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660 (Q48,V34) - verbal help needed - How to crack V40+

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660 (Q48,V34) - verbal help needed - How to crack V40+  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Oct 2018, 03:37
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Hi egmat ScottTargetTestPrep GMATNinja mikemcgarry souvik101990 EMPOWERgmatRichC AjiteshArun
I took my GMAT yesterday and scored 660 (Q48 V33). Although I scored 710 (Q51 V34) in my last GMAT attempt, I thought of increasing my overall GMAT score to 750 + level.

I completed E-gmat verbal course and Magoosh Verbal course. Took GMAT prep mocks (all 6) before my last attempt in which I was scoring on average around 700-720 (Q50-51 V33-38). The Verbal score is plateaued at 33-34 despite working hard on verbal this time. Now, it seems to me that my overall strategy and temperament is skewed in attempting verbal. The ability is yet not above 40 plus level and a score above 40 can't be a fluke.

I sincerely need a guidance from all masters out here for my Verbal Strategy. I have also attached the ESR.

Quant score was a shock for which I conclude that I might have made silly mistakes as I read Quant only a day or two before the real exam. So, being out of practice may be the reason for the low quant score. I believe that I can score 51 again with practice.

For verbal, the question started with Sentence Correction - a normal one line sentence asking me to identify the difference among a lot, abundance, and plenty of etc.. I was thinking countable or uncountable nouns but nothing was clicking at the moment as it was based on some unheard idiom.

Sentence correction questions were totally different from my usual practice of retired questions or it can be that after solving and resolving the same official questions I was taking less time and thinking that I am improving. But overall while taking exams I could feel that SC was more concentrated on idioms or general English usage. A few sentences were quite long and jumbled. Honestly finding segregation points among answer choices was taking time. I got some straight questions from Comparisons, Parallelism and if -then etc. I remember that I got around 12 questions.

Critical Reasoning was on the same pattern or type of questions like retired official ones. I am weak at CR, so I was not expecting much from it. I faced around 08 CR questions. They were from Weakening, Solve the paradox - 2, Support / Reconcile etc. I am satisfied with the sub-section score.

Reading Comprehension - Every block had one passage in it with 3,3,4, and 3 questions respectively. The first passage was short and convoluted. Rest all three passages were easy to understand except 2 questions in which the answer choices were tough to eliminate as all choices were projecting the same idea. It may be that I was faltering at questions so I didn't get Medium - High or Hard questions and eventually I scored less.

My analysis for three sections -

SC - To read more about nuances in English from English newspapers. Go through idioms. Emphasize on English usage. Revise grammar and solve questions.

CR - I feel I need more practice as my verbal preparation was tilted towards SC :D

RC - It has to be tamed. Practice and that too from wide resources. It is not that I don't read but I am weak at comprehending convoluted kinds of stuff. Moreover, I feel I should read more from NYT, WP, Scientific American or The Economist.

Best Regards,
Rishi
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660 (Q48,V34) - verbal help needed - How to crack V40+  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Oct 2018, 17:37
irishiraj87 wrote:
My analysis for three sections -

SC - To read more about nuances in English from English newspapers. Go through idioms. Emphasize on English usage. Revise grammar and solve questions.

CR - I feel I need more practice as my verbal preparation was tilted towards SC :D

RC - It has to be tamed. Practice and that too from wide resources. It is not that I don't read but I am weak at comprehending convoluted kinds of stuff. Moreover, I feel I should read more from NYT, WP, Scientific American or The Economist.

Best Regards,
Rishi
Hi Rishi,

A score drop is never fun, but you should look at your verbal score as being essentially the same as the last one (V34/V33). So what I'd be interested in is what you did in between your two attempts.

1. I think more reading is a great idea, but I'm not so sure that your SC prep needs to be focused on idioms. I suggest that you take a hard look at the concepts and check whether they are really in place.
2. It is a good idea to work on all three (SC, CR, RC), as it'd be very hard to get a V40/V40+ otherwise. That said, I don't see much of a difference between your SC, CR, and RC scores, so you might not be as weak at CR as you think.
3. Again, reading from those sources could help, so I think that's the right direction to go in. Pick up more RC passages on topics that you are not comfortable with.

The good news is that you already have a 710, so you have a score that can work for you at even the best schools. The bad news is that improving on a 710 is not easy :) Hang in there. I think you're (over!)due to break out of the plateau you've reached.

