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# Going above and beyond on Verbal to compensate for deficiencies in QA

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Going above and beyond on Verbal to compensate for deficiencies in QA [#permalink]
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LeoSS24 wrote:
Thanks for the reply, bb! I see where you’re getting at. It has been a cause for concern for me that my quants score hasn’t improved till now. The only thing I can take heart with is that I do get much more difficult questions on my mock than I did earlier but my score remains the same. Any tips on how I can go about my quants during my final stretch these last 20-24 days?

Hm... I would focus on the basics and try to cover a small section of math. Likely you will have to go back to 2nd grade but it is fast to catch up.
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Going above and beyond on Verbal to compensate for deficiencies in QA [#permalink]
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Just to add to what bb has said so brilliantly, if you start seeing quants as quant ‘REASONING’, you will realise that a lot of the skill sets that you have already developed in VerbalReasoning are actually transferable to QR. Initially, it’s better to just stay away from non-official quant questions many of which have a lot less of ‘reasoning’ and a lot more of ‘quants’ (at least until you have gotten the taste of the OG ‘flavour’ and can judge what makes for a good ‘GMAT quant question’). And ironically, stay away from official answers - which are not solved the way you should solve these questions. (personally think Manhattan Navigator does a great job in solving the official guide questions. Also there are many experts on this forum (such as IanStewart and avigutman to name a few) who solve official questions using a reasoning based approach.

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Going above and beyond on Verbal to compensate for deficiencies in QA [#permalink]
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Hi LeoSS24,

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 many hours do you typically study each week?
2) What specific study materials have you used so far?
3) On what dates (or approximate dates) did you take EACH of your CATs/mocks and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) What is your overall goal score?
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School and what Schools are you planning to apply to?

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

Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com
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Re: Going above and beyond on Verbal to compensate for deficiencies in QA [#permalink]
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Any tips on how I can go about my quants during my final stretch these last 20-24 days?

Consider working on your solving approach. See, for example, if you can leverage the answer choices. Consider checking out the gmatclub math guide to go over slippery topics. Working with a study buddy who has strong Quant skills may also be helpful.

Video tips (i.e. How to get better at Combination questions. Be Indirect.") on the GMAT Knight blog you might like, too.
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Re: Going above and beyond on Verbal to compensate for deficiencies in QA [#permalink]
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi LeoSS24,

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 many hours do you typically study each week?
2) What specific study materials have you used so far?
3) On what dates (or approximate dates) did you take EACH of your CATs/mocks and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) What is your overall goal score?
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School and what Schools are you planning to apply to?

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

Hi Rich!

1) I study about 20-22 hours a week. Around 12-14 hours for Verbal and the remaining for Quants;
2) Materials I’ve used so far: LSAT CR and RC, OG for SC and OG and GMAT Paper Tests for Quants;
3) Scores I’ve listed and the mock dates were as follows: 1st August (Mock I), 2nd September (Mock II), 26th September (Mock III), 3rd October (Mock IV), 10th October (Mock V)

As far as my goals go-
4) My target score is 720
5) Colleges I’m looking to apply to include but are not limited to: ISB Hyderabad, Cambridge, Oxford, University of Manchester, INSEAD, HEC, ESADE, SDA, IMD Switzerland and NUS.
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Re: Going above and beyond on Verbal to compensate for deficiencies in QA [#permalink]
bb wrote:
LeoSS24 wrote:
Thanks for the reply, bb! I see where you’re getting at. It has been a cause for concern for me that my quants score hasn’t improved till now. The only thing I can take heart with is that I do get much more difficult questions on my mock than I did earlier but my score remains the same. Any tips on how I can go about my quants during my final stretch these last 20-24 days?

Hm... I would focus on the basics and try to cover a small section of math. Likely you will have to go back to 2nd grade but it is fast to catch up.

Thanks a lot, bb. Is it a wise idea to leave a few topics entirely? Consider for ex. Coordinate Geometry which I haven’t studied for about 9 years (I’m only 24 years old but we were only taught that subject in school 😂). It’s the same with a couple of other topics though they apparently do not have as much weightage on the GMAT as some of the other topics.
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Re: Going above and beyond on Verbal to compensate for deficiencies in QA [#permalink]
GmatTutorKnight wrote:
Any tips on how I can go about my quants during my final stretch these last 20-24 days?

