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# Share your thoughts on my GMAT journey

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Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 410
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08 Mar 2011, 07:05
I have been studying for a few weeks now and my GMAT test date is fast approaching - 2.5 weeks to go.

I had taken the real GMAT in Sept 2010 and tottaly bombed it(490 39Q,20V). I have managed to improve my VErbal score to 32-33 in my practice tests. My CR accuracy is still very very low. I get only 30% of the OG 12 Questions right.I have bought 2 books for CR - MGMAT CR and Powerscore CR bible. Both are great book, but, the books don't seem to translate into any strategy for me . I'm a non-native English Speaker and still managed to improve my RC and SC. Not being able to improve CR is really demoralizing to me.

My GMAT practice scores CAT are as follows:

MGMAT CAT 1 - 530 40Q, 22V <----1st week of Jan 2011
MGMAT CAT 2 - 540 33Q, 34V <----2nd week of Jan 2011
MGMAT CAT 3 - 590 42Q, 30V <----last week of Jan 2011
GMAT prep 1 - 630 43Q, 34V <----1st week of Feb 2011
MGMAT CAT 4 - 590 42Q, 33V <----mid - Feb 2011
MGMAT CAT 5 - 630 43Q,34V <-----taken last week
I took all CAT under official (timed) conditions except for not attempting the AWA. I even went to my local public library to take 3 of these tests in that environment.

Any thoughts on what I could expect in the real exam ?Unfortunately, I'm having amnesia with my past real GMAT experience . CAnnot remember my practice scores also that led to the 490.

I need a 650 for a sure admit in my target school. However, I'm pushing myself for a 680-700.

Please share your GMAT or GMAT prep experience for my situation so that I can make the best of the few days that I have.
Current Student
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GMAT 1: Q V
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09 Mar 2011, 04:29
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Firstly, if you've been getting 630 in your practice tests then you ARE a smart person. I suspect that you are now at the stage of of feeling like poop every time a CR question comes up. I got the same way with DS on the quants. Just remember that there is no difference between critical reasoning and having an argument with your friends over a friendly beer.

For me, critical reasoning questions are about eliminating choices rather than spotting the correct one right away.

I took this example from the CR section of the forums:

Learning how to build a nest plays an important part in the breeding success of birds. For example, Dr. Snow has recorded the success of a number of blackbirds in several successive years. He finds that birds nesting for the first time are less successful in breeding than are older birds, and also less successful than they themselves are a year later. This cannot be a mere matter of size and strength, since blackbirds, like the great majority of birds, are fully grown when they leave the nest. it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that they benefit by their nesting experience.

Which one of the following, if true, would most weaken the argument?
(A) Blackbirds build better nests than other birds.
(B) The capacity of blackbirds to lay viable eggs increases with each successive trial during the first few years of reproduction.
(C) The breeding success of birds nesting for the second time is greater than that of birds nesting for the first time.
(D) Smaller and weaker blackbirds breed just as successfully as bigger and stronger blackbirds.
(E) Up to 25 percent of all birds are killed by predators before they start to nest.

So firstly what is the underlying argument of the passage... I read it to be "as black birds get better at nesting, through experience over time, they are more successful at breeding".

Check the question again ... Which one of the following, if true, would most weaken the argument?

Weaken is the crucial word here. Now look for arguments that strengthen the passage as they will be the easiest to spot.

Rule out C. C would suggest that the passage is correct.

Now check for answers that have nothing to do with the argument.

Rule out D and E. They make no mention of nesting practice in relation to breeding ability.

At this point you have given yourself a 50/50 chance of getting the answer.

Look closely at A. While it does talk about the nesting abilities of blackbirds it is comparing them to other species rather than to different members of the same species. It neither strengthens or weakens the argument.

So the Answer must be B. And it is. It says that it is their ability to lay eggs that can hatch that increases over time and with maturity, and that leads to better breeding ability. Not, as the passage suggests, their ability to build better nests.

This is a somewhat difficult question, where you need to find the statement that casts most doubt on the conclusion of the passage rather than outright disagreeing with it. The method I used however works for me on all CR questions.
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09 Mar 2011, 04:54
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hey i got scores very similar to wat u have here, u should easily get the 650, i got a 47-34 5.5--> 650.

but dont expect a huge jump in the test day, be calm u should get a 40 verbal in gmat if u are managing it in the MGMAT. focus on the quant in the last 2 weeks., u might reach a 670 if u go in an awesome state of mind,
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Cheers !!

