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• ### The winning strategy for 700+ on the GMAT

December 13, 2018

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# Verbal Exhaustion

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Intern
Joined: 31 Jul 2018
Posts: 7

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05 Oct 2018, 01:31
Hi Guys,

I appeared for my 2nd GMAT attempt yesterday. I scored a pathetic 550 (Q44,V21). It was humiliating. I previously appeared on August 24,2018.I scored a shocking 580 (Q43,V27) then. I've purchased my ESR reports for both the attempts. Unfortunately i'm unable to post them here currently. So all in all verbal has been a shocker to me. I've attempted 14 mock tests with the break up as below:

Veritas Prep (7 mock tests):

Test 1 - Aug 05,2018 - 620(Q43,V32)
Test 2 - Aug 13,2018 - 640(Q46,V32)
Test 3 - Aug 18,2018 - 610(Q44,V30)
Test 4 - Aug 20,2018 - 600(Q43,V30)
Test 5 - Aug 22,2018 - 630(Q48,V29)

1st GMAT attempt - Aug 24 - 580 (Q43,V27)

Test 6 - Sep 23,2018 - 650(Q46,V33)
Test 7 - Oct 01,2018 - 620(Q43,V32)

2nd GMAT attempt - Aug 24 - 550 (Q44,V21)

KapTest:

Test 1 - 630(Q44,V33)
Test 2 - 610(Q41,V33)
Test 3 - 630(Q45,V31)
Test 4 - 620(Q44,V31)

ManhattanPrep:

Test 1 - Aug 28,2018 - 660(Q46,V34)

GMAT OFFICIAL PREP:

Test 1 - Aug 07,2018 - 610(Q38,V35)
Test 2 - Aug 14,2018 - 700(Q49,V35)

So the thing is, I've kind of lost belief in the mocks as far as verbal is concerned. I'm much better at quant than verbal. I know how I can improve my quant scores. However, verbal is where I'm utterly confused. My study material for verbal includes 2018 OG, 2018 Verbal Review, Aristotle SC Grail 2nd Edition and GMAT CR Bible. I haven't studied from any book for RC.

Also, I've solved the 2019 OG questions available here as well.

I feel an extreme lack of motivation right now. I'm 29, a Chartered Accountant (Indian equivalent of a CPA) and working with an investment bank in India. I've got 6 years work experience. MBA has always been my ultimate goal. However, I can currently see my dream turning sour.

Any kind help is welcome and I would be more than happy to share my ESR reports as well if you could help me analyse them.

Thanks a lot!!
Neeraj.
Intern
Joined: 28 Oct 2017
Posts: 7
Re: Verbal Exhaustion  [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2018, 01:54
Bro need not to be worried of Verbal.
Be patient and keep solving practice questions here of all levels especially of 600-700 and 700+ till you start punching right answers.
The key to win over every verbal question is to understand the underlying principle of meaning of a sentence and art of eliminating wrong choices.
In most cases, a person left with two choices: correct and close enough. You be sure that what you are left with is suppose to have correct one among them.

Once you hit for the meaning and eliminating process right, your own instinct will automatically start working for you in leading you to correct answer.

Posted from my mobile device
Intern
Joined: 28 Oct 2017
Posts: 7
Re: Verbal Exhaustion  [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2018, 01:57
Could you please brief about the difficulty level of quant in GMAT?
Was it moderate, easy, or even more difficult than GMATCLUB tests?

Posted from my mobile device
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
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Re: Verbal Exhaustion  [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2018, 14:42
Hi Neeraj,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Your two Official Scores are remarkably similar and show a relatively consistent performance (about 560 +/- a few points). When these types of score drops (from practice CATs to Test Day) occur, the two likely "causes" involve either something that was unrealistic during practice or something that was surprising (or not accounted for) on Test Day. If you can answer a few questions, then we should be able to figure this out:

When you took your CATs:
1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you plan to take your Official GMAT?
4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: on a prior CAT, in an online forum or in a practice set)?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

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Intern
Joined: 31 Jul 2018
Posts: 7
Re: Verbal Exhaustion  [#permalink]

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06 Oct 2018, 02:16
Mikkz wrote:
Could you please brief about the difficulty level of quant in GMAT?
Was it moderate, easy, or even more difficult than GMATCLUB tests?

Posted from my mobile device

Hey Mikkz,

The actual test I'd say was surely not as difficult as the GMATCLUB tests. The difficulty level of the questions here is absolutely top notch.

