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# Problem with timing on Verbal

Author Message
Senior Manager
Joined: 12 Mar 2010
Posts: 361
Concentration: Marketing, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 680 Q49 V34
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 193 [0], given: 87

Problem with timing on Verbal [#permalink]

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25 Aug 2013, 12:46
Hi All,

Yet again, I reach to the experts on this forum to help me on my GMAT journey.

What is my problem?

I am taking about 1:40-45 min to do the tough problems (700 level) on SC. As a result, I am falling short of time by about 3-4 questions or 5-6 minutes. GMATPrep shows my average timing to be:

SC: 1min 50 secs
CR: 2min 1 sec
RC: 1min 44 secs

Verbal Score: 36 (Target: around 40; My earlier actual GMAT score was 34)

My accuracy in SC is decently good (7 out of 10 tough problems, thanks to the GMATClub forum), but if I try to hurry up a bit on my problems my accuracy goes down. Typically, I tend to get to the answer in around 1:30 min (for 700 level), but I tend to cross-check the options once again. The additional cross-check is eating up an extra 15-20 secs per question.

I an decently good on CR (typically 1-2 questions wrong out of 13-14).

Impact of this problem

Because I am not able to save time on SC, I am feeling the pressure in RC and partially in the last 15 questions. As a result, I do a series of mistakes and it brings my score down.

Below are the set of solutions that I consider to counter this problem:

A. Practice the SC more until you're able to confidently solve the tough questions under 1:30 min.
I am not sure if I can achieve that level of expertise in SC and I am not sure how much time it will take?

B. Try to skip 3 questions (may be 1 from each question type) to cover the timing lost in SC
I am not sure if I can skip questions and still achieve 730-740. Currently, my score level is at 700.
Also, I have a problem with skipping questions. Do people skip 2-3 questions and still get 730-40. The problem is I am not very confident of my accuracy level on tough problems. Any help on effective skipping on the GMAT?

C. Try to do my RC in less time
I think I will do more damage to my score by adopting this approach than by adopting plan B.

Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4033
Followers: 1415

Kudos [?]: 6763 [1] , given: 84

Re: Problem with timing on Verbal [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2013, 14:17
1
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Expert's post
Dear gmatter0913,
I'm happy to share my thoughts.

First of all, I would definitely recommend practicing SC and getting better on that, not trying to skimp in any way on RC. GMAT RC deserves all the time you can give it.

I would ask --- are you using splits effectively in your analysis of GMAT SC? Many sentences, included hard 700-level sentences, can be simplified immediately or even dispatched fully simply using splits effectively:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/using-spli ... orrection/
If you find yourself reading each answer choice in detail, in question after question, that's a sign that you are not using splits effectively.

I would also say --- the more you can be familiar with complex grammatical constructions, the more quickly you will recognize them on the SC. This free blog will help you with all kinds of grammar rules:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/category/verbal ... orrection/
There are also tons of practice SC questions on that blog.

Also, I would recommend ---- on SC, and throughout the GMAT, it's important to have a good sense of effective guessing strategies:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/when-to-guess-on-the-gmat/
In particular, as I discuss in that blog, it's extremely important to understand the difference between truly random guessing vs. solution behavior. Using splits combined with a solution behavior on the tougher questions is a powerful way to race through the SC questions.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any further questions.
Mike
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Senior Manager
Joined: 12 Mar 2010
Posts: 361
Concentration: Marketing, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 680 Q49 V34
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 193 [0], given: 87

Re: Problem with timing on Verbal [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2013, 20:31
Thanks Mike for those tips.

I will spend more time on how to effectively use the splits. I will surely get back to you with any questions on this regard.
Senior Manager
Joined: 12 Mar 2010
Posts: 361
Concentration: Marketing, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 680 Q49 V34
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 193 [0], given: 87

Re: Problem with timing on Verbal [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2013, 03:42
Hi Mike,

I have been giving MGMAT and GMATPrep tests and I am currently scoring in the range of 700-720. (Q50/49, V38/36)

My problem is still the same:

SC: about 1min 50 secs average

This is putting me in some trouble on RC or at the end as I do some silly mistakes due to lack of time.

Also, to put forward, I am decently okay on SC too but I guess I am getting stuck on difficult questions.

