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Last 10 days study strategy before exam

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New post 18 Sep 2018, 23:19
Hi!

I have my GMAT on 29th September and I am aiming to score 700+. I have taken 3 mocks as of now and scored 640, 620 and 620(veritas prep mocks).
I have completed all the official guides and Manhattan (for quant).
My quant is relatively good and I feel I'll have to improve a lot in verbal. (I scored 30 in verbal in mocks).
With only 10 days left, please help me regarding how I should prepare to be able to score above 700.

Also I cannot postpone the exam as I plan to apply for fall 2019 and round deadlines are approaching.

All suggestions are welcome.

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New post 19 Sep 2018, 01:03
Hey Anushka01

Welcome to GMATClub.

I would recommend you to take one of the free tests(offered on mba.com)
Link to tests - https://gmatofficialprep.mba.com/SarasExamPrep#/home

These tests are very accurate and help predict what you are likely to score
in the real exam. If you are at a range of 30-40 points to your target score,
you should go ahead and take the test as scheduled. However, if that is not
the case, you must reschedule and give the preparation a little more time.

Ideally, in order to get a score of 700 - you should be looking at a score of
Q49-50 and V34-36 at the bare minimum(if your Quant is as strong as you
think). I know postponing is not something you had in mind but it is the best
step as it would be difficult to apply to your target schools with a substandard
score.

Hope this helps you!
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Re: Last 10 days study strategy before exam  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Sep 2018, 16:42
Hi Anushka01,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your 3 CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 630 +/- a few points). Raising a 630 to a 700+ will likely require at least another 1-2 months of consistent, guided study, so you will likely need more study time than you have allotted. While I understand that you do not want to change your application plans, you might have to decide what is MORE important: applying soon (with a GMAT Score in the low-600s) or applying later with a higher GMAT Score.

To properly assess these CAT Scores, I'd like to know a bit more about how you took these CATs:

1) What were the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores on each of these CATs?
2) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
3) Did you take them at home?
4) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you plan to take your Official GMAT?
5) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
6) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: on a prior CAT, in an online forum or in a practice set)?

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Re: Last 10 days study strategy before exam  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2018, 20:02
Anushka01 wrote:
Hi!

I have my GMAT on 29th September and I am aiming to score 700+. I have taken 3 mocks as of now and scored 640, 620 and 620(veritas prep mocks).
I have completed all the official guides and Manhattan (for quant).
My quant is relatively good and I feel I'll have to improve a lot in verbal. (I scored 30 in verbal in mocks).
With only 10 days left, please help me regarding how I should prepare to be able to score above 700.

Also I cannot postpone the exam as I plan to apply for fall 2019 and round deadlines are approaching.

All suggestions are welcome.
As pushpitkc mentioned, the GMATPreps are the best practice tests available. You should take at least one of those tests, just to see how good the estimates you're working with right now are. Apart from that, I wouldn't suggest any major changes to your approach this close to the exam.
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Re: Last 10 days study strategy before exam  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2018, 16:26
Hi Anushka01,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. Unfortunately, it’s quite unlikely that you will raise your GMAT score by 60 points in just 10 days. Thus, if you truly need a 700, you should consider moving your exam to a later date. That being said, I’m happy to provide some advice on how to improve your verbal score.

Since you scored a V30, it’s clear that you are lacking some fundamental skills necessary for a good verbal score. Moving forward, you need to follow a study plan that allows you to learn linearly, such that you can slowly build mastery of one verbal topic prior to moving on to the next. Within each topic, begin with the foundations and progress toward more advanced concepts. (Yes, this will take more than 10 days; however, as mentioned, you will need more than 10 days to improve your score by 60 points.) For example, when studying Critical Reasoning, you need to ensure that you fully understand the essence of the various Critical Reasoning 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 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, to be successful in Sentence Correction, 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 in the sentence clearly refer to nouns in the sentence? 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 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 Sentence Correction skills improve, you’ll then want to practice with SC questions that test you on skills from multiple SC topics.

Ultimately, if you are unable to learn and practice in the manner described above, you may consider looking for additional verbal prep resources. If you are unsure of which resources to choose, check out some reviews here on GMAT Club.

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: Last 10 days study strategy before exam &nbs [#permalink] 23 Sep 2018, 16:26
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