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GMAT Strategy and Verbal

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GMAT Strategy and Verbal  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2018, 17:17
Hi All,

I just took the GMAT Prep practice (web version) and scored Q50. I'm elated, of course, but I saw three repeat questions. I took the first practice test on the downloadable software back in May, and unfortunately, that test did not transfer to the new, web version.

I missed 1 of the repeat questions and answered 2 of them correctly. I remembered the answer to just one of the repeats and I had to solve the other two because it has been almost two months since I took the initial exam. I also made sure that I let the clock run through the entire 2 minutes for the repeat for which I remembered the answer. I'm convinced that my Quant is somewhere between Q48 and Q50, inclusive. Is that a reasonable conclusion?

I've spent the past 1.5 months tackling quant to maximize my score. My initial GMAT Prep verbal score before studying was V34. I'd like to get it into the mid-40s, if possible. My ideal score is V42, but I'd be happy if I even scored V40.

I did not take a course for Quant, but given that I want to take the exam by November, I want to improve in the shortest time possible, and so I've decided to pay for a course. I don't live in a "metro"/"big" city, so there are no physical classes, I'd like to use the self-study, and thankfully, some stellar GMATclub members have reviewed various courses, and Veritas Prep and EMPOWER GMAT seem to have the best overall reviews. I want to decide on one of those two or the best verbal course out there, whatever it may be. Veritas is the equivalent of a conglomerate and EMPOWER is much smaller. Does anyone have an opinion about which of the those two are better for Verbal? Or which course out there is best for verbal? Anyone opinion on powerscore? I've heard good things about its GMAT Verbal, especially CR, but it doesn't seem to be popular on Gmatclub.

I plan to combine one of those courses (Veritas or EMPOWER or PowerScore or the best Verbal Prep) with GmatClub quant questions to keep warm in quant while putting 80% of my time into verbal.

Thanks in advance.
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Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
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GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: GMAT Strategy and Verbal  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2018, 20:17
Hi TippingPoint93,

Based on what you've described, your overall Quant "ability level" likely is in the high-Q40s, but seeing even a couple of 'repeat' questions during a CAT can completely 'throw off' the Score Algorithm as well as your pacing, energy levels, anxiety, etc., so we can't call that Q50 an accurate result.

When it comes to studying for the GMAT, there are a variety of different options. Most GMAT Companies offer some type of free materials (practice problems, Trial Accounts, videos, etc.) that you can use to 'test out' a product before you buy it. We have a variety of those resources at our website (www.empowergmat.com). I suggest that you take advantage of all of them then choose the one that best matches your personality, timeline and budget. Beyond that, before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, 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) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) What is your goal score?
5) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
7) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

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Joined: 06 Jul 2013
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GMAT Strategy and Verbal  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2018, 21:10
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi TippingPoint93,

Based on what you've described, your overall Quant "ability level" likely is in the high-Q40s, but seeing even a couple of 'repeat' questions during a CAT can completely 'throw off' the Score Algorithm as well as your pacing, energy levels, anxiety, etc., so we can't call that Q50 an accurate result.

When it comes to studying for the GMAT, there are a variety of different options. Most GMAT Companies offer some type of free materials (practice problems, Trial Accounts, videos, etc.) that you can use to 'test out' a product before you buy it. We have a variety of those resources at our website (http://www.empowergmat.com). I suggest that you take advantage of all of them then choose the one that best matches your personality, timeline and budget. Beyond that, before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, 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) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) What is your goal score?
5) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
7) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich


Hi Rich,

Studied for a few months. Wasn't consistent until May, so I don't know exactly how to quantify how long I've studied for. I just literally finished a Kaplan CAT about 30 minutes ago.

I started in January, and I went through the Eight Manhattan Guides for (Quant/Verbal) and I summarized all of them -- the quant formulas I'd need to memorize, all the rules I'd need to memorize for SC, except the Idioms, and the strategies for tackling RC and CR. There were so many idioms for SC that I just ignored them. Then I forgot about GMAT for about 3 months. After reading the MGMAT guides, doing the practice problems in them and also after doing the practice problems in the Original Guide for Quantitative Review (300 problems), I took a GMAT Prep CAT and scored 650 (Q46, V34) on the downloadable software (May 20th 2018). I spent the next 3 weeks on MGMAT Advanced Quant, and then took a GMAT Focus (shortened version) and was allocated a score of Q47-Q51 (GMAT Focus gives a range). I then took a Kaplan CAT and scored 650 (Q47, V32).