Ajitesh
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Re: 660 (Q48,V34) - verbal help needed - How to crack V40+  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Oct 2018, 20:27
Hi Rishi,

With a 710/Q51, you already have an outstanding score (and it's right around the 90th percentile overall), so you can comfortably apply to any Business Schools that interest you. As such, a retest is likely not necessary. Before we discuss the data in your ESR, I'd like to know a bit more about your timeline and your goals:

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Re: 660 (Q48,V34) - verbal help needed - How to crack V40+  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2018, 03:38
AjiteshArun wrote:
irishiraj87 wrote:
My analysis for three sections -

SC - To read more about nuances in English from English newspapers. Go through idioms. Emphasize on English usage. Revise grammar and solve questions.

CR - I feel I need more practice as my verbal preparation was tilted towards SC :D

RC - It has to be tamed. Practice and that too from wide resources. It is not that I don't read but I am weak at comprehending convoluted kinds of stuff. Moreover, I feel I should read more from NYT, WP, Scientific American or The Economist.

Best Regards,
Rishi
Hi Rishi,

A score drop is never fun, but you should look at your verbal score as being essentially the same as the last one (V34/V33). So what I'd be interested in is what you did in between your two attempts.

1. I think more reading is a great idea, but I'm not so sure that your SC prep needs to be focused on idioms. I suggest that you take a hard look at the concepts and check whether they are really in place.
2. It is a good idea to work on all three (SC, CR, RC), as it'd be very hard to get a V40/V40+ otherwise. That said, I don't see much of a difference between your SC, CR, and RC scores, so you might not be as weak at CR as you think.
3. Again, reading from those sources could help, so I think that's the right direction to go in. Pick up more RC passages on topics that you are not comfortable with.

The good news is that you already have a 710, so you have a score that can work for you at even the best schools. The bad news is that improving on a 710 is not easy :) Hang in there. I think you're (over!)due to break out of the plateau you've reached.

Ajitesh


Hi Ajitesh,

Thanks for replying.

I totally agree with your suggestion that I have to build all three sections rather than concentrating on one. I discontinued my preparation for 6-7 months between the last and the current attempt. It was from past 30-40 days I started with my Verbal only prep.

Read MGMAT guide
Solved 10-15 SC questions - Retired official / OG etc + From reputed resources - Manhattan, Magoosh.
Eventually, I could observe that I was taking around 30-50 seconds to solve questions or around 1 min 30 seconds for long tricky ones.
Read CR Aristotle bible - kindle version / Solved questions - Official Ones around 100
Solved RC passages from OG - few of them - Always lacked at identifying main idea questions

Gave individual Veritas Verbal mocks - Was scoring around 35-38
Revised my MGMAT mock questions - As it has expired. So, I solved those questions from GMAT CLUB using timer options.

In fact, I solved all the questions through GC only.

Yes, I should take a hard look at my concepts but when should I think that I am ready for a strong verbal score. Is it when I start scoring in 42+ in mocks.

Best Regards,
Rishi
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Re: 660 (Q48,V34) - verbal help needed - How to crack V40+  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2018, 03:42
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Rishi,

With a 710/Q51, you already have an outstanding score (and it's right around the 90th percentile overall), so you can comfortably apply to any Business Schools that interest you. As such, a retest is likely not necessary. Before we discuss the data in your ESR, I'd like to know a bit more about your timeline and your goals:

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich


Hi Rich,

Thanks for replying.

I intend to apply for INSEAD Sep 2019 intake and HEC Jan 2019 intake. Although 710 is okay for applying to these schools, I feel being from India - a country with a higher pool of applicants will not help me in securing scholarships from either Insead or Hec.

I also feel that I can score 750+ if trained properly. A score below that target will always give me dissatisfaction.

I wish to apply by mid of Nov 18'.

Regards,
Rishi
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Re: 660 (Q48,V34) - verbal help needed - How to crack V40+  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2018, 16:02
Hi irishiraj87,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. So, if we’re looking at the glass half-full, you’ve done quite well in quant, scoring a Q48 and Q51. Great work! Regarding verbal, since you scored in the 65th, 57th, and 68th percentiles for Critical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and Sentence Correction, respectively, you will need to focus on all of those topics to improve your verbal score. As you’ve already mentioned, something is going on with your verbal prep that is not allowing you to achieve a 40+ verbal score, right? Chances are there are some weaknesses that are dragging on your verbal score, so you really need to go back to the foundations and work your way back up to determine what skills are missing. The key word here is “foundations.” For example, while it’s possible that some obscure idioms cost you a few points in Sentence Correction, it’s more likely that there are other issues going on in Sentence Correction of which you’re unaware. If you can find and fix your weaknesses, not only in Sentence Correction but in ALL verbal topics, you can achieve a 40+ on verbal. So, I’m happy to provide some further advice on how to do so. Let’s look at Critical Reasoning first.