Consider working on your solving approach. See, for example, if you can leverage the answer choices. Consider checking out the gmatclub math guide to go over slippery topics. Working with a study buddy who has strong Quant skills may also be helpful.

Video tips (i.e. How to get better at Combination questions. Be Indirect.") on the GMAT Knight blog you might like, too.

Thanks! I’ll check that video out. As far as leveraging answer choices go, it takes me too much time on a few questions if I go through that approach. Is it something that I need to focus on immediately or worry about my accuracy first and speed later?
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Re: Going above and beyond on Verbal to compensate for deficiencies in QA [#permalink]
Braintree wrote:
Just to add to what bb has said so brilliantly, if you start seeing quants as quant ‘REASONING’, you will realise that a lot of the skill sets that you have already developed in VerbalReasoning are actually transferable to QR. Initially, it’s better to just stay away from non-official quant questions many of which have a lot less of ‘reasoning’ and a lot more of ‘quants’ (at least until you have gotten the taste of the OG ‘flavour’ and can judge what makes for a good ‘GMAT quant question’). And ironically, stay away from official answers - which are not solved the way you should solve these questions. (personally think Manhattan Navigator does a great job in solving the official guide questions. Also there are many experts on this forum (such as IanStewart and avigutman to name a few) who solve official questions using a reasoning based approach.

Posted from my mobile device

Thanks Braintree! I did find the official explanations for a lot of questions quite difficult to understand so I’m glad you could direct me to other resources which do a better job at it.
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Going above and beyond on Verbal to compensate for deficiencies in QA [#permalink]
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LeoSS24 wrote:
GmatTutorKnight wrote:
Any tips on how I can go about my quants during my final stretch these last 20-24 days?

Consider working on your solving approach. See, for example, if you can leverage the answer choices. Consider checking out the gmatclub math guide to go over slippery topics. Working with a study buddy who has strong Quant skills may also be helpful.

Video tips (i.e. How to get better at Combination questions. Be Indirect.") on the GMAT Knight blog you might like, too.

Thanks! I’ll check that video out. As far as leveraging answer choices go, it takes me too much time on a few questions if I go through that approach. Is it something that I need to focus on immediately or worry about my accuracy first and speed later?

It should be a net positive - not something that takes more time. There are a few videos on the blog that show how Quantitative Reasoning can be applied to solve certain questions more easily.

Check out the "How to get better at GMAT Quant. Pick numbers you can easily use. Part 2." video, for example.
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Q51  V47
Re: Going above and beyond on Verbal to compensate for deficiencies in QA [#permalink]
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Everything Braintree says above is true -- you should focus on official questions, but not on official explanations, and your outstanding Verbal skills should translate well to Quant if you approach that section in the right way. It really is a test of reasoning, and if you understand GMAT math concepts, you'll be able to use the same conceptual and logical abilities you're using in CR and SC to answer math questions. I'd almost always expect someone at your Verbal level to be able to score a Q47+ if they learn math the right way, so I think you should be able to improve your Q score a lot.

• it's hard to improve on very high Verbal scores; there aren't any prep materials designed to help with the subtle questions you'll see when you're scoring in the V40 range. From the study materials you're using, the one recommendation I'd make is to study official GMAT CR and RC questions. LSAT questions can be good practice, but they're stylistically different from GMAT questions. Using official CR and RC questions (and reviewing any wrong SC/CR/RC answers to official questions to see if you can learn anything from them) is really the only thing I think you could do to try to raise your Verbal score further;

• the Quant section, especially at the Q40+ level, is really a test of conceptual understanding and reasoning. If you were only looking at well-known prep company material, MGMAT and Veritas (when it existed) were the only companies that really even tried to approach the test that way. Most companies either teach the test as if it were a high school math test (and want you to spend dozens of hours memorizing tons of formulas and methods, which is not at all what the test is about) or they teach as if the GMAT were a test of 'strategy' (so teach things like backsolving and number picking, techniques that can be useful to Q25 level test takers, but which are provably useless for Q40+ level test takers). You're exactly right when you say it takes too much time to work backwards from answer choices; it's a low level approach that doesn't even work on most hard questions, and when it does it's slower than a direct approach. That said, you should sometimes glance at answer choices when you've made some progress on a solution, to see if an estimate or other shortcut might let you bypass an awkward calculation.

