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Retaking GMAT: Need a solid boost from 610 to 700

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New post 11 Jul 2019, 02:48
Hi, dear team of dreamers!
I took the GMAT a month ago and scored 610 (Verbal 31, Math 44) on the official Exam.
The experience was quite stressful as you ether already know or might expect it to be:)
Before I tried the real exam, I went through both official GmatPrep tests, and the progress was as following 570 and 640. These were the only full time training tests I had tried before the real game. Now I am studying for a re-take. Decided to go through all the Manhattan books, but still feel that I may have overlooked some important knowledge sources or ways of gaining those desirable 90 scores.

I would be really happy, guys, to see some support and a piece of advice upon this two questions:

1. What would you advice me to do taking into account my current score? How to improve verbal quickly (is this "quickly" even possible?)?
How to improve Math?

2. Is that possible to score around 48-49 on Math without knowing Probability and Combinatorics stuff? Why do I ask this question: Since I did not have enough time to study this topic, it had been decided to skip these questions during the exam (there were 2 question on this topic). It is an interesting finding, but my buddy, who was also studying for the test and then took it, did not skip those questions trying to solve it and scored the same 44 on Math, as I did. But of course, since we are trying to think critically here ;) , there might be a case that even if he tried to solve it, he might have failed those questions anyway, so it is a bit doubtful comparison but nevertheless interesting. Maybe somebody scored 48-49 even if he skipped Probability?

I would really appreciate any words of GMAT wisdom, please help me out!!! :)
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New post 11 Jul 2019, 08:35
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New post 11 Jul 2019, 08:43
Improving in quant is easy to an extent , lets its easy to reach till 48-49 . Later its really hard to get that last 2 points
Verbal since you already scored 30+ focus little bit more on you negative points , places where you lost questions.
Analyze and then make a plan . And be sure to make a error log , a simple note book with your error will do too.

Sure you can skip permutations and combinations , people say that we get that at higher percentile , If ur not willing a 49+ score in quant.
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New post 11 Jul 2019, 09:00
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Hi Hugo1987,

Regarding your question about skipping combinations and probability, I actually answered it here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/is-that-poss ... 99886.html

Regarding your study plan, since you scored Q44/V31, it’s clear that you are lacking the quant and verbal fundamentals you need for a high score. Thus, you should follow a linear and structured study plan that allows you to individually learn each GMAT quant and verbal topic and then practice each topic until you’ve gained mastery. However, improving your skills, won’t happen overnight, so you are going to need to give yourself plenty of time to study before retaking your GMAT. Here is some further advice you can follow to improve your quant and verbal skills. I’ll start with quant.

Let’s say, for example, you are learning about Number Properties. First, you should develop as much conceptual knowledge about Number Properties as possible. In other words, your goal will be to completely understand properties of factorials, perfect squares, quadratic patterns, LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, and remainders, to name a few concepts. After carefully reviewing the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions, practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties. When you do dozens of questions of the same type one after the other, you learn just what it takes to get questions of that type correct consistently. If you aren't getting close to 90 percent of questions of a certain type correct, go back and seek to better understand how that type of question works, and then do more questions of that type until you get to around at least 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type. As you do such practice, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get right. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By carefully analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant skills.

Follow a similar routine for verbal. For example, let’s say you start by learning about Critical Reasoning. Your first goal is to fully master the individual Critical Reasoning topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn about each Critical Reasoning question type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type of question. If, for example, you get a weakening question wrong, 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 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 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, 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 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. 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 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 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 need some new quant and verbal materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

Lastly, you may find it helpful to read the following articles about The Phases of Preparing for the GMAT and How Long Should I Study for the GMAT?.

Good luck!
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New post 15 Aug 2019, 14:01
Hi, dears
Thank you very very much to all of you who managed to find a couple of minutes to write down the recommendations.
And especially tons of gratitude to ScottTargetTestPrep for tons of text and info! Thanks!!
So, I followed your advice and found it tremendously useful: The topic indeed is getable and watching some material on youtube I went through OG questions and solved them all without any mistakes (I mean those that are about Probability and Combinatorics)
But I realized that this topic need practecing rather regularly since strangelly enough but I seem to loose the sight of the concepts quite quickly.

Could You please support me on the following issue:
1. Has anybody tried E-gmat cource on SC? I am still struggling a bit with such a question type and wonder whther it is possible to boost this topic quickly. Could you please recommend some on-line questions banks? (I have already tried Veritas)
2. One more topic I am fighting against is RC. Despite the fact that I scored 28 out of 30 on the Toefl reading before I started GMAT, when it takes to RC I am reading very slowly and answering correctly only 6 out of 10 usually. How to improve it? Where could I practice? Could you please recommend some on-line questions banks?
3. I feel that my motivation is going down. I have been preparing for the GMAT for already 2 years and it seems an endless proccess. How to stir myself up for the final shot? Please help and give me some moral or mental whatever power...

Need tons of help) Thanks a lot!!!
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New post 15 Aug 2019, 17:48
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Hi Hugo,

Regarding verbal resources, take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for verbal courses, and also read through some GMAT success stories to see what materials have worked well for other test-takers.

