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GMAT Score:660 (Q48,V31).Want to Retake.Suggestions

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Joined: 17 Feb 2011
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GMAT Score:660 (Q48,V31).Want to Retake.Suggestions [#permalink]

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11 Mar 2011, 06:26
Hey Everyone!

This is my first post (and a long one ).I am new to GMAT Club but have been actively going through the threads for past 3 weeks and found them to be really helpful.I wish I had joined it earlier.Gmat Club Roxx!!

Well,I took my GMAT yesterday (10th March'10) and scored a 660 (Q48,V31).This is my first attempt and to be honest I am not excited about my score because the Verbal Part did not go so well,though the Quant score was quite encouraging.Here is how it went.

1.Both Essays went really well.

2.Took a break of 5 min and used it boost myself mentally for the Quant Section.(I am quite good at Math and usually able to solve questions without much difficulty but I had this knack of sticking to a hard question when i encountered one during my prepTests.This used to put a lot of pressure on me timewise towards the final questions of the section.So i was very clear on pacing myself.) I Almost remember uttering myself aloud-PACE UR SELF! and sweared I would take a Guess if I encountered any hard questions that took me more than 2 minutes to solve.As expected I Did encounter one of them (somewhere in the middle Q20-25) I took a guess and Moved on.The first 15-20 odd questions were easy to solve.But i could see the level getting tougher from there on.The advantage of pacing myself was evident towards the end questions, which were really tough.I was'nt sure that I finished so strongly as I had doubt on certain DS questions which appeared towards the finish.

3.Post Quant section,(During Break) I was still thinking about whether or not I did so well on Quant.It probably played on my mind for 1-2 minutes (the last 1 or 2 DS question really got me wondering as i wasnt able to test them with values).But Anyhow i put that all aside.I had a piece of choclate and few gulps of RED Bull.
Went Back in...

4. Once I started the verbal section,I was doing good on the starting questions.But I do think i took a lot of time rechecking options per question before confirming.I encountered one RC which was particularly difficult.I had a lot of problem dealing with it.(Even during some of my prepTEST I struggled when faced with a particularly hard RC, getting all the questions wrong at one go).The one on the real GMAT was very long and had 5 questions which obviously seemed so difficult to answer.I was sure that I would have time issues.So this really set of an alarm at the back of my head after some 20 odd questions.I still tried my best to focus on the questions at hand rather than time.(I never had a problem finishing my verbal section before in any of my PrepTESTS!!!!).I had to guess answers for the last 3 Questions in order to finish on time.

I scored only a 660.The verbal score was very low.
I really wanted a 700+ Score.But,having gone through the REAL gmat experience i have a fair idea of the areas I need to work upon as I want to retake the test in 2months.

Verbal:
1. Long and Hard RC Questions
2. Time to solve/question (goes for both Q and V)
3. Strategy to breakdown Long and Complex sentences to derive the Basic Information as Quickly as possible.(Since, I belong from a Non-English Speaking country)

Quant:
1. Data Sufficiency particularly the one's related to Numeric properties
2. Regular practice of PS (Dont want to rust!! by completely ignoring it altogether)

So far my practice involved following sources,I am not sure which books or material to refer to, which will help me the most in correcting above Problems.

My Prepartion so far:
Duration: 4Months (11 Weeks of Coaching).
(Practice content followed in order of USE)
1.NOVA (Started from here) - Really helped in recalling all Maths Formulas
2.GMAT VERBAL DRILL BOOK by my Coaching Institute (Mixture of Problems from Kaplan and Manhattan)
3.Prep Test Scores-Kaplan: 570 (took During 1st Month of Prep)
-Princeton Review: 670
4.OG12 (Finished Twice - Untimed)
5.(Really Helped,Used to be very poor at CR)
6.Prep Test Scores:
-Princeton Review: 710
-Kaplan:630
-MGMAT:670
-GMAT Prep1(2nd Last week):720
-GMAT Prep2(Last Week):710
-GMAT Prep1(Retake):720
7.Last day Review: MGMAT Verbal Flash Cards and Light Quant Problems (Involving direct formula application)

Pls Advice Books,Strategy and Advance practice Content for SC,RC and CR.Any suggestions on how to use error log efficiently.Pls feel free to pinpoint any shortcoming in my assesment.

Target Time:2 Months

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Re: GMAT Score:660 (Q48,V31).Want to Retake.Suggestions [#permalink]

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11 Mar 2011, 07:32
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Your post focused more on your GMAT experience rather than on the strategy you followed for preparation so it is a little difficult to comment where you might have gone wrong.Since I also had a Verbal score similar to yours on the first attempt, I can say that why I was not able to perform well on the Verbal section on the first attempt is that I had not prepared in the right manner.
If you're facing difficulty in RC, you might wanna see some videos by Ron Purewal or go through some RC strategy guide and then apply the strategies learnt in passages.For RC practise, nothing beats RC99. It'll familiarize you with topics from all the boring topics from different areas and after having practised a good number of passages, you'll start seeing "patterns" in passages.
For Sentence correction, go through both Manhattan SC Guide and Aristotle SC Grail at least twice. They'll really help you master Sentence correction. Go firstly through SC Grail and then move on to Manhattan SC Guide.

While attempting questions, do not focus on quantity but on quality. One of the mistakes I made when I prepared for the first time is that I kept on practising questions crazily from different sources. Doing this,believe me, is not helpful at all. You have to ensure that you analyze each question thoroughly irrespective of the fact that you get it correct or not.
You should a definite takeaway from each question .You should be able to tell yourself that you learnt so and so thing from this question and if you see such type of question testing this concept you'll apply this concept in this particular way or in a modified way, whichever is applicable. I think following this strategy and these books should definitley help you improve.

