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top scorers,achievers, masters of GMAT - pls help

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top scorers,achievers, masters of GMAT - pls help [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2010, 21:31
Hi,

I started my prep somewhere in Aug 2010 end, my first manhattan diagnostic test scores was 520 ( V25, Q 36)

Later second test i took last month where my score for manhattan test was 600 ( V 30 , Q 43 ). my preps in Sep and oct was not too focussed, but since Nov i have started immense focus on daily studies.

Now, first wht i did in last two months

1)Started with SC, and have reached to an efficiency of around 75% in OG’s last pool of some 50 Questions, accuracy of CR has somewhat improved ( 50% to 60-65% )and am trying to improve it more. RC is pathetic at an accuracy level of 50%.

My focus area for the first month ( Aug 7 days + Sep ) was purely on SC.

2) Oct and Nov i tried to improve over quant and CR and RC.

In CR , i have started gaining confidence , but in RC my confidence is very law , i have also found RC 99 drill and will work on the same too.

Now my concern is :

what should i do for RC and CR ?
what should i do with my SC ?

in Quant i know my weak area is DS and am confident that i will nail it , but i am not gaining the confidence that whether i will get the same kind of comfort level with RC an CR after giving due time or not.

I am planning to appear for my gmat in Jan , but should i appear for the same or should i give some more time to improve on CR and RC...

how much time do you think ideally is required to reach to an accuracy of 80% in RC an CR , if someone can just share his/her experience of improving accuracy in RC an CR in terms of accuracy level e.g. accuracy at the start of prep , how is improved and wat was the accuracy at last , it would be a a great help

I know i have asked quiet detailed questions... but i wanna understand whether i am the only sailing in the boat or those who have reached the seashore were also travelling in the same way....

thanks for your response in advance...
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Re: top scorers,achievers, masters of GMAT - pls help [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2010, 21:47
Which books are you using for your studies?

As many others have mentioned on the forums, the MGMAT series is highly highly recommended. If I were you I would pick up the full set. Even if you feel confident about your quant score, they will still help.
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Re: top scorers,achievers, masters of GMAT - pls help [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2010, 22:36
am using manhattan series - verbal and math ( except geometry ) and powerscore CR.

for maths, gmatclub tests are awesome... and rest tagwise problem analysis, so am sure i will nail it.

my pain is with RC and CR , and its more with knowing how the accuracy progresses from start of prep to exam date , i wish to know this to understand whether i am doing things right or not.. because if i am not progressing with an average rate in accuracy i am wrong somewhere in my strategy.

I feel , i should have

1) right strategy for the weak areas
2) consistent growth in accuracy

Now both above are interdependent, and if any of them is wrong i will fail , thats the reason i asked people to share their journey

thanks for your response
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Re: top scorers,achievers, masters of GMAT - pls help [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2010, 23:06
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First off, Powerscore CR is the best book there is. Veritas Prep is pretty good too. But one is sufficient. I would suggest that you look back at the answer choices you get wrong in CR, and look at the right answer choice and think about why you eliminated the right one and chose the other one. Do this for EVERY question. And your accuracy will improve. With CR, it's more about retaining concepts.

Let me give you an example. I used to have a hard time with assumptions and used to get them confused with the inference questions, which need restatements of premises explicitly stated in the stimulus. Let's say you have a causal relationship in the stimulus and the conclusion is X causes Y. The author HAS to assume two things:
1. Y doesn't cause X.
2. Z doesn't cause Y.

If you go in with a generic mindset like this and try to fill in the blanks with the premises, by defining X and Y in your terms, then you might be able to nail these questions. My accuracy on assumptions went up to a 100% after I followed this simple rule. This goes beyond assumption types for all causal relationship questions. If you have a weaken, then look for the opposite. If the conclusion says X causes Y, look for an answer choice that says that Y causes X or that Z causes Y. If its strengthen, look for a choice that negates one of the above.

The idea is to read books like Powerscore CR and make a strategy of your OWN. Simply memorizing the substance is not the same as applying the concept to a problem.

With RC, unfortunately, the only way you get this one down is by reading the passage. I remember bb saying this about time allocation: 45 seconds for SC, 60-75 for CR and 4 mins to read the passage for RC and around 1 minute for each question. So you'll have to bring up all your areas simultaneously. You might be excellent at SC, but if you screw up a 550 level CR, you won't get 700 level SC.

When you take an MGMAT test, for instance, generate an assessment report. That gives you a break down by question type and content area and you can easily isolate your weaknesses and work on them.

Good luck
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Re: top scorers,achievers, masters of GMAT - pls help [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2010, 23:43
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For some strange reason RC and CR came quite naturally to me. I did notice that I probably write more scratch notes on those questions than usually recommended. It helps me really dive into the meaning of each sentence. I find focus is quite important for those questions - don't gloss over the words like you read a newspaper or a bedtime book. Really strive to understand what each sentence is trying to say and then anticipate how the passage will develop next.

