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Joined: 19 Oct 2018
Posts: 5
HELP!  [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2019, 13:33
Hi all,
Took GMAT today and scored a disappointing 640 (47Q, 31V, 4IR). With Verbal today, I got freaked out while reading the long RC passages and spent a lot of time which costed me at the end wherein I had to guess almost 6 questions. Definitely need to work on that.
More info about me:
1. South Asian Male - 25 years. Will be 26 during matriculation.
2. Undergrad from T10 college in India - 4 GPA - Electrical Engineering. Have a research journal published in a leading organization.
3. M.S in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida - 3.7 GPA. Secured 6 summer internship offers in major tech companies.
4. Working in a F500 tech company as a Product Engineer since ~ 3 years in TX.
5. Intended to transition to consulting.
6. Preferred schools - Darden, Fuqua, Stern, Ross, UT McCombs, UNC Kenan Flagler, Cornell, INSEAD, CMU Tepper
Will be applying Early Action/R1.

My questions:
1. Considering above average GPA, strong work recommendations from manager and colleague, above average extracurriculars and essays, how are my chances for under T25 univs?
2. I will be retaking GMAT. What time would be ideal (within the next 16 days or a month)?
3. I really need to improve my verbal to reach my target 700+. Any tips on how to work on it considering limited time? I
am planning to take egmat for verbal. Any recommendations on the preparation now?
4. Would you suggest to accept or cancel the scores?

Any help would be appreciated.
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Re: HELP!  [#permalink]

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New post 24 May 2019, 16:44
I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help answer your GMAT-related questions.

4. Would you suggest to accept or cancel the scores?

Since you can reinstate your score at a later date and you scored well below your score goal, I’d just cancel the 640.

2. I will be retaking GMAT. What time would be ideal (within the next 16 days or a month)?

Honestly, you need a pretty big jump in your verbal score, so you should give yourself more time than just 16 days before you retake the GMAT.

3. I really need to improve my verbal to reach my target 700+. Any tips on how to work on it considering limited time?

Here is some advice you can follow to improve your verbal skills. I’ll start with CR.

When studying Critical Reasoning, you need to ensure that you fully understand the essence of the various question types. Do you know the importance of an assumption within an argument? Can you easily spot a conclusion? Do you know how to resolve a paradox? Do you know how to properly evaluate cause and effect? Do you know how to properly weaken or strengthen an argument? These are just a few examples; you really need to take a deep dive into the individual topics such that you develop the necessary skills to properly attack any Critical Reasoning questions that you encounter.

As you learn each Critical Reasoning problem type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type. If, for example, you incorrectly answered 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 read a paragraph, 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 tackle such bland 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, you likely 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 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 take the time to see the differences and to 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 will then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

Feel free to reach out with any questions. Good luck!

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Re: HELP!  [#permalink]

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New post 26 May 2019, 13:37
Hi makbar94,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day did not turn out better. In an email back in April, I noted that it might take longer (than the 5 weeks of additional study you were planning) to get to the point that you could consistently Score 700+. This recent Official Score is remarkably similar to the recent CAT Scores that you posted here: ( ... l#p2255908), so it's likely that you continue to 'see' (and respond to) the GMAT in the same ways as before. In simple terms, you're still approaching this Test "your way" - and if you want to hit that higher Score, then you have to make some fundamental changes to hot you take notes and 'respond' to the Exam. Thankfully, the GMAT is the same consistent, predictable Test that it's always been, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

You might also choose to purchase the Enhanced Score Report. While the ESR doesn’t provide a lot of information, there are usually a few data points that we can use to define what went wrong on Test Day (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

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Re: HELP!  [#permalink]

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New post 26 May 2019, 19:11
Since you can reinstate your scores by paying a fee, I do suggest you cancel your scores as of now since you are trying to increase your score.

Give yourself at least a month because you need some time before you can bring some solid improvement. I would suggest do lots of Long RC passages practice under timed conditions and review your mistakes thoroughly.

All the best!
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Re: HELP!   [#permalink] 26 May 2019, 19:11
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