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New to the verbal forum - Read this first (2016 edition)

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New to the verbal forum - Read this first (2016 edition) [#permalink]

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New to the verbal forum - Read this first


Whether you are just starting off with preparing for the GMAT, or whether you are retaking and need that extra verbal push, this thread will help you out. If you are new to GMAT Club, this thread will help you find the best verbal resources on the website, and help you getting that extra verbal advantage.

GMAT Verbal Section



The GMAT verbal section has three different content areas: Sentence Correction, Critical Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension. Verbal scores range from 0 to 60. Scores below nine and above 44 for the Verbal section are rare.

GMAT Scores also include a Percentile Ranking. This number indicates the percent of test takers that you performed better than. A ranking of 75% means that 25% of test takers performed as well or better than you and 75% did not do as well. While your score will not change, the Percentile Ranking may. Rankings are recalculated every summer using exam data from the prior three years.

If your verbal score has been stagnant



Possible Reasons
There might be a couple of reasons to why your score is always hovering around the V30 range (V28-V35). I would like to address almost all of them below. (Please post comments if you think of something else)

    1. You have covered your verbal books such as MGMAT SC/CR/CR, Powerscore, Veritas, Kaplan books and the available question banks but often on a practice test you see a lot of questions, which seem to test something else.

    2. You have not understood some of the concepts written in certain books (sometimes, as it happens, you think you have understood a certain concept such as pronoun ambiguity but it becomes harder to apply in certain questions as the concept is a little abstract in itself).

    3. You have not timed yourself when you practiced from question banks.

    4. Some of the absolute strategies that have been advised by the authors of the books you are referring to are not working for you. This is most common for Reading Comprehension.

    5. You seem to answer the questions correctly when you review the practice CATs but somehow you answer them wrong while taking the test.

Tips to improve your overall verbal score

1. Books are as good as you make out of them. I, for instance, started my verbal preparation with MGMAT SC and took a MGMAT CAT after I was finished with it. I scored a 680 with Q49 V34. I was pretty devastated as people who did well in their verbal prep said MGMAT books are more than enough. Believe me they are. But as it happened, being a non native, I was pretty out of shape in my verbal skills and even though I “knew” all the concepts of grammar for the GMAT, I failed to apply all of them in the test.
For example, I knew that in case of a bilateral doubt in a sentence we use “whether” and not “if”. But I did not know whether it was supposed to be “whether” or “whether or not”. There, I also used a whether in the sentence :P.

2. MGMAT SC and Powerscore CR contains almost everything there is to sentence correction and critical reasoning. For example participial phrases and ING phrases are very well explained but I often failed to comprehend what the statement “ING phrases modify the entire preceding clause” actually means. I seemed to have read the whole book. Twice. However, with fewer examples on specific concepts I did not master them.

3. Verbal timing is incredibly crucial in getting a good verbal score. Initially I would be looking at the clock every 5 questions and spend 10-15 seconds on mental calculation as to how many minutes per question I have left. This folly brings a variety of problems. If I am not doing that great I would be incredibly tensed if I realize that I have less than average minutes per question left. Even if I am doing well with my time, the useless mental calculation takes a relatively considerable amount of time itself.

4. In RC you skim. Well, if I am skimming and looking back all the time am I not wasting a lot of time anyway? Also, if I spend a lot of time reading every detail, most of which do not even appear in the question set of that RC, I am wasting considerable time as well. This is an inherent question in Reading Comprehension. Similar confusion appears in the much debated “pre thinking” concept in critical reasoning.

5. After writing an essay, trying to solve 12 excruciating “not so integrated” reasoning questions, your brain closely resembles that of a zombie (no offence zombies) during the last 10-15 questions in verbal. No matter how much of that disgusting red bull you have tried for the first time in the break, your brain just refuses to function at the near end of the verbal portion.

Recommended Books


See all verbal books

Critical Reasoning


Sentence Correction


Reading Comprehension


Question Banks




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Re: New to the verbal forum - Read this first (2016 edition) [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2016, 12:14
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True to every word of it. :)
Keep updating the post for sure with more information.
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Re: New to the verbal forum - Read this first (2016 edition) [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jul 2016, 21:41
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For Tackling RC : Active reading should be emphasized rather than passive reading
CR : Skimming through the question to see what type of question is and then identifying a possible solution while skimming through the paragraph is a good technique.
SC : For SC Manhattan foundation of verbal and Manhattan Sc is good. Drawing a grid A/B/C/D/E will help you eliminate options till you are left with one.

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Re: New to the verbal forum - Read this first (2016 edition) [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2016, 02:39
How is the review of 'GMAT Club Grammar Book - Free' for SC. I had referred MGMAT for SC, however I am not very comfortable with the book. Any suggestions?

