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need help on strategy from gurus...

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Senior Manager
Joined: 12 Mar 2009
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need help on strategy from gurus... [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2009, 13:10
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Hi,

I have been practicing from pretty long time now. Currently my score in the GMAT Prep practice tests are in the range of 670-690 (M49- V32-35). But I am not able to increase my verbal score at all. The number of wrongs that I get in verbal is around 12-14 (equally spaced more skewed towards SC). I have practiced a lot including OG11, 1000 series, Sets, Online questions on the forum etc. Even then the verbal score is not increasing. I had a word with online tutor about this, she is that you need some finishing in verbal and post 6 hours of tutoring you will be able to increase your score to say 42-44. I have not tried as she is charging me bomb (\$250 per hr).

I have also started keeping the error log but it has not helped me or I should say that I do not know how to use it. Because what ever I solve I keep a long of it in the excel file as people have discussed on the forum about it. But not able to extract the right juice out of the log. Now I am on the verge of breaking down and give up.

My math score is pretty steady at 49 with around 8-10 mistakes. The reason being I only practice verbal and want to improve the verbal score now. I have my d-day on 18th August, can somebody please help?

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GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
Re: need help on strategy from gurus... [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2009, 13:30
Thank you for a frank and honest post. Score stagnation is a big issue and many people get stuck in under the 700 area.

Let me give you a few pointers that should get you on the right path

1. why are you making mistakes in SC's? What errors are predeominant (your error log should tell you that right away)

2. are you printing/saving the questions you get wrong to review later and create your own customized "Hard Question Collection"?

3. are you doing test review and thoroughly understand why you make every mistake and have a plan on how to address most of them?

4. What guidebooks/study materials have you used? I see a long list of question compilations, but no actual study books
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Location: United States (CA)
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Strategy
Schools: Michigan (Ross) - Class of 2013
GMAT 1: 770 Q50 V44
GPA: 3.3
WE: Project Management (Aerospace and Defense)
Re: need help on strategy from gurus... [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2009, 17:00
Without knowing the answers to the questions that bb asked, I'd advise you to try some new approaches before committing to a tutor at \$250/hour. I'm sure the tutor would be helpful, but that's a lot of money.

If you haven't read the MGMAT SC book yet, you should
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28 Jun 2009, 02:07

I have tried to answer the questions so that you can probably throw some more light.

Thank you for a frank and honest post. Score stagnation is a big issue and many people get stuck in under the 700 area.

Let me give you a few pointers that should get you on the right path

1. why are you making mistakes in SC's? What errors are predeominant (your error log should tell you that right away)

I keep the record of the Q numbers that I have got wrong. I will now arrange them in brief order of type of the mistakes. I think that will help me to reduce the number of mistakes. Just to add, currently I am going through OG11-SC again and then planning to go through Manhattan SC guide.

2. are you printing/saving the questions you get wrong to review later and create your own customized "Hard Question Collection"?

I do save the question numbers in the excel file to create the hard question collection. I refer this file once in a fortnight. Do you mean this only or you intend something else.

3. are you doing test review and thoroughly understand why you make every mistake and have a plan on how to address most of them?

I do review my tests and try to understand where I went wrong. Quite a few times I feel that mistakes do happen due to the careless error and I feel that there is no solution for this. The rough break up is 65% silly mistakes and 35% concept errors.

Can you please explain what do you mean by how to address the mistakes?

4. What guidebooks/study materials have you used? I see a long list of question compilations, but no actual study books -
The books I have referred to are:
1. OG 10 & 11
2. Manhattan SC guide
3. Kaplan 800
4. 1000 series
5. Sets
6. Manhattan quant series

I hope above helps to give a direction to me. I am also thinking of taking Gmat club tests or Manhattan tests but currently confused between two.

Can you please tell me which tests should I be taking so that I feel in the gap of that 40-50 points to reach my target of 740-750 on 18th August.

Thanks again

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GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
Re: need help on strategy from gurus... [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2009, 06:09
I just posted a post especially on this topic here: gmat-study-plan-go-from-650-to-80235.html

Take a look.
P.S. Why are you doing OG first and then Manhattan SC?
Would it be more helpful potentially to learn how to do them and then do questions?
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Re: need help on strategy from gurus... [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2009, 07:37
I would recommend Powerscore's Critical Reasoning Bible for CR. Nothing comes close to it for sharpening your CR skills.

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Location: United States (CA)
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Re: need help on strategy from gurus... [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2009, 12:02
vaivish1723 wrote:

4. What guidebooks/study materials have you used? I see a long list of question compilations, but no actual study books -
The books I have referred to are:
1. OG 10 & 11
2. Manhattan SC guide
3. Kaplan 800
4. 1000 series
5. Sets
6. Manhattan quant series

I hope above helps to give a direction to me. I am also thinking of taking Gmat club tests or Manhattan tests but currently confused between two.

Can you please tell me which tests should I be taking so that I feel in the gap of that 40-50 points to reach my target of 740-750 on 18th August.

Thanks again

1. OG11 or OG12 is a must, but I haven't used the 10th Ed. before.
2. MGMAT SC - This should significantly improve your SC accuracy and speed.
3. Kaplan 800 - I own this book, but I haven't used it since the first week of prep on my first GMAT take. A lot of people dislike it.
4. 1000 series - These are great for practice, but should come after you've read guide books like MGMAT SC.
5. Sets - I'm not familiar with these.
6. MGMAT Quant - I've only used the Number Properties book, but it's definitely a good one.

MGMAT CATs vs. GMAT Club tests
These two tests shouldn't be compared, in my opinion, because they serve different purposes. The MGMAT CAT will give you a reasonably accurate prediction for your GMAT score, but the questions are not very representative of the real GMAT. GMAT Club tests are much more effective for practicing 700+ level quant questions. GC won't give you an estimated quant score, but you can read the thread on correlation to get an estimate of your ability. The data seems to suggest that people who consistently get 30+/37 correct on these tests score in the 49-51 range on test day.
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Re: need help on strategy from gurus... [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2009, 14:41
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I had the same problem with verbal (SC). I did the following after completing the Manhattan GMAT SC book:

1. Using the Official Verbal Guide (GMAC), I split the SC questions into blocks of 10, and went through as many blocks in a given day as time would allow (budgeting the 2 min/question).

2. When guessing on a problem, I would mark that problem.

3. When grading the completed blocks for the day, I would mark the ones I got wrong (different marking from the guessing). I would NOT mark the correct answer.

4. After completing the entire set, I didn't study SC the following day. The day after, I would go through the ones I missed and the ones I guessed on (using a new sheet of paper).

5. After completing those in one sitting, I would then review and figure out why my approach was wrong.

I felt this method helped me a LOT. I could not break 700 for the life of me, due to verbal (most notably SC). I was scoring in the upper 40s in quant, no issues there.

After figuring out why my approach was wrong on the more difficult SC questions, I was in a better position to score higher the verbal section overall. I found certain strategies for SC (split/re-split) could not be used on all questions, thus I had to have more than one approach to the problem.

Note: I REALLY had to learn the material to effectively apply the strategies. Other GMAT prep books/programs might tell you to "listen and answer with your ear". If you're like me and think the same way you speak, that approach will lead you to wrong answers more often than right answers. Focusing on the material (tense, pronouns, agreement in #, etc.) is key.

Hopefully this helps.

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