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What should I do next to achieve 650?

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Intern
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Joined: 12 Jun 2019
Posts: 30
GMAT 1: 500 Q43 V17
GMAT 2: 510 Q44 V17
GMAT 3: 600 Q48 V25
GMAT 4: 650 Q50 V28
What should I do next to achieve 650?  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2019, 06:56
Hi there

I have received some good advice from many GMAT experts here, and it works really well, and I really appreciate that help.

On the end of september, I took my official GMAT and luckily increased so many scores. I gave myself some rest and now its time to go on with GMAT. My final goal is to achieve 620-650. Now I want to share my stats.

Prep test in the last 1-2 months (#note I actually did several tests months before eg. OG1 and manhattan but I forget all the stats)
- 10 Sep; 670 (Q46,V36); Expert Global Prep Test 1
- 17 Sep; 670 (Q49,V32); Expert Global Prep Test 2
- 19 Sep; 600 (Q49,V23); OG Prep Test 2
- 22 Sep; 560 (Q47,V20); Expert Global Prep Test 3

My Official test
- 05 Mar; 500 (Q43,V17)
- 14 Jun; 510 (Q44,V17)
- 24 Sep; 600 (Q48,V25)

I mainly use materials such as OG18, OG19, Manhattan (red cover one), etc. And I still have OG20 and old OG (11-17th.) in stock.

I attach the Enhance Score Report for insider information about my last test. (For summarize, my Quant’s weakness are Geometry, Value/Order/Factors, and Equal/Inequal/Alg., and my Verbal’s weakness is Reading. And time management is also a major problem for me)

My goal is to increase Quant to around 49-50 and increase Verbal to around 27-31, so I may achieve 630-650 score. Please suggest me a study plan to increase the score as planned. Thank you!
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Re: What should I do next to achieve 650?  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2019, 10:12
Hi Zatan99,

This recent Official GMAT is a nice improvement over your earlier Official Scores - and with a 600, you're closer to a 650+ than you probably realize. Before we discuss the data in your ESR - and how you should best proceed with this next phase of your studies - I have a few questions about your overall studies so far:

1) We've discussed your study materials at various points in the past; what 'brands' of practice CATs have you used so far (and do you have any 'leftover' CATs that you have not used yet?)?
2) What are your current application plans? If you're planning to apply soon, what are the specific deadlines that you're facing?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com
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Intern
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Joined: 12 Jun 2019
Posts: 30
GMAT 1: 500 Q43 V17
GMAT 2: 510 Q44 V17
GMAT 3: 600 Q48 V25
GMAT 4: 650 Q50 V28
Re: What should I do next to achieve 65  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2019, 00:37
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Zatan99,

This recent Official GMAT is a nice improvement over your earlier Official Scores - and with a 600, you're closer to a 650+ than you probably realize. Before we discuss the data in your ESR - and how you should best proceed with this next phase of your studies - I have a few questions about your overall studies so far:

1) We've discussed your study materials at various points in the past; what 'brands' of practice CATs have you used so far (and do you have any 'leftover' CATs that you have not used yet?)?
2) What are your current application plans? If you're planning to apply soon, what are the specific deadlines that you're facing?

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

Hi Rich

Thank you for the reply.

- I have mainly used OG18 and OG19 for my study in both my Verbal and Quant. I have also studied some other books including Manhattan and Gmatclub Grammarbook.
- I still have OG20 book left unread and some old OG pdf (before OG18) in stock.
- I have done some CATs such as OG preptest 1-2, and I have also finished Expert Global preptest 1-3
- So I still have CATs of OG number 3-6 (which I haven’t bought yet but will buy soon) and of Expert Global number 4-15 left over.

- My early application plan is around January or within round 2 of most business schools. But now I am not sure that I could make the score on time, so it is possible for me to postpone the application to the next year.

Please give me some advice about my study. I want to achieve higher score. But since I am a non-native english speaker from SEA where people rarely communicate in english, it is very hard for me to develop such good Verbal skill. So I think advice from the expert could help me a lot. Thanks anyway.
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Re: What should I do next to achieve 650?  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2019, 10:42
Hi Zatan99,

I've sent you a PM with an analysis of your ESR and some additional questions.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com
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souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
ENGRTOMBA2018 Score: 750 Q49 V44 ★★★★★
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Re: What should I do next to achieve 650?  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2019, 12:00
Hi Zatan99,

First off, Q48 is not a bad start! Nice job so far. Based on your score breakdown of Q48/V25, you clearly need a pretty significant increase in your verbal score in order to achieve your score goal. To improve your verbal skills, you should follow a study plan that allows you to learn each GMAT verbal topic from the ground up. In other words, follow a study that allows you to learn each GMAT verbal topic individually and then practice each topic until you’ve gained mastery. Let me expand on this idea further.

For example, let’s say you begin studying Critical Reasoning. When studying Critical Reasoning, you need to ensure that you fully understand the essence of the various Critical Reasoning question types. For instance, do you know the importance of an assumption within an argument? Can you easily spot a conclusion? Do you know how to resolve a paradox? Do you know how to properly evaluate cause and effect? Do you know how to properly weaken or strengthen an argument? These are just a few examples; you really need to take a deep dive into the individual Critical Reasoning topics such that you develop the necessary skills to properly attack any Critical Reasoning questions that you encounter.

As you learn each Critical Reasoning problem type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type of question. If, for example, you incorrectly answered 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.

