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How to improve from 660 to 700 in a month?

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GMAT 1: 630 Q49 V24
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How to improve from 660 to 700 in a month?  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2018, 03:55
Friends,

I need your suggestions in current situation and guidance based on your experiences.

I read manhattan books for more than a month, did few OG questions and got 660(Q48, V32) in GMAT prep 1. My target score is 700.

In Verbal, I identified SC and RC, in priority order, as areas to be improved. CR was fine. In Quant, many questions I was unable to do within 2 mins as took a lot of time to finalize the approach. How to speed up in Quants?

I revised the same Manhattan books to improve understanding, started reading newspapers on regular basis, and solved around 30% of OG book. I took manhattan free test and got 580 :-) . This is the score I never ever got. Not sure how to interpret it. My initial observations are that the manhattan test requires a complex understand of concepts while GMAT requires an understanding of how to apply simple concepts in a variety of situations. Any suggestions on interpreting this score?

SC remains a pain area. I get a lot of them incorrect. One way is to focus and do all SC questions in OG at one go. but then the problem with this approach is that i will not be left with GMAT questions to practice. Any suggestions?
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Re: How to improve from 660 to 700 in a month?  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2018, 10:23
ssoGMAT wrote:
Friends,

I need your suggestions in current situation and guidance based on your experiences.

I read manhattan books for more than a month, did few OG questions and got 660(Q48, V32) in GMAT prep 1. My target score is 700.

In Verbal, I identified SC and RC, in priority order, as areas to be improved. CR was fine. In Quant, many questions I was unable to do within 2 mins as took a lot of time to finalize the approach. How to speed up in Quants?

I revised the same Manhattan books to improve understanding, started reading newspapers on regular basis, and solved around 30% of OG book. I took manhattan free test and got 580 :-) . This is the score I never ever got. Not sure how to interpret it. My initial observations are that the manhattan test requires a complex understand of concepts while GMAT requires an understanding of how to apply simple concepts in a variety of situations. Any suggestions on interpreting this score?

SC remains a pain area. I get a lot of them incorrect. One way is to focus and do all SC questions in OG at one go. but then the problem with this approach is that i will not be left with GMAT questions to practice. Any suggestions?



Hi,

It is good that you have a balanced score in Q and V, and you have a great chance to improve in both sections. For quick improvement you must focus on SC as it is easiest to improve upon. RC is a pain and will be difficult to improve in a month, though nothing is impossible ;) . You should not worry about MGMAT test score that much, but it would be better to buy Exam pack 3 to 6.

This post may help you get better understanding about improvement :

https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-definiti ... l#p1352338

For SC, you must utilise GMAT club resources because here you will find much better explanations from our Verbal experts.

You must also use error log on GMAT club. Here is the link to use error log : https://gmatclub.com/forum/new-feature- ... 67762.html

Here how to use GMAT club forum resources : https://gmatclub.com/forum/topic257054.html#p1993468

Some other links are :

https://gmatclub.com/forum/topic268428.html#p2080600

https://blog.targettestprep.com/how-to- ... -on-gmat/#
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Re: How to improve from 660 to 700 in a month?  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2018, 12:09
Hi ssoGMAT,

In a prior post (here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/planning-to- ... l#p2060689), you described your study plan for the last few months. Did you follow that plan through and take the GMAT as scheduled? If not, then what parts of the plan changed? Did you take any other practice CATs during that time besides the two that you listed?

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Re: How to improve from 660 to 700 in a month?  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2018, 16:28
Hi ssoGMAT,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. First, great job on quant! A Q48 on your first GMAC practice exam is fantastic!

Now, regarding your two practice exam scores, when you take practice tests from companies other than GMAC, you may find some variation in algorithms used and thus variations in your score. If you are concerned about your score decrease, you could take one more GMAC practice exam to see how you score.

First, let's discuss your concern about running out of official practice questions. The truth is that there are several hundred official Sentence Correction questions that you could use for practicing. There are the questions in the Official Guide. Then, for a LOW price, around $10 US, you can buy the E-book edition of the Official Guide for Verbal Review, and set up the online question bank. There is also the GMAT Prep Question Pack 1, and, once you have taken GMAT Prep 1 and GMAT Prep 2, you can use all the SC questions in the bank for those tests. Those questions are available in files here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/all-gmatprep ... 87679.html

OK, now that you will have as many questions as you need, let's talk about how to use them.

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 instead 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 thereby 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 Reading Comprehension, focus on the exact question types with which you struggle: Find the Main Idea, Inference, Author’s Tone, etc. 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 easy to read. So, to better prepare yourself to tackle such passages, begin reading magazines with similar content and style, such as the Economist, Scientific American, and Smithsonian.

In comparison with Reading Comprehension, Sentence Correction is a bit of a different animal.. 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, it is likely that you will have to work on all three of those aspects, and it is also likely that your Sentence Correction performance has not improved because you have not been working on all three of those aspects.

