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Feeling CRUSHED - Bombed my Verbal (V28)

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Feeling CRUSHED - Bombed my Verbal (V28)  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2019, 16:23
The first time I took the GMAT without studying, I scored a reasonable V33. I assumed with more preparation I could achieve a higher score. Instead I ended up scoring V28. I feel the issue has a lot to do with my time management, since I ended up skipping at least 5 questions at the end.

I have purchased the OG and Manhattan prep books. I was scoring at lest 70/80% on the OG Verbal questions but I started recognizing questions which definitely padded my scores.

I think I need to improve mainly on RC but I just can't find a strategy that works. Also time management is definitely a problem.

I have a couple weeks to study before my next attempt. I plan on putting in at least 10 hours per day, aiming for V35.

I just don't know where to start. Do I spend more time learning more theory? Or should I just do as many practice questions as possible? As a native Canadian I am feeling so depressed that I received such a low Verbal score.

Here is my Verbal ESR: ht tps:// imgur . com/a/czyac0F (sorry for the malformed link, i don't have link posting privileges yet)

Any guidance on where I should devote close to 200 hours of studying would be greatly appreciated.
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Feeling CRUSHED - Bombed my Verbal (V28)  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2019, 18:59

Haha the username, but you aren't so terrible at verbal. For one thing, let's face it, you started off at V33, a score that indicates a fair amount of proficiency in verbal.

Then, after you prepared some, your verbal score decreased. One conclusion that we should consider is that what you were doing before you "prepared" for verbal was better than what you are doing now. In fact, it seems likely that the way you have been working on verbal is flawed.

Each level of verbal score indicates a level of sophistication of verbal thinking. So, to make your verbal score increase, you have to increase the level of sophistication of the thinking that you are bringing to bear when answering GMAT verbal questions. So, you won't get higher-level verbal questions correct by training to use basic strategies. You have to learn to use more sophisticated approaches, and my guess is that somehow, rather than making your thinking more sophisticated, what you did to prepare for verbal made the thinking that are bringing to bear when you answer verbal questions less sophisticated.

One can score in the upper 20's to low 30's in verbal by using some simple strategies, such as looking for grammar issues in Sentence Correction answer choices and eliminating extreme or seemingly irrelevant choices in Critical Reasoning questions. At the same time. there is no way to consistently get verbal questions correct by using such strategies. Questions above a certain difficulty level become too sophisticated for such strategies to work. Sentence Correction questions can have multiple choices that are basically grammatically flawless. More difficult Critical Reasoning questions have correct answers that may seem unrelated to the arguments presented. Reading comprehension questions have multiple answers that are very similar and seem to match what the passage says.

While I don't know for sure that you have been seeking to apply simple strategies like those mentioned above, it seems likely from the decrease in your score that to at least some degree you have been.

Regarding your timing, your ESR shows that you were doing quite well in the first two quarters of the verbal section and then ran out of time toward the end. So let's talk about timing.

The first thing to understand is that timing on the GMAT, as in life, improves as your knowledge, understanding, and skill improve. Timing does not improve simply by “trying to go faster.” In fact, when people try to force speed before they’re ready to go faster, they tend to end up making a significant number of preventable mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes badly erode people’s test scores. In addition, when people rush learning -- a common pathology of those trying to force speed -- they actually never end up developing the speed they seek. One of the great paradoxes of learning is that to develop speed, a student must slow down to ensure that he or she masters the material. Consider the following examples, which hopefully will bring you some more clarity:

Imagine your goal were to run a mile in four minutes, a difficult feat even for professional athletes. So, you get yourself a running coach. You show up on the field and ask, “Coach, how do I get faster?” The coach responds, “Well, just run faster.” So, you try your best to “run faster,” but you can't; you’re running a 12-minute mile. Out of breath, you come back to the coach and say, “Coach, I stink. How do I get faster?” Again, he says, “Just run faster.” So, you try again, but this time you fall and skin your knees. You keep trying to run faster. On the tenth attempt, you pull your hamstring, falling to the ground in pain. Over your next four months of recovery, you ponder why you couldn't run faster.

That situation would be insane, right? No qualified running coach would ever provide you with that advice, because the coach would understand that no one gets faster merely by trying to run faster. Instead, the coach would set you up on a linear, comprehensive plan to make you a BETTER runner. He may have you run progressively longer distances at relatively slow speeds. He may have you run up and down the stairs at the football stadium. He may have you run up and down hills. He even may have you engage in strength training, yoga, or Pilates to make you a more fit athlete. After all of that training, he finally would bring you back on the field and time you running the mile. At that point, he’d coach you on how to push yourself through the pain of sprinting and help you to understand what a four-minute-mile pace feels like. He now could help you with those things because you would be in the necessary shape to be receptive to them. So, you begin your run, and BOOM! You run a 6-minute mile. What happened? Well, you became a better runner. You became a fitter athlete. You became stronger. Although you’re not yet at the four-minute-mile mark, your training has yielded considerable improvements.

Now imagine your goal were to play a complicated song on the piano. The tempo at which a pianist plays greatly impacts the way a song sounds. To make songs sound the way they should, often a pianist must play at a fast pace. But your experience with the piano is limited. Can you imagine trying to play the complicated song at full speed right at the outset? Doing so wouldn't be possible. Instead, you first need to master many aspects of the piano -- without really trying to get faster. In fact, you need to proceed slowly at first, sometimes very slowly. As you master the piano, you find that you’re able to play your song at progressively faster tempos. With time and dedicated, proper practice, you’re able to recreate the sound you seek. If in the early days of practicing you had tried to force speed instead of mastering your technique, you never would have gained that speed. You never would become truly accomplished at playing the song.

