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Depressed after scoring 520 in a Mock !

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Depressed after scoring 520 in a Mock ! [#permalink]

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New post 26 Apr 2017, 02:43
Hi Guys,

I have been preparing for GMAT for past 2 months by taking a sabbatical from my office. I took E-GMAT online course. At first, I realized that the approach they taught was good and effective but as and when I started practicing questions it took me a lot of time. I was not able to apply the approach as it took me a lot of time. Then I just resorted to other tricks and tips. I gave a test and realized it's not possible for me to resort to their approach and complete the exam.

I feel dejected and depressed right now while writing this mail to you as I don't know what to do now. As I have taken my first mock and scored 520 (Q44 & V18). My Aim was somewhere near 720. I am very depressed right now. I was planning to give my exam on 6th May but thinking no point of giving the exam when you are not prepared. As when I go back to my routine I don't have the luxury of holidays.

I have no clue how to improve my verbal. I'm non-native English speaker.

A couple of things which I know about myself is that I'm not that good with grammar and my reading speed is little slow when comprehending stuff at the same time. :(

Looking forward to suggestions and a ray of light in the dark room!

GMATSTRUGGLER
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Re: Depressed after scoring 520 in a Mock ! [#permalink]

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New post 26 Apr 2017, 05:06
Hi 25ankits,

I think if you have the time and the patience to reschedule your GMAT and give yourself an extra month to study, that would be a good idea.

Have you been timing yourself while doing practice questions already, or was this mock exam your first experience working through the questions with a time constraint? The test is so long that stamina is a real issue for lots of people. So if you can take a few more mocks between now and the test, it would help just to get used to what it feels like to have to keep working with only brief breaks, etc. Lots of people do poorly on their first mocks for this reason; it's okay! You can also try using the GMAT timer questions on here to gauge how long it takes you to answer each question type. You should be shooting for about two minutes a question, ideally a little bit less for sentence correction.

The good news about grammar/Sentence Correction is it’s one of the most teachable parts of the test. Maybe you can’t learn the entirety of “grammar” in a month, but you can learn enough to increase your score dramatically. You can find lists of commonly tested idioms here or elsewhere and just memorize them. (things like what prepositions certain verbs take). There are certain types of phrasing that, even if they might be technically grammatically correct, the GMAT just doesn’t like. Including nominalization (using a noun form of a word when you could an active verb instead). Learning some of those can also help you quickly eliminate a few answers even if you’re not sure what the right answer is. I’m not familiar with E-GMAT’s course; maybe you already have advice on topics like these?

Reading speed takes longer to improve, and there’s really no quick and easy way to do it. Doing “extra” reading beyond just practice reading comprehension passages themselves can help - academic reading like what is tested on the GMAT - articles from The Economist, The Atlantic, Scientific American, etc. It might be helpful to take a passage from an article from one of those places and take your time working through it really slowly to understand now just what the argument is saying but how it’s structured. Take a physically printed out version of an article, find and underline the main topic sentence of each paragraph. If there isn’t one obvious topic sentence, then write down a sentence of your own that describes the main idea of that paragraph. Then go through again and just read the topic sentence or main idea sentence for each paragraph. See if you can see a logical structure to the way the argument has been organized. How does each paragraph contribute to the overall argument the author is trying to make? Obviously, you don’t have time to read this way on the GMAT exam itself, But doing this exercise, and for multiple different essays, can help you improve at seeing those argumentative structures more quickly. I think some of the test prep companies do recommend doing some abbreviated version of this process on the test itself, to make your own outline or “road map” of the passage, so that when you get to a question asking about a specific word or sub argument in the text, your road map tells you exactly what part of the text it’s in so you can find the answer to your question more quickly.

Again, I’m not familiar with the E-GMAT course, but you say you weren’t able to apply their approach because it took you too long - without knowing what that approach is, I’d still advice practicing with their recommended approach on some questions without worrying about the amount of time it takes you temporarily. A lot of times, when you’re learning a new method, yes, it will make you slower instead of quicker initially, but once you have enough practice and have an instinct for it, it will make you faster in the long run. You need to trust yourself enough to let that happen. And then, yes, it’s true, that even though every test prep company and every person who has advice about the “best” approach to specific problem types, not all approaches will work for all people, depending on your learning style/what works for you. But you need to find that out for yourself the hard way by trying the approach enough to see if it gets you to the right answer, even if it does so slowly at first.

-V.
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Re: Depressed after scoring 520 in a Mock ! [#permalink]

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New post 26 Apr 2017, 07:01
Hi V,

Thanks for replying to the message.