Hope it helps!
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Re: top scorers,achievers, masters of GMAT - pls help [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2010, 00:09
redjam wrote:
For some strange reason RC and CR came quite naturally to me. I did notice that I probably write more scratch notes on those questions than usually recommended. It helps me really dive into the meaning of each sentence. I find focus is quite important for those questions - don't gloss over the words like you read a newspaper or a bedtime book. Really strive to understand what each sentence is trying to say and then anticipate how the passage will develop next.

Hope it helps!


thanks very much...when i started , my approach for CR was also the same, i used to take notes... but then i found i was wasting a lot of time , i could hardly complete the prob in 2 mins.

how much time does it generally take for you in CR when you take notes ?

thanks very much for your response and interest in addressing my prob
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Re: top scorers,achievers, masters of GMAT - pls help [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2010, 09:10
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hirendhanak wrote:
redjam wrote:
For some strange reason RC and CR came quite naturally to me. I did notice that I probably write more scratch notes on those questions than usually recommended. It helps me really dive into the meaning of each sentence. I find focus is quite important for those questions - don't gloss over the words like you read a newspaper or a bedtime book. Really strive to understand what each sentence is trying to say and then anticipate how the passage will develop next.

Hope it helps!


thanks very much...when i started , my approach for CR was also the same, i used to take notes... but then i found i was wasting a lot of time , i could hardly complete the prob in 2 mins.

how much time does it generally take for you in CR when you take notes ?

thanks very much for your response and interest in addressing my prob


When you try your practice problems do you do them timed? I think this might be something you want to look into. Mastering the problems is no good if you can't do it on time. Give yourself an allocated time limit and if you're not done by the end of it, guess and move on. Then review your errors.

Personally, I think taking notes is a waste of time and mostly remember things mentally. But if you do want to take notes, make sure you're not spending more time writing than analyzing. I would suggest taking notes the way I said in the previous post. Just one or two words for each important line at the most and you need to do this subconsciously without having to look at the scratch pad. Notes might work much better for RC than for CR. For RC, just jot down ONE sentence about each paragraph. Let's say something like this:

1. Introduces the case of feminist reforms and talks about history before 1885
2. Ms. X was the first person to come up with this, was met with opposition
3. It died down and was revived in 1940 by Y.
4. Today we still follow this.

So if you have a list of bullets like this, when they ask you for the "main" purpose of the paragraph you can easily eliminate choices that are out of scope or too extreme in tone. Hope this helps.
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Re: top scorers,achievers, masters of GMAT - pls help [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2010, 11:33
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For SC, make sure you work through all OG questions at least a couple of times. Do 20 questions in a sitting (give yourself 35 minutes) and then analyze them. Go through the explanation of each and every question, the ones you got correct too (so that you can knowingly duplicate it in other questions). If the OG explanations are vague (which they do tend to be), rephrase the concept in your own words. Taking notes of important points is highly recommended (will be useful in Jan).

In CR, it is not difficult to have above 90% accuracy. In fact, we tell our students how DS is closer to CR than to PS! Every CR question in GMAT will be very logical with no ambiguity. The higher questions will need you to consider implications of what is said; the lower level questions will give you direct consequences. The idea is to understand what to focus on in each question type. Let's say if it is a weaken question, we focus on our conclusion. So first figure out the conclusion of the argument. Then look for an option that specifically weakens the conclusion, not some premise given in the argument. For mimic questions, define the logic of the argument using symbols. e.g. A does B. B is also done by C. So A and C are brothers. Then look for same structure in the options. In Inference questions, there is no conclusion in the stimulus. You have to give the conclusion. Remember that the correct option will never provide new information. It will only rephrase information given in the argument. So on and so forth. See what strategies work best for you. Generally, you will need 2 mins to get done with one CR question.

Improving RC is mostly about practice. Though, it is a good idea to take short notes of each paragraph. Will help you retain focus (mind tends to wander while reading a long passage) and universal questions can be easily handled. Just 2-3 words per passage like whiplash2411 suggested, may be even shorter:
1. Intro fem. reforms before 1885
2. Ms. X first person - was opposed
When you get a specific information question, you know which paragraph to jump to since you already know which paragraph has what. Say a question about who opposed Ms. X, jump to paragraph 2. Also try and analyze the tone of the passage immediately after reading. You will remember it much better at that time rather than after 3 questions. It will take 10 secs to make up your mind and is worth the investment. Also define the scope in your mind at the end of the passage (take 10 secs). What is relevant, what is not. e.g. similar reforms in other countries is out of scope. Analyzing the passage immediately after reading it will help you answer the questions quickly and cleanly.
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Re: top scorers,achievers, masters of GMAT - pls help [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2010, 11:45
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
For SC, make sure you work through all OG questions at least a couple of times. Do 20 questions in a sitting (give yourself 35 minutes) and then analyze them. Go through the explanation of each and every question, the ones you got correct too (so that you can knowingly duplicate it in other questions). If the OG explanations are vague (which they do tend to be), rephrase the concept in your own words. Taking notes of important points is highly recommended (will be useful in Jan).

