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Help! I can't get a hold of verbal: overthinking plaguing me!

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Help! I can't get a hold of verbal: overthinking plaguing me!  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2018, 08:37
I am a 28yr old working professional with Government of India with an experience of about 5 years.

I have been preparing for GMAT since the last year and finally after even taking a break of 20 days preparing day and night, I holed out with a score of 670 (V50 Q31).

This was surprising and heartbreaking since I was consistently getting a 700+ score in all my practice exams.
Since I was rooting for somewhere upward of 730, I started focussing more on 700-800 type problems towards the last days approaching the exam. And in last few mocks I gave of verbal, I suddenly started performing poorly in verbal because i was overthinking and getting wrong even the most simplest 400 to 500 level questions due to overthinking.

Same thing happened during the exam and hence after getting a poor score, I thought of taking a break and regain a normalcy in my thought process. But now after 2 months of slogging I'm still underperforming in verbal even after knowing all the right methods and strategies of CR, SC as well as RC. Every time I attempt a set of questions, I find myself saying: 'Ahh! why didn't I think of that? It's right there!'

With about a month and a half left, I'm finding myself in the middle of exactly where I was and absolutely clueless as to where to begin.

Please help.


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Help! I can't get a hold of verbal: overthinking plaguing me!  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2018, 10:24
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pareekpranjal wrote:
I am a 28yr old working professional with Government of India with an experience of about 5 years.

I have been preparing for GMAT since the last year and finally after even taking a break of 20 days preparing day and night, I holed out with a score of 670 (V50 Q31).

This was surprising and heartbreaking since I was consistently getting a 700+ score in all my practice exams.
Since I was rooting for somewhere upward of 730, I started focussing more on 700-800 type problems towards the last days approaching the exam. And in last few mocks I gave of verbal, I suddenly started performing poorly in verbal because i was overthinking and getting wrong even the most simplest 400 to 500 level questions due to overthinking.

Same thing happened during the exam and hence after getting a poor score, I thought of taking a break and regain a normalcy in my thought process. But now after 2 months of slogging I'm still underperforming in verbal even after knowing all the right methods and strategies of CR, SC as well as RC. Every time I attempt a set of questions, I find myself saying: 'Ahh! why didn't I think of that? It's right there!'

With about a month and a half left, I'm finding myself in the middle of exactly where I was and absolutely clueless as to where to begin.

Please help.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A5010 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app


Hi Pranjal,

First of, I think you have mistakenly written opposite splits of Q and V (It should be Q50 V31 :-). You must understand that you are in a very good position of scoring a 750 as your Q score is almost perfect. So you need not to spend much time on this. As you know Verbal is not a formula based subject, you have to pay more attention than you are paying right now. Focus on RC and CR because SC is easiest to improve from the 3 Verbal topics. Make your notes for each question type and use an error log. Use these links :

1. https://gmatclub.com/forum/importance-o ... 68428.html

2. https://gmatclub.com/forum/new-feature- ... 67762.html

3. https://gmatclub.com/forum/verbal-guide ... urces-389/

You are not alone who is going through all this stuff. So, keep up the good work. Overthinking kills rational thinking, so stop thinking about Verbal. Think of the success and you ll see everything will be in place sooner. A student always has a good plan and a correct way of executing the same.

QZ
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Re: Help! I can't get a hold of verbal: overthinking plaguing me!  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2018, 01:16
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pareekpranjal wrote:
I am a 28yr old working professional with Government of India with an experience of about 5 years.

I have been preparing for GMAT since the last year and finally after even taking a break of 20 days preparing day and night, I holed out with a score of 670 (V50 Q31).

This was surprising and heartbreaking since I was consistently getting a 700+ score in all my practice exams.
Since I was rooting for somewhere upward of 730, I started focussing more on 700-800 type problems towards the last days approaching the exam. And in last few mocks I gave of verbal, I suddenly started performing poorly in verbal because i was overthinking and getting wrong even the most simplest 400 to 500 level questions due to overthinking.

Same thing happened during the exam and hence after getting a poor score, I thought of taking a break and regain a normalcy in my thought process. But now after 2 months of slogging I'm still underperforming in verbal even after knowing all the right methods and strategies of CR, SC as well as RC. Every time I attempt a set of questions, I find myself saying: 'Ahh! why didn't I think of that? It's right there!'

With about a month and a half left, I'm finding myself in the middle of exactly where I was and absolutely clueless as to where to begin.

Please help.
A few things you could keep in mind:

1. 670 is a good score. It's an even better score considering how difficult it is to perform to potential on the very first attempt.
2. Try not to prepare "day and night" just before your next test. It's probably counterproductive, as you need to save your energy for the actual exam.
3. Put your ESR and your analysis of your strengths and weaknesses (from your practice tests) up here. That could help.

Most importantly, just hang in there! These plateaus can be very frustrating, but it feels really good to break out of them.
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Re: Help! I can't get a hold of verbal: overthinking plaguing me!  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2018, 16:42
Hi pareekpranjal,

First off, a 670/Q50 is a strong score (it's above the 80th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be 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. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

http://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admission ... tants-124/

If you do choose to retest, then it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

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

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Help! I can't get a hold of verbal: overthinking plaguing me!  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2018, 21:15
pareekpranjal wrote:
I am a 28yr old working professional with Government of India with an experience of about 5 years.