I'm confused regarding the approach to use for the verbal section of the exam.

Like what E-GMAT teaches is :
1. Read the question stem and analyze the grammatical mistakes and then do the process of elimination. Is this a correct approach to go forward? Because technically I feel this takes a lot of time which was the case with me.

2. And for CR READING THE STEM and then do the pre-thinking and then eliminate the answer choices. Is this the only approach?

3. And for RC reading the full stem and taking concise notes and then going for the questions. ?

Issues which I faced was timing on the mock(RC, SC & CR). And with RC questions time constraints and topic of the RC.

If anyone can advise me how should I go about preparing for Verbal would be highly appreciable. Because currently, i feel I'm lost.

Regards,
25ankits
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Re: Depressed after scoring 520 in a Mock ! [#permalink]

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New post 26 Apr 2017, 07:05
bb If any of the experts can help me it would be great.
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Re: Depressed after scoring 520 in a Mock ! [#permalink]

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New post 26 Apr 2017, 11:17
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Hi 25ankits,

From the information in your post, there are a few things to discuss:

1) Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so it's likely that you just have not put in enough time and effort yet to have scored higher.

2) With a score goal of 720, you'll have to makes significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections.

3) Using this 520 as a gauge, you will likely need at least another 3 months of consistent, guided study to hit your score goal, so rescheduling your GMAT would be a good idea.

Before you make any changes to your study plan, I suggest that you continue studying for another 1-2 weeks, then take a new FULL-LENGTH CAT (with the Essay and IR sections). Once you have that score, you should report back here and we can discuss how best to adjust your study plan. Remember, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

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Re: Depressed after scoring 520 in a Mock ! [#permalink]

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New post 26 Apr 2017, 14:59
V18? Ohh sorry to hear that buddy. I think you may need a good 6-12 months of study (depending on how much work you put in) to reach your goal. Be patient, work hard and you will get there.

Don't be fooled by the ads that say 100 points in 10 days or 30 days or w/e. Those are all gimmicks, sign up for e-gmat and just study verbal for straight 6 months and you will get there. Also go over all of Ron's verbal videos. Those were very helpful for me.

All the best!
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Re: Depressed after scoring 520 in a Mock ! [#permalink]

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New post 27 Apr 2017, 07:04
1.) SC - Yes, I think analyzing the grammatical mistakes and then doing process of elimination is a good strategy, if you can (relatively quickly) notice a grammatical mistake in the original stem. That way you can scan down to that part of the sentence in the answer choice and eliminate anything that doesn’t fix that grammatical mistake. Once they’re eliminated, you don’t even have to read them all the way through, so that can save you a little time. Then you can read through the remaining possible answer choices and decide. This approach might not always work if you don’t notice the grammatical mistake in the original stem, if it’s a subtle idiomatic thing. Then you can try to skim down the answer choices and see if you can locate what’s different about some of them and eliminate anything that’s definitely incorrect. Again, the idea is finding something to eliminate answers based off of without actually having to closely read through all five answer choices in depth. But sometimes, on the harder questions, I find it impossible at least, to pick the right answer without just reading through them all.

2.) CR - Personally, I like to read the question before the little passage so I know what I’m looking for, but the test prep companies seem to be mixed on whether this is a good idea or a bad one; they each have their own method that they teach. I do think pre-thinking can be helpful. If you have a good question bank available to you (through EGMAT or the OG or here on GMAT CLUB), try a handful of questions with the different recommended methodologies and see what works for you. Again, it might take time for you to see that one method that is originally making you slower actually helps you get more answers right, or will help you get faster in the long run. So try whatever method you’re working on on enough questions to feel like you have a sense for it.

3.) RC - same advice as CR. Give whatever methods you’re considering a try. Maybe some of the folks on here who are also non-native English speakers will have more specific ideas for approaches that worked for them. As a native-English speaker and instructor of writing, I tend to approach the whole verbal section rather intuitively, so it’s hard for me to come up with advice specific to that.
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Re: Depressed after scoring 520 in a Mock ! [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2018, 12:16
25ankits wrote:
Hi Guys,

I have been preparing for GMAT for past 2 months by taking a sabbatical from my office. I took E-GMAT online course. At first, I realized that the approach they taught was good and effective but as and when I started practicing questions it took me a lot of time. I was not able to apply the approach as it took me a lot of time. Then I just resorted to other tricks and tips. I gave a test and realized it's not possible for me to resort to their approach and complete the exam.

