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Unpleasant surprise (660 q48, v33)

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New post 13 Jul 2015, 17:33
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Hello.

Today I pass GMAT and received 660 (q48, v33). This was really unexpected for me because during last month I usually received 37-41 in verbal part.

I learn for a really long time. Begin from Magoosh, then Veritas videos, and finally I took EGmat on-demand course. After EGmat I was really excited because thought that I finally grasp SC. In last 1,5 month I direct my efforts mainly to verbal part, did all OG, VR, QP1, Prep questions with error log and analysis.

I saved GMAT prep 3 and 4 exams for last month and received 41 and 37 score for Verbal. So I was quite sure that I would receive at least 37-38.

Exam was perfect: little nervous at beginning but this is not impair my math, so I don’t think that my nerves crash my Verbal. I was not tired because I get good rest in last day and I did a lot of exams at home with immediate analyses, so I used to work for 5-7 hours without breaks (results in attachment). I was not hungry and had good concentration on the tasks. RC and CR were quite obvious, I don’t think that they are the reason, but SC part was a nightmare: in 7-8 tasks I even couldn’t find any errors in most variants. This was like half year ago when I completely didn’t understand difference betweeen ‘that’ and ‘which’ modifiers or difference between –ing modifier with comma or without comma, let alone the knowledge of idioms.

During the last month I so get used to the results like 7XX that when I saw the 660 it was a real shock for me. Looks like my arrogance catch me. I cancelled scores and now think about retaking during the month because I want to applies in 1 round.

I am a litlle confused because I exhausted OG, VR, Prep and question pack 1 bank, so I will be really appreciated for any advices about strategy for verbal part revision during this month.
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New post 14 Jul 2015, 03:39
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I order ESR and looks like I failed not only SC but all parts of Verbal. That's strange because usually I have really good results for CR.
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Re: Unpleasant surprise (660 q48, v33)  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jul 2015, 04:54
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Harley1980 wrote:
I order ESR and looks like I failed not only SC but all parts of Verbal. That's strange because usually I have really good results for CR.


Harley, I am sorry to see that your score declined from your mocks to actual GMAT. For me, it came as a surprise for both the times as well. I was scoring 720-750 for the both the instances in my mocks. What I realised was that I was not sticking to the pattern of solving verbal questions that used to work for me in my mocks that I gave in the comfort of my home. The added pressure of the actual GMAT with the new surroundings do play their part in increasing the anxiety levels to an extent. I know most of us will say that they are good at controlling their anxiety but we are humans and as humans we tend to subconsiciously think about these things. I realised that I stopped following the tried and tested method after the first 15 question and due to this deviation, I ended up getting V34 when I was comfortably getting V38+ in my mocks.

I would advise you to analyse your ESR a bit more to see where and how you should be tackling your retake (if you are going to retake!).

A couple of things did jump out to me from your ESR:

1. Your time taken for SC questions was a bit too much for this type of questions and this might have eaten into the time you would normally devote to RC and CR. This would have an effect on the accuracy of your strong suit (CR) and this would have brought down your CR score lower than what you had imagined. With less time for RC and CR and not doing so well in SC, you might have made mistakes in easier questions for CR and this would have resulted in a cascading effect of lowering your overall scores. Answering easier questions penalises you a lot more than any other difficulty level questions.

2. Your average time for Algebra/geometry was 2.35 which for an 'average' value might be a bit high and again as mentioned above, would have eaten into your time for other questions/sub sections. Rushing in the GMAT has a very bad chain reaction and can hamper your scores by a lot more than you could imagine.

All the above points might have played a role in making you rush through some of the easier questions that you should have answered correctly. I remember reading Stacey Koprince's article on Manhatten GMAT forums that even 760 scorers answer a few questions incorrectly and thus it is important for us to choose our battles in GMAT. The more we take questions as a question of ego , the more we will falter.

Hope this helps and all the best for your future plans.
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New post 14 Jul 2015, 05:05
Engr2012 wrote:
Hope this helps and all the best for your future plans.


Hello Engr2012. Thanks for you points I will think about them.

You are right about SC time: usually I solve them much quicker but us I mentioned in my first post at this time this was type of SC that I never see in mocks or on forums. After third SC question that I guess I start to put more and more time in SC and now I think that this was a wrong strategy.
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New post 14 Jul 2015, 05:07
Harley1980 wrote:
Engr2012 wrote:
Hope this helps and all the best for your future plans.


Hello Engr2012. Thanks for you points I will think about them.

You are right about SC time: usually I solve them much quicker but us I mentioned in my first post at this time this was type of SC that I never see in mocks or on forums. After third SC question that I guess I start to put more and more time in SC and now I think that this was a wrong strategy.


I dont know if you have solved question pack 1 and exam pack 1 that are sold by GMAC for GMATPREP? If not, I will suggest you to buy these 2 and solve the questions therein. They represent the closest to the actual GMAT questions.
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New post 14 Jul 2015, 05:09
Engr2012 wrote:
Harley1980 wrote:
Engr2012 wrote:
Hope this helps and all the best for your future plans.


