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Seek advice: improving verbal score

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Seek advice: improving verbal score [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2014, 09:58
Hello,

This is my first post on gmatclub forum. I always thought that I will be merely a silent member since almost all answers to almost all situations/questions are already given. I really appreciate this forum and the quality of posts.

That said, I publish this message because I did not found an existing post exactly similar to my situation. I just came back from the test center, and I am disgusted with my score. I got 630 (q47/v30). I should also say that I already took a first GMAT 2 months ago without any preparation and I got 610 (q47/v27). And yes, I understood then that was stupid, being comfortable with maths is not enough for the exam and that I should strenghten my verbal section. So I purchased all the appropriate material (PS CR Bible, MGMT SC, MGMT CR, OG) and I worked roughly 3/5 of my time on verbal and the rest on quant. My plan was to improve my verbal score and refine my quant.

SC was the easiest to improve. My score on CR questions improved after reading and practicing principles of the PS CR Bible. I did not really grid on RC as much as I did on CR. I thought that RC requires the same strategy (read paragraph/write abv summary, reiterate on other §, identify main point, answer questions), that worked for me on RC exercices. I did 3 or 4 mock tests, and I got between 34 and 37 on verbal section. Main missed questions were on CR and RC. I was quiet satisfied with this score since I usually got 49 on quant and I aimed for a 670-680+ score.

As I said, I got 30 on the test day. I freaked out on managing my time since I was on question 4 or 5 with 60 minutes left. I tried to accelerate and catch up and I surely missed a lot there. For CR questions, I did not really applied my logical reasoning learned in PS CR Bible, it was just too diffcult with the constraint of time. I often chose answers without being convinced that all other contender choises are indeed "losers". On final questions, I realized that I still had "extra" time, and I finished the 41 question with 4 minutes left. I knew I did really bad.

After raging and blaming myself, I tried to chill out and understand what happened. I plan now on retaking the gmat with : first, reworking the fundations / second, exercicing under time constraints (all exercices) / third, taking several full verbal section tests (75mn) // without forgeting about maths. This time, I aim for 40+ score on verbal section on mock tests, but I don't really know how and how much time I need to reach this goal (but may be I already have a good start here: GC/forum/how-to-improve-verbal-from-v30-to-v40-142361.html)

Before planning my next gmat appointment, and before getting into my verbal-focused "plan", I would find it really valuable if you could advice me/criticize my approach.

Thank you very much.
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Re: Seek advice: improving verbal score [#permalink] New post 28 Jun 2014, 20:27
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I would also add to stay superfocused on a particular subsection during your studies. For example, you mentioned CR and RC are weaker on your end. Dedicate an entire 5 days in a row to CR. The night before, you can think "tomorrow is CR day" -- and really commit to it. This will help you focus without being distracted by the other concepts tested in the other sections.

Then mix it up as you mentioned and time yourself.

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Re: Seek advice: improving verbal score [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2014, 03:41
Expert's post
Ronaldo94 wrote:
Hello,
That said, I publish this message because I did not found an existing post exactly similar to my situation. I just came back from the test center, and I am disgusted with my score. I got 630 (q47/v30). I should also say that I already took a first GMAT 2 months ago without any preparation and I got 610 (q47/v27). And yes, I understood then that was stupid, being comfortable with maths is not enough for the exam and that I should strenghten my verbal section. So I purchased all the appropriate material (PS CR Bible, MGMT SC, MGMT CR, OG) and I worked roughly 3/5 of my time on verbal and the rest on quant. My plan was to improve my verbal score and refine my quant.


Hi.
Let's start with the basics. You said you figured out after your first attempt that just being comfortable with math will not cut it. However I do not see any prep material for quant in your bank on your second attempt. Did you forget to mention those?

I am not going to consider the Official Guide as a prep material. It's more of a practice guide.

Ronaldo94 wrote:
SC was the easiest to improve. My score on CR questions improved after reading and practicing principles of the PS CR Bible. I did not really grid on RC as much as I did on CR. I thought that RC requires the same strategy (read paragraph/write abv summary, reiterate on other §, identify main point, answer questions), that worked for me on RC exercices. I did 3 or 4 mock tests, and I got between 34 and 37 on verbal section. Main missed questions were on CR and RC. I was quiet satisfied with this score since I usually got 49 on quant and I aimed for a 670-680+ score.


Which practice CATs were you using? Again, when you said that your accuracy improved, you are not quite dealing with specific data. I would urge you to focus on the following scenario

Your accuracy in assumption questions is 30% and your accuracy in inference questions is 80%
Then:
Scenario 1: Practice CAT has 5 inference questions and 1 assumption question: Score: High
Scenario 2: Practice CAT has 2 inference questions and 3 assumption questions. Score: Low

I hope you are getting the point. Did you spend time on reviewing the questions that you missed? Did you spend time in analyzing why the wrong answer choices were wrong?
Unless that, you are going to miss similar questions in the future.

Ronaldo94 wrote:
As I said, I got 30 on the test day. I freaked out on managing my time since I was on question 4 or 5 with 60 minutes left. I tried to accelerate and catch up and I surely missed a lot there. For CR questions, I did not really applied my logical reasoning learned in PS CR Bible, it was just too diffcult with the constraint of time. I often chose answers without being convinced that all other contender choises are indeed "losers". On final questions, I realized that I still had "extra" time, and I finished the 41 question with 4 minutes left. I knew I did really bad.


Now, this is bordering in the "timing" and "efficiency on test day" territory. Did you take the practice CATs in simulated conditions (AWA, IR, 8 min breaks). When you are guessing questions, are you making sure that you are not guessing back to back? Do you have a concrete timing strategy?

Ronaldo94 wrote:
After raging and blaming myself, I tried to chill out and understand what happened. I plan now on retaking the gmat with : first, reworking the fundations / second, exercicing under time constraints (all exercices) / third, taking several full verbal section tests (75mn) // without forgeting about maths. This time, I aim for 40+ score on verbal section on mock tests, but I don't really know how and how much time I need to reach this goal (but may be I already have a good start here: GC/forum/how-to-improve-verbal-from-v30-to-v40-142361.html)


Thank you. I am the author of the article you linked. However that is ONLY for verbal. Let me know what focus strategy you are currently using for quant and I should be able to help out in that area.

Best,
Souvik
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Re: Seek advice: improving verbal score   [#permalink] 30 Jun 2014, 03:41
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