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Strategy 720+

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Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2010, 03:36
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Hi guys!

I'm have been preparing for the GMAT for 3 months and think that I'm about to score 720 in three weeks.
I'm able to score 100% on quant part unless I make some silly mistake and all my concern is about verbal part.
The main problem I face is not unlike the most frequent problem other test-takers face: shortage of time on verbal part.
Since I'm kind of resourceful fellow, I've decided how to warrant my upper score and want you to evaluate the strategy
I've devised and want to employ.

The point is:
I figured out that CR and SC are my strengths and there were a chance to solve all of them correctly if I had enough time;
however, RC is still "the waster of my time". I understand, that I'll inevitably make some mistakes in CR and SC due to the
shortage of time if I give a try to every RC problem I face and many of RC answers will be answered incorrectly. So, it might
worth to crack only the first RC passage that I face on my test day, and skip the other three, pressing "A" without reading.
This strategy is likely to result it 100% correct answers on the first RC passage, because I'll be able to spend some extra
time on it and about 1 correct answer on every skipped passage. Moreover, thus far saved time will be valuable aid in my
straggle with the most difficult SC's and CR's.

I think, that if I'm lacky and score 100% on quant, I'll have a good chances of scoring 720+.
How do you think, is my strategy legitimate enough?
If too risky, why?

Last edited by Financier on 20 Jun 2010, 11:27, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2010, 03:53
Interesting idea. Have you tried it out on prep tests? I wouldn't advice you to apply it in the real test though without testing it on mock tests first.
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Re: Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2010, 08:58
i think it's slightly risky because from what i've read, missing 3 questions in a row hurts you more than missing 3 questions spaced out.

maybe you can take a gmatprep doing this stratgy and compare it to a gmatprep where you attempt every passage and report back the findings?
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Re: Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2010, 09:14
Tricky question...I would suggest you pose that to one of the GMAT instructors/experts on this forum.
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Re: Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2010, 09:28
Very wrong strategy. Instead of guessing on consecutive questions what you can do is, give enough time to RC's and guess CR/SC difficult/lengthy questions randomly.

try to utilize gmatprep for your strategy.
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Re: Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2010, 10:14
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Though I haven't taken the GMAT, I feel like this strategy has more chances of going wrong than helping you, but I might be wrong.

IMHO, like someone mentioned above, missing questions in a row would result in more penalty than missing questions spaced out. I think you should work on pacing yourself better than try what you mentioned. And if you feel like you're not ready to take the test in a week, there's no harm in postponing it a bit so you can be more comfortable with the Verbal. As it was mentioned in one of the debriefs, you should take the GMAT when you're ready - not a moment too soon or too late.

And I actually think that the RC is one of the places where you can get your answers right even if it looks long and boring at first. The questions are almost always direct or inferring to the passage. As many have suggested before, just skim through the passage, and try to identify the one main thing they're saying in each paragraph.

For instance, the first paragraph might introduce an opinion, the second provide counter examples and the third might conclude by saying that though there are other evidences, the opinion from the first paragraph is still mostly valid. Doing a cursory overview in about a minute or two will help you narrow down the answers a lot. I wouldn't advice on completely taking the RC for granted by selecting A for everything.

Also, there are some questions on the RC which refer directly to certain lines in the passage. These questions should be easy to follow. I would suggest working with the OG or maybe even the MGMAT RC Guide for a bit to see where that takes you.

I might be wrong, but I feel like this might help you! Hope it did! :-D
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Re: Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2010, 12:37
Grab the 1000 RC document kicking around the internet and practice reading the LSAT RC sections. If you are used to writing notes down when you read the RC passage, refrain from doing so. 1) Read the passages at a brisk pace and mentally TELLING yourself what you would write down for notes. 2.) Don't do any of the questions, just read 10-15 passages and reflect on each one for a moment. 3.) Time yourself with the GMAT Timer.