Regarding how to stay motivated, I realize that two years is a long time to study; however, you just need to keep your eye on the prize. If a great GMAT score is a gamechanger for your career, then every day before you start your GMAT prep, think about how achieving that great score will effectively change your life.
Also, a trick to get yourself to train for the GMAT is to find something about the test that gets you going. For instance, if there is a type of question that you feel intimidated by, go directly to working on that type of question. This move works really well because any GMAT-related skill that you build will drive up your score. So, you can always make progress by finding something GMAT-related that you are at least a little curious about or interested in and becoming an expert in that thing. If, for example, the fact that you are not so good at answering probability questions is bugging you, go straight to that topic and deal with what is bugging you. Then, find another topic that is bugging you and work on it. This way, your own curiosity, rather than a book, will direct you, and so things may flow better.

Overall, there are many moves that you can make to prioritize your GMAT prep. You can consider the outcome of getting a high GMAT score and be motivated by that prospect, you can learn how to motivate yourself by reading about doing so, you can decide to live life to the fullest and go after what you want rather than doing things that will eat up your time and derail your progress.

Lastly, you may find it helpful to read the following article:

Developing the Proper Mindset For GMAT Success

Let’s do this!!
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New post 21 Aug 2019, 03:39
Hi, ScottTargetTestPrep
Or, shortly, Scott (I hope that I am not mistaken:))
Have no words to explain the gratitude. Indeed, your pieces of advice were tremendously helpful. And the motivation you gave is priceless. I hope we would meet one day for a cup of beer or juice, whichever you like more:)
To begin with, I decided not to be too focused on saving money and invested some to the E-GMAT verbal course. It may be too early to draw any conclusions though, but I started feeling more confident while going through the material, for it is very well structured and based on very important concepts such as meaning (this particular approach has not been well emphasized in any other book I tried, IMO). Will see the results, but for now I like it very much.
Secondly, I started taking some very focused math lessons to attack my weak points that I found having done one more CAT (Q44 for the Math). Had some severe timing troubles: spent 7 minutes one one DS question, got it right, but fell off the track (and, not to mention, it impacted all the questions left. Would would you recommend to fix it?). It seems logical to work on the weakest areas first since such basic topics like inequalities have more solid grounds underneath that in one way or another touch upon other topics like arithmetic, factorization and other stuff. Just yesterday I started working on this particular topics: factorization and inequalities. The latter is a very tricky one and intimidates me now even more than he probability does) What would you recommend here, Scott? How to improve factorization and inequalities DS confidence?

So, thanks a lot Scott!

P.S. One more questions Scott, just if you have some time, please. IR section. I did not do anything special in terms of preparation and scored 4 out of 12. It does not seem good) What should I do to be well prepared for this section? Where could I read about the strategies used? What material to consider.

Thanks!
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Re: Retaking GMAT: Need a solid boost from 610 to 700  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2019, 17:30
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Hugo1987 wrote:
Hi, ScottTargetTestPrep
Or, shortly, Scott (I hope that I am not mistaken:))
Have no words to explain the gratitude. Indeed, your pieces of advice were tremendously helpful. And the motivation you gave is priceless. I hope we would meet one day for a cup of beer or juice, whichever you like more:)
To begin with, I decided not to be too focused on saving money and invested some to the E-GMAT verbal course. It may be too early to draw any conclusions though, but I started feeling more confident while going through the material, for it is very well structured and based on very important concepts such as meaning (this particular approach has not been well emphasized in any other book I tried, IMO). Will see the results, but for now I like it very much.
Secondly, I started taking some very focused math lessons to attack my weak points that I found having done one more CAT (Q44 for the Math). Had some severe timing troubles: spent 7 minutes one one DS question, got it right, but fell off the track (and, not to mention, it impacted all the questions left. Would would you recommend to fix it?). It seems logical to work on the weakest areas first since such basic topics like inequalities have more solid grounds underneath that in one way or another touch upon other topics like arithmetic, factorization and other stuff. Just yesterday I started working on this particular topics: factorization and inequalities. The latter is a very tricky one and intimidates me now even more than he probability does) What would you recommend here, Scott? How to improve factorization and inequalities DS confidence?

So, thanks a lot Scott!

P.S. One more questions Scott, just if you have some time, please. IR section. I did not do anything special in terms of preparation and scored 4 out of 12. It does not seem good) What should I do to be well prepared for this section? Where could I read about the strategies used? What material to consider.

Thanks!


Hi Hugo1987,

To improve your quant skills, I recommend that you follow my advice in my initial response. Regarding IR, since Integrated Reasoning contains components of both Verbal and Quant, a good plan is to first complete your quant and verbal prep, and then move to Integrated Reasoning. After all, when practicing Integrated Reasoning, you don’t want to get bogged down with things such as calculating a weighted average or percent change, or understanding how to evaluate a basic argument, right?

Also, you may find it helpful to read this article:

Mastering Integrated Reasoning on the GMAT
_________________

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122 Reviews

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self study course

See why Target Test Prep is the top rated GMAT quant course on GMAT Club. Read Our Reviews

If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "Kudos" button.

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Re: Retaking GMAT: Need a solid boost from 610 to 700   [#permalink] 22 Aug 2019, 17:30
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