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# How to tame unstable Verbal scores?

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Intern
Joined: 10 Jul 2017
Posts: 30
How to tame unstable Verbal scores?  [#permalink]

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24 Oct 2017, 03:10
Hi,

I have my GMAT in a week and a need quick advice.
I have been preparing for GMAT for 3-4 months now. Being an engineer, I have always been strong on quant but verbal is a problem like with many others.

I am taking mocks for a month now. My quant score has been pretty stable but I am struggling to get a stable verbal score. (Find below my scores on various mocks). I am struggling to make my score stable more than anything else, now.
Although my target is 700+, I am going to take the test believing in myself and putting my best effort forward. However, there is always an option to reappear.
I want to know what should I do in this last one week to perform my best.

Mock scores:
26-Sept- 800score: 610: Q48, V26
01-Oct-Experts'global: 630: Q48, V28
02-Oct-Experts'global: 700: Q48, V38
10-Oct-Experts'global: 690: Q48, V36
11-Oct-Experts' global:610: Q48, V26
12-Oct-Experts' global:680: Q49, V33
13-Oct-Verita's prep :650: Q51, V28
16-Oct-gmatclub verbal: V34
17-Oct-gmatclub test :670: Q48, V33
18-Oct-MGMAT :640: Q45, V32
22-Oct-experts'global:610: Q48, V27
23-Oct-Gmatprep #2 :640: Q49, V28

I do not want to leave the threads thinking that one week is just too less. I want to hit it hard till I can!

Thank you so much in advance!
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 12700
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: How to tame unstable Verbal scores?  [#permalink]

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24 Oct 2017, 13:59
1
Hi akanksha.setiya,

To start, you should STOP taking practice CATs.

A 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 put in the necessary practice and repetitions. The CAT will show you whether your studies are helping you to improve or not. As such, you really shouldn't take more than 1 FULL CAT per week.

Based on the information that you've provided, you've taken 8 CATs over the last 2 weeks - and that is far too many. 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 - and that you took these CATs in a realistic way - your recent CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 650 +/- a few points). The 'swings' in your Verbal scores show some serious inconsistencies though - so it's difficult to determine what your chances are to hit 700+ right now.

If you have enough time to push back your Test Date, then you should (so that you can use the extra time to hone your Verbal skills). If it's too late to push back your Test Date, then you should NOT take any more CATs before Test Day. Based on your level of activity, it's possible that you might 'burn out' before your Official GMAT - and that's something you want to avoid.

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
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GMAT Club Verbal Expert
Status: GMAT and GRE tutor
Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 2043
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 780 Q51 V46
GMAT 2: 800 Q51 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: How to tame unstable Verbal scores?  [#permalink]

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24 Oct 2017, 19:35
Rich is absolutely spot-on here. CATs are great if you want to know how you're doing, but they aren't the best tools for actually building fundamental skills.

More importantly: no test-prep company can accurately copy the style of the actual GMAT exam. (Mine included!) The GMAT spends between \$1500 and \$3000 developing each official test question, and even the best test-prep companies can't possibly compete. So all of those practice tests from random companies aren't likely to be all that accurate -- but those GMATPrep tests generally tell you the (perhaps painful) truth. And the bad news is that you have some work to do on verbal, as Rich indicated.

Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of shortcuts on the verbal section. It can simply take time to build the skills you need -- and at this stage, the GMATPrep result seems to be telling us that you'll need to take some time on verbal before you can reliably hit that 700+ mark.

If it's too late to reschedule your test, no worries -- treat it like a practice test, and you'll learn a ton from it. Write down everything you can remember immediately afterward, because it will be incredibly valuable a few days later, when you start studying again. But all signs point to the idea that you'll need to take a big step back, take it easy on the practice tests, and work on some fundamental skill-building in verbal... ideally using official materials.

I hope this helps, and good luck with your exam!
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Intern
Joined: 10 Jul 2017
Posts: 30
Re: How to tame unstable Verbal scores?  [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2017, 18:41
1
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi akanksha.setiya,

To start, you should STOP taking practice CATs.

A 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 put in the necessary practice and repetitions. The CAT will show you whether your studies are helping you to improve or not. As such, you really shouldn't take more than 1 FULL CAT per week.

Based on the information that you've provided, you've taken 8 CATs over the last 2 weeks - and that is far too many. 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 - and that you took these CATs in a realistic way - your recent CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 650 +/- a few points). The 'swings' in your Verbal scores show some serious inconsistencies though - so it's difficult to determine what your chances are to hit 700+ right now.