I don't know; I am a little clueless about what should I do. At this point, I feel my conceptual clarity is decently good.

CR is undoubtedly my strongest area, and I am fine on both SC and RC.

My GMAT OG Diagnostic says: (timed exam)

CR: Excellent
SC: Above Average (15)
RC: Average

Now, I am contemplating if I should stop taking notes for short passages in RC. Will it save about 2 mins overall??

Also, I heard that RC has a slightly more weightage in the GMAT exam. Is that true?
(I was partly convinced after looking at the diagnostic score range in OG13.)
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4033
Followers: 1415

Kudos [?]: 6763 [0], given: 84

Re: Problem with timing on Verbal [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2013, 10:30
gmatter0913 wrote:
Hi Mike,

I have been giving MGMAT and GMATPrep tests and I am currently scoring in the range of 700-720. (Q50/49, V38/36). My problem is still the same:
SC: about 1min 50 secs average
This is putting me in some trouble on RC or at the end as I do some silly mistakes due to lack of time.

Also, to put forward, I am decently okay on SC too but I guess I am getting stuck on difficult questions. I don't know; I am a little clueless about what should I do. At this point, I feel my conceptual clarity is decently good. CR is undoubtedly my strongest area, and I am fine on both SC and RC.

Now, I am contemplating if I should stop taking notes for short passages in RC. Will it save about 2 mins overall??

Also, I heard that RC has a slightly more weightage in the GMAT exam. Is that true?
(I was partly convinced after looking at the diagnostic score range in OG13.)

Dear gmatter0913,
I'm happy to help if I can.

First of all, a very concrete question --- to my knowledge, the RC has no more weight in the Verbal score than do the SC or the CR. My sense is that each question "weighs" the same amount --- the questions have varying weight depending only on individual question difficulty and the magic of the CAT. The only sense in which RC could "weigh" more would be ---- suppose a CR argument completely befuddled you: then you would not be able to answer one question; but suppose a RC passage completely befuddled you --- then you'd be in trouble on 3-4 questions. I could see that might be a concern for some students, but it sounds as if you are are already operating at a very high level of mastery.

In fact, the situation you describe is a bit puzzling --- a very high level of mastery, but you are still going to slow. Here's what I'll recommend --- I wouldn't recommend this to everyone, but I will recommend it to you. Now that you have achieved this high level of understand, experiment with putting the pedal to the metal. Get some kind of timer, and set a strict 90 second limit for yourself, for each Verbal question. In fact, to push the envelope, maybe make that 75 seconds. Force yourself to find an answer in that time period. The question is: if you absolutely force yourself to move faster, how does it impact your accuracy?

It may be that, despite what you think, you can maintain just about the same level of accuracy at a quicker tempo. Even if your accuracy drops slightly, you will be able to get to the final questions with sufficient time, and that would more than make up for a slight drop in accuracy at the beginning.

If may be that, when you speed up slightly, everything falls apart. Then, that's an opportunity for exploration --- what's happening, and why do things fall apart?

That's the experiment I recommend. Does this make sense?
Mike
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Senior Manager
Joined: 12 Mar 2010
Posts: 361
Concentration: Marketing, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 680 Q49 V34
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 193 [0], given: 87

Re: Problem with timing on Verbal [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2013, 23:57
I think you're right in saying that I have to push myself more on SC timing.

I also realized that there are broadly two types of questions on SC.

Class 1: Q's which have easily identifiable splits (because/due to or like/such as or S-V agreement or typically shorter sentences)
Class 2: Q's related to run-ons/clauses/fragments/modifers/long sentences (meaning based Qs) that require you to go through the options closely

I think I don't face timing problem on Class 1 problems, but I tend to face timing problems on Class 2 problems.

I think that is because I wear two caps while solving the Class 2 problems. When I am reading the question, I read it first to get the intended meaning (first Cap) and then I tend to read the first option again to look at the grammatical correctness (second Cap). It is like I get the intended meaning first and then I say to myself that let me look at the grammatical correctness of the options. The problem is I am not evaluating the first option while reading the question itself.
Re: Problem with timing on Verbal   [#permalink] 03 Sep 2013, 23:57
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# Problem with timing on Verbal

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