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Strategy of v40+ performers under time pressure

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Strategy of v40+ performers under time pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2017, 06:18
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Hi folks
A question from someone striving to achieve V40+ . How do they deal with solving 700-800 level CR questions in 2 mins and that for SC in 1 min ? People say that you can't . In that case if you stretch the those difficult CR to 3 mins or more and difficult SC to 2 mins or more you would fall short of time and run into the risk of guessing answers towards the end of the exam. The result of that might be a continuous series of wrong answers towards the end affecting your score and putting it below V40 .

Please guide me here.

ram


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Re: Strategy of v40+ performers under time pressure [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2017, 07:21
ramukaka wrote:
Hi folks
A question from someone striving to achieve V40+ . How do they deal with solving 700-800 level CR questions in 2 mins and that for SC in 1 min ? People say that you can't . In that case if you stretch the those difficult CR to 3 mins or more and difficult SC to 2 mins or more you would fall short of time and run into the risk of guessing answers towards the end of the exam. The result of that might be a continuous series of wrong answers towards the end affecting your score and putting it below V40 .

Please guide me here.

ram


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If your concepts are generally good, do a lot of timed tests by intentionally stretching your capabilities in terms of speed of answering questions. Maybe give yourself a few minutes less per session than actual GMAT would allow and this should make your mind adjust to dealing with questions quicker.
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Re: Strategy of v40+ performers under time pressure [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2017, 10:45
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I think it might be helpful to think of this as two separate issues:

1) Can you be faster -- or at least more efficient -- in how you answer questions?
2) If you can't realistically answer all 41 questions comfortably, what timing strategies should you employ?

I don't think you're asking about the first issue here. And that question would take forever to answer accurately and thoroughly, anyway! But there's plenty of material here on GMAT Club that can help you become more efficient on verbal, and you're probably already working hard at that. :)

But is there anything that you can do strategically to help manage your time on verbal? I don't really think so, to be honest.

Here's the thing: on an adaptive test like the GMAT, your score isn't really based on how many questions you miss. It's based on which questions you miss, since the algorithm is basically trying to find the level of question at which you get roughly 50% correct. So if you miss easy questions, the algorithm will give you more easy questions, and then you're in trouble. But if you miss hard questions? Not a big deal, as long as you get the easier ones right.

On quant, the strategy is simple enough: if you don't know how to answer a question, guess and move on, so that you save your time for the stuff you can handle. But you can't really do that on verbal. By the time you realize that a question is difficult, you're probably 80% or 90% finished with the question. And at that point, it's silly to guess unless you're absolutely stuck -- if that extra little bit of time will help you get the question right, you might as well spend it.

And in general, there's no good way to cut corners on verbal. If you try to consciously "speed up", you might end up misreading passages or sentences -- and then you risk missing easy questions. And on an adaptive test, that can ruin your day.

So all you can really do is keep answering questions as efficiently as you can until you're almost out of time, and then guess toward the end. Imagine, for example, that you can only answer 36 questions thoroughly, and you have to guess on the last 5. That's not a big deal: if you've taken care of business on the first 36, the last five will be HARD. And you can afford to miss them if they're that hard.

I've seen this in action plenty of times. Occasionally, I have students who are simply ridiculously slow readers. Even after they've maximized their efficiency on verbal, they're still slow -- and I've seen plenty of them score in the low 40s on verbal (low-to-mid 700s composite), even though they had to guess on a few at the end. It's not a big deal, as long as you're super-accurate before those last few questions. I suppose that you could try to be a little bit strategic toward the very end of the test -- guessing, for example, on CR if you tend to be slower at those, and saving your time for the last couple of SCs. But that won't really save you much time, unless you're MUCH slower at CR than SC.

Again, if you can just become better and faster at verbal, that might solve the entire problem. But I otherwise, I wouldn't over-think your timing strategy on verbal. Just answer questions to the best of your ability until you start to run out of time, and then pray for some lucky guesses at the end of the test. But a few guesses at the end definitely won't, by themselves, cause a score meltdown.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Strategy of v40+ performers under time pressure [#permalink]

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Here's a related question that I received in a PM:

Quote:
Would you be so kind to tell me is it possible to skip 3 out of 4 RC passages (or all RC questions) and still get high 30 (or low 40) from Verbal section? My accuracy from SC and CR 55-70%, however RC accuracy 20-30% (I have to spent a lot of time to achieve 40% RC accuracy). Since ROI from RC low I am thinking to spend this priceless time of CR and SC section. Please, please could you tell me is it good idea or horrifyingly bad?


