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My first GMAT : Scored 600 (Q50, V21) : Expert help on VERBAL?

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My first GMAT : Scored 600 (Q50, V21) : Expert help on VERBAL?  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2018, 08:02
Hi there,
I am a working professional, so couldn't spend more than an hour to study daily.
I was aware about my weakness in Verbal from the beginning, so I postponed the exam and focused on the verbal prep.
Prepared for sentence correction from MR-GMAT (old edition) and critical reasoning from CR bible Powerscore (again, old edition).
Though, both the old edition books seemed meaningful/comprehensive content wise, I could not cross V30(hence, 650) in my prep tests.

On real GMAT :
I attempted my first ever GMAT on Saturday 10th evening after postponing it from a month ago. Yet to receive full score report.
Quant: I started well, lost some time in between, gained momentum again and finished all the questions in the end. Quant was easier. So far so good.

Verbal: I lost 1min 20sec of Verbal section in my optional break unexpectedly. Still I could manage to complete all 36 questions in the end, except guessing 1-2 in between.
Even after a month of preparation, I could not understand what goes/went wrong with me in the tests.
My strategy in RC was to read the question first and then look for the answer by reading some part of the passage. Not sure if this is the best strategy but seems good to me as I can't spend time reading the entire passage every time. Might have made more errors.
Spent more time than usual on Sentence correction questions. I felt less confident on the actual exam than before. Might have done errors in this part too.
Critical reasoning was easier and I believe i made very few errors in that.

Pls suggest how I can improve in verbal, my target score is V35+? Do I need to prepare more on my concepts ? which books can i refer? what changes do i need to do in my test strategy?
Where else can improve upon?

Thanks
kk
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Re: My first GMAT : Scored 600 (Q50, V21) : Expert help on VERBAL?  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2018, 11:55
Hi allkhush92,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores; from what you described, it does not sound as if you put in enough overall study time to properly train for the Verbal section. With a V21, you would have lost significant points in all 3 major Verbal categories (RC, SC and CR). Thankfully, the Verbal section of the GMAT is as consistent and practicable as the Quant section is, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

1) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs/mocks (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
2) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
3) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Re: My first GMAT : Scored 600 (Q50, V21) : Expert help on VERBAL?  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2018, 21:13
Hi,
Thank you for replying to the post.
My scores on Practise CATs were
GMAT prep 1 - 560 (Q48, V20)
GMAT prep 2 - 570 (Q50, V19)
Focused only on verbal for one month
veritas prep 1- 590 (Q47, V22)
veritas prep 2- 570 (Q44, V22)
MGMAT 1 - 610 (Q47, V28)
Kaplan test 1 - 650 (Q49, V30)
I am planning to take the exam as early as possible, in 3-4 weeks time.
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Re: My first GMAT : Scored 600 (Q50, V21) : Expert help on VERBAL?  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2018, 04:38
allkhush92 wrote:
Hi there,
I am a working professional, so couldn't spend more than an hour to study daily.
I was aware about my weakness in Verbal from the beginning, so I postponed the exam and focused on the verbal prep.
Prepared for sentence correction from MR-GMAT (old edition) and critical reasoning from CR bible Powerscore (again, old edition).
Though, both the old edition books seemed meaningful/comprehensive content wise, I could not cross V30(hence, 650) in my prep tests.

On real GMAT :
I attempted my first ever GMAT on Saturday 10th evening after postponing it from a month ago. Yet to receive full score report.
Quant: I started well, lost some time in between, gained momentum again and finished all the questions in the end. Quant was easier. So far so good.

Verbal: I lost 1min 20sec of Verbal section in my optional break unexpectedly. Still I could manage to complete all 36 questions in the end, except guessing 1-2 in between.
Even after a month of preparation, I could not understand what goes/went wrong with me in the tests.
My strategy in RC was to read the question first and then look for the answer by reading some part of the passage. Not sure if this is the best strategy but seems good to me as I can't spend time reading the entire passage every time. Might have made more errors.
Spent more time than usual on Sentence correction questions. I felt less confident on the actual exam than before. Might have done errors in this part too.
Critical reasoning was easier and I believe i made very few errors in that.

Pls suggest how I can improve in verbal, my target score is V35+? Do I need to prepare more on my concepts ? which books can i refer? what changes do i need to do in my test strategy?
Where else can improve upon?

Thanks
kk


Hey allkhush92,

I was quite in the same position (working, not a lot of time..)
concerning your strat on RC you shouldn't have to get back to the passage once you've read it, except for the detail question. Maybe try to be more attentive on your first reading.
Here some more tips.

Cheers,
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Re: My first GMAT : Scored 600 (Q50, V21) : Expert help on VERBAL?  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2018, 11:26
Hi allkhush92,

Assuming that your overall Score Goal is 700+, you would likely need at least another 1-2 of consistent, guided study to get to that point that you were consistently scoring at that higher level.

