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GMAT - Problems with "Verbal"

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GMAT - Problems with "Verbal"  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2019, 12:40
Dear GMAT-Club-User,

I am going to take my GMAT-Exam in a couple of weeks.

I am aiming for 650, although 630 would be enough for me.

Just to give you a brief input about my progress.

I took my first GMAT-Mock-Test on the 5th December 2018, getting an overall Score of 580 (Q44/V26).

I took my second GMAT-Mock-Test on the 16th December 2018, getting an overall Score of 590 (Q44/V28).

I took my third GMAT-Mock-Test (Manhattan) on the 26th December 2018, getting an overall Score of 590 (Q42/V31) according to Manhattan's Algorithm.

The last GMAT-Mock-Test I took was yesterday; I got an overall score of 570 (Q48/V21).

I am not that concerned about my Quantitative-Level; it has been constantly between 42 and 48. I think, I will be able to get a Score around Q44 on the real GMAT.

I am actually worried about my Verbal-Part; it variates a lot, giving me a score range from V21 to V31; a Verbal Score of 32-34 would be absolutely enough for me.

I have reviewed my Mock-Exams including the one of Manhattan and came to know that my error distribution looks a bit like this:

RC: 34 % (Error)
SC: 38 % (Error)
CR: 27 % (Error)

I would be very grateful to anyone who can just give me some Tipps or Tricks to master Verbal; my motivation is starting to sink ...

Thank you everyone for taking time and going through my text ...

With Gratitude,
German Student :)

PS: I don't know why I am doing better in CR than in SC or RC; the time I spent on each category of Verbal was about the same.
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Re: GMAT - Problems with "Verbal"  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2019, 15:04
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Hey mate,

welcome to Gmatclub!

You already crossed one of the most important hurdles by reaching out to the community.

My own two cents on that topic:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/verbal-strat ... l#p2082192

I´ll try to compile a bit of material over the course of the weekend.
Until then you might want to have a look at some posts from the following gentleman:

nightblade354 (Very skilled in CR)
GMATNinja (among the most knowledgeable people on the forum with regards to the Verbal section)

In general, you can certainly cheer up as being a native speaker is in no way a necessity for scoring well on the GMAT verbal section.

Viel Glück,
Chris
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A couple of things that helped me in verbal:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/verbal-strategies-268700.html#p2082192

Gmat Prep CAT #1: V42, Q34, 630
Gmat Prep CAT #2: V46, Q35, 660
Gmat Prep CAT #3: V41, Q42, 680

On the mission to improve my quant score, all help is appreciated! :)

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Re: GMAT - Problems with "Verbal"  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2019, 15:35
Hi GerStudent,

The Verbal section of the GMAT is just as consistent and predictable as the Quant section is - meaning that you can train to take advantage of the patterns and learn Tactics to make the dealing with the Verbal section a lot easier. Unfortunately, the Verbal section of the GMAT has no "safety net", so if you make a little mistake while working on a Verbal question you likely won't realize it (and you'll just convince yourself that one of the incorrect answers is correct). Thus, we have to define how you approach each of the Verbal question types. In addition, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) Did you take the FULL CAT (with the Essay and IR sections) each time?
4) What 'steps' do you go through when dealing with a typical RC, SC or CR prompts?

Goals:
5) When is your exact Test Date?
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
7) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Rich
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Re: GMAT - Problems with "Verbal"  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2019, 00:37
Hello everyone :) ,


first of all, I would like to thank both of you for your time and help. I really appreciate it a lot.


Arro44 (Chris)

Thank you, Chris, for providing me your link.

These are really good advices; some of them, I am already applying while going through Verbal-Questions.

I would also like to thank you for your recommendations regarding nightblade354 and GMATNinja; I will definitely follow the posts of them.

I hope to see improvements in my Verbal-Part soon. :)

Again, Thank You :)


EMPOWERgmatRichC (Rich)

Thank you, Rich, for giving me your time in order to analyse my Status-Quo.

I am studying for the GMAT-Exam now for whole 3 Months; of these 3 months, I have spent 2 months focussing only on the Quantitative-Part and 1 month only on the Verbal-Part.

Till now, I have used the Manhattan Books and the Official Guide 2019.

I have taken the full CAT each time in the following order: Quantitative, Verbal, IR and Essay.

As far as CR is concerned, I have memorized the different Question-Types; I read the question stem first and then go through the given text, working from wrong to right.