Quant 47-Striving for 50
Verbal 34-Striving for 40

Director
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Schools: Haas '18, Kelley '18
GMAT 1: 650 Q44 V37
GMAT 2: 710 Q48 V40
GMAT 3: 750 Q51 V40
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WE: Education (Education)
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09 Mar 2011, 06:30
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What an improvement!

From 490 to 630! A 140 point improvement is definitely a reason to feel very good about yourself!

For a score of 650, you need 44 in Quant and 37 in verbal... Now if you can propel the Quant score to 46, a verbal score of 35 will get you a 650
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09 Mar 2011, 08:16
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RHB wrote:
For me, critical reasoning questions are about eliminating choices rather than spotting the correct one right away.

I definitely agree with this. Process of Elimination helps in all three sections of verbal to a great degree. I am trying to use this stratgey more consciously now. Have you been actively marking off incorrect answers and eliminating them? Definitely try this because it was not only save you time but also eliminate unnecessary details.
Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Oct 2010
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09 Mar 2011, 11:25
RHB,
This is true. I feel like throwing up when I see CR questions because I mess them up so badly. I do try and eliminate choices but I'm unable to prephrase an answer in my mind, like many good-test takers do.So not sure what to do to start prephrasing answers.And surprisingly, I do well on bold faced or find the assumption questions. I'm still working on my CR and I hope that it will improve in the coming days.

bblast,
I know that I cannot expect a huge jump. I completely agree that our state of mind can make or break our scores on the test day.

Entwistle,
I'm definitely feeling good about the improvement but feeling terrible that I'm nowhere near a 700 or a 690 in my practice tests. From what I have seen on this forum, most of us land scores that are within the range of scores of our last few practice CATS. So someone getting680-720 in 2-3 CATS has a very high chance of scoring a 700 on the real deal! VErbal is what freaks me out. It is a totally unpredictable thing. I am concentrating on VErbal alone now since Quant seems to have stabilized for me and I'm happy with that 42-44 range in Quant

ibbys,
I do follow the same process for CR. I actively eliminate choices. I still get held up in CR. This strategy,eleimination, works very well for SC too. RC is a different strategy though. I am sharpening my SC and RC skills over the last 2 days. Just to make sure that those skills don't rust out .

Thank You all for your support. I am still reading and following this thread,so keep the posts coming!
Intern
Joined: 11 Mar 2011
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11 Mar 2011, 11:00
I have read your post. i am facing a lot of problem in RC. my accuracy level is only 40%. can you suggest me any good strategy. which books i should follow . normally i dont take any notes while solving RC. I have heard a lot about RC 99. can you suggest me is it worth doing it? can it help me improve my accuracy. my gmat is in 5 weeks.

thanks.

heygirl wrote:
I have been studying for a few weeks now and my GMAT test date is fast approaching - 2.5 weeks to go.

I had taken the real GMAT in Sept 2010 and tottaly bombed it(490 39Q,20V). I have managed to improve my VErbal score to 32-33 in my practice tests. My CR accuracy is still very very low. I get only 30% of the OG 12 Questions right.I have bought 2 books for CR - MGMAT CR and Powerscore CR bible. Both are great book, but, the books don't seem to translate into any strategy for me . I'm a non-native English Speaker and still managed to improve my RC and SC. Not being able to improve CR is really demoralizing to me.

My GMAT practice scores CAT are as follows:

MGMAT CAT 1 - 530 40Q, 22V <----1st week of Jan 2011
MGMAT CAT 2 - 540 33Q, 34V <----2nd week of Jan 2011
MGMAT CAT 3 - 590 42Q, 30V <----last week of Jan 2011
GMAT prep 1 - 630 43Q, 34V <----1st week of Feb 2011
MGMAT CAT 4 - 590 42Q, 33V <----mid - Feb 2011
MGMAT CAT 5 - 630 43Q,34V <-----taken last week
I took all CAT under official (timed) conditions except for not attempting the AWA. I even went to my local public library to take 3 of these tests in that environment.

Any thoughts on what I could expect in the real exam ?Unfortunately, I'm having amnesia with my past real GMAT experience . CAnnot remember my practice scores also that led to the 490.

I need a 650 for a sure admit in my target school. However, I'm pushing myself for a 680-700.

Please share your GMAT or GMAT prep experience for my situation so that I can make the best of the few days that I have.
Manager
Status: TIME FOR 700+
Joined: 06 Dec 2010
Posts: 206
Schools: Fuqua
WE 1: Research in Neurology
WE 2: MORE research in Neurology
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 45 [1] , given: 55

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11 Mar 2011, 12:23
1
KUDOS
gmatdone wrote:
I have read your post. i am facing a lot of problem in RC. my accuracy level is only 40%. can you suggest me any good strategy. which books i should follow . normally i dont take any notes while solving RC. I have heard a lot about RC 99. can you suggest me is it worth doing it? can it help me improve my accuracy. my gmat is in 5 weeks.

thanks.

heygirl wrote:
I have been studying for a few weeks now and my GMAT test date is fast approaching - 2.5 weeks to go.

