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Need help to increase Verbal to atleat 37

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New post 27 Nov 2018, 20:42
I gave my gmat for the first time on 30th August 2018. I scored a terrible 540(Q46,V20).
Preparation- I had purchased the byjus content.Solved entire OG for quants,RC and SC. I did not do it for CR due to time constraints and ended up scoring the least in CR. Gave few mocks and was scoring round the same range of 540.

I then quit my job on 26th October to prepare for gmat. I was studying from 15th September-15th October with work.But from 27th October I was studying religiously giving a minimum of 8 hours per day.
Preparation-
First,I solved the OG questions for CR.
Revised all concepts.
Solved OG 2019 new questions for all.
Gave many mocks and analysed them.
31/10/18-Manhattan free mock 600(Q42,V32)
04/11/18-Veritas Prep Test 2 620(Q46,V29)
10/11/18-Veritas Prep Test 3 600(Q48,V25)
15/11/18-Veritas Prep Test 4 620(Q45,V30)
18/11/18-Veritas Prep Test 5 620(Q45,V30)
19/11/18-Gmat Prep Test 1 610(Q47,V27)
20/11/18-Gmat Prep Test 2 590(Q43,V28)
24/11/18-Kaplan Free Mock 650(Q48,V31)
25/11/18-Gmat Prep Test 3 610(Q48,V26)
27/11/18-Gmat Exam Day 570(Q48,V21)

My target score is 700.
I dont know how to go about it now.
I mainly need help with the verbal. Gmat Club helped me with my preparation. I hope someone can help me know too.
Thanks in advance:)
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New post 27 Nov 2018, 22:11
Hi AdityaD,

To start, you 'tagged' a number of different GMAT Courses in your post. Did you actually use any of those Courses?

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, most of the 9 CAT score results you listed - along with your Official GMAT Score - show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 600 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes.

It's important to remember that taking lots of CATs will NOT make you a better Test Taker. 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 learn the necessary Tactics and put in the proper practice and repetitions. The CAT will show you whether your studies are helping you to improve or not. In addition, the process of taking (and reviewing) a CAT requires a significant amount of energy and effort - and takes time to 'recover' from. This is one of the reasons why you typically shouldn't take more than 1 CAT per week - and your last CAT should be taken about 1 week before Test Day. By taking 9 CATs in the 4 weeks before your Official GMAT, there's a reasonable chance that you experienced some 'burn out' on Test Day. If you really were studying for 50+ each week for the month leading up to Test Day, then that also increased your chances of burn out.

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 (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 we can discuss how best to proceed with your studies, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your timeline and your goals:

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

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New post 27 Nov 2018, 23:16
Hi Rich,
This is my first post actually,so i though i need to just tag to get a response from them. I did not actually use any of them.
I only had the byju's material. I understand when you say that probably burned out. But frankly i was quite fresh for the exam and felt positive that i would atleast be scoring a 600 after giving the mocks. I am planning to apply for the Master's in Business analytics course in round 2 this year (to name a few colleges-Brandeis,Rochester,Rutgers,UT Austin).
I have the ESR for the 1st gmat, do you think i should purchase it for the second one too?
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New post 27 Nov 2018, 23:48
Hi Aditya,

Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to go from a sub-30 score to 35+ in the verbal section. I recommend reading high quality articles daily from reputable websites such as The Economist, Wall Street Journal etc. The habit of reading won't help you overnight, but it will help you immensely over a period a time. Reading is especially helpful for RC questions on the gmat.

However, one area which you can improve upon relatively quickly is SC. There are only a few grammar rules which you need to master, and with practice, you can intuitively eliminate incorrect answer choices on SC questions. I would recommend purchasing the Magoosh gmat course, which is especially helpful for Verbal.
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New post 28 Nov 2018, 00:07
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Hi AdityaD

Verbal is a challenge for the best of us, so it's completely normal and not a reason to stress. Quant is more about practice, Verbal is more about technique. I see that you're you're just solving a bunch of problems, trying to get better, and I'd strongly advise you to stop doing that and refine your technique.

The simplest but most effective advice I can give you for RC and CR is to read carefully. It sounds silly, but a lot of time is wasted when you skim the stimulus and have to circle back to it. This also makes you miss specific details or flaws in logic that 700+ level questions exploit.

Further, 85% of all CR questions have one of 5-6 most common lines of reasoning. Rather than skipping over wrong questions, I'd suggest you comprehensively read the OE, understand why each choice was wrong, why the right choice was right and only then move on. Most commonly asked questions follow a similar pattern with different wordings, so understanding the logic patterns is key. Also, there's a technique you need to develop to attack arguments, otherwise it's easy to get lost.

SC is all about basics, and where you can improve the most. A high-level question usually has two or three fundamental errors which are repeated in the wrong answer choices. Often, test takers (including myself) fixate over stylistic differences and care more about "how it sounds" rather than whether it's grammatically correct. Since you seem to be a quant guy, approach this quantitatively; attack the question with a strict set basic rules and eliminate everything that doesn't fit: this is why sounds basics are so important on SC.