• since you only have three weeks, you won't have time to learn all of GMAT math in a more conceptual way, so you should focus on the things most likely to be frequently tested: ratios, percents and word problems, along with algebra (especially fractions, exponents, equations and inequalities) and perhaps some number theory. If you're studying official questions, you can learn a lot about a conceptual approach just by reading solutions on this forum from Quant experts who take that approach, e.g. me, Avi Gutman, and Karishma B. You might also refer to the excellent (and free) video solutions of every OG question by Dabral (gmatquantum). Tutoring is expensive, but a good tutor would also be able to help you learn a conceptual approach, though in only three weeks you wouldn't be able to cover nearly everything.

• as for whether you can omit subjects, the important thing to understand about adaptive testing is that it hurts your score a lot when you answer an easy question incorrectly, but it doesn't really hurt at all if you answer a very hard question incorrectly. So if your foundation in a subject is so weak that you might not even answer a 300-level question correctly, you'll be running a risk on every test: you might see a 300-level question on that subject, and need to guess, and unless that guess is lucky you might have a hard time scoring well. Ideally you'd know enough about every important subject that you can at least answer most easy and medium level questions. Coordinate geometry, for example, will be important on some tests and irrelevant on others, but it's tested often enough that you'd be running a very real risk if you knew nothing about it. But within the major topics there are niche areas (like circular permutations or inverse variation) that are so rarely tested that you'd do best to ignore them if you have very little time to prepare. Of course there's a slim chance you'll see those topics on a test, but the probability is much, much higher that you'll see percent increase or fraction arithmetic or divisibility questions, and you should be spending time learning things you'll very likely be tested on. You've studied from the OG+QR books, which will give you a good impression of how important each topic is, and I'd only spend time at this stage on things you've seen tested in more than one or two OG+QR questions.

Good luck!
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Re: Going above and beyond on Verbal to compensate for deficiencies in QA [#permalink]
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Hi LeoSS24,

To start, since you are interested in some highly-competitive Schools, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile and plans. Those Experts should be able to answer your Admissions questions and help define the specific areas of your profile that could use some improvement (and the more time that you have to act on that advice, the better). There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

Your concerns about how you might not hit your Goal Score (in the timeframe that you described) are valid. Most of your CAT/mock Scores are clustered around a 650 - and your most recent 700 is an interesting 'outlier' (as it includes a V44 - which is much higher than any of your other Verbal performances), meaning that it's probably not safe to assume that you can consistently perform at that higher level yet. I have some additional notes and questions that I'd like to send you, but you do not appear to have a functioning PM with your account, so you can feel free to email me directly if you like.

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

Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com
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Re: Going above and beyond on Verbal to compensate for deficiencies in QA [#permalink]
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Hi LeoSS24.

Like others who have responded, I think your best move is to focus on your quant score. I realize you've had trouble increasing your quant score, but I'm sure that, with effective preparation, you can score higher in quant.

For some tips on how to prepare for GMAT quant effectively, see this post.

How to Increase Your GMAT Quant Score: Top 25 Tips
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Re: Going above and beyond on Verbal to compensate for deficiencies in QA [#permalink]
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Hi LeoSS24,

Regarding your GMAT math prep, is it safe to say that quant studying revolves mostly around doing practice questions?
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Re: Going above and beyond on Verbal to compensate for deficiencies in QA [#permalink]
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
Hi LeoSS24,

Regarding your GMAT math prep, is it safe to say that quant studying revolves mostly around doing practice questions?

Hi Scott,
Yes indeed. I usually try to get through 35-40 questions/day at an 80% accuracy and re-do the questions that I miss. Apart from that I’ve seen a few videos on YouTube to help me through the basics of a few topics.
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Re: Going above and beyond on Verbal to compensate for deficiencies in QA [#permalink]
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MartyTargetTestPrep wrote:
Hi LeoSS24.

Like others who have responded, I think your best move is to focus on your quant score. I realize you've had trouble increasing your quant score, but I'm sure that, with effective preparation, you can score higher in quant.

For some tips on how to prepare for GMAT quant effectively, see this post.

