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# Verbal Timing strategy

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Senior Manager
Joined: 21 Jun 2017
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14 Feb 2019, 10:01
Dear all,

I have almost read all verbal timing related queries. Yet, I am still not able to complete the entire section in time. This has become a permanent menace to touch V40. Currently, my score is hovering around V36-38.

Following is my question break down with timings :

9 questions done 48 minutes to go

18 questions done 32 minutes to go

27 questions done 16 minutes to go

My actual timings :

Quarter 1----- 44 minutes around. Lag of 4 minutes. I think this is ok as I want to spend maximum time with first 9 so that my score does not plummet.

Quarter 2----- 25 minutes around. Lag of 7 minutes

Quarter 3 ----- 7 minutes around. Lag of 9 minutes.

Quarter 4 . Guess a RC totally(probably with 4 questions) and attempt the remaining 5 (CR and SC), hoping for a god-like accuracy.

...........

Exam approaching in less than 15 days. There is not much that I can do, but if there is a better strategy, I mean to find it.

Regards,
SSB
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
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14 Feb 2019, 15:01
Hi ShankSouljaBoi,

To start, it's important to understand that pacing problems do NOT exist on their own - they're the results of OTHER issues. From what you describe, you're focusing on specific 'waypoints' during the Verbal section - instead of focusing on the actual issues that are impacting your pacing (your methods for handling RC, SC and CR). 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)?
4) What 'steps' do you go through when dealing with a typical RC, SC and CR prompt?

Goals:
5) What is your overall goal score?
6) What is your exact Test Date?
7) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
8) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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14 Feb 2019, 22:55
1
ShankSouljaBoi wrote:
I have almost read all verbal timing related queries. Yet, I am still not able to complete the entire section in time. This has become a permanent menace to touch V40. Currently, my score is hovering around V36-38.
If you can consistently score in that range, you are very close to your target score.

ShankSouljaBoi wrote:
Lag of 4 minutes. I think this is ok as I want to spend maximum time with first 9 so that my score does not plummet.
But do you need the extra time to get the first few questions correct, or are you just being (extra) careful?

ShankSouljaBoi wrote:
Exam approaching in less than 15 days. There is not much that I can do, but if there is a better strategy, I mean to find it.
You are too close to your exam to be experimenting with timing, but it's actually quite impressive that you can get a V38 after being left with only 7 minutes for the last quarter. It'd be interesting to see how you'd do if you weren't taking so much time on the initial questions, but I wouldn't suggest any major changes right now.
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Concentration: Finance, Economics
Schools: IIM
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14 Feb 2019, 23:18
AjiteshArun wrote:
ShankSouljaBoi wrote:
I have almost read all verbal timing related queries. Yet, I am still not able to complete the entire section in time. This has become a permanent menace to touch V40. Currently, my score is hovering around V36-38.
If you can consistently score in that range, you are very close to your target score.

ShankSouljaBoi wrote:
Lag of 4 minutes. I think this is ok as I want to spend maximum time with first 9 so that my score does not plummet.
But do you need the extra time to get the first few questions correct, or are you just being (extra) careful?

ShankSouljaBoi wrote:
Exam approaching in less than 15 days. There is not much that I can do, but if there is a better strategy, I mean to find it.
You are too close to your exam to be experimenting with timing, but it's actually quite impressive that you can get a V38 after being left with only 7 minutes for the last quarter. It'd be interesting to see how you'd do if you weren't taking so much time on the initial questions, but I wouldn't suggest any major changes right now.

Hi AjiteshArun The above strategy has been mentioned on your website. I follow it rigorously. Big thanks from my side.

I think you are correct in your assessment that i am spending too much time on the first quarter, will try to be faster from now on. I am being overly cautious with the first few. Its like I know I am going to mark a particular answer, but then I reread all the options again and again, just to assure myself. I do POE at least twice :D Also, I am not thinking of rescheduling my exam, and so I will go forward with the same strategy and with a positive mindset. Let's see how it goes. Thank you for your feedback.

Regards.
Intern
Joined: 15 Jan 2019
Posts: 45
Location: Pakistan
Concentration: Marketing, Human Resources
GPA: 3.12
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14 Feb 2019, 23:19
1
Hey!
I had a similar issues and here are the tips I got.

1) Skip one or two questions in between and never in a row. Don’t worry they won’t have much harm on your scores. (Tip from GMATPrepNow)
2) for RC don’t skim or read quickly it always wastes time because you have to read the passage back again. Make sure to read properly first then answer the questions. Tip from (egmat)
3) for CR, divide the paragraph into pieces of *Premises* and *Conclusion*. This helps tackle the questions fast and within 1.5 minutes. (Tip from economist GMAT)

I really hopes this helps you. Leave a kudos if it does
Thanks

Posted from my mobile device
Senior Manager
Joined: 21 Jun 2017
Posts: 324
Location: India
Concentration: Finance, Economics
Schools: IIM
GPA: 3
WE: Corporate Finance (Commercial Banking)

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14 Feb 2019, 23:27
UmairAftab wrote:
Hey!
I had a similar issues and here are the tips I got.