If you have enough time to push back your Test Date, then you should (so that you can use the extra time to hone your Verbal skills). If it's too late to push back your Test Date, then you should NOT take any more CATs before Test Day. Based on your level of activity, it's possible that you might 'burn out' before your Official GMAT - and that's something you want to avoid.

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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

Thank you so much for your response.

1- I am planning to apply in R2/ Jan'18 for most of the clgs.
2- I am targeting one year MBA from IIMA, ISB, IIMB, INSEAD, MIT Sloan, Michigan (Ross).
Intern
Joined: 10 Jul 2017
Posts: 30
Re: How to tame unstable Verbal scores?  [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2017, 18:47
GMATNinja wrote:
Rich is absolutely spot-on here. CATs are great if you want to know how you're doing, but they aren't the best tools for actually building fundamental skills.

More importantly: no test-prep company can accurately copy the style of the actual GMAT exam. (Mine included!) The GMAT spends between \$1500 and \$3000 developing each official test question, and even the best test-prep companies can't possibly compete. So all of those practice tests from random companies aren't likely to be all that accurate -- but those GMATPrep tests generally tell you the (perhaps painful) truth. And the bad news is that you have some work to do on verbal, as Rich indicated.

Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of shortcuts on the verbal section. It can simply take time to build the skills you need -- and at this stage, the GMATPrep result seems to be telling us that you'll need to take some time on verbal before you can reliably hit that 700+ mark.

If it's too late to reschedule your test, no worries -- treat it like a practice test, and you'll learn a ton from it. Write down everything you can remember immediately afterward, because it will be incredibly valuable a few days later, when you start studying again. But all signs point to the idea that you'll need to take a big step back, take it easy on the practice tests, and work on some fundamental skill-building in verbal... ideally using official materials.

I hope this helps, and good luck with your exam!

Thank you so much for your valuable inputs, Sir.

I think now I can not reschedule it. I am going to go and give it my best shot.
I am to brushing up the basics for the rest of the days. I am applying to a couple of b-schools which have their deadlines approaching, for which I need a score, at least. But for the rest of them, yes I can think of a re-take, depending on scores of course.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 12700
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: How to tame unstable Verbal scores?  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

25 Oct 2017, 21:10
Hi akanksha.setiya,

Since you are so close to your Official GMAT, there's not enough time to make any big changes to how you approach the Verbal section of the Exam. That having been said, there is enough time to potentially make some adjustments (depending on WHY you're getting questions wrong).

After reviewing the Verbal section of your last CAT, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
2) Because there was some verbal that you just could not remember how to do?
3) Because the question was too hard?
4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?

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!*****

DS Forum Moderator
Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 1348
Location: India
Re: How to tame unstable Verbal scores?  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

25 Oct 2017, 22:29
GMATNinja wrote:
Rich is absolutely spot-on here. CATs are great if you want to know how you're doing, but they aren't the best tools for actually building fundamental skills.

More importantly: no test-prep company can accurately copy the style of the actual GMAT exam. (Mine included!) The GMAT spends between \$1500 and \$3000 developing each official test question, and even the best test-prep companies can't possibly compete. So all of those practice tests from random companies aren't likely to be all that accurate -- but those GMATPrep tests generally tell you the (perhaps painful) truth. And the bad news is that you have some work to do on verbal, as Rich indicated.

Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of shortcuts on the verbal section. It can simply take time to build the skills you need -- and at this stage, the GMATPrep result seems to be telling us that you'll need to take some time on verbal before you can reliably hit that 700+ mark.

If it's too late to reschedule your test, no worries -- treat it like a practice test, and you'll learn a ton from it. Write down everything you can remember immediately afterward, because it will be incredibly valuable a few days later, when you start studying again. But all signs point to the idea that you'll need to take a big step back, take it easy on the practice tests, and work on some fundamental skill-building in verbal... ideally using official materials.

I hope this helps, and good luck with your exam!

Wow, GMAT spends between \$1500 and \$3000 developing each official test question.. May I know whats the source of this information? I am actually very curious to know how exactly they go about spending so much money on one question (and is it really justified). Even if you have some clue, please let me know. Thanks
Re: How to tame unstable Verbal scores? &nbs [#permalink] 25 Oct 2017, 22:29
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# How to tame unstable Verbal scores?

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