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My first attempt - 2 weeks of studying

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Joined: 01 Apr 2019
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My first attempt - 2 weeks of studying  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Apr 2019, 14:59
My background:
Automotive/Aviation industry
Engineer: bachelors and masters (3.9GPA)
Non-native speaker

GMAT Study:
~2 weeks. English is weak point, so I spent most of my study time reading questions on gmatclub. There was not method to my studying.
For math, I spent most of my free time at work going through all possible rules. Whenever time permitted, I would attempt random questions on gmatclub.
Honestly, I am not a good test taker - nervousness gets the better of me, so my first attempt was just to gauge the exam, first hand, and see where I stand.

Mood before the exam: Slept at 2am, the previous night, for ~6 hrs. I did have a mild headache, but 2 aleve pills did the trick.

Exam sequence: Verbal, Quant, IR, AWA.

Verbal: My 5th question was a bold face and then some pretty tough CR questions. I am sure I messed up most of the CR questions. Surprisingly, I was pretty efficient with reading the RC passages. At the end I couldn't complete 3 questions.

Quant: Although, and again, I couldn't complete 3 questions, I think I did pretty decent. There were a 2 or 3 DS questions on which I spent more time than I should have, making each of them a scientific experiment. I didn't get a single probability question.....well maybe the 3 questions that I missed could have been probability questions.

Score:
640 Q47 V30


Next Steps:
Give the GMAT in 4weeks [hopefully in 3 weeks].
Focus primarily on verbal, specifically CR: start with the Powerscore CR book.

Advice needed:
Since I am a non-native speaker, I need help with a good source to start my SC study - from scratch; A source that will, at least, give me a good handle on written grammar rules. Although the forum is the best place to learn from, I have often fond my self lost with many SC explanations; I, then, find myself spending more time, than i should, researching specific grammar rules.
For example: In an OG SC question which used "Although," one of the explanations stated that in the construction Although[X], [Y], both X&Y need to be IC's. But a few days before my GMAT exam I came across another SC questions that used 'Although,' however, this time, one of the explanations stated all the convoluted ways you could use 'although.'
This brings me to another question: There are so many idioms and rules in the English language, but do we really need to know every possible idiom and rule (and the exceptions to each rule) to do well in SC?

Finally, I often find it tough to gauge what a 95% hard questions really means on gmatclub. I spent a lot of my time trying to solve 65%+ verbal questions on the forum. However, just 3 days before the exam, I realized my blunder. When i got to the 45% level questions, more realistic for my level, I could barely get 70% accuracy.
For my next attempt, if I manage to hold my quant score at ~47-48. What level verbal questions should I focus on to improve my score by, say, 60-70 points?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: My first attempt - 2 weeks of studying  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2019, 04:52
1
layeredcake wrote:
My background:
Automotive/Aviation industry
Engineer: bachelors and masters (3.9GPA)
Non-native speaker

GMAT Study:
~2 weeks. English is weak point, so I spent most of my study time reading questions on gmatclub. There was not method to my studying.
For math, I spent most of my free time at work going through all possible rules. Whenever time permitted, I would attempt random questions on gmatclub.
Honestly, I am not a good test taker - nervousness gets the better of me, so my first attempt was just to gauge the exam, first hand, and see where I stand.

Mood before the exam: Slept at 2am, the previous night, for ~6 hrs. I did have a mild headache, but 2 aleve pills did the trick.

Exam sequence: Verbal, Quant, IR, AWA.

Verbal: My 5th question was a bold face and then some pretty tough CR questions. I am sure I messed up most of the CR questions. Surprisingly, I was pretty efficient with reading the RC passages. At the end I couldn't complete 3 questions.

Quant: Although, and again, I couldn't complete 3 questions, I think I did pretty decent. There were a 2 or 3 DS questions on which I spent more time than I should have, making each of them a scientific experiment. I didn't get a single probability question.....well maybe the 3 questions that I missed could have been probability questions.

Score:
640 Q47 V30


Next Steps:
Give the GMAT in 4weeks [hopefully in 3 weeks].
Focus primarily on verbal, specifically CR: start with the Powerscore CR book.

Advice needed:
Since I am a non-native speaker, I need help with a good source to start my SC study - from scratch; A source that will, at least, give me a good handle on written grammar rules. Although the forum is the best place to learn from, I have often fond my self lost with many SC explanations; I, then, find myself spending more time, than i should, researching specific grammar rules.
For example: In an OG SC question which used "Although," one of the explanations stated that in the construction Although[X], [Y], both X&Y need to be IC's. But a few days before my GMAT exam I came across another SC questions that used 'Although,' however, this time, one of the explanations stated all the convoluted ways you could use 'although.'
This brings me to another question: There are so many idioms and rules in the English language, but do we really need to know every possible idiom and rule (and the exceptions to each rule) to do well in SC?