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Re: GMAT Score:660 (Q48,V31).Want to Retake.Suggestions [#permalink]

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11 Mar 2011, 15:01
shovitdhar wrote:
Your post focused more on your GMAT experience rather than on the strategy you followed for preparation so it is a little difficult to comment where you might have gone wrong.Since I also had a Verbal score similar to yours on the first attempt, I can say that why I was not able to perform well on the Verbal section on the first attempt is that I had not prepared in the right manner.
If you're facing difficulty in RC, you might wanna see some videos by Ron Purewal or go through some RC strategy guide and then apply the strategies learnt in passages.For RC practise, nothing beats RC99. It'll familiarize you with topics from all the boring topics from different areas and after having practised a good number of passages, you'll start seeing "patterns" in passages.
For Sentence correction, go through both Manhattan SC Guide and Aristotle SC Grail at least twice. They'll really help you master Sentence correction. Go firstly through SC Grail and then move on to Manhattan SC Guide.

While attempting questions, do not focus on quantity but on quality. One of the mistakes I made when I prepared for the first time is that I kept on practising questions crazily from different sources. Doing this,believe me, is not helpful at all. You have to ensure that you analyze each question thoroughly irrespective of the fact that you get it correct or not.
You should a definite takeaway from each question .You should be able to tell yourself that you learnt so and so thing from this question and if you see such type of question testing this concept you'll apply this concept in this particular way or in a modified way, whichever is applicable. I think following this strategy and these books should definitley help you improve.

Thnx a lot Shovitdhar and Congratulation on accomplishing your goal!!!

Yes,My Post focussed more on my experience than on my preparation.But Yeah, I can provide details related to my strategy on verbal.The Preparation was not so structured which is very evident to me now, having analysed it,I can say the strategy was more biassed towards my Quant Preparation.

While getting accustomed to Verbal Section of GMAT:-
a)Covered Each topic one at time from Compiled Study Material at the coaching centre.They had these Good number of questions from various sources like Manhattan/Kaplan Workbook.These questions helped me getting familiar with the topics covered in GMAT Verbal Section (Had no clue before)

b)Took Prep Test from Kaplan and PR.The verbal scores were very low as my prep was very basic at this point of time.All sections were equally poor at this stage.

c)Followed OG12 Relegiously.Tried taking back from question.But At that point of time I dint maintain a record of problem facing areas.Was more focussed on getting an answer correct.(Evident Weakness here )

d)Took 3 More prep Test from MGMAT,Kaplan,PR.Analysed them to find that CR was going nowhere.By this time SC and RC dint seem so problematic (Although not so good).It was probably because CR was so much in dumps that SC and RC seemed Ok in comparison (Another Weakness!)

e)Took up Manhattan CR.It points you back to OG questions so OG CR was aggresively covered.it greatly improved my CR Question solving ability with T-Diagrams and the Chart for S/W Questions.Never faced too much problem with CR there on.

f) TImed Practice of RC's given In OG.Faced problem with 4-5 RC's which were quite hard but Had no clear strategy on how to take on them.(Weakness!)

g) SC dint appear a very problematic area,But i struggled when it came to longer Sentences or for that matter when the Options themselves are long.Definitely took me more time than average to get to the error.No clear Strategy for tackling SC (Except for Vertical comparison and identifying the error in a sentence and What should have been there to make it gramatically correct,And then searched for the same in answers).But for SC i did use Manhattan Flash Cards,They were really helpful.My error finding greatly improved on using them.

h)Gave more PrepTests but Verbal was always the weaker one and pulled back my scores.

Obvious Shortcomings so far i have analysed -
1)Dint Take back from the questions and was focussed more on getting correct anwers (You pointed that one correct)
2)Dint Practice pacing myself with Verbal.
3)No particular strategy to tackle difficult SC and Difficult RC Questions.
4)Quantity over Quality.

Pls Add-On to these for a better assessment.Thanx a lot for the references will definitely involve them in my prep.

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Re: GMAT Score:660 (Q48,V31).Want to Retake.Suggestions [#permalink]

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13 Mar 2011, 01:00
Hi shovitdhar, I hear about RC99 a lot on forums. I'm still going over RC passages in OG 12, learning how to control my timing to less than 5 minutes. I certainly agree with you on ron's videos. At what point did you start working on RC99 passages? Also, what's your opinion how to practice the less typical CR question types, such as explain the argument, explain the situation, and argument structure? How did you study overall for those less common cr questions? thanks.

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Re: GMAT Score:660 (Q48,V31).Want to Retake.Suggestions [#permalink]

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14 Mar 2011, 00:27
Andreweng wrote:
Hi shovitdhar, I hear about RC99 a lot on forums. I'm still going over RC passages in OG 12, learning how to control my timing to less than 5 minutes. I certainly agree with you on ron's videos. At what point did you start working on RC99 passages? Also, what's your opinion how to practice the less typical CR question types, such as explain the argument, explain the situation, and argument structure? How did you study overall for those less common cr questions? thanks.

Whether to use RC99 or not actually depends on the score you're targetting at. If you're looking at no more than 600-650 ,then you should be good with the official guide passages ; however, if you're targetting at a higher score, then use RC99. Switch to RC99 once you're done with the passages in OG12 or if you think that you are consistently getting an accuracy of more than 80% in OG12 passages, then you may wanna switch to RC99.

For the less typical CR questions you've talked about ,you should go through Thursdays with Ron study halls.I remember "explain the paradox/situation" type question has been dealt in one of the study halls and even bold faced type of questions.

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Re: GMAT Score:660 (Q48,V31).Want to Retake.Suggestions   [#permalink] 14 Mar 2011, 00:27
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