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Need help with Low Verbal scores

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Need help with Low Verbal scores [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2009, 05:20
Hi Guys, I need help with some difficulty I am facing in verbal. :?

Getting to the point straight, I read slowly. For learning purpose, I have the habit of working untimed, taking nearly 20-30 mins for each LSAT RC(mostly with more than 6 q) and about 10-20 mins for GMAT passages. CR takes about 3 mins/q(from og10).
The time variation is proportional to difficulty of the passage. Reread a lot!
Practiced about 40 passages so far from LSAT, Kaplan, 1000 series. Completed og10 verbal with 70-80% accuracy. With SCs, although not still there, its mostly careless mistakes and able to understand the cause for the mistakes. :)

I just gave a kaplan cd test and scored a 560 Q40 V28
I took 70 mins for the first 25 verbal q!!! 14C 11W.
Had time for some 5 SCs after this with 1 mistake. Remaining 11 were blind guesses.

Verbal split
Topic c w na

OA 22 8 11
SC(15) 11 4
CR(14) 4 5 5
RC(12) 2 4 6

The questions that I took between 3-6 mins were all RCs and CRs and mostly wrong!
Clearly, I was bowled over by the difficulty of text and pressure. I dont know how to explain, but its just about the concentration and time. Others might face the same problem, but its certainly amplified for me.

My other test performances:
GmatPrep1: 640(13 mistakes in verbal, including few blind guesses in the end)
PR1 online : 680(verbal 39!)
PowerPrep1: 660(verbal 31)
Verbal scores from older version of Kaplan cd test (quant in this is below gmat standard):
test1: 22 (16C, 24W) and most importantly attempted only 25(guessed remaining).
test2: 24 (19C, 22W) not sure about the no of guesses as I paced myself to fininsh the section.

From these scores, except Kaplan(verbal) :roll: , I think I can make it to 600-650.
But I am aiming for 700+, with 2 weeks left for the exam.

Strongly feel if I rise my score to mid 30s in Kaplan tests I can make it to 40 eventually.

Thanks a lot if you have reached here. Waiting for your suggestions.
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Re: Need help with Low Verbal scores [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2009, 22:03
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I am not an expert, but have you tried reading just part of the passage and not full. I saw this technique in Kaplan Verbal workbook and found it extremely helpful. It helps a lot when I see a passage thats too dry to keep concentration and too long. They have 3 strategies.
1. read full paragraph
2. read first 1/3 rd of the paragraph and last 2-3 lines of each paragraph and concentrate on the last line of the passage.
3. read first two and last two lines of each paragraph.

I tried this techniques for 3 passages and I got 4 out of 6 right. I normally get 3 out of 4 or 2 out of 3 right anyways. I am always running short on time so last time when I took the test, I tried this techniques and it worked.
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Re: Need help with Low Verbal scores [#permalink] New post 26 Sep 2009, 01:49
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Hi natzmyid... I am a slow reader as well like you. However, it seems that you have two issues, speed and accuracy. In terms of speed I think you can get practice by reading some recommended articles and books such as economist, time etc.

To improve speed on RC perhaps you can use Rhyme's technique, which works for me and some others but not for all people it seems. verbal-rc-help-30247.html#p205035
I find using this I can typically finish an RC passage + 4 questions in about 5-6 mins.

In terms of accuracy maybe you want to pick up a verbal specific book and look and address fundamentally why you're getting the questions wrong. Are you rushing and making careless errors or do you generally not understand how to attack a question?
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Re: Need help with Low Verbal scores [#permalink] New post 26 Sep 2009, 21:39
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Diagramming was a really good strategy for me to keep focus my attention when reading boring passages. It's also a good effective strategy for keep yourself on pace.

If your speed reading is too slow, i recommend this book

10 days to faster reading by Abby Marks-Beale

I found it at my local library. its a quick read, and has some really golden tips for reading faster without sacrificing comprehension, such as: using a pacer to track eye position and avoid regression, asking yourself key questions when you are reading, increasing you eye span so you capture more words in each glance.

HTH!
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Re: Need help with Low Verbal scores [#permalink] New post 26 Sep 2009, 21:53
Expert's post
GMATBootcamp wrote:
Diagramming was a really good strategy for me to keep focus my attention when reading boring passages. It's also a good effective strategy for keep yourself on pace.

If your speed reading is too slow, i recommend this book

10 days to faster reading by Abby Marks-Beale

I found it at my local library. its a quick read, and has some really golden tips for reading faster without sacrificing comprehension, such as: using a pacer to track eye position and avoid regression, asking yourself key questions when you are reading, increasing you eye span so you capture more words in each glance.