How to Increase Your GMAT Quant Score: Top 25 Tips

Thank you for the kind words, Marty! Will be sure to go through the blog post you’ve provided.
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Re: Going above and beyond on Verbal to compensate for deficiencies in QA [#permalink]
IanStewart wrote:
Everything Braintree says above is true -- you should focus on official questions, but not on official explanations, and your outstanding Verbal skills should translate well to Quant if you approach that section in the right way. It really is a test of reasoning, and if you understand GMAT math concepts, you'll be able to use the same conceptual and logical abilities you're using in CR and SC to answer math questions. I'd almost always expect someone at your Verbal level to be able to score a Q47+ if they learn math the right way, so I think you should be able to improve your Q score a lot.

• it's hard to improve on very high Verbal scores; there aren't any prep materials designed to help with the subtle questions you'll see when you're scoring in the V40 range. From the study materials you're using, the one recommendation I'd make is to study official GMAT CR and RC questions. LSAT questions can be good practice, but they're stylistically different from GMAT questions. Using official CR and RC questions (and reviewing any wrong SC/CR/RC answers to official questions to see if you can learn anything from them) is really the only thing I think you could do to try to raise your Verbal score further;

• the Quant section, especially at the Q40+ level, is really a test of conceptual understanding and reasoning. If you were only looking at well-known prep company material, MGMAT and Veritas (when it existed) were the only companies that really even tried to approach the test that way. Most companies either teach the test as if it were a high school math test (and want you to spend dozens of hours memorizing tons of formulas and methods, which is not at all what the test is about) or they teach as if the GMAT were a test of 'strategy' (so teach things like backsolving and number picking, techniques that can be useful to Q25 level test takers, but which are provably useless for Q40+ level test takers). You're exactly right when you say it takes too much time to work backwards from answer choices; it's a low level approach that doesn't even work on most hard questions, and when it does it's slower than a direct approach. That said, you should sometimes glance at answer choices when you've made some progress on a solution, to see if an estimate or other shortcut might let you bypass an awkward calculation.

• since you only have three weeks, you won't have time to learn all of GMAT math in a more conceptual way, so you should focus on the things most likely to be frequently tested: ratios, percents and word problems, along with algebra (especially fractions, exponents, equations and inequalities) and perhaps some number theory. If you're studying official questions, you can learn a lot about a conceptual approach just by reading solutions on this forum from Quant experts who take that approach, e.g. me, Avi Gutman, and Karishma B. You might also refer to the excellent (and free) video solutions of every OG question by Dabral (gmatquantum). Tutoring is expensive, but a good tutor would also be able to help you learn a conceptual approach, though in only three weeks you wouldn't be able to cover nearly everything.

• as for whether you can omit subjects, the important thing to understand about adaptive testing is that it hurts your score a lot when you answer an easy question incorrectly, but it doesn't really hurt at all if you answer a very hard question incorrectly. So if your foundation in a subject is so weak that you might not even answer a 300-level question correctly, you'll be running a risk on every test: you might see a 300-level question on that subject, and need to guess, and unless that guess is lucky you might have a hard time scoring well. Ideally you'd know enough about every important subject that you can at least answer most easy and medium level questions. Coordinate geometry, for example, will be important on some tests and irrelevant on others, but it's tested often enough that you'd be running a very real risk if you knew nothing about it. But within the major topics there are niche areas (like circular permutations or inverse variation) that are so rarely tested that you'd do best to ignore them if you have very little time to prepare. Of course there's a slim chance you'll see those topics on a test, but the probability is much, much higher that you'll see percent increase or fraction arithmetic or divisibility questions, and you should be spending time learning things you'll very likely be tested on. You've studied from the OG+QR books, which will give you a good impression of how important each topic is, and I'd only spend time at this stage on things you've seen tested in more than one or two OG+QR questions.

Good luck!

Thank you for an incredibly comprehensive response, Ian. I’d like to ask how much does missing an easy question impact my exam? I tend to plenty of silly mistakes as far as my calculations go and falling for C-trap questions on DS. Is there a way to combat these two issues (especially the latter) in particular?
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Re: Going above and beyond on Verbal to compensate for deficiencies in QA [#permalink]
And if anyone can answer another query of mine - how much of a guessing game can I play on the exam? For ex: in questions that I can answer but have take a sufficient amount of time to solve (3mins+), should I guess and move on? Similarly, in topics that I do not know or am weak at, is it better to save time by simply skipping them by way of a guess regardless of how easy or difficult that question might be?
Re: Going above and beyond on Verbal to compensate for deficiencies in QA [#permalink]
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