Thanks,
Neeraj.
Intern
Joined: 31 Jul 2018
Posts: 7
Re: Verbal Exhaustion  [#permalink]

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06 Oct 2018, 02:29
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Neeraj,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Your two Official Scores are remarkably similar and show a relatively consistent performance (about 560 +/- a few points). When these types of score drops (from practice CATs to Test Day) occur, the two likely "causes" involve either something that was unrealistic during practice or something that was surprising (or not accounted for) on Test Day. If you can answer a few questions, then we should be able to figure this out:

When you took your CATs:
1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you plan to take your Official GMAT?
4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: on a prior CAT, in an online forum or in a practice set)?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

Hey Rich,

Really appreciate your help here. Please find below my answers:

1) I did not attempt the AWA section in my mocks. However, I opted for the quant section, followed by verbal, then IR and finally AWA. So I don't think that would have made a difference.
2) Yes I took them at home.
3) I took them either in the morning or at noon. My first attempt was at 9:00 AM and my 2nd attempt was at 12:30 PM.
4) No, I never paused my CATs, skipped sections, took longer breaks or anything else that was unusual.
5) I found none of the questions to be repetitive and I did not repeat any of my CATs.

Thanks,
Neeraj.
e-GMAT Representative
Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 2768
Re: Verbal Exhaustion  [#permalink]

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06 Oct 2018, 04:41
Hi neerajparekh,

I am sorry that your scores were not in line with your expectations. Do not be demotivated. A lot of students have taken multiple attempts to reach their target scores especially in Verbal. Here are a few such examples:
- Abhijay improved from 560 (V20) to 710 (V38). Click here to watch his inspiring video debrief.
- Nishant improved from a V27 to V41. Click here to read his amazing success story.
- Nihal improved from a V25(630) to V41(760). Click here to read his debrief.
- Anurag improved from V24 to V40. Click here to watch his inspiring debrief.

These are just a few examples. There are many more students who have improved both in Verbal and Quant in their subsequent GMAT attempts to reach their target score. The common thing in all these success stories, you will find, is their structured approach and focus on core abilities. I would recommend that you read the following articles as you are not able to attach your ESRs here to create your further strategy. Incase you face any difficulty you can also mail us on support@e-gmat.com. We would be happy to help you.

Regards,
_________________

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EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
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Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13065
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Verbal Exhaustion  [#permalink]

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06 Oct 2018, 14:32
Hi Neeraj,

From your prior post, there were some 'red flags' in terms of how you took your CATs. Before we discuss those issues though, I have a few additional questions about the lead-up to Test Day and Test Day itself:

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
3) How long was the travel time to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

*****Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!*****

Intern
Joined: 31 Jul 2018
Posts: 7
Re: Verbal Exhaustion  [#permalink]

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06 Oct 2018, 23:59
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Neeraj,

From your prior post, there were some 'red flags' in terms of how you took your CATs. Before we discuss those issues though, I have a few additional questions about the lead-up to Test Day and Test Day itself:

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
3) How long was the travel time to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

Hi Rich,

Let me make this as informative as possible:

1) 3 days before the GMAT I revised all the quant concepts thoroughly. I went through all the CR strategies. I also went through all the grammar rules for SC. Additionally, I kept on reading a list of common idioms. I have to say my focus on RC was least in verbal. I was only solving RC questions available here and on Veritas's question bank. I appeared for Test 7 of Veritas Prep 2 days prior to the GMAT.

2) I did not sleep well on the test I appeared for on August 24, 2018. I appeared for that test at 9:00AM. Hence, I made it a point to avoid this the 2nd time. I slept really well for my attempt on October 03, 2018. I appeared for this GMAT at 12:30 PM.

3) The travel time from my home to the test center was 35 minutes. I reached the test center an hour before on both the occasions.

4) There were absolutely no distractions at all during the test. The center is one of the best in India I suppose.

5) I ate a bar of chocolate during both the 8 minute breaks followed by a glass of water. I took these breaks for approximately 5 minutes.

6) I happened to finish the quant section quite early on the 2nd test. I think this is reflected in my ESR as well. I didn't understand the first question. I'm convinced that the initial 10 questions in quant are highly important. I have read about that here and the same was apparent from my mocks as well. Whenever I scored above 46 in quant, my start was really good. Hence, not understanding the first question played on my mind very badly. As far as verbal is concerned, I rushed through the last 11 questions with 13 minutes pending. 2 of the RC passages were really long. I found them to be quite difficult and time consuming. I overall found verbal to be much difficult than the questions I encountered on all my mocks. This was true during both my attempts.

7) I guess the above reply answers this question as well. I surely guessed a lot of the last 11 questions in verbal.

Please do let me know your thoughts.

