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# Verbal score low

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Intern
Joined: 20 Aug 2016
Posts: 49
GMAT 1: 570 Q46 V23
GMAT 2: 610 Q49 V25
GMAT 3: 620 Q45 V31
WE: Information Technology (Other)
Verbal score low  [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2018, 21:48
Hello Everyone,

I had practiced Verbal from Manhattan Prep and later solved OGs for SC and CR.
Was getting almost 85-90% OG questions correct and was quite positive.
So attempted Gmat prep exam 1 yesterday and to my surprise i scored really low of 20 (lower than my 2 actual GMAT exam scores), with 7 SCs incorrect,
mostly due to silly mistakes.
I indeed answered first 4 and last 5 questions wrong (all RCs). Is the score low due to this, any idea?

Any input on how to improve score in a month will be helpful.

Many Thanks in Advance!

Regards,
Saps
Ask GMAT Experts Forum Moderator
Status: Preparing for GMAT
Joined: 25 Nov 2015
Posts: 1028
Location: India
GPA: 3.64
Verbal score low  [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2018, 23:12
Saps wrote:
Hello Everyone,

I had practiced Verbal from Manhattan Prep and later solved OGs for SC and CR.
Was getting almost 85-90% OG questions correct and was quite positive.
So attempted Gmat prep exam 1 yesterday and to my surprise i scored really low of 20 (lower than my 2 actual GMAT exam scores), with 7 SCs incorrect,
mostly due to silly mistakes.
I indeed answered first 4 and last 5 questions wrong (all RCs). Is the score low due to this, any idea?

Any input on how to improve score in a month will be helpful.

Many Thanks in Advance!

Regards,
Saps

Hi
Verbal improvement is difficult for most non-native speakers. Also, you cannot have any room for silly mistakes. Try to avoid silly mistakes at any cost. It will come only through practice. If you answer 9 questions wrong in RC, it will definitely have an effect on your score. Although it is difficult to point out the exact reason. It can only be known through proper analysis. Also, it does not only depends on the number of questions wrong, but also the level of questions wrong. Follow this post. It will help you.
https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-club-ve ... 29249.html
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Re: Verbal score low  [#permalink]

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09 Aug 2018, 00:58
Hi Saps,

Answering the first 4 questions wrong definitely was responsible for the low score because of the nature of adaptive test. The test begins at a medium difficulty level and when you answer that wrong you start getting easier questions. If you get a string of questions wrong in the beginning it will take you time to reach the medium level again and then move to tougher level thereby reducing your overall score. To understand this better, you can watch the recording of Strategy session conducted by our founder, Rajat Sadana.
Here is an example of a student who improved his score by 190 points in one month to reach his target score.
• Bruno improved from a 540 to 730 in 1 month. See how he focused on "logical approach" and building "core skills". Click here to watch his amazing video debrief.

Attend the Free RC webinar this weekend to get a jump-start in RC prep

In this webinar you will learn how to read a passage of any length and topic effectively so that it becomes simple to comprehend what the author wants to communicate through the passage. Register here to reserve your spot.

Regards,
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Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 14586
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Verbal score low  [#permalink]

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09 Aug 2018, 19:40
Hi Saps,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming those 3 Scores in your profile are Official Scores, those results show that you essentially performed the same each time you took the GMAT (about 600 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. It's also likely that you have developed some 'bad habits' that will take time to fix (and replace with new "good habits"). By extension, it's likely that "your way" of approaching the Exam will continue to earn you a Score right around 600, so to score at a significantly higher level, you will have to make some significant changes to how you handle the Verbal section.

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) On what dates did you take each of your Official GMATs?
2) How long did you study before each attempt at the GMAT?
3) What study materials did you use for each attempt? Which CATs did you use for each attempt?

Goals:
4) What is your goal score?
5) When are you planning to retake the GMAT?
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
7) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Verbal score low  [#permalink]

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13 Aug 2018, 19:59
Hi Saps,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. Although I’m uncertain of your score goal, you may find that improving from a V20 in just one month is quite difficult. Thus, you may consider waiting to take the GMAT until you have improved your GMAT verbal skills.

Since you scored a V20, you clearly lack some fundamental skills necessary for a good verbal score. Moving forward, consider using a resource that allows you FIRST to learn the concepts and strategies related to Sentence Correction, Critical Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension, and SECOND to practice with a large number of realistic questions.

For example, let’s say that 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 Critical Reasoning 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 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. Follow a similar process for Reading Comprehension.

Sentence Correction, on the other hand, 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, your Sentence Correction performance likely has not improved because you haven’t been working on all three of those aspects. Let's discuss those aspect and how to work on them.

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 really a test of your knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning grammar rules is so 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 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 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 resulted in your extending your streak.

As with your Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension regiments, after learning a particular Sentence Correction topic, you will want to 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 Sentence Correction topics.

Ultimately, if you are unable to learn and practice in the manner described above, you may consider looking for additional verbal prep resources. If you are unsure of which resources to choose, check out some reviews here on GMAT Club.

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 score low   [#permalink] 13 Aug 2018, 19:59
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# Verbal score low

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