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Advice on How to improve my GMAT score?

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Advice on How to improve my GMAT score?  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Mar 2018, 01:21
Hi Experts,

I gave my first GMAT Test prep exam end of Jan, 2018 after completing half of official guide and got a score of 570 (Q49, V19). And now, I gave my second GMAT Test prep exam in mid March,2018 after completing official guide and going through MGMAT SC two times (even made the notes). Now, I got a score of 590 (Q45, V27). Hardly any improvement in score. Infact, my score dropped in Quantitative ability and not any great improvement in Verbal. I need score above 700.

I have my GMAT exam in starting of May,2018. I have approximately one and a half month. Please advice me on how to improve my GMAT score.
My GMAT test prep scores: 590 (Q45, V27)
Verbal: SC - 8 wrong
CR- 3 wrong
RC - 6 wrong
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New post 18 Mar 2018, 05:25
eshitajuneja

See relevant discussions here
if it helps.
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New post 18 Mar 2018, 10:21
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Hey eshitajuneja

I think you should try a different approach to increase your scores in SC. If you
don't mind spending some money, you could try the free trials of the various prep
companies, which you can find here on GMATClub. Limit yourself to official
questions for practice!

Some additional books/course I would recommend are as follow
SC : Aristotle SC Grail/eGMAT SC(they don't offer the individual package, but you
can try talking to them)
CR : Powerscore CR Bible - This book alone is enough to improve your CR skills
RC : Read this post.

For Quant, you could use the ULTIMATE GMAT QUANTITATIVE MEGATHREAD for concepts.

This post should help you in improving your scores to Q 49-50
https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-impro ... 41670.html

If you are able to increase your quant scores to Q50 and verbal scores to V35+
you could be looking at a GMAT score in excess of 700!

Would be happy answering any specific questions that you might have.
Hope this information helps you!
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Advice on How to improve my GMAT score?  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Mar 2018, 10:30
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eshitajuneja wrote:
Hi Experts,

I gave my first GMAT Test prep exam end of Jan, 2018 after completing half of official guide and got a score of 570 (Q49, V19). And now, I gave my second GMAT Test prep exam in mid March,2018 after completing official guide and going through MGMAT SC two times (even made the notes). Now, I got a score of 590 (Q45, V27). Hardly any improvement in score. Infact, my score dropped in Quantitative ability and not any great improvement in Verbal. I need score above 700.

I have my GMAT exam in starting of May,2018. I have approximately one and a half month. Please advice me on how to improve my GMAT score.
My GMAT test prep scores: 590 (Q45, V27)
Verbal: SC - 8 wrong
CR- 3 wrong
RC - 6 wrong


Hi eshitajuneja,

Around 2 months is a good enough time to prepare for GMAT. It’s a good thing you have taken GMAT Mock once. You now know your weaknesses and work on them. If you are willing to study dedicatedly for that period, you are sure to achieve your goal. I believe you may benefit from taking an additional GMATPREP course. If you are willing, there are some great GMAT prep companies that can help you with your preparation.

In order to make an informed decision I would highly encourage you to go to their websites and try on their free trial and decide for yourself which one do you like better. You try out free access to EmpowerGMAT, Magoosh and Optimus Prep as they have great reviews on GMATCLUB.

Also for verbal, I would highly encourage you to consider e-gmat verbal online or the e-gmat verbal live course. They are both amazing courses especially designed for non-natives. They offer almost 25% of their courses for free so you can try out their free trial to decide which one you want to go for. Plus the e-gmat Scholaranium which is included in both the courses is one of the best verbal practice tools in the market. You can easily track your progress in that you can identify your strengths and analyze and improve on your weak areas.

I must add that if you are particularly looking to discover and improve on your weak areas in Quant; a subscription to GMATCLUB tests is the best way to do that. They are indeed phenomenal and will not only pinpoint your weak areas but also help you improve on them.

Further taking multiple mocks might help. Apart from the GMATPREP, Manhattan GMAT tests and Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

Further another advantage of taking many mocks is to build up your stamina. Apart from the GMATPREP tests, taking practise tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

I would also encourage you to purchase the latest version of OG and the verbal review for some great additional practice. Here is a link that will help you with your decision.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/best-gmat-ve ... 68383.html

Lastly, you can check out a very interesting article by Mike McGarry from Magoosh detailing a 3 month study plan

https://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/3-month-g ... -students/. You will find it very helpful as it gives out a study plan as per your needs.

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Re: Advice on How to improve my GMAT score?  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Mar 2018, 18:42
Hi eshitajuneja,

Based on this second CAT Score (relative to your first CAT Score), you clearly have made some improvements to how you handle the Verbal section overall, but you aren't a strong enough Quant thinker to consistently perform at a high level in that section. Raising a high-500s score to a 700+ will likely take at least another 2-3 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. This is meant to say that you will likely need to push back your Test Date. Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your timeline and your goals:

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
3) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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New post 02 Aug 2019, 06:00
helpful!
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New post 02 Aug 2019, 10:04
Hi eshitajuneja,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. Since you recently scored 590 on your latest GMAT (after many months of prep), you need to look at HOW you have been preparing and make some changes right? Although you are stronger in quant than you are in verbal, I think to maximize your score increase, you should look to improve in both topics. Moving forward, to improve both your quant and verbal skills, consider following a linear and structured study plan that allows you to individually learn each GMAT quant and verbal topic and then practice each topic until you’ve gained mastery. Let me expand on this idea further.

Let me expand on this idea further.

If you are learning about Number Properties, you should develop as much conceptual knowledge about Number Properties as possible. In other words, your goal will be to completely understand properties of factorials, perfect squares, quadratic patterns, LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, and remainders, to name a few concepts. After carefully reviewing the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions, practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties. When you do dozens of questions of the same type one after the other, you learn just what it takes to get questions of that type correct consistently. If you aren't getting close to 90 percent of questions of a certain type correct, go back and seek to better understand how that type of question works, and then do more questions of that type until you get to around at least 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type. As you do such practice, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get right. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By carefully analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant skills. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see, types that you would rather not see, and types that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

Follow a similar routine for verbal. For example, let’s say you start by learning about Critical Reasoning. Your first goal is to fully master the individual topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken The Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn about each question type, do focused practice, so that you can track your skill in answering each type. If, for example, you get a weakening question wrong, 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 instead 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 thereby 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 Reading Comprehension answers to better determine why you tend to get a particular question type wrong, and then improve upon your weaknesses. Keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be easy to read. So, to better prepare yourself to analyze such 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 and Critical Reasoning. 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 really a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning the 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. Likely, the main reason that Sentence Correction has not "clicked" for you is that you have not put enough work into developing your skill in seeing what is going on in the various versions of the sentence that the answer choices create. To develop this skill, you probably have to slow way down. You won't develop this skill by spending less than 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 none of those reasons are 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 answers were always the ones 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 logical meanings. 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 until you start to see the differences that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices in a Sentence Correction question, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to take the time to see the differences between answers 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 to arrive at that answer and what you could do differently 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 do differently to extend your streak.

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

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new verbal and quant materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

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 further questions.

Good luck!
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Re: Advice on How to improve my GMAT score?   [#permalink] 02 Aug 2019, 10:04
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