Many Test Takers who use a 'book heavy' study approach end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level - and since your studies appear to have been book heavy, it's possible that this has happened to you too. By extension, you would likely find it beneficial to invest in some new, non-book study materials that focus on the Tactics, patterns and little 'secrets' to the Verbal section.

You mentioned that you wanted to retest in 3-4 weeks, but that might not be enough time for you to get to your Score Goal. Before I can offer you the specific advice that you're looking for, it would help to know a bit more about your timeline and goals:

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
3) 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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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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Re: My first GMAT : Scored 600 (Q50, V21) : Expert help on VERBAL?  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2018, 20:17
Hi allkhush92,

I would strongly urge you to go through this thread:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-impro ... 42361.html

Souvik makes a lot of good points here. Hope this helps as a starting point.
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Re: My first GMAT : Scored 600 (Q50, V21) : Expert help on VERBAL?  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2018, 00:14
Hi allkhush92,

I am sorry that your score in Verbal was not in line with your expectations.GMAT is a test of ability. To score well in the GMAT, you must have conceptual and process clarity on the aspects tested in the GMAT. Your approach towards GMAT Prep currently seems very book-heavy i.e. a lot of focus on concepts with very little focus on the application process. Also, you missed some key signs during your prep such as the score plateau during mock tests and therefore you did not do a course correction immediately.

Way Forward:

To improve further, you must make sure you plug all the gaps in your preparation so far. A score of V35+ means scoring more than 76%ile i.e. better than 76% of the test takers. To do this you will have to focus on both the conceptual and process clarity. Here are a few examples of students who improved from a score similar to yours to their target scores by ensuring conceptual and process clarity:
    Abhijay improved from 560 (V20) to 710 (V38). Click here to watch his inspiring video debrief.
    Anurag Arora improved from 600 (V24) to 740 (V40). Click here to watch his inspiring debrief.
    Anurag Doshi improved his score from 530 (V18) in mocks to 710 (V38). Click here to learn about his incredible GMAT journey.

Experience the course used by Abhijay and Anurag

You can try the courses used by Abhijay and Anurag by signing up for e-GMAT Free Trial. I am sharing some direct links to our files, you can get access to more of these (25+ video lessons and 350+ practice questions) in your free trial dashboard.
We are conducting a Free Strategy Webinar where you can learn how to create a Personalized GMAT Strategy and Study Plan. Register here to reserve your spot.

Hope this helps! Please feel free to reach out to us at support@e-gmat.com for any further GMAT related queries.

Regards,
Aditee
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Re: My first GMAT : Scored 600 (Q50, V21) : Expert help on VERBAL?  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2018, 19:08
Hi allkhush92,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. First off, keep in mind that most students have to put in much more than just one month to achieve a 35+ verbal score. So, one reason why your verbal score has not improved to a 35+ is because you quite frankly have not put in enough study time. Rather than rushing to take another GMAT, give yourself a good 2 to 3 months more of prep time (assuming that you can study more than just 1 hour a day) and take the GMAT once your verbal skills have sufficiently improved. That being said, I’m happy to provide some specific advice on how to improve your verbal skills.

Let’s say you begin studying Critical Reasoning. You need to ensure that you fully understand the essence of the various Critical Reasoning question types. Do you know the importance of an assumption within an argument? Can you easily spot a conclusion? Do you know how to resolve a paradox? Do you know how to properly evaluate cause and effect? Do you know how to properly weaken or strengthen an argument? These are just a few examples; you really need to take a deep dive into the individual Critical Reasoning topics such that you develop the necessary skills to properly attack any Critical Reasoning questions that you encounter.

As you learn each Critical Reasoning problem type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type of question. If, for example, you incorrectly answered a Weaken the Argument question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific 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.

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. 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 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 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 types of questions with which you struggle: Find the Main Idea, Inference, Author’s Tone, etc. As with Critical Reasoning, 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.

Studying Sentence Correction is a bit different from studying Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning. 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.

Regarding what you know, 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. 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 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 clearly refer to nouns? 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 are clear reasons why one Sentence Correction answer is correct and the others are not, and those reasons are never 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. 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 answe 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 brought you to that answer and what you could do differently 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.

As with your Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension regimens, after learning a particular Sentence Correction topic, engage in focused practice with 30 questions or more that involve that topic. As your Sentence Correction skills improve, you will then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

Ultimately, if you are unable to learn and practice in the manner described above, you may consider looking for additional verbal prep resources. If you are unsure of which resources to choose, check out some reviews here on GMAT Club.

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 questions.

Good luck!
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Re: My first GMAT : Scored 600 (Q50, V21) : Expert help on VERBAL? &nbs [#permalink] 28 Nov 2018, 19:08
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