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Scored 680 (Q50 V31) yesterday. I need advice on Verbal!!

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Scored 680 (Q50 V31) yesterday. I need advice on Verbal!! [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2012, 17:22
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Hi, I just took the GMAT for the 3rd time (yesterday) and ended up with a disappointing score of 680 :(
I am not sure if I would want to take the test again, since I am over-exhausted with all the pressure in preparing.
However, after I take some rest (around 2~3 months), I see my self re-opening the OG again and visiting gmatclub for help.
I need some advice on how to improve Verbal (especially TIMING). I am rather slow and was never able to complete the whole verbal section on time.

First of all, some background information about myself.
I'm an engineer guy with 4 years of work experience in the field.
Non-native, therefore was very weak in Verbal.
Started preparing for the GMAT on Jan 2012 and have taken the test 3 times.
Test #1 (April): 600 (Q50, V23), AWA 5.0
Test #2 (May): 650 (Q51, V27), AWA 5.5
Test #3 (Aug): 680 (Q50, V31), AWA ?, IR ?

Preparation for test #3
After the previous 2 tests, I had figured out that my weaknesses were in CR, and RC. I was pretty confident in SC. Therefore, for the 3rd test, which I hoped to be my last, I spent much of the time in preparing CR and RC. I knew I had to read faster and understand the authors point.
I figured out that I needed 2 mins for CR and if I needed more time, that meant I should guess and move on. I was able to improve on RC by taking notes. This helped to figure out the authors point, but at the cost of TIME.

The actual exam
- AWA : was OK. Had enough time to proof-read my writing.
- IR : felt easier than the GMAT Prep software. Had more Quant based questions than Verbal ones.
- Quant : was more difficult than Test #2, but managed to finish the questions on time.
- Verbal : I managed to handle myself pretty well until halfway around Verbal (#20~25). My timing strategy was 2mins for every question. That went pretty well until I met a Science article on RC and this dragged me down. Because I am a science-oriented person, I somehow need to understand the concept of the passage (it was about neutrons and some kind of particle that led to an interesting conclusion on how to figure out the mass of the universe.) I passage was time dragging but the questions were even more. After I hit question #30 I found that I had less than 10 mins to go through the rest of the problems. This made me nervous, and after this point I somehow had to rushed through the questions, but SC kept on dragging me from accelerating. From questions #32, I used the "guess => solve => guess => solve" strategy, but under so limited time, I wasn't able to solve the problems confidently. I think I got too many consecutive questions wrong and this pulled down more scores even more.

I don't know how successive people manage to solve all the Verbal questions on time. During practice tests, I was able to maintain my speed (had actually 5 mins remaining after verbal), but on test day, with all the pressure, I was too slow for GMAT.

I would like some advice for improving speed on Verbal.
During the next 2 or 3 months of rest, I plan to focus on improving speed and accuracy.

Good luck to all who are preparing for admission this year.
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Re: Scored 680 (Q50 V31) yesterday. I need advice on Verbal!! [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2012, 00:49
Hi,

Am not a verbal guy but I will try to share my exp.
I got a GMAT score of 700 (Q-51,V-31) (almost same as yours!)

First of all regarding retaking GMAT: am not sure if you should. You should list down the colleges and then see if a score of 700 or 720 will matter a LOT or can you cover up the score with you extra-curricular actuivities and other things!

Regarding Improvement in CR
Which book did you refer? I referred POwerscore CR bible and it was just AWESOME! When i read a CR argument then as soon as am done with the argument am able to guess what the question will be and then obviously how the answer should look like!
IF you at this level tehn i guess you just need to practice bit more. As you MUST be able to solve most of teh CR questions by 1.5 or max 2 mins!

Regarding RC
Am not good in RC so i will not be able to hlep you out on this. What i can suggest you is starting reading more from
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/
http://www.scientificamerican.com/
http://www.economist.com/
This will help you improve your reading speed. Try to colcude the passages without reading the headings.
Try doing easy RC questions from gmat club. They have whole bunch of 500 and 600 level questions! Once you have the confidence then start doing 700 and 700+ level questions!

Regarding improving your overall speed:
Start practicing in grockit.com - good point is they have this 2mins timer for each and every question so your speed automatically improves!

Regarding When to start GMAT prep again:
I will suggest you to take 1week off and go out for a trip. Come back fresh and then start. There is no point in starting the gmat preperations asap as you will end up studying in frustation which might not give you the desired result!

General Advice
-Watch thursdays with Ron (for SC, CR and RC)
- Prepare a error log. Something like
Prepare a xls sheet (topic by topic).. and keep a track of your progress on a daily basis. Use color coding (Red,Orange,Green).
Red: You are weak in theory - brush up your concepts.
Orange - Done with theory but weak in application of the concepts
Green - Done with the topic

Hope it helps!
_________________

ankit
you must believe

How to start GMAT preparations?
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Re: Scored 680 (Q50 V31) yesterday. I need advice on Verbal!!   [#permalink] 08 Aug 2012, 00:49
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Scored 680 (Q50 V31) yesterday. I need advice on Verbal!!

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