Hello Engr2012. Thanks for you points I will think about them.

You are right about SC time: usually I solve them much quicker but us I mentioned in my first post at this time this was type of SC that I never see in mocks or on forums. After third SC question that I guess I start to put more and more time in SC and now I think that this was a wrong strategy.


I dont know if you have solved question pack 1 and exam pack 1 that are sold by GMAC for GMATPREP? If not, I will suggest you to buy these 2 and solve the questions therein. They represent the closest to the actual GMAT questions.

Yeah, I did them. In exam pack 1 I had a 730 and 720 at first attempt (I did them twice)
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Re: Unpleasant surprise (660 q48, v33)  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2015, 20:28
Hi Harley1980,

I had the same issue yesterday. Used to score 720-760 on any GMAT exam, including GMATPrep, PowerPrep, Kaplan, Magoosh, Manhattan, but yesterday I received only 630, q48, v28. I felt very confident in verbal because I saw boldface questions in the middle of the test. I am desperate now because I exhausted almost all materials and have no idea where to focus on. Thinking about starting from scratch...
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New post 16 Jul 2015, 01:09
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dauren88 wrote:
Hi Harley1980,

I had the same issue yesterday. Used to score 720-760 on any GMAT exam, including GMATPrep, PowerPrep, Kaplan, Magoosh, Manhattan, but yesterday I received only 630, q48, v28. I felt very confident in verbal because I saw boldface questions in the middle of the test. I am desperate now because I exhausted almost all materials and have no idea where to focus on. Thinking about starting from scratch...


Hello dauren88

Yes, looks like this is the only strategy: begininning from scratch.
I start EGmat course again and try to learn more rigorously at this time. Hope it helps.

Write to me if you find some new method to better grasp SC ;)
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Re: Unpleasant surprise (660 q48, v33)  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2015, 04:29
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Harley1980 wrote:
dauren88 wrote:
Hi Harley1980,

I had the same issue yesterday. Used to score 720-760 on any GMAT exam, including GMATPrep, PowerPrep, Kaplan, Magoosh, Manhattan, but yesterday I received only 630, q48, v28. I felt very confident in verbal because I saw boldface questions in the middle of the test. I am desperate now because I exhausted almost all materials and have no idea where to focus on. Thinking about starting from scratch...


Hello dauren88

Yes, looks like this is the only strategy: begininning from scratch.
I start EGmat course again and try to learn more rigorously at this time. Hope it helps.

Write to me if you find some new method to better grasp SC ;)


I would recommend watching Ron Purewal's videos (links are in my signatures) and make sure you analyse how he solves SC from GMATPREP and OG. He is highly recommended. The same goes for looking at how he solves CR and teaches you to personalise the CR arguments. This method alongwith prethinking , goes a long way in choosing the correct answer. Make notes of relevant aspects when you go through the videos.
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New post 16 Jul 2015, 09:35
Engr2012 wrote:
Harley1980 wrote:
dauren88 wrote:
Hi Harley1980,

I had the same issue yesterday. Used to score 720-760 on any GMAT exam, including GMATPrep, PowerPrep, Kaplan, Magoosh, Manhattan, but yesterday I received only 630, q48, v28. I felt very confident in verbal because I saw boldface questions in the middle of the test. I am desperate now because I exhausted almost all materials and have no idea where to focus on. Thinking about starting from scratch...


Hello dauren88

Yes, looks like this is the only strategy: begininning from scratch.
I start EGmat course again and try to learn more rigorously at this time. Hope it helps.

Write to me if you find some new method to better grasp SC ;)


I would recommend watching Ron Purewal's videos (links are in my signatures) and make sure you analyse how he solves SC from GMATPREP and OG. He is highly recommended. The same goes for looking at how he solves CR and teaches you to personalise the CR arguments. This method alongwith prethinking , goes a long way in choosing the correct answer. Make notes of relevant aspects when you go through the videos.


Thanks Engr2012
I will try it.
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New post 17 Jul 2015, 15:26
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Harley1980 wrote:
Hello.

Today I pass GMAT and received 660 (q48, v33). This was really unexpected for me because during last month I usually received 37-41 in verbal part.

I learn for a really long time. Begin from Magoosh, then Veritas videos, and finally I took EGmat on-demand course. After EGmat I was really excited because thought that I finally grasp SC. In last 1,5 month I direct my efforts mainly to verbal part, did all OG, VR, QP1, Prep questions with error log and analysis.

I saved GMAT prep 3 and 4 exams for last month and received 41 and 37 score for Verbal. So I was quite sure that I would receive at least 37-38.

Exam was perfect: little nervous at beginning but this is not impair my math, so I don’t think that my nerves crash my Verbal. I was not tired because I get good rest in last day and I did a lot of exams at home with immediate analyses, so I used to work for 5-7 hours without breaks (results in attachment). I was not hungry and had good concentration on the tasks. RC and CR were quite obvious, I don’t think that they are the reason, but SC part was a nightmare: in 7-8 tasks I even couldn’t find any errors in most variants. This was like half year ago when I completely didn’t understand difference betweeen ‘that’ and ‘which’ modifiers or difference between –ing modifier with comma or without comma, let alone the knowledge of idioms.