1) Skip one or two questions in between and never in a row. Don’t worry they won’t have much harm on your scores. (Tip from GMATPrepNow)
2) for RC don’t skim or read quickly it always wastes time because you have to read the passage back again. Make sure to read properly first then answer the questions. Tip from (egmat)
3) for CR, divide the paragraph into pieces of *Premises* and *Conclusion*. This helps tackle the questions fast and within 1.5 minutes. (Tip from economist GMAT)

I really hopes this helps you. Leave a kudos if it does
Thanks

Posted from my mobile device

1. Skip one or two questions (would that be a CR or a SC,,, i think CR makes much more sense), in what quarter exactly???
2. I don't skim. I don't even understand how people skim. It seems absurd to me, to just read a bit and jump to the questions.
3. I don't think we have that much time, it either strikes you or does not and so I pre-think a bit and move on with options.

Senior Manager
Joined: 21 Jun 2017
Posts: 324
Location: India
Concentration: Finance, Economics
Schools: IIM
GPA: 3
WE: Corporate Finance (Commercial Banking)

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14 Feb 2019, 23:34
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi ShankSouljaBoi,

To start, it's important to understand that pacing problems do NOT exist on their own - they're the results of OTHER issues. From what you describe, you're focusing on specific 'waypoints' during the Verbal section - instead of focusing on the actual issues that are impacting your pacing (your methods for handling RC, SC and CR). 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)?
4) What 'steps' do you go through when dealing with a typical RC, SC and CR prompt?

Goals:
5) What is your overall goal score?
6) What is your exact Test Date?
7) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
8) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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

Hi Rich,

Thank you for your taking out the precious time and replying back to my query. Following are my answers :

Studies:
1) How long have you studied? 6 months serious.
2) What study materials have you used so far? Egmat and OG's . Mocks--- Veritas and MGMAT
3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)? My first GMATPREP Mock gave me 640(Q48 V34). My second GMATPrep Mock gave me 690(Q49V36). I will sit for EP1 in coming days andupdate here regarding the same.
4) What 'steps' do you go through when dealing with a typical RC, SC and CR prompt?
RC: Read fast . Be careful with question. Locate the excerpt. POE.
CR: Prethink and solve
SC: Locate errors. POE.

Goals:
5) What is your overall goal score? 740+
6) What is your exact Test Date? 26.02.19
7) When are you planning to apply to Business School? Next year
8) What Schools are you planning to apply to? IIMA ISB NUS Wharton and ASU
CEO
Joined: 15 Jul 2015
Posts: 3063
Location: India
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V169

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15 Feb 2019, 03:30
ShankSouljaBoi wrote:
Hi AjiteshArun The above strategy has been mentioned on your website. I follow it rigorously. Big thanks from my side.

I think you are correct in your assessment that i am spending too much time on the first quarter, will try to be faster from now on. I am being overly cautious with the first few. Its like I know I am going to mark a particular answer, but then I reread all the options again and again, just to assure myself. I do POE at least twice :D Also, I am not thinking of rescheduling my exam, and so I will go forward with the same strategy and with a positive mindset. Let's see how it goes. Thank you for your feedback.
I wasn't trying to say that you should push your appointment back. You are close to your target score, and that is what matters.

It's good that you recognize the need to not become overly cautious, as on the day of the exam the temptation to take extra time on a question to double-check your answer is probably going to be even greater than during a practice test.
_________________
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
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15 Feb 2019, 13:34
Hi ShankSouljaBoi,

From what you describe, you're performing at a fairly high level right now, but there's a significant difference between consistently scoring in the high-600s and consistently scoring in the mid-700s. Since your Official GMAT is in about 1.5 weeks, it might not be realistic to expect to raise your scores to that higher level in such a short period of time. As such, it would help to know a bit more about ALL of the CATs that you've taken and the type of Score you would be 'satisfied' with.

1) On what dates did you take EACH of your CATs/mocks and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
2) Did you take the FULL CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
3) What GMAT Score would you be happy with (meaning that you would NOT choose to retest)?

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

The Course Used By GMAT Club Moderators To Earn 750+

souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
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16 Feb 2019, 19:16
I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. I think the question you really need answered is why you are struggling to complete the verbal section, right? So, let’s address that.