In CR, it is not difficult to have above 90% accuracy. In fact, we tell our students how DS is closer to CR than to PS! Every CR question in GMAT will be very logical with no ambiguity. The higher questions will need you to consider implications of what is said; the lower level questions will give you direct consequences. The idea is to understand what to focus on in each question type. Let's say if it is a weaken question, we focus on our conclusion. So first figure out the conclusion of the argument. Then look for an option that specifically weakens the conclusion, not some premise given in the argument. For mimic questions, define the logic of the argument using symbols. e.g. A does B. B is also done by C. So A and C are brothers. Then look for same structure in the options. In Inference questions, there is no conclusion in the stimulus. You have to give the conclusion. Remember that the correct option will never provide new information. It will only rephrase information given in the argument. So on and so forth. See what strategies work best for you. Generally, you will need 2 mins to get done with one CR question.

Improving RC is mostly about practice. Though, it is a good idea to take short notes of each paragraph. Will help you retain focus (mind tends to wander while reading a long passage) and universal questions can be easily handled. Just 2-3 words per passage like whiplash2411 suggested, may be even shorter:
1. Intro fem. reforms before 1885
2. Ms. X first person - was opposed
When you get a specific information question, you know which paragraph to jump to since you already know which paragraph has what. Say a question about who opposed Ms. X, jump to paragraph 2. Also try and analyze the tone of the passage immediately after reading. You will remember it much better at that time rather than after 3 questions. It will take 10 secs to make up your mind and is worth the investment. Also define the scope in your mind at the end of the passage (take 10 secs). What is relevant, what is not. e.g. similar reforms in other countries is out of scope. Analyzing the passage immediately after reading it will help you answer the questions quickly and cleanly.




Thanks very much... this is really helpful....

should i take help of LSAT CR to increase my concentration and exposure to CR in addition to OG ?

approach for RC will surely help me , i used to take some detailed notes , but this new approach will help me in locating the lines which i require to refer to answer the question.. thanks

have been following error log which i prepared for OG 11 , and it really helps.
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Re: top scorers,achievers, masters of GMAT - pls help [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2010, 11:46
hirendhanak wrote:
thanks very much...when i started , my approach for CR was also the same, i used to take notes... but then i found i was wasting a lot of time , i could hardly complete the prob in 2 mins.

how much time does it generally take for you in CR when you take notes ?

thanks very much for your response and interest in addressing my prob


It actually shortened the amount of time I spent on each question. CR - I was probably spending about 1:30 on each question. RC I was spending about 1:00 (excluding reading the passage itself of course). It worked well for me since I needed more time on the SC questions anyway. If you can get through SC pretty quickly, then by all means use 2:00 mins or even 2:15 on the CR.

Initially, when I was glossing things over I would question myself a lot, re-read the argument or a section of the passage. Then go back to the question and eliminate some answers, then back to the argument, etc... It was obviously very wasteful on time.

Once I started taking more substantial notes, all I needed was one read through - even on most RC questions. I actually went against the conventional advice and really tried to understand the nitty-gritty details - even on the crazy science passages.

Also - I used a lot of shorthand on my scratch notes. Shortening things like "Damaged brain cells in the rhesus monkey demonstrated the disease was highly prevalent" would become "DBC, RM - dis prev." Looking back at the notes would have been pointless (and they were illegible most of the time) but it helped me focus on the sentence and build up the argument in my head. I was taking notes to understand, not to use as summaries to answer the questions - that's an important point to distinguish.
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Re: top scorers,achievers, masters of GMAT - pls help [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2010, 11:10
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Hey guys,

Thanks for the invite to participate! My advice will be fairly similar to Karishma's (which, if the "brilliant minds think alike" axiom holds, I hope means that I'm similarly brilliant to her...), but let me add a few things:

1) On RC, it's exponentially more important to know WHY the author wrote what he did than WHAT it's about. Focus more on words that signal the author's intent/organization when you read and you'll not only find the passages easier to read, but you'll be much better set up to answer the majority of questions that follow. Pay particular attention to words like "however" (changing directions of the argument); "therefore" (indicating a conclusion); "also" (adding support to an existing point); "first/second/third" (signaling organization of multiple points).

2) On RC, read the questions like CR questions - Specific Detail questions don't require you to know very much "content" about the subject matter...they're specifically written, though, so that it's easy for you to find a closely-correlated word that doesn't directly answer the question. Be "question stem driven" on these - know exactly what they're looking for, and it ought to be easier to find that.

3) On CR, I can't stress enough the importance of noting the specific conclusion of a Strengthen/Weaken question. I have my students who struggle with CR do this drill - take 10-15 CR questions and don't do anything but identify the conclusion of the argument...don't even look at the answer choices. Then email me the conclusions and go back to complete the set. 90% of the time I can predict which questions they got right/wrong just based on the conclusion they wrote down. If they nailed the conclusion (i.e. didn't omit or add their own key limiting terms), they got the question right; if they misread the conclusion slightly, they got it wrong. Be Conclusion-Driven on CR questions and you'll see your accuracy improve by leaps and bounds.


I hope that helps...

Cheers,
Brian
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Re: top scorers,achievers, masters of GMAT - pls help   [#permalink] 06 Dec 2010, 11:10
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