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Need to go from 680 - 720+

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GMAT 1: 680 Q49 V34
Need to go from 680 - 720+  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 17 Nov 2019, 03:57
Hi guys,
First off, I’d just like to say a big thank you to this virtual community. Reading everyone’s stories on the GMAT club has been very motivating, inspiring and helpful. I would really love some help from the community with my GMAT issues. Here’s the story. I started studying for my gmat in June-July.

Attempt 1:

Study material - all over the place. Did OG & Manhattan (Quant) + Veritas + gmat club + top 1% gmat ivy. My mocks ranged from 650 - 750 (saw a few repeat questions on this attempt though). SC was weak.

Date: 30th Aug 2019
Score: 680 Q48 V35

Was very disappointed. Had a timing issue on both, verbal & quant. Had about 10 minutes to do the last 10 Q’s of quant.

Attempt 2:

My prep for the 2nd attempt mostly involved mock tests to nail my timing. Went back to Manhattan Verbal and covered the basics. Did a few Experts global tests. Did all the Veritas mocks too. Mocks ranged from 680-760. GMAC mock was 730.

Date: 22nd October 2019
Score: 670 Q49 V31

I honestly felt like I was doing well on this one, saw some really long difficult passages on RC and faced some tricky CRs. I was pretty stumped to see the V31.

Attempt 3:

Stuck to OG and bought extra questions too. Did a bunch of mocks solved all the OG stuff. Did all of Charles Biblos ( GMATNinja )‘s YouTube videos - really really helped with my Verbal, especially SC. Again, mocks ranged from 700-740. I also bought the extra GMAC questions and solved them, with an aversage of 85-90% accuracy in both, Verbal and Quant.

Date: November 10th 2019
Score: 680 Q49 V34

----

I’m just really lost about how I can improve my score, especially verbal. I’ve got ESRs for my 1st & 3rd attempt - happy to share those. Basically my CR has been bad in the exams, and my accuracy in the first and last quarters has been poor.

Please please help me plan out a methodical way to approach my verbal and get my score up to atleast a V40. I’m looking at the top 10 B schools and a 680 isn’t helping. I’ve booked my next gmat date for Dec 21st - will be the last attempt before I submit my R2 apps, so really looking forward to your inputs and advice. Thank you in advance!

Posted from my mobile device

Originally posted by reme04 on 16 Nov 2019, 05:19.
Last edited by reme04 on 17 Nov 2019, 03:57, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Need to go from 680 - 720+  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Nov 2019, 05:49
1
Hey reme04

You can attach the ESR and tag the experts who can help you :-)

Experts - EMPOWERgmatRichC, EgmatQuantExpert
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GMAT 1: 680 Q49 V34
Re: Need to go from 680 - 720+  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Nov 2019, 06:32
NandishSS could you please help with who I could tag?

NandishSS wrote:
Hey reme04

You can attach the ESR and tag the experts who can help you :-)

Experts - EMPOWERgmatRichC, EgmatQuantExpert


Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Need to go from 680 - 720+  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Nov 2019, 07:17
1
reme04 wrote:
Hi guys,

First off, I’d just like to say a big thank you to this virtual community. Reading everyone’s stories on the GMAT club has been very motivating, inspiring and helpful.

I would really love some help from the community with my GMAT issues. Here’s the story.

I started studying for my gmat in June-July.

Attempt 1:

Study material - all over the place.
Did OG & Manhattan (Quant)
+ Veritas + gmat club + top 1% gmat ivy
My mocks ranged from 680 - 750 (saw a few repeat questions on this attempt though). SC was weak.

Date: 30th Aug 2019
Score: 680 Q48 V35

Was very disappointed. Had a timing issue on both, verbal & quant. Had about 10 minutes to do the last 10 Q’s of quant.

Attempt 2:

My prep for the 2nd attempt mostly involved mock tests to nail my timing. Went back to Manhattan Verbal and covered the basics. Did a few Experts global tests. Did all the Veritas mocks too. Mocks ranged from 680-760. GMAC mock was 730.

Date: 22nd October 2019
Score: 670 Q49 V31

I honestly felt like I was doing well on this one, saw some really long difficult passages on RC and faced some tricky CRs. I was pretty stumped to see the V31.

Attempt 3:

Stuck to OG and bought extra questions too. Did a bunch of mocks solved all the OG stuff. Did all of Charles Biblos (GMAT NINJA)‘a YouTube videos - really really really helped with my Verbal, especially SC.
Again, mocks ranged from 700-740. Did all the extra questions from GMAC in a timed manner and got almost all of them right every time.

Date: November 10th 2019
Score: 680 Q49 V34

I’m just really lost about how I can improve my score, especially verbal. I’ve got ESRs for my 1st & 3rd attempt - happy to share those. Basically my CR has been bad in the exams, and my accuracy in the first and last quarters has been poor.

Please please help me plan out a methodical way to approach my verbal and get my score up to atleast a V40. I’m looking at the top 10 B schools and a 680 isn’t helping. I’ve booked my next gmat date for Dec 21st - will be the last attempt before I submit my R2 apps, so really looking forward to your inputs and advice. Thank you in advance!

Posted from my mobile device


Hi reme04,

I think your score in Quant is quite decent and you should now focus most of your energy on Verbal. As your score in Verbal has constantly been around 34 range, I believe you should subscribe to a well designed course to improve you score in Verbal.

To improve your scores in verbal especially CR, 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.

I would also encourage you to purchase the Official practice questions from mba.com for some great additional practice.