The first thing to understand is that timing on the GMAT, as in life, improves as your knowledge, understanding, and skill improve. Timing does not improve simply by “trying to go faster.” In fact, when people try to force speed before they’re ready to go faster, they tend to end up making a significant number of preventable mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes badly erode people’s test scores. In addition, when people rush learning -- a common pathology of those trying to force speed -- they actually never end up developing the speed they seek. One of the great paradoxes of learning is that to develop speed, a student must slow down to ensure that he or she masters the material. Consider the following examples, which hopefully will bring you some more clarity:

Imagine your goal were to run a mile in four minutes, a difficult feat even for professional athletes. So, you get yourself a running coach. You show up on the field and ask, “Coach, how do I get faster?” The coach responds, “Well, just run faster.” So, you try your best to “run faster,” but you can't; you’re running a 12-minute mile. Out of breath, you come back to the coach and say, “Coach, I stink. How do I get faster?” Again, he says, “Just run faster.” So, you try again, but this time you fall and skin your knees. You keep trying to run faster. On the tenth attempt, you pull your hamstring, falling to the ground in pain. Over your next four months of recovery, you ponder why you couldn't run faster.

That situation would be insane, right? No qualified running coach would ever provide you with that advice, because the coach would understand that no one gets faster merely by trying to run faster. Instead, the coach would set you up on a linear, comprehensive plan to make you a BETTER runner. He may have you run progressively longer distances at relatively slow speeds. He may have you run up and down the stairs at the football stadium. He may have you run up and down hills. He even may have you engage in strength training, yoga, or Pilates to make you a more fit athlete. After all of that training, he finally would bring you back on the field and time you running the mile. At that point, he’d coach you on how to push yourself through the pain of sprinting and help you to understand what a four-minute-mile pace feels like. He now could help you with those things because you would be in the necessary shape to be receptive to them. So, you begin your run, and BOOM! You run a 6-minute mile. What happened? Well, you became a better runner. You became a fitter athlete. You became stronger. Although you’re not yet at the four-minute-mile mark, your training has yielded considerable improvements.

Now imagine your goal were to play a complicated song on the piano. The tempo at which a pianist plays greatly impacts the way a song sounds. To make songs sound the way they should, often a pianist must play at a fast pace. But your experience with the piano is limited. Can you imagine trying to play the complicated song at full speed right at the outset? Doing so wouldn't be possible. Instead, you first need to master many aspects of the piano -- without really trying to get faster. In fact, you need to proceed slowly at first, sometimes very slowly. As you master the piano, you find that you’re able to play your song at progressively faster tempos. With time and dedicated, proper practice, you’re able to recreate the sound you seek. If in the early days of practicing you had tried to force speed instead of mastering your technique, you never would have become truly accomplished at playing the song.

The process of getting faster at solving GMAT questions is quite analogous to the process of improving one’s running speed or ability to play the piano at the proper tempo! To get faster, you must get better. As you further develop your GMAT skills, you will get faster at a) recognizing what a problem is asking and b) executing the necessary steps to quickly attack the problem.

The key takeaway is that as you develop stronger GMAT verbal skills, better timing will follow. In fact, a great way to know how well you have a mastered a particular topic is to be cognizant of how you react when seeing a question involving that topic. For instance, consider the following simple question, which might be challenging for someone just beginning to work on Sentence Correction:

The researchers traveled into the rainforest to observe monkeys while swinging through the trees, using their hands, feet, and tails.

(A) traveled into the rainforest to observe monkeys while swinging

(B) traveling into the rainforest, observing monkeys that were swinging

(C) traveled into the rainforest to observe monkeys, swinging

(D) traveled into the rainforest to observe monkeys, which swing

(E) were traveling into the rainforest to observe monkeys in order to swing

Looking at this question, a test-taker might quickly see that choice (B) can be eliminated because the sentence it creates has no main verb, and that choice (E) can be eliminated because it conveys the nonsensical meaning that researchers had the goal of swinging through the trees (and had tails). Having eliminated those two choices, the test-taker could end up using a lot of time cycling through choices (A), (C), and (D), not sure what is wrong with any of them.

A person who has studied modifiers knows that, when an “–ing” modifier is preceded by a comma or preposition (such as “while”), that “–ing” modifier targets the preceding subject-verb combination. So, a person with that knowledge would quickly recognize that “while swinging” in (A), and “swinging” preceded by a comma, in (C), target the subject and verb of the preceding clause, which are “researchers traveled.” Thus, (A) and (C) convey the illogical meaning that the researchers were swinging through the trees, using their hands, feet, and tails. Therefore, the only choice that works is (D).

Although this is just one example of many, you see that you must have many tools in your toolbox to efficiently attack each GMAT verbal question that comes your way. As you gain these skills, you will get faster.

With all that being said, you may need some more time to improve your GMAT verbal skills, so perhaps consider taking your GMAT at a later date.

If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out.

Good luck!
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Re: Verbal Timing strategy   [#permalink] 16 Feb 2019, 19:16
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# Verbal Timing strategy

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