When practicing Reading Comprehension, you need to develop a reading strategy that is both efficient and thorough. Reading too fast and not understanding what you have read are equally as harmful as reading too slow and using up too much time. When attacking Reading Comprehension passages, you must have one clear goal in mind: to understand the context of what you are reading. However, you must do so efficiently, so you need to avoid getting bogged down in the details of each paragraph and focus on understanding the main point of each paragraph. That being said, do not fall into the trap of thinking that you can just read the intro and the conclusion and comprehend the main idea of a paragraph. As you read a paragraph, consider how the context of the paragraph relates to previous paragraphs, so you can continue developing your overall understanding of the passage. Furthermore, as you practice Reading Comprehension, focus on the exact types of Reading Comprehension questions with which you struggle: Find the Main Idea, Inference, Author’s Tone, etc. As with Critical Reasoning, analyze your incorrect answers to better determine why you tend to get a particular question type wrong, and then improve upon your weaknesses.

You can perfect your reading strategy with a lot of practice. However, keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be easy to read, so to better prepare yourself to tackle such passages, read magazines with similar content and style, such as the New York Times, Scientific American, and Smithsonian.

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 reason that your Sentence Correction performance has not improved is likely that you have not been working on all three of those aspects.

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 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 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 answers were always the ones 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 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 extended 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 SC questions that test you on skills from multiple SC topics.

Regarding quant, since you already have a 48, a great way to improve your quant skills is to engage in “topic-by-topic” practice. For example, if you are reviewing Number Properties, be sure that you practice 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type. When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type.

As you do such practice, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get right. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By carefully analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant skills. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and types of questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

I realize I provided you with a lot of information, so if you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

Lastly, you may find it helpful to read the following article:

The Phases of Preparing for the GMAT
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Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 12 Jun 2019
Posts: 30
GMAT 1: 500 Q43 V17
GMAT 2: 510 Q44 V17
GMAT 3: 600 Q48 V25
GMAT 4: 650 Q50 V28
Re: What should I do next to achieve 650?  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2019, 07:11
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
Hi Zatan99,

First off, Q48 is not a bad start! Nice job so far. Based on your score breakdown of Q48/V25, you clearly need a pretty significant increase in your verbal score in order to achieve your score goal. To improve your verbal skills, you should follow a study plan that allows you to learn each GMAT verbal topic from the ground up. In other words, follow a study that allows you to learn each GMAT verbal topic individually and then practice each topic until you’ve gained mastery. Let me expand on this idea further.

For example, let’s say you begin studying Critical Reasoning. When studying Critical Reasoning, you need to ensure that you fully understand the essence of the various Critical Reasoning question types. For instance, do you know the importance of an assumption within an argument? Can you easily spot a conclusion? Do you know how to resolve a paradox? Do you know how to properly evaluate cause and effect? Do you know how to properly weaken or strengthen an argument? These are just a few examples; you really need to take a deep dive into the individual Critical Reasoning topics such that you develop the necessary skills to properly attack any Critical Reasoning questions that you encounter.

As you learn each Critical Reasoning problem type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type of question. If, for example, you incorrectly answered 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.

When practicing Reading Comprehension, you need to develop a reading strategy that is both efficient and thorough. Reading too fast and not understanding what you have read are equally as harmful as reading too slow and using up too much time. When attacking Reading Comprehension passages, you must have one clear goal in mind: to understand the context of what you are reading. However, you must do so efficiently, so you need to avoid getting bogged down in the details of each paragraph and focus on understanding the main point of each paragraph. That being said, do not fall into the trap of thinking that you can just read the intro and the conclusion and comprehend the main idea of a paragraph. As you read a paragraph, consider how the context of the paragraph relates to previous paragraphs, so you can continue developing your overall understanding of the passage. Furthermore, as you practice Reading Comprehension, focus on the exact types of Reading Comprehension questions with which you struggle: Find the Main Idea, Inference, Author’s Tone, etc. As with Critical Reasoning, analyze your incorrect answers to better determine why you tend to get a particular question type wrong, and then improve upon your weaknesses.

You can perfect your reading strategy with a lot of practice. However, keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be easy to read, so to better prepare yourself to tackle such passages, read magazines with similar content and style, such as the New York Times, Scientific American, and Smithsonian.

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 reason that your Sentence Correction performance has not improved is likely that you have not been working on all three of those aspects.

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 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 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 answers were always the ones 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 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 extended 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 SC questions that test you on skills from multiple SC topics.

Regarding quant, since you already have a 48, a great way to improve your quant skills is to engage in “topic-by-topic” practice. For example, if you are reviewing Number Properties, be sure that you practice 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type. When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type.

As you do such practice, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get right. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By carefully analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant skills. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and types of questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

I realize I provided you with a lot of information, so if you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

Lastly, you may find it helpful to read the following article:

The Phases of Preparing for the GMAT

Hi Scott

Thank you for your long reply. I have read every words of it and really appreciate your suggestion, and I will try to use this suggestion to adapt with my study.

For my improvement, I can summarize into several aspects.
- Read more magazine to improve reading skills (New York Times, Scientific American, and Smithsonian)
- Truly understand every types of question
- Truly understand every subjects in the test and try to master them one by one
- Analyze weakness from question I incorrectly did and improve it into my strength
- Slow down SC part and under stand why they are incorrect in every choices

I still have some question
1. What resource can I use to be a standard for understanding every types and every subjects of the test
2. What resource can I get to have the question and answer to study in each subjects (eg. I want to ace the probability subject, where can I look for?)

Thank you Scott.

Max
Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 12 Jun 2019
Posts: 30
GMAT 1: 500 Q43 V17
GMAT 2: 510 Q44 V17
GMAT 3: 600 Q48 V25
GMAT 4: 650 Q50 V28
Re: What should I do next to achieve 650?  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 13 Oct 2019, 07:12
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Zatan99,

I've sent you a PM with an analysis of your ESR and some additional questions.

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

Receive it. Will reply in the message. Thank you!
GMAT Club Bot
Re: What should I do next to achieve 650?   [#permalink] 13 Oct 2019, 07:12
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