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GMAT ESR analysis: 670 Q48/V34 - Need advice on Verbal

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GMAT ESR analysis: 670 Q48/V34 - Need advice on Verbal  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2019, 19:29
Hello GMAT experts,

I have recently taken my GMAT exam and am seeking advice on how to improve my score specifically in Verbal within about a month.

Target: 730
Schools: INSEAD, LBS, Tepper (Indian applicant)
Will be applying in R2 to prepare better for GMAT.

Some background on my preparation:
Started slow with Kaplan Prep Plus about 4 months, switched to OG and practice tests for about 2 months.

Practice tests (in Chronological order):
    - GMAT Prep 1 - 600 Q45/V28
    - Kaplan PT 1 - 630 Q43/V33
    - Kaplan PT 2 - 690 Q47/V38
    - Kaplan PT 3 - 680 Q46/V38
    - GMAT Prep 2 - 690 Q48/V36
    - Kaplan PT 4 - 740 Q49/V43

Actual GMAT: 670 (Q48, V34), date July 22nd

What I think happened:
I studied intensely for the last month until 3 days before the test, when I decided to take a road trip with friends which I hoped would help me relax by not thinking about the exam. I instead ended up worrying about not preparing enough for the GMAT throughout the trip.
On the test day, I was a nervous as well, but got into the exam mode when the test started.
Quant section was going good until towards the end when I realized I had made a silly error on a previous question. That threw me off guard and got me more nervous.
I think my concerns about the quant section also threw me off on Verbal.

I feel that my strategy for the next 1 month should be focused on improving Verbal, more specifically SC timing and building a more solid strategy towards RC/CR. At the same time I need to maintain and possibly improve my Quant. What do you think is the best way forward?
Would it be beneficial to search and practice my timing using LSAT CR/RC questions and GMAT 700 level questions on GMATclub?

I would also greatly appreciate your advice on things to do and the right mindset in the last week before and the day of the test. Should I attempt practice tests throughout that week?

Thanks in advance for your time and valuable insights! Highly appreciate it.

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EMPOWERgmatRichC
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GMAT ESR analysis: 670 Q48/V34 - Need advice on Verbal  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2019, 23:49
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Based on the data from your ESR, I think you can get best returns on your prep by focusing on Sentence Correction and do a bit more practice of PS questions. Even CR can be improved a bit i feel.
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Re: GMAT ESR analysis: 670 Q48/V34 - Need advice on Verbal  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Aug 2019, 07:10
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Hi GMATDisciple,

The good news is that 670 is not a bad start. That said, to improve both your quant and verbal scores to a higher level, you need to go through GMAT quant and verbal carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills. The overall process will be to learn all about how to answer question types with which you currently aren't very comfortable, and do dozens of practice questions category by category, basically driving up your score point by point. For example, if you find that you are not strong in answering Number Properties questions, then carefully review the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions and practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. 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.

You can work on verbal in a similar manner. Let’s say you are reviewing Critical Reasoning. Be sure that you practice a large number of Critical Reasoning questions: Strengthen and Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, find the Conclusion, Must be True, etc. As you go through the questions, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get correct. If you missed a Weaken question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize what the question was asking? Did you skip over a key detail in an answer choice? Getting GMAT verbal questions right is a matter of what you know, what you see, and what you do. So, any time that you don't get one right, you can seek to identify what you had to know to get the right answer, what you had to see that you didn't see, and what you could have done differently to arrive at the correct answer.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently. The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

Regarding how to approach the final week of prep, you could take one final practice exam about 6 or 7 days prior to your GMAT. Aside from taking one last practice exam, do some light studying, such as doing focused practice and reviewing flash cards/notes from past topics to ensure that knowledge has not slipped through the cracks.

Beyond that, try to keep busy with activities other than GMAT prep: go out to dinner, go to the movies, go for a run … Do whatever you have to so you don’t spend the days leading up to your exam worrying about how things will go.

Lastly, you may find it helpful to read the following articles:

How to Score a 700+ on the GMAT — A Mini Guide for Success

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Re: GMAT ESR analysis: 670 Q48/V34 - Need advice on Verbal  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Aug 2019, 08:49
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GmatDisciple wrote:
Hello GMAT experts,

.
Practice tests (in Chronological order):
    - GMAT Prep 1 - 600 Q45/V28
    - GMAT Prep 2 - 690 Q48/V36
    .

Actual GMAT: 670 (Q48, V34), date July 22nd

..

I feel that my strategy for the next 1 month should be focused on improving Verbal, more specifically SC timing and building a more solid strategy towards RC/CR. At the same time I need to maintain and possibly improve my Quant. What do you think is the best way forward?
Would it be beneficial to search and practice my timing using LSAT CR/RC questions and GMAT 700 level questions on GMATclub?

..
If you still think that you have to know how CR and RC works perfectly, you should try "thursdays with ron" for CR and powerscore bible for RC (the best book i have ever seen).
Why LSAT CR?
Did you studied all CR from official guide? If yes, you should revise those official question. If you touch any unofficial materials for practice as official materials are finished then it is bad for you.
I personally request you that give your time on CR and RC thinking how they work in real gmat.
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Re: GMAT ESR analysis: 670 Q48/V34 - Need advice on Verbal  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Aug 2019, 21:01
Hi GmatDisciple,

First off, a 670/Q48 is a strong Score, so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be necessary. Depending on the Schools that you plan to apply to, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admissio ... tants-124/

There's certainly no harm in retesting though - and you have the opportunity to pick up some points in both the Quant and Verbal sections. Before we discuss the data in your ESR, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

1) How many hours did you typically study each week?
2) On what dates did you take each of your practice CATs/mocks?
3) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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Re: GMAT ESR analysis: 670 Q48/V34 - Need advice on Verbal  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Aug 2019, 22:37
Thanks for all your detailed and valuable insights, Asad, ScottTargetTestPrep, saukrit
Highly appreciate it.

Hi EMPOWERgmatRichC

Thanks for your inputs. As requested:

1) How many hours did you typically study each week?
    On an average 18-20 hours a week.
    I had initially scheduled for June end, but I pushed the test to July end.
    At the time I felt unprepared with my practice tests scores being nowhere near my goal.

2) On what dates did you take each of your practice CATs/mocks?
    Here's the approximate timeline from memory
    - GMAT Prep 1 - 600 Q45/V28 - Feb 2019
    - Kaplan PT 1 - 630 Q43/V33 - May 2019
    - Kaplan PT 2 - 690 Q47/V38 - June 2019
    - Kaplan PT 3 - 680 Q46/V38 - June 2019
    - GMAT Prep 2 - 690 Q48/V36 - June 2019
    - 3 GMAT Club Quant CATS - July 2019
    - Kaplan PT 4 - 740 Q49/V43 - July 2019

3) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?
    I'd be able to put in more if need be but I feel that 15-20 hours is optimum for me.
    However, I'd prefer to approach it more steadily this time especially trying to fit some workout in my schedule as well. Learning from my experience in June-July when I stopped biking and everything else apart from work and GMAT.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: GMAT ESR analysis: 670 Q48/V34 - Need advice on Verbal  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2019, 19:25
Hi GmatDisciple,

I've sent you a PM with an analysis of your ESR and some additional notes.

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Re: GMAT ESR analysis: 670 Q48/V34 - Need advice on Verbal   [#permalink] 13 Aug 2019, 19:25
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