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Verbal Score fluctuating

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Verbal Score fluctuating  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2018, 07:03
Hi,
I am planning to write my Gmat this month end. I need a score of minimum 650. I have been studying for the past three months. My practice scores started at Manhattan 540(Q38 V27) at the start of my preparation and was steadily increasing to MGMAT 640 Q45V34(4th June). I decided to study and improve on my verbal, since I know my Quant score could be easily increased.

As soon as I started studying Verbal I realized a common mistake in CR(understanding trap answers and conclusion) and the next week practice I was constantly getting 90% correct at 700level questions on GMAT cub. Also, I restudied my SC grammar rules and started getting a good 80% correct at 700 level Questions during my study sessions.
I took another test on 11th June - scoring V35, I decided to focus on my errors and strengthen my Verbal to 40.

I recapped the errors again from the test and practiced again concentrating on Verbal.
However, my score took a nose dive and I got MGMAT V30. I was really upset.

I thought it was a bad test day, another test the following week after reviewing my errors, my accuracy had also reduced in all sections leading to a low---MGMAT V28.

I was struggling, even the errors I made felt like a blank page. I did not understand what were the mistakes. and I was really frustrated. I took a break of a week, because I was really demotivated with the V28..which is the score I started with at the start of my Prep!!

Can an expert help me understand why I am struggling, is it common?I really need help!! Or am I doomed.

I have to write my GMAT this month, since I have to start my application for MBA.
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Re: Verbal Score fluctuating  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2018, 11:21
Hi ms04,

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) What study materials have you used so far?
2) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
3) Did you take the FULL CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?

Goals:
4) What is your exact Test Date?
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Re: Verbal Score fluctuating  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2018, 23:19
Thank you for your reply
1. I have been focusing on the OG and Manhattan Guides, Aristotle for SC, GMAT club forum and Powerscore bible for CR.
2. 6th May - MGMAT 540 Q38 V 27
Gmat Prep 22nd May 640 Q48V30 (couple of repeat questions from my studying, hence did not consider it)
MGMAT 2 4th June 650 Q45V34
MGMAT 3 11th June 610 Q38V35
MGMAT 4 16th June 600 Q44V30
MGMAT 5 22nd June 600 Q45V28
3. All CAT were done under official conditions at the time I am planning to take the exam.

1. I have not set a test date, but I have to complete it by end of this month.
2. Applications depends on my Score scale
3. College depends on my score scale - But I am aiming for a medium level college - so a 650-700 range

My concern is not for any course recommendation since I unfortunately don't have the time to relearn what I have already studied.

Thank you Rich:D
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Re: Verbal Score fluctuating  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2018, 19:53
Hi ms04,

Assuming that you took your recent CAT under realistic conditions, you appear to have a general 'ability level' in the low-600s. You're actually closer to a 650+ than you probably realize, so some detailed review of your CAT results is warranted.

After taking each CAT, it's important to do a full review of your performance (with the goal of defining WHY you got questions wrong). While a full Mistake Tracker would provide more detail, there are some basic questions that you should look to answer after you take each CAT (and the more specific you can be with your answers, the better).

After reviewing each section of your most recent CAT, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
2) Because there was some math/verbal that you just could not remember how to do?
3) Because the question was too hard?
4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?
5) In the Verbal section, how many questions did you "narrow down to 2 choices" but still get wrong?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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Re: Verbal Score fluctuating  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2018, 09:04
Hi ms04.

In my experience, when a person's verbal score is fluctuating as yours is, the reason is that the person is being too rule, pattern, and method driven, and not using logic enough.

What happens is that the rules, patterns, and methods that the person uses apply to some questions and don't work well for answering other questions. So, if you get a verbal section with a bunch of questions that your rules, patterns, and methods work for, you score high on verbal. If you get a verbal section in which most of the rules, patterns, and methods that you are using do not apply, you score low in verbal.

So, what the solution?

The solution is to adjust your approach to GMAT verbal. You have to realize that GMAT verbal is a tricky logic and reasoning game, one that you won't win by using gimmicky strategies or by looking for simple patterns. You have to seek to see more of what is going on in the questions and to use logical reasoning more. For instance, in answering a SC question, sure, knowing grammar rules helps, but the question is not testing your knowledge of grammar. It's testing your skill in seeing what is going on and in noticing which version of the sentence is most logically constructed. So, your focus has to be on learning to see what's going on.

In order to do so, when you do verbal practice questions, do them slowly, seeking to see what you have to see in order to get them right, and shooting for a very high hit rate.

The rules and the explanations are not really the point. You can learn dozens of rules and read 1000 verbal question explanations and still not score high on the verbal section, because reading explanations does not really help you to develop the key skill that you need in order to score high in verbal, skill in seeing what is going on. So, as you are practicing, for every question, as yourself, "What do I have to see in order to get this one correct?" and if you don't get one, ask yourself, "What would I have had to see in order to get this one correct?"

Also, if you have not already, try using official GMAT Prep practice tests from mba.com. The verbal questions on those tests are generally better than many that appear on test prep company tests, and so you may score higher on those tests than you have been on test prep company tests.
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Re: Verbal Score fluctuating  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2018, 00:56
Hi ms04,

You are not ‘doomed’. You just need to find a way that works for you and you will be able to get to your target score. Let’s first analyze the current condition. From your query and responses to the various questions, my understanding is that yours is a rule-based approach and not a logic-based approach. When the rule fits perfectly to a question you get it right whereas when it is tweaked you probably get it wrong and are not able to figure out the reason behind the mistake.
Let’s take SC for example –
    i. What percentage of time do you make mistake in identifying the intended meaning of the sentence?
    ii. What percentage of time do you make mistake in identifying errors in the original sentence?
I hope you follow the meaning-based approach in SC. Meaning-based approach is a logical approach. When you follow such an approach, you will find it easy to understand where you are making mistakes and why. This will eliminate the issue of drawing a blank when it comes to mistakes. You will be able to pin point the problem area which will make it easier for you to rectify and improve upon it.

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Re: Verbal Score fluctuating  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2018, 23:31
Thank you everyone soo much!!Really helped me feel a lot better..I was really upset.

But I took advice from all of you...I decided to concentrate on GMAT official questions - that helped me get back on track to understanding my verbal Questions. I have booked my test for the next week. Also, understanding the mistakes in my approach and re-evaluating all my previous tests as helped me out.

I also noticed in my latest Manhattan test - I got a V34. So I feel a lot better(because I had to skip some questions due to the 4 3para RC that took most time). Hopefully, after my test I shall have some good news

Thank you everyone for taking the time out to reply - Really very helpful!
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Re: Verbal Score fluctuating &nbs [#permalink] 16 Jul 2018, 23:31
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