The quick answer: you can NEVER afford to miss easy questions on the GMAT, and systematically giving up on RC will 100% guarantee that you'll miss easy RC questions. And on an adaptive test, that will put you in a serious hole that you'll never climb out of. I can't imagine that it would be possible to get much past a 30 on the verbal section if you guess on 3/4 of the RC passages -- no matter how good your CR and SC are.

Also, if you're able to get 55-70% correct on CR, you'll certainly be able to get a similar percentage correct on RC. Those CR results suggest that you're doing OK in terms of the reading. No, those aren't elite results, but they suggest that you're not getting completely destroyed by the language of GMAT questions. RC really isn't any different -- it's just a question of whether you're able to maintain focus on a longer passage, but the tasks are otherwise similar enough.

So don't give up on RC! If you're really pinched for time at the end of the test, it might not be awful to guess on that last RC passage so that you can concentrate on CR and SC -- but to get in the high 30s or low 40s, you'll definitely have to be pretty good at RC. And skipping most of the RC passages definitely won't help, unfortunately.

So keep at it! Plenty of good folks are always lurking in the RC forum if you need help. :)
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Re: Strategy of v40+ performers under time pressure [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2017, 19:24
GMATNinja wrote:
I think it might be helpful to think of this as two separate issues:

1) Can you be faster -- or at least more efficient -- in how you answer questions?
2) If you can't realistically answer all 41 questions comfortably, what timing strategies should you employ?

I don't think you're asking about the first issue here. And that question would take forever to answer accurately and thoroughly, anyway! But there's plenty of material here on GMAT Club that can help you become more efficient on verbal, and you're probably already working hard at that. :)

But is there anything that you can do strategically to help manage your time on verbal? I don't really think so, to be honest.

Here's the thing: on an adaptive test like the GMAT, your score isn't really based on how many questions you miss. It's based on which questions you miss, since the algorithm is basically trying to find the level of question at which you get roughly 50% correct. So if you miss easy questions, the algorithm will give you more easy questions, and then you're in trouble. But if you miss hard questions? Not a big deal, as long as you get the easier ones right.

On quant, the strategy is simple enough: if you don't know how to answer a question, guess and move on, so that you save your time for the stuff you can handle. But you can't really do that on verbal. By the time you realize that a question is difficult, you're probably 80% or 90% finished with the question. And at that point, it's silly to guess unless you're absolutely stuck -- if that extra little bit of time will help you get the question right, you might as well spend it.

And in general, there's no good way to cut corners on verbal. If you try to consciously "speed up", you might end up misreading passages or sentences -- and then you risk missing easy questions. And on an adaptive test, that can ruin your day.

So all you can really do is keep answering questions as efficiently as you can until you're almost out of time, and then guess toward the end. Imagine, for example, that you can only answer 36 questions thoroughly, and you have to guess on the last 5. That's not a big deal: if you've taken care of business on the first 36, the last five will be HARD. And you can afford to miss them if they're that hard.

I've seen this in action plenty of times. Occasionally, I have students who are simply ridiculously slow readers. Even after they've maximized their efficiency on verbal, they're still slow -- and I've seen plenty of them score in the low 40s on verbal (low-to-mid 700s composite), even though they had to guess on a few at the end. It's not a big deal, as long as you're super-accurate before those last few questions. I suppose that you could try to be a little bit strategic toward the very end of the test -- guessing, for example, on CR if you tend to be slower at those, and saving your time for the last couple of SCs. But that won't really save you much time, unless you're MUCH slower at CR than SC.

Again, if you can just become better and faster at verbal, that might solve the entire problem. But I otherwise, I wouldn't over-think your timing strategy on verbal. Just answer questions to the best of your ability until you start to run out of time, and then pray for some lucky guesses at the end of the test. But a few guesses at the end definitely won't, by themselves, cause a score meltdown.

I hope this helps!


WAW GMATNinja, you are my superhero! This is what I am looking for!

I am non-native speaker, and surprisingly just started to learn seriously on English grammar in last year. Therefore, all of Verbal section on GMAT give serious problems for me. In the last GMAT mock test, I skipped all of the RC passage just to make sure that I could finish all of the SC and CR - this strategy ended up with 8 minutes left on the Verbal section and - of course - relative low score :oops: :oops:
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Re: Strategy of v40+ performers under time pressure   [#permalink] 02 Aug 2017, 19:24
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