do another 100 problems and get about 70 right and not know why i am missing the other 30. Can someone tell me how i can better understand my weakness? Any help is greatly appreciated.....
  [#permalink] 30 Aug 2004, 17:19
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