Thanks,
Neeraj.
Target Test Prep Representative
Status: Founder & CEO
Affiliations: Target Test Prep
Joined: 14 Oct 2015
Posts: 4294
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Re: Verbal Exhaustion  [#permalink]

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07 Oct 2018, 18:06
Hi neerajparekh,

I’m sorry to hear how things have been going with the GMAT. I realize that you’re frustrated, but don’t give up! You’ve come to the right place for help.

The first thing that stands out to me regarding your previous study plan is that you’ve taken a ton (14) of practice tests, but more importantly, you took those tests before you were ready to do so, right? Remember, GMAT practice tests best serve two main purposes. The first purpose is to provide diagnostic information. In other words, by taking a practice test, you can get a sense of what types of GMAT questions you’re comfortable answering and arrive at a reasonable estimation of how you would score on the GMAT at that point in time. The second purpose is, naturally, to provide a way to practice taking the GMAT and handling its various challenges, such as time pressure and the varying difficulty of the questions presented.

People often misuse practice tests as primary learning tools. You may have seen posts that go something like this: A person with a score goal of 740 has been preparing for six weeks, has already taken all six of the official practice tests, and is wondering why her scores have been 600, 590, 570, 610, 600, and 560. In such a case, she likely has been using practice tests as primary learning tools, meaning that taking practice tests has been much of, or possibly most of, what she has been doing to drive up her score.

Of course, you can benefit from taking one diagnostic practice test early in your preparation. Furthermore, once you’ve done substantial preparation and mastered much of the content tested on the GMAT, when you sit for practice tests, they will actually show, to some degree, lingering weak areas that require further study. I say “to some degree” because although practice tests provide a pretty good approximation of how a person would score on the GMAT at a particular point in time, because the sample size of questions on any practice test is rather small (31 quant questions and 36 verbal questions), practice tests don’t do a very good job of pinpointing specific areas of weakness.

For example, let’s assume that of the 31 quant questions on a given practice test, you encounter one Rate-Time-Distance question and get it wrong. Should you conclude that you need extensive work on Rate-Time-Distance questions? Of course not. Similarly, what if you correctly answered the Rate-Time-Distance question? Are you good to go on those questions? Maybe. But maybe not. In fact, let’s assume that you took six practice tests, saw a total of six Rate-Time-Distance questions, and correctly answered them all. Can you conclude that you’re solid on Rate-Time-Distance questions? Probably not. One thing that makes the GMAT challenging is the vast potential for variation in the questions. There are hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of variations of Rate-Time-Distance questions that can appear on the test. So, correctly answering five or six (or ten) Rate-Time-Distance questions doesn’t really tell you much. You have to be careful not to over-infer based on practice tests alone.

The million dollar question is, how do you improve your GMAT verbal skills. Since you most recently scored a V21, it’s clear that you lack some GMAT verbal fundamentals necessary for a high score. Thus, moving forward, you need to follow a study plan that allows you to learn linearly, such that you are able to build mastery of one verbal topic prior to moving on to the next. Within each topic, begin with the foundations and progress toward more advanced concepts. By doing so, you should be able to methodically build your verbal skills and thus improve your score. Keep in mind that this process will take some time, so you are going to need to work and stay motivated, OK? Let’s discuss how you can improve in each verbal topic.

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 each problem type, do focused practice so you can assess how well you understand the topic. 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 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.

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 likely reason that your Sentence Correction performance has not improved is that you have not been working 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 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.

As for the third aspect of getting Sentence Correction questions correct, what you 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, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. 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’ll then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple SC topics.

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: Verbal Exhaustion  [#permalink]

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07 Oct 2018, 19:03
Hi Neeraj,

I've sent you a PM with some additional analysis, notes and suggestions.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

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VP
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Re: Verbal Exhaustion  [#permalink]

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11 Oct 2018, 03:47
Hi Neeraj, I know that you feel confident about Quant and your post is primarily about Verbal, however, the scores that you've mentioned below show otherwise:

Test 1 - Aug 07,2018 - 610(Q38,V35)
Test 2 - Aug 14,2018 - 700(Q49,V35)

Q38 and Q49 shows a vast variance. So, while you're focusing on Verbal, make sure Quant doesn't slip.
_________________

Thanks,
Ashish
EducationAisle, Bangalore

Sentence Correction Nirvana available on Amazon.in and Flipkart

Now! Preview the entire Grammar Section of Sentence Correction Nirvana at pothi.com

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Re: Verbal Exhaustion  [#permalink]

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11 Oct 2018, 21:05
Hey,

I will definitely keep that in mind and not slip up on quant as well.

Thank,
Neeraj Parekh

Posted from my mobile device
Re: Verbal Exhaustion &nbs [#permalink] 11 Oct 2018, 21:05
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# Verbal Exhaustion

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