I had taken the real GMAT in Sept 2010 and tottaly bombed it(490 39Q,20V). I have managed to improve my VErbal score to 32-33 in my practice tests. My CR accuracy is still very very low. I get only 30% of the OG 12 Questions right.I have bought 2 books for CR - MGMAT CR and Powerscore CR bible. Both are great book, but, the books don't seem to translate into any strategy for me . I'm a non-native English Speaker and still managed to improve my RC and SC. Not being able to improve CR is really demoralizing to me.

My GMAT practice scores CAT are as follows:

MGMAT CAT 1 - 530 40Q, 22V <----1st week of Jan 2011
MGMAT CAT 2 - 540 33Q, 34V <----2nd week of Jan 2011
MGMAT CAT 3 - 590 42Q, 30V <----last week of Jan 2011
GMAT prep 1 - 630 43Q, 34V <----1st week of Feb 2011
MGMAT CAT 4 - 590 42Q, 33V <----mid - Feb 2011
MGMAT CAT 5 - 630 43Q,34V <-----taken last week
I took all CAT under official (timed) conditions except for not attempting the AWA. I even went to my local public library to take 3 of these tests in that environment.

Any thoughts on what I could expect in the real exam ?Unfortunately, I'm having amnesia with my past real GMAT experience . CAnnot remember my practice scores also that led to the 490.

I need a 650 for a sure admit in my target school. However, I'm pushing myself for a 680-700.

Please share your GMAT or GMAT prep experience for my situation so that I can make the best of the few days that I have.

aristotle prep SC, very handy, use it, learn it, great resource, and inexpensive
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Back to the grind, goal 700+

Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Oct 2010
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Kudos [?]: 66 [0], given: 115

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11 Mar 2011, 12:34
gmatdone wrote:
I have read your post. i am facing a lot of problem in RC. my accuracy level is only 40%. can you suggest me any good strategy. which books i should follow . normally i dont take any notes while solving RC. I have heard a lot about RC 99. can you suggest me is it worth doing it? can it help me improve my accuracy. my gmat is in 5 weeks

I'm happy to help . 5 weeks is a LOT of time. I would know, as I hav 2 weeks only . Use it to improve RC.
MY strategy for RC: Read the first 3-4 lines of each paragraph. This will give us an idea about the tone and structure of the passages. Then read the whole passsage. I don't skim through it and prefer to slow down and read actively. Write 1-2 sentences for each paragraph. I used the MGMAT RC book approach(but changed it a little to suit my needs).Upto this point, it takes me 4 mins. Then I start attacking the questions. Each question about a minute. Some pasasges on OG are very hard,according to me, and thesep assages take me even 10 mins sometimes. This is all I do for RC and it workls for me provdided I concentrate during the test.
RC strategies are different for different people. Try a few strategies for yourself and see what works for you.
All the best.
Intern
Joined: 11 Mar 2011
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11 Mar 2011, 13:15
thanks for your inputs. which is the best source to practice RC? i have completed almost all questions from og 12 but find no improvement and if i am solving it again most of the time i remember the answers.

thanks
gud luck

heygirl wrote:
gmatdone wrote:
I have read your post. i am facing a lot of problem in RC. my accuracy level is only 40%. can you suggest me any good strategy. which books i should follow . normally i dont take any notes while solving RC. I have heard a lot about RC 99. can you suggest me is it worth doing it? can it help me improve my accuracy. my gmat is in 5 weeks

I'm happy to help . 5 weeks is a LOT of time. I would know, as I hav 2 weeks only . Use it to improve RC.
MY strategy for RC: Read the first 3-4 lines of each paragraph. This will give us an idea about the tone and structure of the passages. Then read the whole passsage. I don't skim through it and prefer to slow down and read actively. Write 1-2 sentences for each paragraph. I used the MGMAT RC book approach(but changed it a little to suit my needs).Upto this point, it takes me 4 mins. Then I start attacking the questions. Each question about a minute. Some pasasges on OG are very hard,according to me, and thesep assages take me even 10 mins sometimes. This is all I do for RC and it workls for me provdided I concentrate during the test.
RC strategies are different for different people. Try a few strategies for yourself and see what works for you.
All the best.
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11 Mar 2011, 13:24
aristotle RC99 imo, even groups the passages in levels of difficulty. Hope this helps
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11 Mar 2011, 13:34
gmatdone wrote:
thanks for your inputs. which is the best source to practice RC? i have completed almost all questions from og 12 but find no improvement and if i am solving it again most of the time i remember the answers.

