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# Improving Verbal

Author Message
Manager
Joined: 22 Dec 2017
Posts: 56
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 650 Q47 V33

### Show Tags

29 Jan 2018, 07:24
Hi as I have been studying for the GMAT I have focused almost 95% of my efforts on Quant rather than Verbal. My strengths are in Verbal and I scored a V34 (~70th percentile) on my first GMAT sitting without even studying more than 6-7 hours for verbal. My GMAT prep scores in Verbal are in the 33-38 range. I think for somebody with strength in Verbal I should really be scoring at least 41-42. However, I do not know where to start studying Verbal. I currently have access to both Manhattan Prep, Magoosh and OG Verbal questions. I'm not really liking the Manhattan prep verbal material and I am a bit skeptical about the Magoosh material and how it compares to actual GMAT questions. I find the actual GMAT verbal section to be very unpredictable. Also, my RC, CR and SC scores fluctuate a lot. For example on two GMAT prep exams I scored a 96th percentile in CR then in the other 2 I scored in the 65-70th percentiles. My variance in SC is even more drastic, sometimes I go from 85th percentile down to 33rd.

Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4485

### Show Tags

31 Jan 2018, 16:52
Emilio95 wrote:
Hi as I have been studying for the GMAT I have focused almost 95% of my efforts on Quant rather than Verbal. My strengths are in Verbal and I scored a V34 (~70th percentile) on my first GMAT sitting without even studying more than 6-7 hours for verbal. My GMAT prep scores in Verbal are in the 33-38 range. I think for somebody with strength in Verbal I should really be scoring at least 41-42. However, I do not know where to start studying Verbal. I currently have access to both Manhattan Prep, Magoosh and OG Verbal questions. I'm not really liking the Manhattan prep verbal material and I am a bit skeptical about the Magoosh material and how it compares to actual GMAT questions. I find the actual GMAT verbal section to be very unpredictable. Also, my RC, CR and SC scores fluctuate a lot. For example on two GMAT prep exams I scored a 96th percentile in CR then in the other 2 I scored in the 65-70th percentiles. My variance in SC is even more drastic, sometimes I go from 85th percentile down to 33rd.

Dear Emilio95,

This is Mike McGarry from Magoosh. I'm happy to respond.

I will say a few things. First of all, I praise you for your ambition: you are already good, and you want to know how to make yourself better. Bravo!

As paradoxical as this may sound, the mistake you make are pure gold. Each time you get a verbal question wrong, treat that as an absolute treasure. See:
Studying for the GMAT: Learning from Your Mistakes
Be rigorous about keeping an error log. When you get a verbal question wrong, force yourself to articulate the nature of your mistake and what you still have to learn. Make it your goal to understand each mistake so well that you never make the same mistake twice. That's a lofty goal, but striving toward that goal is one of the habits of excellent.

Also, look for ways to push yourself in your personal reading. For starters, read the business new religiously each day: the Financial Times and the Economist magazine. Look for articles that discuss issues that are entirely unfamiliar to you and dive into those. You will find tons of arguments in such articles, real-world business arguments: ask yourself all the standard CR questions--what would strength it? what would weaken it? what are the assumptions? what can we infer? what information would you need to evaluate the argument? That will help particularly with CR and RC. Also, see:
GMAT Critical Reasoning and Outside Knowledge

For SC, I am going to suggest that you look at very erudite writing. Look at the essays of Emerson and Thoreau. Look at the classic US President inauguration speeches: both of Lincolns, JKF's, FDR's first, etc. Read the writing of Dr. ML King: for example, his "I Have a Dream Speech" or his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." Look at the sentences in the first few paragraphs of the US Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. For example, here's just the first sentence of the Declaration of Independence:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
If you understand the grammar of that sentence, and why it's a 100% grammatically correct sentence, then you really understand grammar!

