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Planning to take GMAT again. Suggestions required.

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Planning to take GMAT again. Suggestions required.  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2018, 04:58
I appeared for GMAT today after almost 6 months of thorough preparation. What was very unsurprising was my score. I scored :

Total : 590
Q :46
V :25

This is exactly how I had been scoring in practice tests. My score ranged from 580-620, Q - 46-49 and V 21-26

In Quants, there were hardly 2-3 questions that I had to guess. Otherwise I was confident for most of the questions. There wasn't anything out of the blue in the question paper. Everything seemed studied. I did not have to think twice while answering. My pace was very good. I finished the Quants section with 2 mins in hand.
Verbal was just like it used to be in the practice tests. Nothing surprising. I also received quite an expected score in verbal.

I don't think I'll get admission to the colleges I have been looking upon, with this score. What I need to know is how can I improve ? Quants may be I can practice more. Verbal, I am clueless. Sentence Correction and Reading Comprehension are my major areas of weakness.

I wanted to know, how can I proceed. For the starters, how shall I start preparing again, focusing on verbal ? I had been through OG18 and Veritas Study material earlier. I feel i need some external help.. Self study won't let me break the 26 score barrier. Also, when shall I plan for my next exam ? I am in no hurry of admissions.
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Re: Planning to take GMAT again. Suggestions required.  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2018, 12:59
Hi PRanjan1988,

This Official Score is in the range of most of the CAT Scores that you've posted about over the last 2.5 months. Considering the length of time that you've been performing at this 'level', it seems likely that you have gotten 'stuck' around 600. Continuing to study and approach GMAT questions "your way" will likely not lead to the type of improvement that you're looking for (and assuming that your Score Goal is still 700+, you'll have to make some significant changes to how you respond to the Exam to consistently score at that higher level). This is meant to say that - going forward - you're going to have to commit to learning and practicing the proper Tactics.

You might also 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.

1) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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Re: Planning to take GMAT again. Suggestions required.  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2018, 18:15
Thanks Rich.. That's what I was trying to point out.. I am done my way. Seems self study has brought me to a certain level but I need some external help going ahead to cross 700. I'll purchase the ESR and let you know. I want to take a month's break and then start all over again. I can devote 8-10 hrs weekly.

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Re: Planning to take GMAT again. Suggestions required.  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2018, 10:56
Hi PRanjan1988,

Taking some 'time off' from your studies - so that you can relax a bit and clear your head - would probably be a good idea. When you're ready to restart your studies, you can feel free to contact me directly and we can discuss your timeline and goals. You can also feel free to PM or email me your ESR whenever you have it and I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

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Re: Planning to take GMAT again. Suggestions required.  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2018, 15:55
Hi PRanjan1988,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. So, there is actually some good news here. Your GMAT score was more or less in line with how you have been scoring on your practice exams. Thus, you clearly performed to your potential on test day, so nice work. Additionally, since you are not applying this year, you have plenty of time to adjust your study plan so that you can improve your quant and verbal skills, right? The million dollar question is HOW to improve those skills. While getting some “external help” certainly may help you improve, you also should consider using some additional self-study materials to ensure that you are covering all of your bases and putting in the time required to make a substantial improvement. Since your verbal score is 26, you clearly still lack some of the verbal fundamentals necessary for a high score. Thus, you need to circle back and work on the foundations of GMAT verbal, so you can master those before learning more advanced topics. Following a linear and gradual study plan will allow you to methodically build your GMAT skills and ensure that no stone is left unturned.

For instance, when learning 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 instead 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 thereby 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 Reading Comprehension answers to better determine why you tend to get a particular question type wrong, and then improve upon your weaknesses. Keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be easy to read. So, to better prepare yourself to analyze 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. 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 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 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. It may take time for you to see what you have to see. 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 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 Reading Comprehension regimen, 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.

In order to follow the path described above, you may consider using an online self-study course, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best verbal courses.

You also may find it helpful to read this article about
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.

Good luck!
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Re: Planning to take GMAT again. Suggestions required. &nbs [#permalink] 02 Nov 2018, 15:55
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