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What am I doing wrong?

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Joined: 04 Jun 2013
Posts: 5

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 9

GMAT 1: 680 Q48 V34
What am I doing wrong? [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2013, 09:16
So, it's been three practice tests now - all from KaplanGMAT - and I'm six weeks away from my test date.

These have been my scores so far.

Test 1 (17.May.2013): 620, Q-85%ile, V-29%ile, IR - 2 (Percentiles when referred to scoring charts translate to Q48V23)
Test 2 (09.June.2013): 550, Q-73%ile, V-4%ile, IR - 4 (Q47 V12)
Test 3 (20.June.2013): 560, Q-85%ile, V-7%ile, IR - 7 (Q48 V14)

Between each test, I spent almost my entire study time practicing verbal questions. But still I'm not able to come good in verbal section.

Also, my time management for verbal questions is very poor as I'm able to answer only 31/32 questions. Can it be the reason why my score in this section is very low?

I know I can do a lot better than this. But I'm confused and disappointed now. :( :( Guys, pls guide me how should I go about my further preparation.

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 9

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Joined: 10 May 2013
Posts: 17

Kudos [?]: 10 [1], given: 3

Location: United States
Concentration: General Management, Technology
GMAT ToolKit User
Re: What am I doing wrong? [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2013, 12:10
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Good thing is your performance in quants is consistent.
You have to improve in verbal.
Lets take your concerns one by one :
1) Timing :
First and foremost. Leaving a couple of questions unanswered is bad :shock: , WORSE than answering them incorrectly. Its like the Titanic of GMAT facts. It is well known, it is huge and it can drown you. Blank answers have a more severe penalty than wrong answers.
So lets say if I have 4 questions left to answer and just 2-3 min left, I would most probably guess the first one, solve the second, guess the third again and solve the fourth. Coz answering two wrong in a row is not advisable either. You must know when to move on from a question, if you have already devoted more than enough time on it. Even 700+ scorers do that.

2) Strategy :
I shared my strategy in brief here : when-to-take-the-test-and-how-to-improve-my-preparation-154880.html#p1240521

3) Time left before the test date :
Although people have improved verbal score in a span of few weeks, if you don't feel confident say 8-10 days before the test date, you can reschedule.(I did it last year, but it didn't improve my score :) )

4) Time Management :
I am taking this again because I feel this is your weakest point. Here is a link to a good article on how to tackle this issue:

5) Practice Analysis :
Even if you are practicing, do it under timed condition. I use this timer (Check the attachment) and its very useful. I don't know how you practice , but if I practice a set of problems from OG, I even go through the explanations of the questions which I got correct, especially for verbal.
Also use the test report generated at the end of your Kaplan CAT. See on which questions you spent more than appropriate time. Analyse them. Check how many of them were correct. See if it was worth spending those extra minutes on them. See how many easy questions you got wrong (Coz answering an easy question incorrect is more awful than answering a hard question incorrect.)

8-) I have a hunch that just by guessing and moving on the few questions on which you are spending more than 2.5 - 3 min in verbal, you can improve by as many as 6-7 points in verbal. I am not saying guess every other random question just to save time. You should know which questions you cannot solve.

Good luck improving.

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Kudos [?]: 10 [1], given: 3

Joined: 04 Jun 2013
Posts: 5

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 9

GMAT 1: 680 Q48 V34
Re: What am I doing wrong? [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2013, 21:34
Thank you so much for your elaborate reply @miteshk.

Sorry for the very late reply from my side, though.

After reading your post, I took a note to improve my timing and to review mock tests as and when I finish them. I started practicing with the timer app you attached with your post. Believe me, it did help me a lot in improving my timings.

And in the lead up to the main test, I got in Mock4: 650 Q49 V31 Mock5: 660 Q48V32 GMATPrep1: 680 Q49 V34 GMATPrep2: 660 Q48 V32.

I took my GMAT yesterday (2nd Aug 2013) and I got 680 (Q48, V34).

Although I have got a decent score this time, I feel that this score may just be not enough to see me through. So I'm planning to retake GMAT, probably after a month or so.

Thank you once again.

Thiru :)

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 9

Re: What am I doing wrong?   [#permalink] 02 Aug 2013, 21:34
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