Finally, if you find sentence in those writings, or GMAT SC sentence, that you simply don't understand, post them here in GMAT Club and ask for the advice of experts. If it's a GMAT SC question, make sure you search first: don't start a new thread for a question that already exists somewhere in GMAT Club. By all means, though, ask your questions so that you understand deeply.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Manager
Joined: 23 Jan 2018
Posts: 63
Concentration: Operations, Strategy
WE: Engineering (Manufacturing)

### Show Tags

02 Feb 2018, 10:43
where are you from?
Manager
Joined: 22 Dec 2017
Posts: 56
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 650 Q47 V33

### Show Tags

02 Feb 2018, 11:47
mikemcgarry wrote:
Emilio95 wrote:
Hi as I have been studying for the GMAT I have focused almost 95% of my efforts on Quant rather than Verbal. My strengths are in Verbal and I scored a V34 (~70th percentile) on my first GMAT sitting without even studying more than 6-7 hours for verbal. My GMAT prep scores in Verbal are in the 33-38 range. I think for somebody with strength in Verbal I should really be scoring at least 41-42. However, I do not know where to start studying Verbal. I currently have access to both Manhattan Prep, Magoosh and OG Verbal questions. I'm not really liking the Manhattan prep verbal material and I am a bit skeptical about the Magoosh material and how it compares to actual GMAT questions. I find the actual GMAT verbal section to be very unpredictable. Also, my RC, CR and SC scores fluctuate a lot. For example on two GMAT prep exams I scored a 96th percentile in CR then in the other 2 I scored in the 65-70th percentiles. My variance in SC is even more drastic, sometimes I go from 85th percentile down to 33rd.

Dear Emilio95,

This is Mike McGarry from Magoosh. I'm happy to respond.

I will say a few things. First of all, I praise you for your ambition: you are already good, and you want to know how to make yourself better. Bravo!

As paradoxical as this may sound, the mistake you make are pure gold. Each time you get a verbal question wrong, treat that as an absolute treasure. See:
Studying for the GMAT: Learning from Your Mistakes
Be rigorous about keeping an error log. When you get a verbal question wrong, force yourself to articulate the nature of your mistake and what you still have to learn. Make it your goal to understand each mistake so well that you never make the same mistake twice. That's a lofty goal, but striving toward that goal is one of the habits of excellent.

Also, look for ways to push yourself in your personal reading. For starters, read the business new religiously each day: the Financial Times and the Economist magazine. Look for articles that discuss issues that are entirely unfamiliar to you and dive into those. You will find tons of arguments in such articles, real-world business arguments: ask yourself all the standard CR questions--what would strength it? what would weaken it? what are the assumptions? what can we infer? what information would you need to evaluate the argument? That will help particularly with CR and RC. Also, see:
GMAT Critical Reasoning and Outside Knowledge

For SC, I am going to suggest that you look at very erudite writing. Look at the essays of Emerson and Thoreau. Look at the classic US President inauguration speeches: both of Lincolns, JKF's, FDR's first, etc. Read the writing of Dr. ML King: for example, his "I Have a Dream Speech" or his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." Look at the sentences in the first few paragraphs of the US Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. For example, here's just the first sentence of the Declaration of Independence:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
If you understand the grammar of that sentence, and why it's a 100% grammatically correct sentence, then you really understand grammar!

Finally, if you find sentence in those writings, or GMAT SC sentence, that you simply don't understand, post them here in GMAT Club and ask for the advice of experts. If it's a GMAT SC question, make sure you search first: don't start a new thread for a question that already exists somewhere in GMAT Club. By all means, though, ask your questions so that you understand deeply.

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Thank you very much for the feedback Mike. It is really appreciated. I started with the error log today and I look forward to using it during my verbal studying.

Emilio
Manager
Joined: 22 Dec 2017
Posts: 56
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 650 Q47 V33

### Show Tags

02 Feb 2018, 11:47
rbsusa wrote:
where are you from?

Canada. I am a native English speaker.
Re: Improving Verbal &nbs [#permalink] 02 Feb 2018, 11:47
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# Improving Verbal

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