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Re: Need to go from 680 - 720+  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Nov 2019, 15:34
Hi reme04,

First off, your recent 680/Q49 is a strong Score, so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be necessary. Depending on the Schools that you plan to apply to, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admissio ... tants-124/

There's no harm in continuing to study though - and you clearly have the opportunity to pick up some serious points in the Verbal section. GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Your 3 Official Scores show that you essentially performed the same each time (680 +/- a few Scaled Score points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. You're actually closer to a 720+ than you probably realize, but to hit your Goal Score, you cannot afford to continue approaching the GMAT "your way" - you will have to make some fundamental changes to how you 'see' (and respond to) the Verbal section.

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) Since you took your 1st Official GMAT, how many hours did you typically study each week?
2) What "brands" of practice CATs have you used over the course of ALL of your studies?
3) On what dates did you take EACH of your CATs/mocks and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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). Since you purchased two of your ESRs, then I'll be happy to analyze them for you. If you would rather not post them publicly, ten you can feel free to PM them directly to me.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
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Re: Need to go from 680 - 720+  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Nov 2019, 23:24
rohan2345

Thank you for your inputs - I've been reading a lot about E-gmat's verbal resources, I think I will give this a shot. The issue I have faced, common to all attempts, is that the questions I have faced during the GMAT have felt considerably harder than the practice problems. I have purchased a set of additional questions from GMAC, plan to also purchase the mock papers 5&6. Let me give E-GMAT a shot and I'll keep you updated about my progress.

Thanks again for your time!
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Joined: 18 Aug 2019
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GMAT 1: 680 Q49 V34
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New post 17 Nov 2019, 00:24
EMPOWERgmatRichC
Thank you for taking the time out to give me such detailed feedback! I feel better after reading your post. I will share my ESR's with you over a PM. To answer your questions:

1) Since you took your 1st Official GMAT, how many hours did you typically study each week?
Around 20 hours per week. My focus after the 1st attempt, was to just do more mock tests because I felt like I was a bit thrown off under the pressure on the test day.

2) What "brands" of practice CATs have you used over the course of ALL of your studies? On what dates did you take EACH of your CATs/mocks and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

a. GMAC Exams 1 & 2:
Aug 03: 600 Q48 V25
Aug 15: 730 Q50 V39
Aug 17: 690 Q49 V34
Aug 22: 750 Q50 V41
Oct 29: 740 Q49 V41

GMAC 3 & 4:
Aug 25: 690 Q50 V33
Aug 26: 700 Q49 V35
Sept 22: 710 Q48 V39

b. Manhattan Prep (15/09/19)
Sept 15: 700 Q48V37

c. Veritas (Last 6 scores):
Aug 15: 650 Q47 V33
Aug 21: 640 Q47 V31
Oct 02: 690 Q48 V37
Oct 03: 700 Q51 V35
Oct 15: 710 Q51 V37

d. Experts Global tests:
Sept 15: 710 Q48 V39
Oct 12: 720 Q49 V39
Oct 13: 660 Q45 V36
Oct 18: 700 Q47 V39
Oct 19: 760 Q50 V44

e. Economist
Sept 17: 670 Q49 V33 (Before GMAT attempt1)

f. E-Gmat
Sept 21: 640 Q45 V32

I stopped doing mocks after my 760 attempt. I spent the next 10 days before my exam just solving the additional questions from GMAC - but in a timed manner. I purchased the additional ~500 questions, and would solve 31 Quant and 36 Verbal Qs, with a varied difficulty level. My average accuracy on these was about 90% for Quant and between 85-90% for Verbal.

4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
1. Kellogg
2. Harvard
3. HAAS
4. Columbia
5. NUS (Singapore)

Thank you in advance! Looking forward to your reply.
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New post 17 Nov 2019, 07:13
reme04 wrote:
rohan2345

Thank you for your inputs - I've been reading a lot about E-gmat's verbal resources, I think I will give this a shot. The issue I have faced, common to all attempts, is that the questions I have faced during the GMAT have felt considerably harder than the practice problems. I have purchased a set of additional questions from GMAC, plan to also purchase the mock papers 5&6. Let me give E-GMAT a shot and I'll keep you updated about my progress.

Thanks again for your time!


Hi reme04,

I totally agree with your point on the difficulty level of the questions being tested on GMAT. I found E-gmat scholaranium and Official questions from GMAC closely match the difficulty level of the real GMAT and will prepare you well for the test day. Also Exam pack 2 is also a great resource for practice and closely match the difficulty level of the real GMAT.

All the best and please reach out if you have any further questions.
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Re: Need to go from 680 - 720+  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Nov 2019, 16:09
Hi reme04,

I've sent you a PM with an analysis of your ESRs and some additional notes.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Need to go from 680 - 720+  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Nov 2019, 12:14
Hi reme04,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. So, the good news is that you have a really solid quant score, so nice work! Regarding verbal, since you scored V34 on the GMAT, despite having scored higher on your practice exams, it’s clear that you have a number of weak areas in verbal that must be strengthened in order to improve your verbal score. So, here is some general advice you can follow to improve your verbal skills. I’ll start with CR,

For example, when studying Critical Reasoning, you need to ensure that you fully understand the essence of the various 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 to 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. 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. 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 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 stimulating. So, to better prepare yourself to tackle such bland passages, read magazines with similar content and style, such as the New York Times, 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. Furthermore, the likely reason that your Sentence Correction performance has not improved is that you have not been working on all three of those aspects.

Regarding what you know, to be successful in Sentence Correction, 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 less than 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 none of those reasons are 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 answers were always the ones 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 put in the necessary time to see the differences between answers and to 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 to arrive at 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 do 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’ll then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple SC 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: Need to go from 680 - 720+   [#permalink] 19 Nov 2019, 12:14
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