When studying Critical Reasoning, you need to ensure that you fully understand the essence of the various question types. Do you know the importance of an assumption within an argument? Can you easily spot a conclusion? Do you know how to resolve a paradox? Do you know how to properly evaluate cause and effect? Do you know how to properly weaken or strengthen an argument? These are just a few examples; you really need to take a deep dive into the individual Critical Reasoning topics to develop the necessary skills to properly attack any Critical Reasoning questions that you encounter.

As you learn each Critical Reasoning problem type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type of question. If, for example, you incorrectly answered a Weaken the Argument question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific question type? Were you doing too much analysis in your head? Did you skip over a keyword in an answer choice? You must thoroughly analyze your mistakes and seek to turn weaknesses into strengths by focusing on the question types you dread seeing and the questions you take a long time to answer correctly.

When practicing Reading Comprehension, you need to develop a reading strategy that is both efficient and thorough. Reading too fast and not understanding what you have read are equally as harmful as reading too slow and using up too much time. When attacking Reading Comprehension passages, you must have one clear goal in mind: to understand the context of what you are reading. However, you must do so efficiently, so you need to avoid getting bogged down in the details of each paragraph and focus on understanding the main point of each paragraph. That being said, do not fall into the trap of thinking that you can just read the intro and the conclusion and comprehend the main idea of a paragraph. As you read a paragraph, consider how the context of the paragraph relates to previous paragraphs, so you can continue developing your overall understanding of the passage. Furthermore, as you practice Reading Comprehension, focus on the exact types of questions with which you struggle: Find the Main Idea, Inference, Author’s Tone, etc. As with Critical Reasoning, analyze your incorrect answers to better determine why you tend to get a particular question type wrong, and then improve upon your weaknesses. You can perfect your reading strategy with a lot of practice, but keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be stimulating. So, to better prepare yourself to tackle such bland passages, read magazines with similar content and style, such as the Economist, Scientific American, and Smithsonian.

Sentence Correction is a bit of a different animal compared to Reading Comprehension. There are three aspects to getting correct answers to GMAT Sentence Correction questions: what you know, such as grammar rules, what you see, such as violations of grammar rules and the logic of sentence structure, and what you do, such as carefully considering each answer choice in the context of the non-underlined portion of the sentence. To drive up your Sentence Correction score, you likely will have to work on all three of those aspects. Furthermore, the likely reason that your Sentence Correction performance has not improved is that you have not been working on all three of those aspects.

Regarding what you know, first and foremost, you MUST know your grammar rules. Let's be clear, though: GMAT Sentence Correction is not just a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning grammar rules is so that you can determine what sentences convey and whether sentences are well-constructed. In fact, in many cases, incorrect answers to Sentence Correction questions are grammatically flawless. Thus, often your task is to use your knowledge of grammar rules to determine which answer choice creates the most logical sentence meaning and structure.

This determination of whether sentences are well-constructed and logical is the second aspect of finding correct answers to Sentence Correction questions, what you see. To develop this skill, you probably have to slow way down. You won't develop this skill by spending under two minutes per question. For a while, anyway, you have to spend time with each question, maybe even ten or fifteen minutes on one question sometimes, analyzing every answer choice until you see the details that you have to see in order to choose the correct answer. As you go through the answer choices, consider the meaning conveyed by each version of the sentence. Does the meaning make sense? Even if you can tell what the version is SUPPOSED to convey, does the version really convey that meaning? Is there a verb to go with the subject? Do all pronouns clearly refer to nouns? By slowing way down and looking for these details, you learn to see what you have to see in order to clearly understand which answer to a Sentence Correction question is correct.

There is only one correct answer to any Sentence Correction question, there are clear reasons why that choice is correct and the others are not, and those reasons are not that the correct version simply "sounds right." In fact, the correct version often sounds a little off at first. That correct answers may sound a little off is not surprising. If the correct answer were always the one that sounded right, then most people most of the time would get Sentence Correction questions correct, without really knowing why the wrong answers were wrong and the correct answers were correct. So, you have to go beyond choosing what "sounds right" and learn to clearly see the logical reasons why one choice is better than all of the others.

As for the third aspect of getting Sentence Correction questions correct, what you do, the main thing you have to do is be very careful. You have to make sure that you are truly considering the structures of sentences and the meanings conveyed rather than allowing yourself to be tricked into choosing trap answers that sound right but don't convey meanings that make sense. You also have to make sure that you put some real energy into finding the correct answers. Finding the correct answer to a Sentence Correction question may take bouncing from choice to choice repeatedly until you start to see the differences between the choices that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. It may take time for you to see what you have to see. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and to figure out the precise reasons that one choice is correct.