HTH!


Welcome to GMAT Club - GMATBootcamp and thanks for the recommendation!
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Re: Need help with Low Verbal scores [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2009, 22:40
Thanks for ur suggestions yangsta8, orsang8, gmatbootcamp and bb.

My problem was more of focus than technique. I had the problem of drifting away in the middle of the passage. I have tried both Gin's and Rhyme's techniques. But I have not given Rhyme's technique adequate time as I was a little skeptical about it.

The problem with my reading speed is that it takes 4 mins to read the passage and still tend to reread when the questions are laid, spending about 2-3 mins/q. The accuracy being about 70%.So, I guess Gins technique is not very optimal for me, especially because I don't have that much time in the test. I will give Rhyme's technique another try. I guess it requires a lot of practice to fine tune. Once this is done, I guess I can approach certain types of passages that are easy to me using the generic approach and apply Rhyme's method for all the rest.

Currently, I am reading fiction(it sets the tempo), based on bb's thread, and some other literature like book reviews. I am trying to read more actively and recall the gist of the immediate paragraph. Asking key questions. And staying in the passage. Its more of how I read than how much I read. Unlike quants there seems no easy way out for reading.

I have completed my gmat 660 (q-50, v-31) and had a break of 2 weeks. :-D I might give gmat one more try within 20 days :shock: , if verbal scores show some response.
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GMAT retake 690 (Q45, V39) [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2010, 02:49
Hi Guys,

I did re-take the GMAT in Nov. I managed to push my verbal score from 31 to 39. Thought I'l post my experience. But I got a bit busy with applications..so here we go..

Ground Work:

SC: Rules + practice
- I ensured that I pounded Manhattan SC guide repeatedly to absorb all the rules. For ellipsis alone, I referred Kap 800.
- Identifying the errors, and choosing the best answer(you don't get an ideal answer mostly for gmat verbal) is a skill to be developed by practice.

CR : Strategy + practice
- I used the power score CR bible objectively. I would randomly read a chapter and form a 2-3 checkpoint and strategy to attack the question type.
- Since there are a lot of question types, I suggest adequate question-wise practice, especially in those that are difficult for you. You need an error log to identify that. A lot of practice can align you with the gmat style of testing.

RC: Active reading - whats ur point author?
A monster, only till you are afraid. Doing a lot of CR will help here. However, to solve my concentration and speed problem, I read a lot. I read 2-3 articles at a time from Economist, Business Week or Frontline. The gmat passages felt like a joke after this. When I saw a RC passage, I was ready to attack it. Thats the spirit! Of all the techniques, I found the straight forward method of reading the passage, para by para, organizing my thought on how it changes/supports the content presented so far, and then going to questions and getting back to the passage for each question. Even if the question is easy, its necessary to verify by re-reading the relevant portion.

The Test,

Pressure + less time = wrong answer:
In verbal, I always ran out of time. In the last 10 questions especially, I used to leave out an entire RC and hurry with a string of CR and SC questions.
Adhering to the timing by accelerating in each time slot(15 minutes) ensured that I did not have to do all the acceleration in the last 10 questions and ruin my score. This is easier said than done. So practice.

When taking a test, I always performed better in a section that I practiced the day before. So 2 days before taking a CAT, I ensured I practiced all the sections :). I guess it gives confidence and flow!

IN general,

1. DOMINATE the test. This was very important for me.
2. Prepare adequately and do the ground work. Plan and have a schedule to cover the basics and get practice.
3. Then Identify your weaknesses and target them till you outperform. Everyone is different.
4. Practice from Manhattan, Kaplan, etc., But stick to OG and gmatprep questions, especially in the last few days. It puts you in sync with the GMAC way of framing right/wrong/deceiving answers.

Lastly,

This test was very daunting for me. Especially because, I pressurized myself too much. Its important to stay motivated, but not pressurised. It only dampened my performance - reduced my quant score.
Never quit! Out of the 40 days of prep before my second attempt, my verbal score climbed Suddenly in the last 15 days! Thanks to the targeted effort to gain confidence in RC and CR.

Be sure to give it adequate time. In both the attempts I scored 10-20 points less than my recent Gmatprep scores. So know what score you like to see and see it in the gmatprep before you take the GMAT. ATB.

Beware, this is only my take on the GMAT. :)
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Re: Need help with Low Verbal scores [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2010, 23:20
Thanks for the debrief. Its really helpful.
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Re: Need help with Low Verbal scores [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2010, 08:28
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