I have been preparing for GMAT since the last year and finally after even taking a break of 20 days preparing day and night, I holed out with a score of 670 (V50 Q31).

This was surprising and heartbreaking since I was consistently getting a 700+ score in all my practice exams.
Since I was rooting for somewhere upward of 730, I started focussing more on 700-800 type problems towards the last days approaching the exam. And in last few mocks I gave of verbal, I suddenly started performing poorly in verbal because i was overthinking and getting wrong even the most simplest 400 to 500 level questions due to overthinking.

Same thing happened during the exam and hence after getting a poor score, I thought of taking a break and regain a normalcy in my thought process. But now after 2 months of slogging I'm still underperforming in verbal even after knowing all the right methods and strategies of CR, SC as well as RC. Every time I attempt a set of questions, I find myself saying: 'Ahh! why didn't I think of that? It's right there!'

With about a month and a half left, I'm finding myself in the middle of exactly where I was and absolutely clueless as to where to begin.

Please help.


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Hello Pareek
I might be in the same as you are now. So, I might help you.
but before I tell you anything, could you please tell me what material you have used to prepare and splits of your verbal score in practice tests.
Once, I know this, I think I might explain you how to improve your score
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Re: Help! I can't get a hold of verbal: overthinking plaguing me!  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2018, 23:23
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi pareekpranjal,

First off, a 670/Q50 is a strong score (it's above the 80th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be 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. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

If you do choose to retest, then it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

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

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


    1) I've used OG2016, OG2018, ManhattanPrep for SC, PowerScore CR Bible for preparation, Veritas Question Bank for practice, and free mock tests offered by all (GMATClub link).

    2) I've reset every CAT account so might not be able to give scaled scores, but all of them hovered around this range:
    Score: 690-730
    Quant: 49-51
    Verbal: 31-34

    3) I had planned to apply for intake of Jan'19, but now most of them are in R2 or R3, so targeting Aug-Sep'19 intake. So deadlines for their R1 and Early Entry are in Sept-Oct 2018. Since I also need time to get recommendations, prepare essays and B-School CV (they are different from job CV I recently learned), I'm targeting a date in 2nd- 3rd week of Aug'18.

    4) I intend to settle down preferably in the country I complete my MBA from. Therefore, targeting the countries with lenient visa laws (for myself as well as my spouse). So, I've shortlisted a few colleges that fit my requirement:

    HEC Paris
    INSEAD
    NUS
    SMU (contacted their adcom about my score, they told that you need to get 700+ for a good chance)
    Rotman
    Melbourne Business School (contacted their adcom about my score, they told that you need to get 700+ for a good chance)
    ISB Hyderabad

    Any further suggestions in this list would also be appreciated.

I've been told by many that 670 is a good score and you need to now focus on other aspects. But, (a) I somehow don't feel comfortable with this score, I feel I can do better. (b) I'm more concerned because adcoms keep insisting on it, I didn't even apply to UNSW AGSM because adcom email was very particular about 700+). (c) I am really going after the scholarships because of the quantum of investment and I don't want to hurt my chances of scholarship.
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Re: Help! I can't get a hold of verbal: overthinking plaguing me!  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jul 2018, 20:24
Hi pareekpranjal,

To start, Test Day is a rather specific 'event' - the details are specific and they matter, so you have to train as best as you can for all of them. The more realistic you can make your CATs, the more likely the score results are to be accurate. The more you deviate, the more "inflated" your practice scores can become. By retaking a CAT, you likely saw at least a few 'repeat' questions. Unfortunately, that is NOT a realistic way to take a CAT. Seeing even a few 'repeat' questions can 'throw off' the Score Algorithm and impact your pacing, energy levels, fatigue, etc. As such, for this next phase of your studies, you need to use CATs that you have NOT taken before (and that present questions that you have NOT seen before).

To raise this 670 to a 730+, you will have to make some significant changes to how you 'see' (and respond to) the Verbal section of the GMAT. That training will likely take at least another month of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to focus on learning and practicing the proper Tactics.

1) What is your exact Test Date?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Help! I can't get a hold of verbal: overthinking plaguing me!  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2018, 11:26
So, given that you have been scoring between V31 and V34 on practice tests, a V31 on test day really is not a disaster right?

With that said, you may consider taking some time to improve your verbal score prior to your next GMAT. To improve your verbal score, you are going to want to use a resource that allows you to FIRST learn the concepts and strategies related to SC, CR, and RC, and then you will need to put in a lot of dedicated practice to test yourself on the areas you have reviewed. For example, let’s say you start by learning about Critical Reasoning. Your first goal is to fully master the individual CR topics: strengthening, weakening, resolve the paradox, etc. As you learn each CR problem type, do focused practice so you can track your knowledge in the topic. If, for example, you get a weakening question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific CR 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.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. By finding, say, a dozen weaker verbal areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your verbal score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

When you do dozens of the same type of question one after the other, you learn just what it takes to get questions of that type correct consistently. If you aren't getting close to 90 percent of questions of a certain type correct, go back and seek to better understand how that type of question works, and then do more questions of that type until you get to at least around 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently. The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new verbal materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for verbal courses.

You also may find it helpful to read my article for more information regarding how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.

Good luck!
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