I'd suggest taking the entire next week to build your basics and technique. I've found Ron Purewal's videos to be immensely helpful since they show you how a guy who's scored a perfect 800 on the GMAT thinks and solves problems. I recommend you start with those for RC, CR and SC. They're long and there's too many of them so be judicious, skip parts and move on when you've mastered the skill. I think Carcass has posted a full list somewhere on the forum. Another advice would be sticking only to OG and maybe Manhattan stuff if you can find it (and LSAT directory posted by Broall for CR). MOST of the Verbal problems from other companies are pretty bad and you don't want to work on those and dilute your learnings.

Happy to help if you have more specific questions.
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New post 28 Nov 2018, 04:15
Hi AdityaD,

I am sorry to know that your test scores were not in line with your expectations. Your current Verbal score indicates significant conceptual and process gaps and you must focus on fixing those to reach your target score. A lot of students have done this and so can you. Here are a few such examples:
    • Abhijay improved from 560 (V20) to 710 (V38). Click here to watch his inspiring video debrief.
    • Anurag improved his score from 530 (V18) in mocks to 710 (V38) with the help of our course. Click here to learn about his incredible GMAT journey.
    • Bhavya improved from a 570(V20) to 730 (V41). Click here to watch her interview.

I invite you to try e-GMAT Free Trial to see if it suits your learning style. I am sharing direct links to a few files, you can access more (25+video files and 350+ practice questions) by signing up for the free trial.

We are also conducting a Free RC Webinar this weekend in which you will learn how to read a passage of any length and topic effectively so that it becomes simple to comprehend what the author wants to communicate through the passage. Register here to reserve your spot.

Regards,
Aditee
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New post 28 Nov 2018, 12:06
Hi Aditya!
I used Byjus e learning pad for my gmat in 2014. CR in it is below par!!
Byju is good for CAT only in my opinion
It is a total waste if money for Verbal.
It is decent for quants.


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New post 28 Nov 2018, 19:06
Hi AdityaD,

To properly analyze your current skills, strengths and weaknesses, it would help to have an ESR for this recent attempt. While there are likely a number of similarities between your two performances on the Official GMAT, your 1st ESR (from 3 months ago) isn't nearly as relevant as the ESR for your 2nd attempt.

Raising a 570 to a 700+ will likely require at least another 2 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level. It's not clear what application deadlines you are facing, so that could impact your potential study time and how much you might improve.

1) What are the Round 2 deadlines for the Programs you plan to apply to?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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New post 28 Nov 2018, 21:05
Hi EMPOWERgmatRichC,
My deadlines are around 15th Jan. But I am travelling from 26th Dec-6th Jan. I was planning to give the GMAT again on 25th December. Right now i can study the entire day. I can stretch upto 70 hours a week i think. I will take the ESR report and share it with you.
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New post 28 Nov 2018, 22:45
Hi swapnilathaya,
Yes i wouldnt recommend byjus for GMAT to anyone.
So did you prepare from anywhere else? Are there any crash courses that you would suggest
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New post 28 Nov 2018, 22:47
Hi shaarang,

Thank you so much for your feedback. Where can i find Ron's videos?
Also except OG would you recommend any other material with which i can improve on my verbal concepts
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New post 28 Nov 2018, 23:01
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AdityaD wrote:
Hi shaarang,

Thank you so much for your feedback. Where can i find Ron's videos?
Also except OG would you recommend any other material with which i can improve on my verbal concepts


AdityaD,

Ron's Video index: https://gmatclub.com/forum/manhattan-s-thursdays-with-ron-consolidated-video-index-223612.html
Everything you need for Verbal: https://gmatclub.com/forum/sc-verbal-qu ... 95439.html
CR LSAT Directory: https://gmatclub.com/forum/actual-lsat- ... 49447.html
Other resources: OG is best. MGMAT is great. Veritas, eGMAT and Magoosh are not bad. Princeton, Economist and Kaplan are pretty crappy. Avoid other sources like the plague.

Again, Verbal is about refining your reasoning and technique more than getting the right answer. The resources listed above are more than enough to get a V47 (99.9th percentile), but the execution of your prep is key. Make sure you don't just burn through them without understanding the solutions.
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New post 29 Nov 2018, 15:16
Hi AdityaD,

Let's start with this ESR and we can go from there. December 25th is less than 4 weeks away though and the goal to raise a 570 to a 700+ in such a short period of time is probably too difficult to be considered realistic. Thus, you might need to change your application plans or your Score Goal.

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New post 03 Dec 2018, 16:57
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Hi AdityaD,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. So, let’s start with the good news: Your scored a Q48, which matches the highest quant score of any of your practice exams, so nice job! Regarding verbal, since you were scoring between 25 and 32 on your practice exams and scored 21 on your actual exam, it’s clear that you lack some of the verbal fundamentals necessary for a high score, right? Furthermore, it’s clear that you’ve been taking practice exams before you are ready.