- The key here is work on being able to read through without any interruptions (from constantly writing stuff down or getting caught up over remembering/noting mindless details in the passages).
- Thinking about what you want to write down and rewording it in common english will be much better than mindlessly regurgitating the text word for word. (If you normally jot down notes that is).
- As well, sometimes sentences are so convoluted that reading right through them you can somewhat figure out what the author is getting at by continuing to read onwards. (You get a feel for it after reading through many RC passages)

Doing this will help with your reading time. Doing many questions after that point will help speed up your time spent on RC questions.

I promise reading the 70-80 line LSAT RC passages will make the task of reading a 35-50 line GMAT RC passage a piece of cake. You may even abandon writing notes down as it may slow you down. The only difference between the LSAT and GMAT RC passages is the GMAT RC passages ask trickier questions.

If you are shooting for a high score, don't set yourself up with a handicap unnecessarily. Solve the RC problem you face.
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Re: Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2010, 23:38
Gents,
Many thanks for sharing your opinions.


Yes, I do agree that I should practise reading as much as I can to increase the speed. Although I read "1000 RC", I see my limits.

So, back to my strategy. Thus far, the most alerting hypothesis is this:
"Missing questions in a row would result in more penalty than missing questions spaced out".

Although unfornunately it may be true, I think that many well prepared test-takers have to resort to random guess at the end of the test due to
the shortage of time and get the same penalty. Likely enough, this may happen to me... so, whay not to try my strategy in the middle of the
test and get the penalty for the RC questions that have low chances of being answered correctly rather than get the same penalty for the last
CR and SC questions, many of which could be answered CORRECTLY?
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Re: Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2010, 09:40
Financier wrote:
So, back to my strategy. Thus far, the most alerting hypothesis is this:
"Missing questions in a row would result in more penalty than missing questions spaced out".

Although unfornunately it may be true, I think that many well prepared test-takers have to resort to random guess at the end of the test due to
the shortage of time and get the same penalty. Likely enough, this may happen to me... so, whay not to try my strategy in the middle of the
test and get the penalty for the RC questions that have low chances of being answered correctly rather than get the same penalty for the last
CR and SC questions, many of which could be answered CORRECTLY?


what you are saying about many test takers running out of time and guessing at the end is true, but the majority of those do not score 720+. i would think that in order to score 720+ you would need to have achieved better time management.

i think you should give the rc questions a shot. at least the first question or just the "find the detail that is explicitly stated" questions.

like i said above, i think you're going to find the answer to your questions by practicing with CAT's (preferably gmatprep at least once.) do some experiments to see if you can hit your target score if you miss 3/4 rc passages versus attempting some. i would be interested in the results too.
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Re: Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2010, 09:56
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Take a look at this post: gmat fiction. I also assume you have seen this one? gmat-study-plan-for-gmat-novices-start-your-gmat-journey-80727.html
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Re: Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2010, 09:11
Gents,

After conducting some experiments with GMATprep I have to say that the results are frustrating at best.
I'm not inclined to gamble my life and having seen the results, I've decided to practise more and postpone the Test Day.
Tricks do not here.
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Re: Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2010, 17:07
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While I commend you for your bold idea, I am much more pleased that you have decided to change course. As you stated, such a strategy is just too risky and not worth adversely affecting your future. Guessing is an inescapable and necessary part of the GMAT, but we shouldn't perform it to excess. The best way to score well on the GMAT is through hard work.

And, to be honest, it may have not been that novel to the GMAT test makers. They are paid to not only develop tricky questions, but to make them impregnable against any such ideas. It's also worth noting that verbal scores decrease quite quickly, perhaps more so than quant scores.

But, as I already mentioned, it's good to see that you have adjusted your RC plan accordingly. Along with GMAT Fiction, perhaps you should invest in an RC guide. Look into Manhattan RC or Powerscore RC. Also, timing yourself with LSAT RC questions - which are quite long and complex - should help.
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Re: Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2010, 22:38
Financier that is a brave and wise decision. I hope you would be ready to the next schedule of the test. Meanwhile, try to rub shoulders with Math wizards and I am sure you would be learning a lot. There are good sites to check and study GRE tests.
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Re: Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2010, 04:11
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Bmillan01,

I've done most of Manhattan RC passages and found them quite simple.
To be honest, after practicing with LSAT Rcs, I've done ALL the passages from Manhattan RC book in time.
Powerscore passages are a little more difficult, but not much.