As far as SC is concerned, I try to find technical errors (Parallelism, Subject-Verb-Agreement etc.) first and then work from wrong to right.

As far as RC is concerned, I don't have a real strategy here. I go trough the text, making some notes, and then try to answer the given questions.

My exact Test-Date is scheduled for 27th January 2019 and I am going to apply for the Business School (Cologne University in Germany) between April and June.

A score of 630 would be sufficient, but I am still trying to aim for a score of 650 that would give me some more space to breath; therefore I have to get at least a score of V32.


I would again like to thank both of you for your precious time and effort.

With Best Regards,

Kevin
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Re: GMAT - Problems with "Verbal"  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2019, 12:46
Hi Kevin,

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 4 CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 580 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. You're actually closer to a 650+ than you probably realize, but the little inconsistencies in your performances are keeping you from scoring higher.

The issues that you're facing actually happen to many Test Takers who use a "book heavy" study approach. Even the best books are limited in what they can teach you; they also can't force you to approach questions in a certain way and their explanations are often one-sided. To consistently score 650+, you're going to have to focus on learning and practicing the proper Tactics for BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. You could potentially get to that level in about a month, but you would have a better chance if you had 2 months of consistent study time.

If your application deadline(s) are not until April, then you have plenty of time to continue studying and improving. With your current Test Date, you have just a little over 3 weeks though. Do you have the flexibility to push back your planned Test Date?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
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Re: GMAT - Problems with "Verbal"  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2019, 07:27
Hi Rich,

thank you again for your response to my post.


I had a similiar thought; I think 580 +/- a few points is in deed my current level.

I am actually able to postpone my planned Test-Date but I really want to go in there in order to make the experience of how it is to be in a real Test-Center.

Even if it doesn't work out well for me, I can still put on more effort afterwards and go in again a month later, but I am still hoping for the best.

Is it possible for you to give me a guidline of how you learned for the Verbal-Part ?

Only Manhattan and some Official-Guide-Questions don't seem to work out for me; I have to change the way of how I approach the Verbal-Questions.


With Best Regards,

Kevin


PS: Your Slogan "GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made" is a real motivation :)
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Re: GMAT - Problems with "Verbal"  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2019, 19:56
Hi Kevin,

There's no harm in taking the GMAT on January 27th, but if it's likely that you will just end up having to take it again, then you can save some time and money and pay the rescheduling fee to push back your Test Date.

Based on the 'swings' in both your Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores, I think that you have to work on more than just your Verbal Skills. If you just want to work on the Verbal side of the Exam right now, then I think that you would find the EMPOWERgmat Verbal Score Booster to be quite helpful. Most of our clients finish that Study Plan in under a month, so it could potentially fit your schedule. During that time, you'll also be able to access any of the Quant resources that interest you. We have a variety of free resources on our site (www.empowergmat.com), so you can 'test out' the Course before setting up an account.

If you have any additional questions, then just let me know.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
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Re: GMAT - Problems with "Verbal"  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jan 2019, 14:21
Hi Rich,

thanks again for your response.

I think that I will try to improve my Verbal-Score first as I am loosing most of my points in the Verbal-Section.

I hope EMPOWERgmat will help me in doing so; I will definitely go for it.

Thanks again for your advices, time and effort in order to help me. :)

With Best Regards,

Kevin
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Re: GMAT - Problems with "Verbal"  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2019, 19:57
I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. Although I don’t know how you have been studying, since you most recently scored a V21, it’s clear that you lack the GMAT verbal fundamentals you need for a high score. The good news is that if you follow a linear and structured study plan, you can improve those skills; however, that process may take more than just a few weeks. Are you able to take the GMAT at a later date? Either way, below is some advice you can follow to improve your verbal skills.

Let’s say you begin studying Critical Reasoning, for example. Your first goal is to master the individual Critical Reasoning topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn each Critical Reasoning problem type, do focused practice so you can assess how well you understand the topic. If, for example, you incorrectly answer 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 are reading a paragraph, also 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, focus on the exact types of Reading Comprehension 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 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, it is likely that you will have to work 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 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 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 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 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 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. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and 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 skills improve, you’ll then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple SC topics.

Feel free to reach out with any questions.

Good luck!
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Re: GMAT - Problems with "Verbal" &nbs [#permalink] 07 Jan 2019, 19:57
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