GMAT practice tests serve two main purposes: to provide diagnostic information and to get you accustomed to the test-taking experience. In other words, by taking a practice test, you can get a sense of what types of GMAT questions you are comfortable answering, arrive at a reasonable estimation of how you would score on the GMAT at that point in time, and practice taking the GMAT and handling its various challenges, such as time pressure and the varying difficulty of the questions presented.

People often misuse practice tests as primary learning tools. You may have seen posts that go something like the following: A person with a score goal of 740 has been preparing for six weeks, has already taken all six of the official practice tests, and is wondering why her scores have been 600, 590, 570, 610, 600, and 560. In such a case, the person likely has been using practice tests as primary learning tools, meaning that taking practice tests has been much of, or possibly most of, what she has been doing to drive up her score.

Can practice tests be valuable tools for learning and continued score improvement? Yes, of course, if they are used properly and at optimal times in your preparation. However, practice tests should not be used as primary learning vehicles, because practice tests don’t really provide the kind of practice that you need to increase your score. To improve your score, you need to learn the basics of answering various types of GMAT questions, and then practice applying what you have learned by carefully answering practice questions in order to learn to answer them correctly. When you first learn how to answer a particular type of question, answering that type of question correctly can easily take way longer than the two minutes or so per question that you are allotted when taking the GMAT (or a practice test). Two minutes per question can fly by, and if you want to finish the sections of the test on time, in many cases, regardless of whether you have figured out how to answer a question, you may have to just answer and move on. So, while taking a practice test can be a great way to work on your overall approach to taking the GMAT, taking a practice test is not a great way to practice getting right answers to various types of questions. To effectively prepare for the GMAT, you have to practice answering questions of each type without the time constraints of the test and work up to a point at which you can answer questions of each type in around two minutes. When you take multiple practice tests early in your prep, the tests simply underscore exactly what you already know: You need to learn more content and develop more skills to hit your score goal. Why spend three hours taking a practice test just to learn what you already know, wasting a valuable learning tool in the process?

Of course, you can benefit from taking one diagnostic practice test early in your preparation. Furthermore, once you’ve done substantial preparation and mastered much of the content tested on the GMAT, when you sit for practice tests, they will actually show, to some degree, lingering weak areas that require further study. I say “to some degree” because although practice tests provide a pretty good approximation of how a person would score on the GMAT at a particular point in time, because the sample size of questions on any practice test is rather small (31 quant questions and 36 verbal questions), practice tests don’t do a very good job of pinpointing specific areas of weakness.

For example, let’s assume that of the 36 verbal questions on a given practice test, you encounter one “Resolve the Paradox” Critical Reasoning question and get it wrong. Should you conclude that you need extensive work on Resolve the Paradox questions? Of course not. Similarly, what if you correctly answered the Resolve the Paradox question? Are you good to go on those questions? Maybe. But maybe not. In fact, let’s assume that you took six practice tests, saw a total of six Resolve the Paradox questions, and correctly answered them all. Can you conclude that you’re solid on Resolve the Paradox questions? Probably not. One thing that makes the GMAT challenging is the vast potential for variation in the questions. There are hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of variations of Resolve the Paradox questions that can appear on the test. So, correctly answering five or six (or ten) Resolve the Paradox questions doesn’t really tell you much. You must take care not to over-infer based on practice tests alone.

To truly improve your GMAT verbal skills, and before taking any further tests, follow a linear study plan that allows you to slowly build mastery of one GMAT topic prior to moving on to the next. Within each topic, begin with the foundations and progress toward more advanced concepts. For example, let’s say you begin studying Critical Reasoning. Your first goal is to master the individual Critical Reasoning topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn each problem type, do focused practice so you can assess how well you understand the topic. If, for example, you incorrectly answer 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. When attacking Reading Comprehension passages, 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 are reading a paragraph, also 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, 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 stimulating, so to better prepare yourself to tackle such passages, read magazines with similar content and style, such as the Economist, Scientific American, and Smithsonian.

Sentence Correction is a bit of a different animal compared to 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, you likely 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 just a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning 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 in order 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 is only one correct answer to any Sentence Correction question, there are clear reasons why that choice is correct and the others are not, and those reasons are not 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 logical meanings. 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 figure out the precise reasons that one choice is correct.

To improve what you do when you answer 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 resulted in your arriving at that answer and what you could do differently in order 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 skills improve, you will then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

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 further questions.
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Re: Need help to increase Verbal to atleat 37  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Dec 2018, 19:15
Hi Scott,

Thank you so much for the reply. It was really insightful. I understood the point you were trying to make regarding the mock exams. I am now focusing on getting my concepts clear and practising it before giving any mocks. Thank you for your feedback:)

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