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Struggling with GMAT :/

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Struggling with GMAT :/  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2018, 11:56
Hi everyone
I'm struggling to prepare for GMAT and turned to this forum on the advice of a friend. I've been planning to take the exam since March last year but kept putting it off for different reasons each time. Finally this year I applied for the ISB YLP program and got selected in the first round. I thought that this would motivate me enough to prepare for the exam so I booked the test for August 24, 2018. However, I kept scoring in low 600's so I decided to postpone the exam for I knew that I was capable of better. I had to let go of the opportunity of getting into ISB through the YLP program because i chose a better score over this chance. I've now rescheduled my exam for December 5, 2018 but i still find myself helpless about my preparations.

I have gone through all Manhattan books including foundations of math and verbal. I did not find the powercore CR bible very helpful and I'm now looking for advice on this forum especially from bb
Verbal is definitely a weak area for me. In Quant i find myself making silly mistakes and rushing through the questions. Another mistake that I've been making in quant is my tendency of trying to mechanically solve each question by using formulas instead of eliminating choices by smart thinking.

I would appreciate if you all can guide me in my journey to achieve a 720+ score.
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Re: Struggling with GMAT :/  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2018, 13:14
Hi ttaneja4,

Many Test Takers who use a 'book heavy' study approach end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level; from what you describe, your studies have been book heavy, so it's possible that this has happened to you as well. This is meant to say that you might end up needing to invest in some new, non-book resources that emphasize Quant and Verbal Tactics.

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Re: Struggling with GMAT :/  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2018, 23:38
ttaneja4 wrote:
Hi everyone
I'm struggling to prepare for GMAT and turned to this forum on the advice of a friend. I've been planning to take the exam since March last year but kept putting it off for different reasons each time. Finally this year I applied for the ISB YLP program and got selected in the first round. I thought that this would motivate me enough to prepare for the exam so I booked the test for August 24, 2018. However, I kept scoring in low 600's so I decided to postpone the exam for I knew that I was capable of better. I had to let go of the opportunity of getting into ISB through the YLP program because i chose a better score over this chance. I've now rescheduled my exam for December 5, 2018 but i still find myself helpless about my preparations.

I have gone through all Manhattan books including foundations of math and verbal. I did not find the powercore CR bible very helpful and I'm now looking for advice on this forum especially from bb
Verbal is definitely a weak area for me. In Quant i find myself making silly mistakes and rushing through the questions. Another mistake that I've been making in quant is my tendency of trying to mechanically solve each question by using formulas instead of eliminating choices by smart thinking.

I would appreciate if you all can guide me in my journey to achieve a 720+ score.
Hi You have contacted me through study buddy portal . When I tried to reply, it is not being forwarded. You may contact me on 9958426758. We can discuss in detail. Sachin(Aim800only)

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Re: Struggling with GMAT :/  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2018, 02:01
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Hi ttaneja4,

It was a good decision to postpone your exam until you are confident of your preparation. You now have more than 3 months to prepare which will be enough to reach your target score if you prepare with the right resources and right approach. Here are some success stories of students who were in the same score range as you and went on to achieve their target score to motivate you:
    • Bruno improved from a 540 to 730 in 1 month. Click here to watch his inspiring video interview.
    • Learn how Shekhar improved from a 600 to 770. Click here to read his de-brief.
    • Nishant improved from 570 to 740 on the GMAT. Click here to watch his inspiring video interview.

Try the e-GMAT Free Trial to evaluate if it suits your learning style

Each student has their own learning style and it is important that you evaluate your resources to see if they suit your learning style. I am sharing some course files here for you to evaluate if it suits your learning style. You can find over 25+ video lessons and 350+ practice questions in your Free Trial dashboard.

Need help in creating a Personalized Strategy and Study Plan to reach your target score?

If you need help in creating a Personalized Strategy and Study Plan, write to us at support@e-gmat.com. Alternatively, you can also register for our free GMAT Strategy webinar this weekend to learn more or read our article on Personalized Study Plans for 100+ Score Improvement. This article also has 3 sample plans to help you create one for yourself.

Hope this helps!

Regards,
Aditee
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Struggling with GMAT :/  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2018, 04:45
Hey ttaneja4, I have a few thoughts:

It sounds to me in general like you've hit what we call the 'plateau'! This means that phase when you've done your studying and know the material but seem to have stopped improving - you just keep making the same mistakes and keep missing the same types of questions. So how do you break through this glass ceiling?

Usually, the answer isn't more fine-tuning, it is an adaptation of strategy. for example, you say make ‘silly’ mistakes. Do you use simple numbers to verify your calculations or your logic? Making an abstract problem concrete with examples can make it much easier to avoid falling into logical traps. This is an example of what we call the 'Alternative' approach.

You also say that you keep trying to mechanically solve each question by using formulas instead of eliminating choices by smart thinking. This happens to many test takers - we call this using the Precise approach, which favours straightforward solving, instead of other answer strategies, such as the Alternative approach I just mentioned, or one using Logical tools.