To improve what you do when you answer Sentence Correction questions, seek to become aware of how you are going about answering them. Are you being careful and looking for logic and details, or are you quickly eliminating choices that sound a little off and then choosing the best of the rest? If you choose an incorrect answer, consider what you did that resulted in your arriving at that answer and what you could do differently in order to arrive at correct answers more consistently. Furthermore, see how many questions you can get correct in a row as you practice. If you break your streak by missing one, consider what you could have done differently to extend your streak.

As with your Reading Comprehension regimen, after learning a particular Sentence Correction topic, engage in focused practice with 30 questions or more that involve that topic. As your Sentence Correction skills improve, you will then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

You also may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with any questions.

Good luck!
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Re: 660 (Q48,V34) - verbal help needed - How to crack V40+  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2018, 18:36
Hi Rishi,

Before you commit to retesting, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile and application plans. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

http://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admission ... tants-124/

I've sent you a PM with some notes/suggestions based on your ESR.

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Rich
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Re: 660 (Q48,V34) - verbal help needed - How to crack V40+  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2018, 21:52
Hi irishiraj87,

I had replied to your mail to us about this yesterday. I hope you received it. Please feel free to write to us at support@e-gmat.com if you need any further help.

Regards,
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Re: 660 (Q48,V34) - verbal help needed - How to crack V40+  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2018, 01:01
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
Hi irishiraj87,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. So, if we’re looking at the glass half-full, you’ve done quite well in quant, scoring a Q48 and Q51. Great work! Regarding verbal, since you scored in the 65th, 57th, and 68th percentiles for Critical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and Sentence Correction, respectively, you will need to focus on all of those topics to improve your verbal score. As you’ve already mentioned, something is going on with your verbal prep that is not allowing you to achieve a 40+ verbal score, right? Chances are there are some weaknesses that are dragging on your verbal score, so you really need to go back to the foundations and work your way back up to determine what skills are missing. The key word here is “foundations.” For example, while it’s possible that some obscure idioms cost you a few points in Sentence Correction, it’s more likely that there are other issues going on in Sentence Correction of which you’re unaware. If you can find and fix your weaknesses, not only in Sentence Correction but in ALL verbal topics, you can achieve a 40+ on verbal. So, I’m happy to provide some further advice on how to do so. Let’s look at Critical Reasoning first.

Thank you for your detailed reply. I appreciate your effort in minutely scrutinizing my ESR. Yes, I need to recheck my foundations.

When studying Critical Reasoning, you need to ensure that you fully understand the essence of the various question types. Do you know the importance of an assumption within an argument? Can you easily spot a conclusion? Do you know how to resolve a paradox? Do you know how to properly evaluate cause and effect? Do you know how to properly weaken or strengthen an argument? These are just a few examples; you really need to take a deep dive into the individual Critical Reasoning topics to develop the necessary skills to properly attack any Critical Reasoning questions that you encounter.

I totally agree that I have to be concrete in my reasoning or develop those skills to properly attack CR.

As you learn each Critical Reasoning problem type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type of question. If, for example, you incorrectly answered a Weaken the Argument question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific question type? Were you doing too much analysis in your head? Did you skip over a keyword in an answer choice? You must thoroughly analyze your mistakes and seek to turn weaknesses into strengths by focusing on the question types you dread seeing and the questions you take a long time to answer correctly.

When practicing Reading Comprehension, you need to develop a reading strategy that is both efficient and thorough. Reading too fast and not understanding what you have read are equally as harmful as reading too slow and using up too much time. When attacking Reading Comprehension passages, you must have one clear goal in mind: to understand the context of what you are reading. However, you must do so efficiently, so you need to avoid getting bogged down in the details of each paragraph and focus on understanding the main point of each paragraph. That being said, do not fall into the trap of thinking that you can just read the intro and the conclusion and comprehend the main idea of a paragraph. As you read a paragraph, consider how the context of the paragraph relates to previous paragraphs, so you can continue developing your overall understanding of the passage. Furthermore, as you practice Reading Comprehension, focus on the exact types of questions with which you struggle: Find the Main Idea, Inference, Author’s Tone, etc. As with Critical Reasoning, analyze your incorrect answers to better determine why you tend to get a particular question type wrong, and then improve upon your weaknesses. You can perfect your reading strategy with a lot of practice, but keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be stimulating. So, to better prepare yourself to tackle such bland passages, read magazines with similar content and style, such as the Economist, Scientific American, and Smithsonian.
Advice taken in co-relating the contexts of different paragraphs. I have started reading non-simulating articles.

