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# GMAT Study Plan / Strategies for Verbal

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Intern
Joined: 14 Feb 2019
Posts: 5
GMAT Study Plan / Strategies for Verbal  [#permalink]

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19 Feb 2019, 11:16
Hey All,

I am new to GMAT club, and I wanted to ask for some advice. I recently took the GMAT and received a 720 (50Q, 37V). I know this is not a bad score at all, but I was aiming to score a 740+.

TLDR background:
--Computer Science bachelor's from a top 3 US ranked university
--Currently work as a software engineer. Worked in investment banking / venture

I've been struggling largely with verbal, and I was hoping anyone that has jumped past the 40s barrier can give me some advice? I haven't really taken much of a structured approach... just took practice tests every day for 1.5 weeks and reviewed the questions that I missed. My main problems include CR and SC... my reading comprehension seems to be fine.

Are there any particular resources that you guys might be able to point to?
How have others prepped their verbal? Does anyone have a sample schedule that they would be willing to share?
RC Moderator
Joined: 24 Aug 2016
Posts: 744
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Operations
GMAT 1: 630 Q48 V28
GMAT 2: 540 Q49 V16
Re: GMAT Study Plan / Strategies for Verbal  [#permalink]

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19 Feb 2019, 12:08
Hello 800OrBust1 ..... welcome to the community.

Below are the some links you can explore :
1. https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-impro ... l#p1143009
2. https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-impro ... l#p1643215

GMATNinja videos would also be useful. One of them : https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-impro ... 38089.html ... there are a bunch others in his signature.

Hope this helps!!
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Thanks in appreciation.

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Re: GMAT Study Plan / Strategies for Verbal  [#permalink]

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19 Feb 2019, 12:15
1
800OrBust1 wrote:
Hey All,

I am new to GMAT club, and I wanted to ask for some advice. I recently took the GMAT and received a 720 (50Q, 37V). I know this is not a bad score at all, but I was aiming to score a 740+.

TLDR background:
--Computer Science bachelor's from a top 3 US ranked university
--Currently work as a software engineer. Worked in investment banking / venture

I've been struggling largely with verbal, and I was hoping anyone that has jumped past the 40s barrier can give me some advice? I haven't really taken much of a structured approach... just took practice tests every day for 1.5 weeks and reviewed the questions that I missed. My main problems include CR and SC... my reading comprehension seems to be fine.

Are there any particular resources that you guys might be able to point to?
How have others prepped their verbal? Does anyone have a sample schedule that they would be willing to share?

Hi 800OrBust1,

Welcome to GMATCLUB. To improve your scores in verbal, you can consider e-gmat verbal online or the e-gmat verbal live course. They are both amazing courses especially designed for non-natives. They offer almost 25% of their courses for free so you can try out their free trial to decide which one you want to go for. Plus the e-gmat Scholaranium which is included in both the courses is one of the best verbal practice tools in the market. You can easily track your progress in that you can identify your strengths and analyze and improve on your weak areas.

Further taking multiple mocks might help. Apart from the GMATPREP, Manhattan GMAT tests and Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

Further another advantage of taking many mocks is to build up your stamina. Apart from the GMATPREP tests, taking practise tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

Hope this helps. All the best.
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EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
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Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: GMAT Study Plan / Strategies for Verbal  [#permalink]

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19 Feb 2019, 16:35
1
Hi 800OrBust1,

First off, a 720/Q50 is an outstanding score, so you can comfortably apply to any Schools that interest you. As such, a retest is probably not 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 and plans. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so if you studied for just 1.5 weeks, then this Official Score shows that you are a strong critical thinker overall - but you would almost certainly need more time to hone the necessary skills to consistently score at that higher level.

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 your timeline and your goals:

1) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs/mocks (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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

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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

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Intern
Joined: 14 Feb 2019
Posts: 5
Re: GMAT Study Plan / Strategies for Verbal  [#permalink]

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19 Feb 2019, 17:58
1) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs/mocks (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

Rich -- thank you very much for the detailed response! I recognize that it is a good score; however, I'd like to raise the score to a high enough level that will offset my undergraduate GPA (~3.4).

(1)
CATs:
Manhattan Prep - 690 (49Q / 35V)
Manhattan Prep - 690 (46Q / 38V)
GMAT Official Practice - 720 (48Q / 41V)
GMAT Official Practice - 740 (49Q / 42V)

(2)
I am likely going to try to apply in round 3 (coming up in 1.5 months) or j-term (deadlines ~ October).