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Re: New to the verbal forum - Read this first (2016 edition) [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2016, 22:43
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Excellent post Souvik1001990. I am also a non native speaker and verbal has been an achilles's heel for me. I do well in 600-700 level question (65-70% accuracy) but my accuracy drops to 25% in 700+ questions. Because of this my verbal scores are in the range of V28-33. Please help want can be the cause for such disastrous performance in 700+ level questions.

souvik101990 wrote:

New to the verbal forum - Read this first


Whether you are just starting off with preparing for the GMAT, or whether you are retaking and need that extra verbal push, this thread will help you out. If you are new to GMAT Club, this thread will help you find the best verbal resources on the website, and help you getting that extra verbal advantage.

GMAT Verbal Section



The GMAT verbal section has three different content areas: Sentence Correction, Critical Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension. Verbal scores range from 0 to 60. Scores below nine and above 44 for the Verbal section are rare.

GMAT Scores also include a Percentile Ranking. This number indicates the percent of test takers that you performed better than. A ranking of 75% means that 25% of test takers performed as well or better than you and 75% did not do as well. While your score will not change, the Percentile Ranking may. Rankings are recalculated every summer using exam data from the prior three years.

If your verbal score has been stagnant



Possible Reasons
There might be a couple of reasons to why your score is always hovering around the V30 range (V28-V35). I would like to address almost all of them below. (Please post comments if you think of something else)

    1. You have covered your verbal books such as MGMAT SC/CR/CR, Powerscore, Veritas, Kaplan books and the available question banks but often on a practice test you see a lot of questions, which seem to test something else.

    2. You have not understood some of the concepts written in certain books (sometimes, as it happens, you think you have understood a certain concept such as pronoun ambiguity but it becomes harder to apply in certain questions as the concept is a little abstract in itself).

    3. You have not timed yourself when you practiced from question banks.

    4. Some of the absolute strategies that have been advised by the authors of the books you are referring to are not working for you. This is most common for Reading Comprehension.

    5. You seem to answer the questions correctly when you review the practice CATs but somehow you answer them wrong while taking the test.

Tips to improve your overall verbal score

1. Books are as good as you make out of them. I, for instance, started my verbal preparation with MGMAT SC and took a MGMAT CAT after I was finished with it. I scored a 680 with Q49 V34. I was pretty devastated as people who did well in their verbal prep said MGMAT books are more than enough. Believe me they are. But as it happened, being a non native, I was pretty out of shape in my verbal skills and even though I “knew” all the concepts of grammar for the GMAT, I failed to apply all of them in the test.
For example, I knew that in case of a bilateral doubt in a sentence we use “whether” and not “if”. But I did not know whether it was supposed to be “whether” or “whether or not”. There, I also used a whether in the sentence :P.

2. MGMAT SC and Powerscore CR contains almost everything there is to sentence correction and critical reasoning. For example participial phrases and ING phrases are very well explained but I often failed to comprehend what the statement “ING phrases modify the entire preceding clause” actually means. I seemed to have read the whole book. Twice. However, with fewer examples on specific concepts I did not master them.

3. Verbal timing is incredibly crucial in getting a good verbal score. Initially I would be looking at the clock every 5 questions and spend 10-15 seconds on mental calculation as to how many minutes per question I have left. This folly brings a variety of problems. If I am not doing that great I would be incredibly tensed if I realize that I have less than average minutes per question left. Even if I am doing well with my time, the useless mental calculation takes a relatively considerable amount of time itself.

4. In RC you skim. Well, if I am skimming and looking back all the time am I not wasting a lot of time anyway? Also, if I spend a lot of time reading every detail, most of which do not even appear in the question set of that RC, I am wasting considerable time as well. This is an inherent question in Reading Comprehension. Similar confusion appears in the much debated “pre thinking” concept in critical reasoning.

5. After writing an essay, trying to solve 12 excruciating “not so integrated” reasoning questions, your brain closely resembles that of a zombie (no offence zombies) during the last 10-15 questions in verbal. No matter how much of that disgusting red bull you have tried for the first time in the break, your brain just refuses to function at the near end of the verbal portion.

Recommended Books


See all verbal books

Critical Reasoning


Sentence Correction


Reading Comprehension


Question Banks



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Re: New to the verbal forum - Read this first (2016 edition) [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2017, 10:28
Thank you for this post!

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Re: New to the verbal forum - Read this first (2016 edition)   [#permalink] 28 Nov 2017, 10:28
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New to the verbal forum - Read this first (2016 edition)

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