But about 30% of LSAT RC passages make me frustrated. The key there is understanding - if I understand what are they talking about, my accuracy is 70-100% even after a SINGLE reading. But I can not grasp many of the passages in one reading, because they are written for aliens and emit sleeping gas.

So, the only way for me to improve my verbal is to read and read different odd passages. The more odd the passage, the better. And, one more sad thing: "GMAT Fiction" does not work for me, because it's enjoyable and understandable, whereas I need to read smth strange.
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Re: Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2010, 05:30
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Financier wrote:
But about 30% of LSAT RC passages make me frustrated. The key there is understanding - if I understand what are they talking about, my accuracy is 70-100% even after a SINGLE reading. But I can not grasp many of the passages in one reading, because they are written for aliens and emit sleeping gas.

Emit sleeping gas, eh? That's funny, because I typed the exact same thing for the Powerscore RC! But this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's good to be a little frustrated and forced out of your comfort zone. It also seems that you're improving. Is that the case?

Financier wrote:
"GMAT Fiction" does not work for me, because it's enjoyable and understandable, whereas I need to read smth strange.

I usually recommend 1000 pages for GMAT Fiction, but if this method doesn't work for you, then perhaps read one or two articles from The Economist every day. Reading does indeed help, but in a subtle way.
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Re: Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2010, 05:54
Financier wrote:
"GMAT Fiction" does not work for me, because it's enjoyable and understandable, whereas I need to read smth strange.

I usually recommend 1000 pages for GMAT Fiction, but if this method doesn't work for you, then perhaps read one or two articles from The Economist every day. Reading does indeed help, but in a subtle way.[/quote]


Bmillan01,

The Economist's topics are extremaly friendly compared to discourses on "unremitted historical sociology" that I've met in LSAT RS passages. And "unremitted historical sociology" is not the worst we are to face there :)
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Re: Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2010, 04:25
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Guys,

Don't you find this logical conclusion tricky ?!

Premise:Gmat prep's view screen is exactly the same as that of actual GMAT.
Conclusion: Thus, let say "gmat mechanics" of Gmat prep is exactly the same as that of actual GMAT.

I think GMAT-guys must know that we can trace certain conclusions and assume that what works in Gmatprep must work in GMAT. So they probably take this into account before.
:-D
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Re: Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2010, 08:04
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Pkit wrote:
Guys,

Don't you find this logical conclusion tricky ?!

Premise:Gmat prep's view screen is exactly the same as that of actual GMAT.
Conclusion: Thus, let say "gmat mechanics" of Gmat prep is exactly the same as that of actual GMAT.

I think GMAT-guys must know that we can trace certain conclusions and assume that what works in Gmatprep must work in GMAT. So they probably take this into account before.
:-D


Well, in their website (mba.com) they say:

The GMATPrep software uses the same technology used by the official GMAT exam. With this software, you can simulate the actual test experience.

I don't know if they refer to the display of the screen or the mechanics of the software. Anyways, if I did bad in the GMATPrep I would not follow the same strategy in the real GMAT, just in case it's different. I would assume it's even more difficult, or complicated, but not easier.

I wouldn't risk anything. If I found a pattern of work in the software, I'll try to avoid the consequences in the real GMAT as well. Anyways, I have taken the GMATPrep only once and haven't taken the real GMAT, so can't say much about the similarities in their functioning.
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Re: Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2010, 09:34
Well, I would agree with you Cano.
I really believe that the real test is more difficult, or complicated, but not easier one.
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Re: Strategy 720+ [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2010, 11:27
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I am glad that you did not use your RC strategy..I think you could try this may be skipping the last RC. Give more imnportance to your first few questions. I have read an article where it mentioned that GMAT scoring is similar to college grades. It cannot be increased drastically by last few questions just like last semester grades cannot improve your overall GPA.
Re: Strategy 720+   [#permalink] 10 Aug 2010, 11:27
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