Finally, I often find it tough to gauge what a 95% hard questions really means on gmatclub. I spent a lot of my time trying to solve 65%+ verbal questions on the forum. However, just 3 days before the exam, I realized my blunder. When i got to the 45% level questions, more realistic for my level, I could barely get 70% accuracy.
For my next attempt, if I manage to hold my quant score at ~47-48. What level verbal questions should I focus on to improve my score by, say, 60-70 points?

Thanks in advance!



For SC please refer to MGMAT SC guide or e-gmat online course.
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My first attempt - 2 weeks of studying  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2019, 10:11
layeredcake wrote:
My background:
Automotive/Aviation industry
Engineer: bachelors and masters (3.9GPA)
Non-native speaker

GMAT Study:
~2 weeks. English is weak point, so I spent most of my study time reading questions on gmatclub. There was not method to my studying.
For math, I spent most of my free time at work going through all possible rules. Whenever time permitted, I would attempt random questions on gmatclub.
Honestly, I am not a good test taker - nervousness gets the better of me, so my first attempt was just to gauge the exam, first hand, and see where I stand.

Mood before the exam: Slept at 2am, the previous night, for ~6 hrs. I did have a mild headache, but 2 aleve pills did the trick.

Exam sequence: Verbal, Quant, IR, AWA.

Verbal: My 5th question was a bold face and then some pretty tough CR questions. I am sure I messed up most of the CR questions. Surprisingly, I was pretty efficient with reading the RC passages. At the end I couldn't complete 3 questions.

Quant: Although, and again, I couldn't complete 3 questions, I think I did pretty decent. There were a 2 or 3 DS questions on which I spent more time than I should have, making each of them a scientific experiment. I didn't get a single probability question.....well maybe the 3 questions that I missed could have been probability questions.

Score:
640 Q47 V30


Next Steps:
Give the GMAT in 4weeks [hopefully in 3 weeks].
Focus primarily on verbal, specifically CR: start with the Powerscore CR book.

Advice needed:
Since I am a non-native speaker, I need help with a good source to start my SC study - from scratch; A source that will, at least, give me a good handle on written grammar rules. Although the forum is the best place to learn from, I have often fond my self lost with many SC explanations; I, then, find myself spending more time, than i should, researching specific grammar rules.
For example: In an OG SC question which used "Although," one of the explanations stated that in the construction Although[X], [Y], both X&Y need to be IC's. But a few days before my GMAT exam I came across another SC questions that used 'Although,' however, this time, one of the explanations stated all the convoluted ways you could use 'although.'
This brings me to another question: There are so many idioms and rules in the English language, but do we really need to know every possible idiom and rule (and the exceptions to each rule) to do well in SC?

Finally, I often find it tough to gauge what a 95% hard questions really means on gmatclub. I spent a lot of my time trying to solve 65%+ verbal questions on the forum. However, just 3 days before the exam, I realized my blunder. When i got to the 45% level questions, more realistic for my level, I could barely get 70% accuracy.
For my next attempt, if I manage to hold my quant score at ~47-48. What level verbal questions should I focus on to improve my score by, say, 60-70 points?

Thanks in advance!


Hi layeredcake,

Welcome to GMATCLUB!! To improve your scores in verbal especially in SC, you can consider e-gmat verbal online or the e-gmat verbal live course. They are both amazing courses especially designed for non-natives. They offer almost 25% of their courses for free so you can try out their free trial to decide which one you want to go for. Plus the e-gmat Scholaranium which is included in both the courses is one of the best verbal practice tools in the market. You can easily track your progress in that you can identify your strengths and analyze and improve on your weak areas.

Further taking multiple mocks might help. Apart from the GMATPREP, Manhattan GMAT tests and Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

Further another advantage of taking many mocks is to build up your stamina. Apart from the GMATPREP tests, taking practice tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

I would also encourage you to purchase the GMATPREP QP 1 for some great additional practice. Here is a link that will help you with your decision.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/best-gmat-ve ... ml?fl=menu

Lastly, you can check out a very interesting article by Mike McGarry from Magoosh detailing a 3 month study plan

https://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/3-month-g ... l-focused/. You will find it very helpful as it gives out a study plan as per your needs.

Also I think if you maintain a current score of Q47 and improve your Verbal score to V38/V39 your score will be around 700-710.

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Re: My first attempt - 2 weeks of studying  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2019, 11:22
layeredcake wrote:
My background:
Automotive/Aviation industry
Engineer: bachelors and masters (3.9GPA)
Non-native speaker

GMAT Study:
~2 weeks. English is weak point, so I spent most of my study time reading questions on gmatclub. There was not method to my studying.
For math, I spent most of my free time at work going through all possible rules. Whenever time permitted, I would attempt random questions on gmatclub.
Honestly, I am not a good test taker - nervousness gets the better of me, so my first attempt was just to gauge the exam, first hand, and see where I stand.