Sentence Correction is a bit of a different animal compared to Reading Comprehension. There are three aspects to getting correct answers to GMAT Sentence Correction questions: what you know, such as grammar rules, what you see, such as violations of grammar rules and the logic of sentence structure, and what you do, such as carefully considering each answer choice in the context of the non-underlined portion of the sentence. To drive up your Sentence Correction score, you likely will have to work on all three of those aspects. Furthermore, the likely reason that your Sentence Correction performance has not improved is that you have not been working on all three of those aspects.

Regarding what you know, first and foremost, you MUST know your grammar rules. Let's be clear, though: GMAT Sentence Correction is not just a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning grammar rules is so that you can determine what sentences convey and whether sentences are well-constructed. In fact, in many cases, incorrect answers to Sentence Correction questions are grammatically flawless. Thus, often your task is to use your knowledge of grammar rules to determine which answer choice creates the most logical sentence meaning and structure.

This determination of whether sentences are well-constructed and logical is the second aspect of finding correct answers to Sentence Correction questions, what you see. To develop this skill, you probably have to slow way down. You won't develop this skill by spending under two minutes per question. For a while, anyway, you have to spend time with each question, maybe even ten or fifteen minutes on one question sometimes, analyzing every answer choice until you see the details that you have to see in order to choose the correct answer. As you go through the answer choices, consider the meaning conveyed by each version of the sentence. Does the meaning make sense? Even if you can tell what the version is SUPPOSED to convey, does the version really convey that meaning? Is there a verb to go with the subject? Do all pronouns clearly refer to nouns? By slowing way down and looking for these details, you learn to see what you have to see in order to clearly understand which answer to a Sentence Correction question is correct.

There is only one correct answer to any Sentence Correction question, there are clear reasons why that choice is correct and the others are not, and those reasons are not that the correct version simply "sounds right." In fact, the correct version often sounds a little off at first. That correct answers may sound a little off is not surprising. If the correct answer were always the one that sounded right, then most people most of the time would get Sentence Correction questions correct, without really knowing why the wrong answers were wrong and the correct answers were correct. So, you have to go beyond choosing what "sounds right" and learn to clearly see the logical reasons why one choice is better than all of the others.

As for the third aspect of getting Sentence Correction questions correct, what you do, the main thing you have to do is be very careful. You have to make sure that you are truly considering the structures of sentences and the meanings conveyed rather than allowing yourself to be tricked into choosing trap answers that sound right but don't convey meanings that make sense. You also have to make sure that you put some real energy into finding the correct answers. Finding the correct answer to a Sentence Correction question may take bouncing from choice to choice repeatedly until you start to see the differences between the choices that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. It may take time for you to see what you have to see. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and to figure out the precise reasons that one choice is correct.

The above two paragraphs are the gems of your reply. I too feel that I am lacking in my structured response to each type of question. As you mentioned it has to be aligned to work ethic. As of now, I think I am a bit haphazard in my attempts. I change my approach for every other SC question. Point well taken.


To improve what you do when you answer Sentence Correction questions, seek to become aware of how you are going about answering them. Are you being careful and looking for logic and details, or are you quickly eliminating choices that sound a little off and then choosing the best of the rest? If you choose an incorrect answer, consider what you did that resulted in your arriving at that answer and what you could do differently in order to arrive at correct answers more consistently. Furthermore, see how many questions you can get correct in a row as you practice. If you break your streak by missing one, consider what you could have done differently to extend your streak.

As with your Reading Comprehension regimen, after learning a particular Sentence Correction topic, engage in focused practice with 30 questions or more that involve that topic. As your Sentence Correction skills improve, you will then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.
Will try to cover SC topic wise.

You also may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with any questions.

Good luck!


Thank you again
Best,
Rishi
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Joined: 28 May 2015
Posts: 39
Location: India
GMAT 1: 710 Q51 V34
GPA: 4
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Re: 660 (Q48,V34) - verbal help needed - How to crack V40+  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2018, 01:02
egmat wrote:
Hi irishiraj87,

I had replied to your mail to us about this yesterday. I hope you received it. Please feel free to write to us at support@e-gmat.com if you need any further help.

Regards,
Aditee


Hi Aditee,

Thank you so much for your prompt reply both on GC and mail. I have started analyzing my previous attempts at Scholaranium.

Best,
Rishi
GMAT Club Bot
Re: 660 (Q48,V34) - verbal help needed - How to crack V40+ &nbs [#permalink] 05 Oct 2018, 01:02
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