The process of getting faster at solving GMAT questions is quite analogous to the process of improving one’s running speed or ability to play the piano at the proper tempo! To get faster, you must get better. As you further develop your GMAT skills, you will get faster at a) recognizing what a problem is asking and b) executing the necessary steps to quickly attack the problem.

The key takeaway is that as you develop stronger GMAT verbal skills, better timing will follow. In fact, a great way to know how well you have a mastered a particular topic is to be cognizant of how you react when seeing a question involving that topic. For instance, consider the following simple question, which might be challenging for someone just beginning to work on Sentence Correction:

The researchers traveled into the rainforest to observe monkeys while swinging through the trees, using their hands, feet, and tails.

    (A) traveled into the rainforest to observe monkeys while swinging

    (B) traveling into the rainforest, observing monkeys that were swinging

    (C) traveled into the rainforest to observe monkeys, swinging

    (D) traveled into the rainforest to observe monkeys, which swing

    (E) were traveling into the rainforest to observe monkeys in order to swing

Looking at this question, a test-taker might quickly see that choice (B) can be eliminated because the version created via the use of (B) has no main verb, and that choice (E) can be eliminated because the version created via the use of (E) conveys the nonsensical meaning that the researchers were traveling into the rainforest in order for the researchers to swing through the trees, using their hands, feet and tails.

Then, having eliminated those two choices, the test-taker could end up using a lot of time circling through choices (A), (C), and (D), not sure what’s wrong with any of them.

However, a person who has studied modifiers would know that, when a closing “–ing” modifier is preceded by a comma or begins with preposition, such as “while,” that “–ing” modifier targets the preceding subject verb combination. So, a person with that knowledge would quickly recognize that “while swinging …,” in (A), and “swinging” preceded by a comma, in (C), target the subject and verb of the preceding clause, which are “researchers traveled,” Thus, that person would see that (A) and (C) convey the illogical meaning that the researchers were swinging through the trees, using their hands, feet, and tails, and that, therefore, the only choice that works is (D).

Although this is just one example of many, you see that you must have many tools in your toolbox to efficiently attack each GMAT verbal question that comes your way. As you gain these skills, you will get faster.

So, to drive your verbal score higher, you may need to learn some more Sentence Correction related concepts and review some basic, logical Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension strategies. At the same time, what you need to do most is to slow way down when practicing and learn to see more clearly what's going on in the questions. In order to train to see what's going on in questions, you have to carefully analyze questions and seek to CLEARLY AND THOROUGHLY DEFINE why every wrong choice is wrong and every correct answer is correct. You could use for this purpose even questions that you have already seen, because you won't be merely seeking to determine which answers are correct. You will be carefully analyzing each choice to determine what exactly about that choice makes it correct or incorrect.

Do you see why doing this type of work will drive your score up?

At first, it may take twenty minutes per question to do this type of analysis. You'll speed up though. If you can see what's going on in twenty minutes per question, you can learn to see it faster.

Two weeks is not a lot of time in the world of GMAT prep. All the same, given that you started at V33, you may, or even should, be able to get to V35 with a couple of weeks of learning verbal concepts and applying them as described above. It can take a lot of work to move the needle in GMAT verbal. At the same time, if you carefully and thoroughly analyze every choice in dozens of verbal questions day after day, learning to get close to 100% of verbal questions correct in practice, you should make some significant progress.

Clearly, taking another practice test, or two, during those two weeks to see how your are doing and to practice applying what you are learning would be helpful.

If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out.

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Re: Feeling CRUSHED - Bombed my Verbal (V28)  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2019, 07:39
Hi ,

In my opinion , you are probably getting wrong on the methodology part of GMAT.

My score has also been very poor and the reason is the methodology .

Adapt methodology which is most suitable to you .

You can get a lot about this on GMAT .

I am sure you will improve your score when you find a methodology and master it by using consistently while solving questions

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Re: Feeling CRUSHED - Bombed my Verbal (V28)  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2019, 10:19
Try considering purchasing a course or seem some help from local tutors. I would recommend magoosh/e-gmat to finetune your verbal skills.

Best wishes!
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Re: Feeling CRUSHED - Bombed my Verbal (V28)  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Feb 2019, 07:25
Hi terribleatverbal,

Welcome to gmatclub!

I'm not a native speaker, but I did fairly well in RC (90%). Check out the following strategies if they work for you: ... rehension/ ... ry-method/

I did well when I understood the article itself. I could spend half an hour on LSAT passage trying to get all questions right. With practice, I managed to decrease that time to 12 minutes with the same accuracy rate.

SC is considered the easiest part to improve. If you're done with both free official CATs, you can download over 600 official questions from gmatprep bank here: ... 40372.html

YThe more you practice and read explanations, the better your score should be.

Hope this helps!

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Re: Feeling CRUSHED - Bombed my Verbal (V28)  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Feb 2019, 08:32
If your score is fluctuating between 30-35 , You need to focus more on concepts than on the solving part. You know how maintaining a good physique is 75% Nutrition and 25% Exercise. most of the people do it the other way. exactly same logic can be applied to GMAT. It's 25 % solving and 75% Review/learning from what you've solved. SC and CR can be improved in a short period of time, RC, However, depends person to person. I would reccomend you to apply for a good prep course. (E-gmat worked best for me) For conceptual clarity. And don't worry, just keep moving and puttingin right efforts. you'll reach there. Goodluck :)

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Re: Feeling CRUSHED - Bombed my Verbal (V28)   [#permalink] 16 Feb 2019, 08:32
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