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How to improve a V39?

This topic has 3 member replies
rahulmathur9818 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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How to improve a V39?

Post Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:02 am
Elapsed Time: 00:00
  • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME])
    Hey everyone!!

    The first time I gave my GMAT I scored a V39 which was close to as high as I'd scored in my mocks. In my second attempt however I dropped to a V34 which is a lot lower than what I was scoring in my mocks. In verbal I often get stuck with 2 choices and waste a lot of time trying to choose between them. End up with 50-50 result. In SC I dont follow the normal "learn the grammar" rules approach. Instead I use my own approach of what makes the sentence logically most clear. I do pay close attention to certain grammar rules such as the ones pertaining to "which", "like vs such as" and "tenses". I tried going deep into the grammar rules but it just didn't make any sense to me so I adopted a different approach that doesn't work all the time. In critical reasoning I'm decent. In RC it all depends on the subject of the passage. I struggle most with science or technical topics and thrive on politics, economics, etc topics.

    I've practiced questions from - OG13, verbal review 2nd edition, veritas advanced, SC grail and gmatclub.com forums

    I some how need to improve my verbal to a 40 or 41. I would really appreciate if someone could provide a plan of action for me to adopt and also provide some information on where else can I practice verbal questiosn from?

    Thanks in advance

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    Post Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:44 pm
    Hi rahulmathur9818,

    I want try to paraphrase what you wrote: It sounds like you don't have a standard approach for anything in the Verbal section; just a combination of little things that you define as "your approach." This overall approach often leaves you with 50-50 choices and it sometimes doesn't work.

    The reason why you're not going to score V40 is that you aren't consistently using any tactics - you're "ad-libbing" your way through the Verbal section. To your credit, you're still scoring pretty well, but without a standardized set of tactics (and the proper grammar knowledge), you can't expect to score a V40+.

    Verbal questions are just as standardized and predictable as Quant questions - they're based on logic and patterns that are consistently applied and the "rules" don't ever change. You shouldn't be narrowing answers down to a 50/50 unless you have no choice. Instead, you should be able to predict the correct answer to most RC/CR prompts before you look at the answer choices, so that you KNOW what the correct answer is (and then you just have to find it among the 5 options). With SCs, you need to know the necessary grammar rules (and there really aren't that many) and then pattern-match using the prompt and the answer choices (using grammar rules to eliminate answers that don't match what you know should be there).

    It sounds like you've done plenty of practice questions, BUT volume is not the solution to your problem - you're still working in the same ways as before. You need TACTICS and plenty of consistent practice (of those same tactics). These things take time to master, but since you're talking about the 90th percentile+ in the Verbal section, you should expect to have to practice a lot.

    When you originally studied, did you take a Course or use a set of Course Books? What did those resources teach you about dealing with the Verbal section?

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

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    Post Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:09 pm
    Hi Rahul, from your post it looks like the impression that you have is that rehearsing a lot of grammar rules would be an extreme approach to solve sentence correction questions that you are not comfortable with.

    Sentence correction on GMAT is basically a two step procedure:

    i) Find out what is the intended meaning of the sentence (from your post, it looks like you are already doing this).

    ii) Make sure that the sentence is articulated in a way that best depicts the intended meaning.

    It is w.r.t step ii) that the knowledge of certain grammar rules becomes essential. Think about it this way: if you are not comfortable with certain grammar rules, then how would you even figure out whether the sentence is articulated in a way that correctly depicts the intended meaning of the sentence.

    Grammar is nothing but a tool to articulate sentences that depict intended meaning in the best possible manner. If you have this approach in mind, hopefully it will be easy for you to see the correlation between sentence articulation and grammar.

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    rahulmathur9818 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
    Joined
    19 Feb 2013
    Posted:
    19 messages
    Post Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:27 pm
    Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
    Hi rahulmathur9818,

    I want try to paraphrase what you wrote: It sounds like you don't have a standard approach for anything in the Verbal section; just a combination of little things that you define as "your approach." This overall approach often leaves you with 50-50 choices and it sometimes doesn't work.

    The reason why you're not going to score V40 is that you aren't consistently using any tactics - you're "ad-libbing" your way through the Verbal section. To your credit, you're still scoring pretty well, but without a standardized set of tactics (and the proper grammar knowledge), you can't expect to score a V40+.

    Verbal questions are just as standardized and predictable as Quant questions - they're based on logic and patterns that are consistently applied and the "rules" don't ever change. You shouldn't be narrowing answers down to a 50/50 unless you have no choice. Instead, you should be able to predict the correct answer to most RC/CR prompts before you look at the answer choices, so that you KNOW what the correct answer is (and then you just have to find it among the 5 options). With SCs, you need to know the necessary grammar rules (and there really aren't that many) and then pattern-match using the prompt and the answer choices (using grammar rules to eliminate answers that don't match what you know should be there).

    It sounds like you've done plenty of practice questions, BUT volume is not the solution to your problem - you're still working in the same ways as before. You need TACTICS and plenty of consistent practice (of those same tactics). These things take time to master, but since you're talking about the 90th percentile+ in the Verbal section, you should expect to have to practice a lot.

    When you originally studied, did you take a Course or use a set of Course Books? What did those resources teach you about dealing with the Verbal section?

    GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
    Rich
    Hey Rich thanks for the reply. I broadly agree with your assessment. For CR I went through Powerscore once and made relevant notes which come in handy and then for practice I've gone through OG 13, official verbal guide 2nd edition and Veritas prep- advanced verbal strategy questions.

    For RC I've used the MGMAT RC book (but not in much detail, just learnt the basics of going reading the passage carefully, reading the first and last line of each para most carefully- stuff like that). For practice I've used the same books as for CR and some questions from Aristotle RC 99 (the hard questions I found to be extremely hard)

    For SC I've gone through MGMAT once but most of what I've learn on SC has come from doing practice questions and learning about new grammar rules through practice. Used the same books for practice as used for CR and Aristotle SC grail. This time I'm planning to go through MGMAT SC and Aristotle SC grail in greater detail for the rules part.

    I think I need to concentrate most on SC.

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