During the last month I so get used to the results like 7XX that when I saw the 660 it was a real shock for me. Looks like my arrogance catch me. I cancelled scores and now think about retaking during the month because I want to applies in 1 round.

I am a litlle confused because I exhausted OG, VR, Prep and question pack 1 bank, so I will be really appreciated for any advices about strategy for verbal part revision during this month.



Hi Harley1980,
I felt sorry because you did not get your desired score, despite your efforts in your learning journey. As I share some of learning platforms with you such as Magoosh and E-gmat, I will try to help with you. E-gmat by far is better than Magoosh in its learning style and methodology in Verbal section overall adn SC especially. However, both have good quality questions in their questions banks. I started to learn learn from E-gmat by writing lessons down after their videos. it seems to some waste of time but for me it was huge difference as it gives me a way to review every time the info in quick way. Also, i review their way in solving SC questions of OG 13. I focus on analysis of wrong answers more than correct answers. I hope it helps you.

I wish you success in next test
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Re: Unpleasant surprise (660 q48, v33)  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jul 2015, 02:40
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Mo2men wrote:
Hi Harley1980,
I felt sorry because you did not get your desired score, despite your efforts in your learning journey. As I share some of learning platforms with you such as Magoosh and E-gmat, I will try to help with you. E-gmat by far is better than Magoosh in its learning style and methodology in Verbal section overall adn SC especially. However, both have good quality questions in their questions banks. I started to learn learn from E-gmat by writing lessons down after their videos. it seems to some waste of time but for me it was huge difference as it gives me a way to review every time the info in quick way. Also, i review their way in solving SC questions of OG 13. I focus on analysis of wrong answers more than correct answers. I hope it helps you.

I wish you success in next test


Hello Mo2men
I think you are right. To make summary of lessons can be really useful and is definitely not waste of time. It very similar to Feinman approach
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrNqSLPaZLc

I used such thing when I solve matematical questions and now try to apply it to SC.

Thanks for advices I will try to apply them productively.

Good luck to you too.
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Re: Unpleasant surprise (660 q48, v33)  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2016, 10:34
Hi Harley1980,

you have mentioned in above debrief -"SC part was a nightmare: in 7-8 tasks I even couldn’t find any errors in most variants"

i felt the same in my first attempt.. found no splits in almost many of the questions.. :(

can you please let me know how you overcame it :)
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Unpleasant surprise (660 q48, v33)  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2016, 11:44
smartguy595 wrote:
Hi Harley1980,

you have mentioned in above debrief -"SC part was a nightmare: in 7-8 tasks I even couldn’t find any errors in most variants"

i felt the same in my first attempt.. found no splits in almost many of the questions.. :(

can you please let me know how you overcame it :)


This only goes to show that GMAT SC has become more of a meaning based game. More and more SC questions don't want you to just spit out splits based on some archaic rules. When the splits don't work, let the intended meaning of the original sentence guide you. There will always be subtle differences.

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Unpleasant surprise (660 q48, v33)  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2016, 12:12
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Engr2012 wrote:
smartguy595 wrote:
Hi Harley1980,

you have mentioned in above debrief -"SC part was a nightmare: in 7-8 tasks I even couldn’t find any errors in most variants"

i felt the same in my first attempt.. found no splits in almost many of the questions.. :(

can you please let me know how you overcame it :)


This only goes to show that GMAT SC has become more of a meaning based game. More and more SC questions don't want you to just spit out splits based on some archaic rules. When the splits don't work, let the intended meaning of the original sentence guide you. There will always be subtle differences.

Posted from my mobile device


Hell yeah, Engr2012 ;)
This is exactly what I have written to smartguy595. This is a really shady way to orient yourself on the idioms and don't pay enough attention to the meaning.
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Re: Unpleasant surprise (660 q48, v33)  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2016, 21:31
Harley1980 wrote:
Engr2012 wrote:
smartguy595 wrote:
Hi Harley1980,

you have mentioned in above debrief -"SC part was a nightmare: in 7-8 tasks I even couldn’t find any errors in most variants"

i felt the same in my first attempt.. found no splits in almost many of the questions.. :(

can you please let me know how you overcame it :)


This only goes to show that GMAT SC has become more of a meaning based game. More and more SC questions don't want you to just spit out splits based on some archaic rules. When the splits don't work, let the intended meaning of the original sentence guide you. There will always be subtle differences.

Posted from my mobile device


Hell yeah, Engr2012 ;)
This is exactly what I have written to smartguy595. This is a really shady way to orient yourself on the idioms and don't pay enough attention to the meaning.


thanks for the info..Harley1980 Engr2012

It was most difficult phase and time consuming for me to understand meaning and solve the question.

i will try to put some more efforts from now.
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Re: Unpleasant surprise (660 q48, v33)  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2016, 21:35
So I've heard this term thrown around a lot. What are "splits"?

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Re: Unpleasant surprise (660 q48, v33)   [#permalink] 24 Jul 2016, 21:35
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