I then tackled Jeff Sackman's 1000 challenge questions. After completing that, I spent a bit of time studying Sentence Correction about a week (just this past week). I took the GMAT Prep software yesterday (Quant only) scored Q50.

I decided that I wanted to see how I would perform in a full CAT, so I took the Kaplan CAT #2 (finished it literally 30 minutes ago) and scored 700 (Q49, V37). Oddly enough, the little studying i've done on SC over the past week translated into a higher verbal score from the V32 I scored a month ago. I answered 80% of the SC questions correctly in this CAT vs just 40% in the previous one in which I scored V32. I performed poorly in RC and CR this time (I kept trying to take notes on the RC passages and spent too much time on them and had to guess to avoid running out of time on both Kaplan CATs) . I hadn't been able to score about Q43 on MGMAT quant but I'm yet to take another MGMAT test after the 1000 questions I did from Jeff Sackman's challenge set.

Honestly, I've taken way too many exams to list mostly because I wanted to get a baseline score. I settled on MGMAT, Veritas and Kaplan. I purchased their CATs and plan to use them to track my progress and built stamina so I'm going to take full CATs from henceforth. The plan is to take Veritas and MGMAT as well before diving too deep into verbal so that I can actually see if I'm improving. One of them might be an outlier, but three of them should give me a decent baseline. I already purchased GMAC's Exam Pack 1 and 2 but I plan to save them until I'm "ready." Those will have no repeats. I haven't put much time into verbal and I'm yet to take Manhattan and Veritas to get another baseline post-Jeff Sackman's sets, but here is a summary of the CAT's:

Went through MGMAT Guides and OG for Quant Review then:

GMAT Prep - 650 (Q46, V34) May 20th

Went through MGMAT Advanced Quant, then:

GMAT Focus Q47-51 June 14th
Kaplan - 650 (Q47, V32) June, 22nd

Went through Jeff Sackman's 1000 Challenge Sets and studied SC a bit then:

GMAT Prep - Q50 - July 9th
Kaplan - 700 (Q49, V37) July 10th

I plan to apply fall of 2019 or 2020, and Harvard/Stanford/MIT are my top 3 choices. My target score is 770/780, I want to maximize my chances for scholarships. I want to take the exam in October. I'm thinking of applying for MLT and the deadline is in November. Not sure if you're familiar with MLT, but it's a Pre-MBA program for minorities. I have a question for you -- I guess this a "don't ask a barber if you need a haircut" type of question, but would you say that your program is targeted more toward Quant than Verbal or the other way around?

Thanks
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
User avatar
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Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 12461
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: GMAT Strategy and Verbal  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2018, 06:50
Hi TippingPoint93,

To start, a 770 is above the 99th percentile, meaning that 99% of Test Takers will never score that high (regardless of how long they study or the number of times that they take the GMAT). Thankfully, no Business School actually requires a score that high, so you have to be mindful that the Score that you "want" and the Score that you "need" are probably not the same thing.

From what you describe, it sounds like you're taking an "all of one subject, then all of another" study plan - and that's typically NOT the best way to approach the overall Exam. In simple terms, you should be working on some Quant and some Verbal each week (and you might be surprised how building up skills in one area can actually help you build up skills in other areas).

Each CAT is really a 'measuring device' - when used correctly, it will give you a realistic score and help define your strengths and weaknesses, but it will NOT help you to fix any of those weaknesses. To raise your scores, you have to learn the necessary Tactics and put in the proper practice and repetitions. The CAT will show you whether your studies are helping you to improve or not. As such, you really shouldn't take more than 1 FULL CAT per week (and in the early going, taking a CAT every 2 weeks might actually be better for you - so that you can spend more of your time focused on learning content/Tactics).

The EMPOWERgmat Course is similar to a gym membership; you can use it as much as you like for as long as you like and then cancel at any time. Based on your particular 'needs', you can follow one of our Study Plans (that provides an efficient structure to your training) or you can focus on the specific subjects that interest you.

Since you've been scoring at a high level on your CATs so far, I'd like to know a bit more about how you took your CATs:

1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you plan to take your Official GMAT?
4) 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.)?
5) 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)?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

GMAT Club Bot
Re: GMAT Strategy and Verbal &nbs [#permalink] 11 Jul 2018, 06:50
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