I feel dejected and depressed right now while writing this mail to you as I don't know what to do now. As I have taken my first mock and scored 520 (Q44 & V18). My Aim was somewhere near 720. I am very depressed right now. I was planning to give my exam on 6th May but thinking no point of giving the exam when you are not prepared. As when I go back to my routine I don't have the luxury of holidays.

I have no clue how to improve my verbal. I'm non-native English speaker.

A couple of things which I know about myself is that I'm not that good with grammar and my reading speed is little slow when comprehending stuff at the same time. :(

Looking forward to suggestions and a ray of light in the dark room!

GMATSTRUGGLER


Hello,

Are you preparing well? Are you done with your exam ?
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Re: Depressed after scoring 520 in a Mock ! [#permalink]

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New post 14 May 2018, 10:23
25ankits wrote:
Hi Guys,

I have been preparing for GMAT for past 2 months by taking a sabbatical from my office. I took E-GMAT online course. At first, I realized that the approach they taught was good and effective but as and when I started practicing questions it took me a lot of time. I was not able to apply the approach as it took me a lot of time. Then I just resorted to other tricks and tips. I gave a test and realized it's not possible for me to resort to their approach and complete the exam.

I feel dejected and depressed right now while writing this mail to you as I don't know what to do now. As I have taken my first mock and scored 520 (Q44 & V18). My Aim was somewhere near 720. I am very depressed right now. I was planning to give my exam on 6th May but thinking no point of giving the exam when you are not prepared. As when I go back to my routine I don't have the luxury of holidays.

I have no clue how to improve my verbal. I'm non-native English speaker.

A couple of things which I know about myself is that I'm not that good with grammar and my reading speed is little slow when comprehending stuff at the same time. :(

Looking forward to suggestions and a ray of light in the dark room!

GMATSTRUGGLER


Hi,

First of, don't think using techniques from any test prep companies will do wonders at first place. Different techniques work for different people. Adds are always exaggerated. Though technique of e-gmat is specially designed for non-native speakers, it takes time to make these technique your second nature. I assume to solve most of the medium difficulty level questions, you don't need any technique other than POE and splits, backed by grammatical concepts. But for higher level of questions, your ear will not help you that much. At that point, these techniques will help you. You can also use SLASH & BURN technique of Veritas.

Don't expect anything easy if you are dreaming 720 +. SC is easiest to improve comparatively to CR and RC.

QZ
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Re: Depressed after scoring 520 in a Mock ! [#permalink]

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New post 14 May 2018, 10:42
25ankits wrote:
Hi Guys,

I have been preparing for GMAT for past 2 months by taking a sabbatical from my office. I took E-GMAT online course. At first, I realized that the approach they taught was good and effective but as and when I started practicing questions it took me a lot of time. I was not able to apply the approach as it took me a lot of time. Then I just resorted to other tricks and tips. I gave a test and realized it's not possible for me to resort to their approach and complete the exam.

I feel dejected and depressed right now while writing this mail to you as I don't know what to do now. As I have taken my first mock and scored 520 (Q44 & V18). My Aim was somewhere near 720. I am very depressed right now. I was planning to give my exam on 6th May but thinking no point of giving the exam when you are not prepared. As when I go back to my routine I don't have the luxury of holidays.

I have no clue how to improve my verbal. I'm non-native English speaker.

A couple of things which I know about myself is that I'm not that good with grammar and my reading speed is little slow when comprehending stuff at the same time. :(

Looking forward to suggestions and a ray of light in the dark room!

GMATSTRUGGLER


Best Books

For Concept Learning

Manhattan Quant Guides
Manhattan Verbal Guides
For CR: The Powerscore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible
For RC: Aristotle RC Grail

For Practice

The Official Guide for GMAT 2015-18
The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review 2015-18
The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2015-18

Strategies

You can start with Quant or Verbal which suits you. If you have started with Quant then Start with the Arithmetic but if started with verbal then start first with Sentence correction. One month for learning Quant concepts and one month for practicing question and same practice for Verbal. During you Practicing question don't forget to make an error log to track your weak areas after practice. Once you know your weak areas revise your Concepts related to those areas and do some more Practice. 6-8 CATs are enough for practice the real tests. Make your Stamina for sitting 3 hours in the test and don't study more than 2 hours in one sit and 4 hours per day

Top CATs for Practice

1. Official GMAC CATs
2. Manhattan CATs
3. Kaplan CATs
4. GMAT Club Quant CATs

Good Luck
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Re: Depressed after scoring 520 in a Mock !   [#permalink] 14 May 2018, 10:42
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