(3)
I am targeting the following schools:
--Booth (my alma mater) (R3)
--Sloan (R3)
--Columbia (J term)
--Said (R4)
--LBS (J term)
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13755
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: GMAT Study Plan / Strategies for Verbal  [#permalink]

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19 Feb 2019, 22:53
Hi 800OrBust1,

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 CAT score results - along with your Official Score - show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 720 +/- a few points). You handle most of the GMAT consistently well, but there are some minor inconsistencies that are costing you points. Since your deadlines aren't immediate, you could approach this next phase of your studies however you choose and potentially pick up those extra points simply by putting in some repetitions. If you'd prefer to be more efficient with this next phase of your studies though, you would likely benefit from a more structured Study Plan that would focus on Verbal content, Tactics and patterns.

1) Are you currently working with any specific study materials?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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!*****

Intern
Joined: 14 Feb 2019
Posts: 5
Re: GMAT Study Plan / Strategies for Verbal  [#permalink]

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20 Feb 2019, 00:37
Rich,

1) I am currently looking into different study materials. I am using Kaplan and Manhattan Prep at the moment.
2) I’ve recently taken time off of work to focus on my GMAT, so I have most of the day dedicated to improving my score.

From the results of my practice tests, I know that I need to focus on critical reasoning and sentence correction questions, although I would like a more structured methodology to tackling the problems as timing has been a large concern.
Director
Joined: 30 Jan 2016
Posts: 966
Location: United States (MA)
Re: GMAT Study Plan / Strategies for Verbal  [#permalink]

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20 Feb 2019, 09:14
Hi 800OrBust1,

Welcome to gmatclub!

As you have to improve verbal, official questions are the best out there: That official GMAT question might cost \$3000

Some people, including myself, believe that Manhattan SC guide is the best. You can read a debrief here:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmatclubbing ... 86239.html

If you're done with all the official questions and finished both official free CATs, you can access the official questions from gmatprep question bank:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-most-com ... 40372.html
https://gmatclub.com/forum/all-gmatprep ... 87679.html

Also, you can read explanations here and on manhattanprep forum by Ron. You can watch his videos here:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/updated-thur ... 98304.html

If you have time, you can go through the Critical reasoining bible by Powerprep. Read more here:

I hope this helps!
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EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
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Posts: 13755
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
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Re: GMAT Study Plan / Strategies for Verbal  [#permalink]

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20 Feb 2019, 22:26
Hi 800OrBust1,

Since you're working with some study materials already, it would make a certain amount of sense for you to finish off those materials first. Once you've worked through those materials, you should take a NEW, FULL-LENGTH CAT.

Beyond that, it's also worth noting that 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, going forward you really shouldn't take more than 1 FULL CAT per week.

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!*****

Target Test Prep Representative
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Joined: 14 Oct 2015
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Re: GMAT Study Plan / Strategies for Verbal  [#permalink]

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21 Feb 2019, 18:12
Hi 800OrBust1,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. First off, nice work with the 720 and Q50! Regarding verbal, given that you studied for only 1.5 weeks, a V37 is pretty impressive. That said, I realize that you are not satisfied with that score, so here is some advice you can follow to improve your Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction skills.

Another major mistake that people make when training for CR is that they do practice questions too fast. To get Critical Reasoning questions correct, you have to see exactly what's going on in the passages and answer choices, and you likely won't learn to do so by spending a few minutes on each question. At this stage of your training, you may need to spend as many as fifteen minutes on each question, learning to see what there is to see. Here is a way to look at this process: If you get a new job in a field in which you are not experienced, you may not be as fast as the other people working with you, but you know you have a job to do and you make sure you learn all the angles, so that you do the job well, if not as quickly as those around you. Rushing through the job and doing it incorrectly would not make sense. Then, as you gain more experience, you learn to do the same job more quickly. Think of Critical Reasoning questions similarly. Your job is to do what? To get through questions quickly? Not really. Your job is to get correct answers.

So, first you have to learn to get correct answers, generally at least 10 to 15 in a row consistently, and more in a row would be better. That is your job, and if it takes you fifteen minutes per question to get correct answers consistently, then so be it. Only after you have learned to get correct answers consistently can you work on speeding up. Working quickly but not doing your job is useless. Better to work slowly and learn to do your job well. You can be sure that with experience, you will learn to speed up, and then you will still be doing your job well, i.e., getting correct answers consistently.

Finally, a key aspect of getting correct answers to Critical Reasoning questions is noticing the key differences between trap choices and correct answers. Trap choices can sound temptingly correct, but the logic of what a trap choice says simply doesn't fit what the question is asking you to find. You must learn to see the key differences between trap choices and correct answers.

Sentence Correction is a bit of a different animal compared to 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, 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 regimen, 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 will then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with any questions.

Good luck!
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Re: GMAT Study Plan / Strategies for Verbal   [#permalink] 21 Feb 2019, 18:12
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# GMAT Study Plan / Strategies for Verbal

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