Regarding what you know, to be successful in Sentence Correction, first and foremost, you MUST know your grammar rules. Let's be clear, though: GMAT Sentence Correction is not really a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning the 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. Likely, the main reason that Sentence Correction has not "clicked" for you is that you have not put enough work into developing your skill in seeing what is going on in the various versions of the sentence that the answer choices create. 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 in the sentence clearly refer to nouns in the sentence? 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 meanings that make sense. 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. It may take time for you to see what you have to see. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and to figure out the precise reasons that one choice is correct.

To improve what you do when you are answering 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.

Regarding quant, although you scored a Q48 on your first practice exam, if you are struggling to efficiently answer certain questions, it’s quite possible that you still have some quant weaknesses that need to be addressed. Remember, timing does not improve simply by trying to go faster. In fact, when people try to force speed before they’re actually ready to go faster, they tend to make a significant number of preventable mistakes, which can badly erode people’s test scores. In addition, when people rush learning -- a common pathology of those trying to force speed -- they in fact never end up developing the speed they seek. One of the great paradoxes of learning is that to develop speed, a student must slow down to ensure mastery of the material. Consider the following examples, which hopefully will bring you some more clarity:

Imagine that your goal were to run a mile in four minutes, a difficult feat even for professional athletes. So, you get yourself a running coach. You show up on the field and ask, “Coach, how do I get faster?” The coach responds, “Well, just run faster.” So, you try your best to “run faster,” but you can't; you’re running a 12-minute mile. Out of breath, you come back to the coach and say, “Coach, I stink. How do I get faster?” Again, he says, “Just run faster.” So, you try again, but this time you fall and skin your knees. You keep trying to run faster. On the tenth attempt, you pull your hamstring, falling to the ground in pain. Over your next four months of recovery, you ponder why you couldn't run faster.

That situation would be insane, right? No qualified running coach would ever provide you with that advice, because the coach would understand that no one gets faster merely by trying to run faster. Instead, the coach would set you up on a comprehensive, linear plan to make you a BETTER runner. He may have you run progressively longer distances at relatively slow speeds. He may have you run up and down the stairs at the football stadium. He may have you run up and down hills. He even may have you engage in strength training, yoga, or Pilates to make you a more fit athlete. After all of that training, he finally would bring you back on the field and time you running the mile. At that point, he’d coach you on how to push yourself through the pain of sprinting and help you to understand what a four-minute-mile pace feels like. He now could help you with those things because you would be in the necessary shape to be receptive to them. So, you begin your run, and BOOM! You run a 6-minute mile. What happened? Well, you became a better runner. You became a fitter athlete. You became stronger. Although you’re not yet at the four-minute-mile mark, your training has yielded considerable improvements.

Now imagine your goal were to play a complicated song on the piano. The tempo at which a pianist plays greatly impacts the way a song sounds. To make songs sound the way they should, often a pianist must play at a fast pace. But your experience with the piano is limited. Can you imagine trying to play the complicated song at full speed at the outset? Doing so wouldn't be possible. Instead, you first need to master many aspects of the piano -- without really trying to get faster. In fact, you need to proceed slowly at first, sometimes very slowly. As you master the piano, you find that you’re able to play your song at progressively faster tempos. With time and dedicated, proper practice, you’re able to recreate the sound you seek. If in the early days of practicing you had tried to force speed instead of mastering your technique, you never would have become truly accomplished at playing the song.

The process of getting faster at solving GMAT questions is quite analogous to the process of improving one’s running speed or ability to play the piano at the proper tempo! To get faster, you must get better. As you further develop your GMAT skills, you will get faster at a) recognizing what a problem is asking and b) executing the necessary steps to quickly attack the problem.

For example, consider the following simple question with which many students who are beginning their prep struggle:

14! is equal to which of the following?

(A) 87,178,291,200
(B) 88,180,293,207
(C) 89,181,294,209
(D) 90,000,000,003
(E) 91,114,114,114

Upon seeing this question, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Grabbing a calculator to add up the values in the expression? If you are able to quickly recognize that using the “5 x 2 pair rule” will allow you to attack the problem quickly and efficiently (see the solution below), you can avoid performing tedious calculations that might result in mistakes.

Solution:

14! = 14 × 13 × 12 × 11 × 10 × 9 × 8 × 7 × 6 × 5 × 4 × 3 × 2 × 1.

Notice that there is at least one (5 × 2) pair contained in the product of these numbers. It follows that the units digit must be a zero. The only number with zero as the units digit is 87,178,291,200.

Answer: A

Although this is just one example of many, you see that you must have many tools in your toolbox to efficiently attack each GMAT quant question that comes your way. As you gain these skills, you will get faster.

If you feel that you need some new GMAT prep materials, you should take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

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

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.

Good luck!
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Re: How to improve from 660 to 700 in a month? &nbs [#permalink] 14 Sep 2018, 16:28
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