Mood before the exam: Slept at 2am, the previous night, for ~6 hrs. I did have a mild headache, but 2 aleve pills did the trick.

Exam sequence: Verbal, Quant, IR, AWA.

Verbal: My 5th question was a bold face and then some pretty tough CR questions. I am sure I messed up most of the CR questions. Surprisingly, I was pretty efficient with reading the RC passages. At the end I couldn't complete 3 questions.

Quant: Although, and again, I couldn't complete 3 questions, I think I did pretty decent. There were a 2 or 3 DS questions on which I spent more time than I should have, making each of them a scientific experiment. I didn't get a single probability question.....well maybe the 3 questions that I missed could have been probability questions.

Score:
640 Q47 V30


Next Steps:
Give the GMAT in 4weeks [hopefully in 3 weeks].
Focus primarily on verbal, specifically CR: start with the Powerscore CR book.

Advice needed:
Since I am a non-native speaker, I need help with a good source to start my SC study - from scratch; A source that will, at least, give me a good handle on written grammar rules. Although the forum is the best place to learn from, I have often fond my self lost with many SC explanations; I, then, find myself spending more time, than i should, researching specific grammar rules.
For example: In an OG SC question which used "Although," one of the explanations stated that in the construction Although[X], [Y], both X&Y need to be IC's. But a few days before my GMAT exam I came across another SC questions that used 'Although,' however, this time, one of the explanations stated all the convoluted ways you could use 'although.'
This brings me to another question: There are so many idioms and rules in the English language, but do we really need to know every possible idiom and rule (and the exceptions to each rule) to do well in SC?

Finally, I often find it tough to gauge what a 95% hard questions really means on gmatclub. I spent a lot of my time trying to solve 65%+ verbal questions on the forum. However, just 3 days before the exam, I realized my blunder. When i got to the 45% level questions, more realistic for my level, I could barely get 70% accuracy.
For my next attempt, if I manage to hold my quant score at ~47-48. What level verbal questions should I focus on to improve my score by, say, 60-70 points?

Thanks in advance!


Hi, 650 itself a good score for a 2 week preparation. However, you are looking for 700+ score and has scope to improve score in both quant and Verbal. Try to follow these sources.
For verbal eGMAT, MGMT

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Re: My first attempt - 2 weeks of studying  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2019, 17:51
Hi layeredcake,

So I agree that scoring a 650 after just weeks of studying is pretty impressive!

Regarding resources, you should check out the reviews of verbal courses here on GMAT club to see what has worked well for other test takers.

Also, since you plan to dive into your verbal prep, do you need some advice of how to improve your GMAT verbal skills?

Lastly, you may find it helpful to read this article about How to Score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Good luck!
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Re: My first attempt - 2 weeks of studying  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2019, 20:52
Hi layeredcake,

If you truly studied for just 2 weeks, then this 640 is a really strong performance (the average Score on the Official GMAT hovers around 550 most years) - so you're clearly a strong critical thinker overall. That having been said, many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so if you want to retest in 3-4 weeks, then you might not hit your potential peak in that time.

You might 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. Before I can offer you any additional advice for your studies, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your timeline and your goals:

1) What is your goal score?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Re: My first attempt - 2 weeks of studying  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2019, 02:05
Hey layeredcake
good question. here are some thoughts, especially about the issue of verbal, since that is where you are struggling:

There can be many many reasons for a mid range Verbal, such as:
- inefficient methodologies (do you get confused by the different answer choices or take too much time?)
- lack of attention to detail (especially in SC but also in RC)
- having difficulty breaking down a CR question into its logical components
- and many more

Aside from this, there is the issue of strategy. When strategizing for the exam, more than basic skills are important for the Verbal section. It’s just as important to teach yourself the right way to approach each question. Many people, for example, make the mistake of reading all answer choices in all questions; with the clock running, you can’t afford to do this! Many Verbal questions are ones where all the relevant information is in the question itself, and you can use the PRECISE approach to answer the question directly, and avoid becoming confused by the answers. Other questions are those in which there is a general LOGICAL rule that can help answer the question quickly – reading all answers is a waste of time here as well. Only about a third of the questions are those in which it is necessary or preferable to go over all the answer choices (using the ALTERNATIVE approach). The trick is, of course, figuring out which question is which, and this requires concentrated study, checking not only whether you got the question right, but also whether you did so quickly and efficiently.


Before I offer you any more personal advice, I'd appreciate the answers to a few questions:
1. Have you maintained and used an error log?
2. Have you ordered an ESR? If so, please attach it here, I'll be happy to analyze it for you.
3. When you took your CATs, did you make sure to take them in the same time conditions as the real exam? (without pausing / splitting into parts)
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Re: My first attempt - 2 weeks of studying   [#permalink] 07 Apr 2019, 02:05
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