I have similar thoughts on verbal, considering you have already studied the basics but are still having trouble. I think you probably ly don't need to solve a lot more questions... you've already done a lot, and just continuing at this pace will only make you tired. What you do need to do is 1) spend some time analysing your performance, and 2) weighing whether you need to change your answer strategies.
Many people, for example, make the mistake of reading all answer choices in all questions; with the clock running, you can’t afford to do this! Many Verbal questions are ones where all the relevant information is in the question itself, and you can use the PRECISE approach to answer the question directly, and avoid becoming confused by the answers. Other questions are those in which there is a general LOGICAL rule that can help answer the question quickly – reading all answers is a waste of time here as well. Only about a third of the questions are those in which it is necessary or preferable to go over all the answer choices (using the ALTERNATIVE approach). The trick is, of course, figuring out which question is which, and this requires concentrated study, checking not only whether you got the question right, but also whether you did so quickly and efficiently.

Thus, I suggest you consider a shift in strategy - is there a completely different way to answer questions that you've so far missed? Feel free to PM me if you'd like more info or check out our Intro to PAL video here, which explains different strategic approaches in depth.




ttaneja4 wrote:
Hi everyone
I'm struggling to prepare for GMAT and turned to this forum on the advice of a friend. I've been planning to take the exam since March last year but kept putting it off for different reasons each time. Finally this year I applied for the ISB YLP program and got selected in the first round. I thought that this would motivate me enough to prepare for the exam so I booked the test for August 24, 2018. However, I kept scoring in low 600's so I decided to postpone the exam for I knew that I was capable of better. I had to let go of the opportunity of getting into ISB through the YLP program because i chose a better score over this chance. I've now rescheduled my exam for December 5, 2018 but i still find myself helpless about my preparations.

I have gone through all Manhattan books including foundations of math and verbal. I did not find the powercore CR bible very helpful and I'm now looking for advice on this forum especially from bb
Verbal is definitely a weak area for me. In Quant i find myself making silly mistakes and rushing through the questions. Another mistake that I've been making in quant is my tendency of trying to mechanically solve each question by using formulas instead of eliminating choices by smart thinking.

I would appreciate if you all can guide me in my journey to achieve a 720+ score.

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Re: Struggling with GMAT :/  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2018, 19:05
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Hi ttaneja4,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. I realize that you are pretty frustrated with the GMAT, but hang in there! With a sound, thorough, and linear study plan, you can improve your GMAT score! Let’s look at how to do so.

Since your GMAT score has plateaued in the low 600s, it’s clear that you lack certain GMAT quant and verbal fundamentals that are necessary for a high GMAT score. To improve your skills, you will want to follow a study plan that allows you to learn linearly, such that you can slowly build GMAT mastery of one topic prior to moving on to the next. Within each topic, begin with the foundations and progress toward more advanced concepts.

For example, let’s say you begin studying Critical Reasoning. Your first goal is to 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 incorrectly answer a Weaken the Argument question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific Critical Reasoning 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 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 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 Reading Comprehension questions with which you struggle: Find the Main Idea, Inference, Author’s Tone, etc. As you would handle Critical Reasoning, analyze your incorrect answers to better determine why you tend to get a particular question type wrong, and then improve upon your weaknesses.

The process above can be perfected with a lot of practice. However, keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be easy to read, so to better prepare yourself to read such bland 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, you likely will have to work on all three of those aspects. Furthermore, the reason that your Sentence Correction performance has not improved is likely that you have not been working on all three of those aspects.

Regarding what you know, to be successful in Sentence Correction, 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 in the sentence clearly refer to nouns in the sentence? 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.

The third aspect of getting Sentence Correction questions correct is what you have to do. The main thing that 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 in a Sentence Correction question, 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. For instance, 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 that would have extended 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’ll then want to practice with SC questions that test you on skills from multiple SC topics.

You can follow a similar process for that section. For example, if you are reviewing Number Properties, be sure that you practice 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. 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. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and types of questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently. The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new verbal and quant materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

You also may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.

Good luck!
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Re: Struggling with GMAT :/  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2018, 09:59
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Do NOT make silly mistakes on quant! They are extremely costly. On a global basis - lots of people do well on quant -- and any simple mistake can bring you down when it really shouldn't have.

Since you verbal is weakest, you really need to focus on the subsections separately and then bring them together.

If you feel you are stuck, it may help to open your eyes to see how someone else thinks through GMAT questions so you can subconsciously compare your thought process with others.

At GMAT Pill, that's what we provide - a different perspective that often opens up new doors for mental approaches to the same questions you are answering.

Here are 2 examples:

http://www.gmatpill.com/sentencecorrect ... ythons.mp4

http://www.gmatpill.com/criticalreasoni ... Estate.mp4


For Verbal, we recommend solidifying your SC skills first: http://www.gmatpill.com/gmat-practice-t ... -questions

As you study OG, follow along our SC videos. Here's a sample: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1f_ckd ... H1HmTgctJI

You can learn more about our student success at http://www.gmatpill.com/testimonials
Re: Struggling with GMAT :/ &nbs [#permalink] 22 Aug 2018, 09:59
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