OG 12 was ok for me. I also bought the OG verbal supplement. ofcourse, not much help there
I actually look at the OG RC passages differently. I know that the passages are less hard than the real exam but what i loved is the OG explanations to the passage. Read through it. That itself gives you A LOT of direction.
For example, OG says that when the questions asks for an inference on a point, we need to go to the corresponding paragraph and read through it, also reading surrounding lines. then we need to infer, assuming as little as posible, and arrive at the right answer. these kind of tips really helped me and only the OG has these tips! so it is likely that the real exam will also have such strategies to be applied.
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11 Mar 2011, 13:36
Wishbone wrote:
aristotle RC99 imo, even groups the passages in levels of difficulty. Hope this helps

Yes. RC 99 may be good practice. Why i say ' may' is because the passages were little 'off' according to me. the questions were also strange. GMAT never structures passages like the RC 99 passages. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to use it for practice.
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11 Mar 2011, 14:03
thanks you so much.

heygirl wrote:
Wishbone wrote:
aristotle RC99 imo, even groups the passages in levels of difficulty. Hope this helps

Yes. RC 99 may be good practice. Why i say ' may' is because the passages were little 'off' according to me. the questions were also strange. GMAT never structures passages like the RC 99 passages. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to use it for practice.
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11 Mar 2011, 14:37
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Hey girl: would you say Aristotle are good practice books for RC and CR; I am suddenly finding a scarcity of material for these 2 topics, OGs and MGMATs are my pillar points, but I find though the material is good it lacks in quantity!

Posted from my mobile device
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11 Mar 2011, 14:54
desiaggie1980 wrote:
Hey girl: would you say Aristotle are good practice books for RC and CR; I am suddenly finding a scarcity of material for these 2 topics, OGs and MGMATs are my pillar points, but I find though the material is good it lacks in quantity!
Posted from my mobile device

Aristotle has only SC and RC books as far as I know. Their website does have some LSAT CR practice material though, but no book on the CR part. Many here have appreciated the RC 99 book but I did not find it very useful. Just average - to do a few passages - that's it. I never took the results seriously either.
SC Grail is EXCELLENT! You can finish reading grasping the concepts in that book in 4 hours or may be lesser.
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11 Mar 2011, 15:35
Thanks, I don't have any of these books, I guess I will have to get these and the powerscore CR bible for CR!

Posted from my mobile device
Senior Manager
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11 Mar 2011, 15:45
desiaggie1980 wrote:
Thanks, I don't have any of these books, I guess I will have to get these and the powerscore CR bible for CR!

Posted from my mobile device

Good idea! I would highly recommend Powerscore CR and SC grail.
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12 Mar 2011, 13:06
I took a practice test today, GMAT prep, and got a 610(Q44,V30)
Hoped to score a 640-650. Not at all happy with the result and my real test is coming up in 2 weeks

I got many SC questions wrong and many word problems wrong. I know that I have to do more practice in Quant word problems but I'm surprised with SC accuracy! Also, I noticed that MGMAT VErbal is EASIER than GMAT prep(may be easier than the real GMAT test too). The good news is that there were no repeated questions in Quant, verbal had 2-3 repeated questions in CR(from OG 12) and one whole passage was repeated fro ma previos GMAT prep CAT for which I,luckily, did not recollect the answers
(Note:I have not done the OG 12 for Quant as yet, so I found the Quant part really hard)
Now, I'm wondering if I should push my date back by a week or so. I have to take the test by the first week of april so the maximum time I can get is one more week.

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14 Mar 2011, 08:29
After a review of my practice tests, I realized that very few of my wrong answers were because of a knowledge gap. Most were silly mistakes, really really silly, and I hope to avoid such errors on the real test!
In the quant part, I got 17 incorrect and a score of 44. Only 3-4 questions were because of knowledge gap, I need to go back to the mgmat WT book.
In the verbal part, I got 14 incorrect and only 2 CR . 4 rc quest were wring and almost 8 sc questions!!!! I just realized that SC tested on the GMAT prep, and the real GMAT may be, is different from the mgmat sc concepts tested. The GMAT prep concentrated more on meaning issues than typical grammar issues(common rules).

So now 12 more days to go for me! I'm going to get down to the OG and do each na every question . Ofcourse, I've already done 50% of questions but will do wverythig this time. Any other suggestions here?

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Re: Share your thoughts on my GMAT journey   [#permalink] 14 Mar 2011, 08:29

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